The Privileged Poor, once the blog site of a now defunct clothing store, is now the site of the Alive Juice Bar tutoring service.   We’ll be posting daily lesson plans to help students get through indefinite school closures.

Why Drills are Important
They make a lot of work routine and effortless so you can focus on creative problem solving.  Is there an NFL player who doesn’t do drills, from weight training to yoga to sprints?  Do we let someone who is out of shape play an NFL game?

Then why do we let students who’ve rarely been drilled in fundamentals learn geometry and read Chaucer? And then educators complain that most hate geometry and few do their reading. Well, lack of drilling is like sending the football team out to play without helmets, it’s going to be a bloodbath.

Drilling also helps students develop patience (aka delay of gratification) and discipline, arguably the two most important traits to have to do well in life.

Math Drills
Here’s a drill that’ll train you to think faster. Let’s start with basic addition.  Seriously, even if you’re taking AP Calc.  This link takes you to five addition worksheets:

Give yourself 80 seconds to finish each worksheet. Time yourself, stop when time goes off.  Do all five.  Then grade.  Repeat process until you score 100 percent on all five.

If you’re exhausted after one round of this “sprinting” exercise, it means you’re mentally out of shape, similar to someone who can’t run a mile.

Vocabulary and Writing Drills

Link to list of 262 words you need to know in order to score ~550 on the SAT verbal section.

This link recommends you use flashcards to memorize the words. I disagree, flashcards are stupid because most of the info is stored in short-term memory. It’s more efficient to read the definition and then write a sentence using the word, you’ll develop a more intuitive sense of the word. And get freaky when writing a sentence, it’ll make exercise more fun!

Work toward writing a sentence without having to look up definition of the word. Once you have that down, have someone pick two words from the list for you to include in a sentence.

An advanced version of this exercise is to make it a game between two or three people, each playing a character and taking turns to write a dialogue. Might have a good short story by the end. Example:

Player 1 calls out “dire” and “foreseeable”
Player 2: This coronavirus shit is going to be dire for the foreseeable future.
Player 2 calls out “candid” and “coarse”
Player 1: I appreciate your candid assessment, but do you have to express it in such a coarse manner?
Player 1 calls out “opine” and “treacherous”
Player 2: Treacherous bitch, who told you to opine about how I express myself?

And so on and so forth.