On March 1, 2017 at the Arlington, VA Central Library, Michael Bromley presented:
Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination
Michael Bromley discusses strategies to help ourselves and our children overcome the urge to delay. Michael is a high school teacher, historian, published author and founder and president of School4Schools.com LLC & the A+ Club
Please click on the below image to open the full slideshow. This slideshow is not narrated: for audio explanation of these ideas, please go to the Student Success Podcast: Procrastination Primer part 1.
A presentation by Michael Bromley from School4Schools.com LLC & the A+ Club copyright 2017
Note: Slideshow Copyright 2017 by School4Schools.com LLC. This slideshow is for personal use only ** not for distribution ** Please contact School4Schools.com for permissions and more information. Continue reading
We hear it all the time. Students say, “I get it when my teacher shows it to me, but I can’t do it on the test.” Then parents tell us that their child “doesn’t test well.”
When children say, “I get it when my teacher shows me,” what they’re really saying is that they didn’t learn it for themselves.
Turning New Knowledge into Prior Knowledge
The process of turning “New Knowledge” (NK) into “Prior Knowledge” (PK) is what I call “internalization.” When our brain receives new information, it looks to store it somewhere meaningful. If there is no related PK to connect it to, then the NK remains just that, unrelated, unconnected information that has no lasting memory.
However, when the NK finds a comfortable home, it is connected to meaningful PK and can now begin the process of internalization, that is going from NK to PK.
Kids get this. Continue reading
When students say they don’t “test well” or that they “don’t know how to study,” parents and teachers often respond with suggestions — and criticism — to, well, just “study harder.” Great. But what does “study harder” actually mean?
We can see how “studying harder” might actually work if we divide learning into the two distinct parts of:
- Factual Knowledge
- Application of Knowledge
The first is straight memory, while the second requires its application, by which we mean extension through comparison, analysis, evaluation, and so on. Thereby “studying harder” requires development of first, factual knowledge, and, second, using it. Continue reading
What’s best for school, a laptop, tablet, or PC?
Heading back to school always feels like a fresh start. And like a new set of clothes, getting a new device just makes you feel good.
But for high school and college students, freshmen especially, the choice of technology can really impact academic performance. The wrong choice can make school difficult or, worse, become an excuse not to do well.
Into the start of the 2016-17 school year, I thought it’s time for an update from previous posts here on the topic. The technologies haven’t changed much, but there are more options — and most importantly, more affordable ones.
Here for previous posts on the best technology for school:
College bound: desktop, laptop or tablet? PC or Mac?
The Best Computers for College: desktop, laptop or tablet? PC or Mac pt 2
What has changed significantly, though, is the “cloud.” Continue reading
Parents and teachers think that if only students would connect their short term decisions to long term goals, such as college and jobs, they would quit procrastinating and do their homework.
That’s why we’re always telling them about how important their future is.
Experience tells us that it’s not a reasonable connection. Kids won’t suddenly start doing their homework because they decided one day to be an astronaut or a sports agent. They do their homework because they think the homework is important unto itself. Or not.
Every Child Wants Success
Students of all levels have high-standards and long term goals for themselves. But just wanting to go to a good college doesn’t get the homework done.
With academic writing or other research projects, student improvement has a single source: drafting. Students will always score a better grade if they don’t hand in a “first draft” to the teacher.
Think of handing in an unrevised paper as “going in blind.” That means that no one else, including the author, has looked it over. A fully revised paper or project is one that has been looked over — and over again, hopefully also by a second pair of eyes – revised, sat upon, and revised again.
The great writer and critic, Evelyn Waugh, advised* : Continue reading
All students are aspirational: they want to do well in school and for their parents. But when they fall off from expectations, the excuses and resistance begin.
Managing a teen student is complicated enough! Now you have to deal with enforcing rules, upping the oversight, and staying on top of a resistant child. Communication breaks off, and things get, well, unhappy.
At the A+ Club, we help students do better in school by engaging them in reflection, problem solving and goal setting — and following up week to week, along with assignments and grades oversight and direct tutoring when needed.
Our system helps students identify what is possible and feel empowered to get there. When kids don’t know what to do or can’t see past the next step, it’s usually because their expectations aren’t aligned with their realities.
Do not “require a fig in winter”
When we adults say, “I want to lose weight” it’s as vague and meaningless — and counter-productive — as when a student starts a new quarter after low grades with, “I’m going to get straight A’s.”
Brenda’s mom is upset about her grades and that she’s not doing her homework. Brenda thinks her mom is being too pushy. Like high school teens & parents everywhere, they’re both a little right — and also a little wrong.
Brenda’s mom is right to be concerned. And Brenda is naturally feeling stressed over doing something she is genuinely having trouble accomplishing. And that’s where the emotions get in the way.
This scenario plays out every day with high school teens and their parents. Sometimes students just don’t know how to do their school work. Worse, sometimes they don’t know how to go about studying. That’s where we can help.
Quadratic Formulas & Other Troubles
Brenda is stuck on the Quadratic formula. She gets it when her teacher shows it in class, but when she has to do it on her own, she gets stuck. And then everything else becomes a problem, too. Continue reading
When a parent of a middle or high school teen worries that “my student doesn’t test” well, what’s missing is a combination of goal setting, preparation and execution.
As discussed in the previous posts on “Successful Assessments,” testing success consists of:
- Identifying teacher/ test expectations (“no surprises”)
- Preparing effectively (learning v. cramming)
- Executing on test day (test taking strategies)
Test prep above all else
“Easy” tests are those students have or are effectively prepared for: if the student knows what to expect and prepares for it, the results will be strong.
That said, there are still a few things a student can do to better results on the test day.
A couple do-nots on test day include: Continue reading