How to improve SAT test scores: Attack the Question!

When developing test-taking skills for standardized tests such as AP, ACT, and SAT tests there are usually two approaches: Strategy no. 1: Improve on content knowledge & skills. Strategy no. 2:  Employ test-taking strategies, such as skipping, annotating, anticipating answers, and elimination. That’s all good and well, but there’s no single method to apply to […]

Do Smartphones make students dumb? Parents, how to teach your children to avoid distractions & use the cell phone off button

Tap, tap, text, text, click, click…  Are cell phones taking students from merely distracted to dum, dummer, dummest? I suppose it depends on what “dumb” is.  If dumb means instant access to vast sources of information that don’t require memory recall to access, that’s hardly stupid. And if dumb means webs of instant connections for […]

How Parents and Teachers can use Bloom’s Taxonomy to engage student learning & curiosity

“Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain,” known more commonly as “Bloom’s Taxonomy,” identifies levels of learning from basic knowledge to higher-order thought that if used correctly can greatly empower student academic performance. Bloom’s original goal for the taxonomy was to guide curricular and assessment development with specific cognitive goals. Most teachers are familiar with it, […]

Time Travel pt 2: Navigating the Now & the Later

Procrastination is a disconnect between the NOW and the LATER. Overcoming the urge to procrastinate requires reconnecting with our own future. “Time Travel” can help bridge the NOW and the LATER. In Time Travel part 1: Ben Franklin & Managing the Now old Ben gave us some great advice on the consequences of delay.  Ben […]

Time management is Time Travel, pt 1: Ben Franklin & Managing the Now

You may delay, but time will not. – Ben Franklin By “time management” we usually mean prioritizing, using time effectively, getting things done instead of putting them off.  Except that we all “manage” time — it’s a matter of how well. If done properly, the rewards are large — and costly if not. Ben Franklin put […]

Getting Gritty: can academic “grit” be taught or is it a personality type like John Wayne?

Do we all have an inner John Wayne, or is grit unique to the gritty few? Is grit a product of circumstance that reveals it or do we need to bring grit to the scene? I’m thinking it’s a little of both, but it’s certain that some of us are “grittier” than others, and each […]

Teach don’t preach pt 2: Confirmation Bias & the unintented teacher preacher

Teachers, does your Confirmation Bias shut down student learning? Having scolded teachers who politicize their classrooms in my post, “Teach Don’t Preach: politicizing the classroom is not just wrong, it’s bad teaching,” it begs the question of what to do with teachers who don’t know that they’re preaching not teaching and not just with politics. […]

Is your student an extrinsic or intrinsic learner? And how to bring out the best in each to overcome the other

So how can we bridge the gap between students who only do as they’re told and those who learn only what they find interesting? As students rise through secondary schools, teacher expectations and demands can either tax or reward student learning and behavioral types, in this case, the extrinsically versus intrinsically motivated student: Extrinsic learners […]

Teach don’t preach: politicizing the classroom is not just wrong, it’s bad teaching

Is it the role of a teacher to impart information or to empower students with the skills needed to find information on their own? When a teacher professes a political position in a classroom, student learning suffers a short-circuit. Teachers have strong rights of expression, although courts will uphold teacher dismissal for indoctrination (see this pdf from […]

Common Core Crazy? Making sense of the viral common core math rounding problem

Perhaps you have seen the Facebook post by an angry mother who  is upset about her daughter’s Common Core-based math problem. There’s a larger lesson here, but it’s not about the Common Core. Click here for the Facebook post by Larisa Yaghoobov Settembro The problem asked was, Carole read 28 pages of a book on Monday […]

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