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.
Search engine results reveal much about ourselves, something worth reminding both teens and their parents. Not only can a search history flag a teen’s behavioral choices, such as being frustrated over grades and homework, it tells us what’s going on in general.
And web searches can even predict the future, such as a Bing analysis of web searches that accurately predicted the onset of pancreatic cancer before diagnosis (see article here).
With teenage students, their web searches certainly tell us what’s on their mind, usually something tied to popular culture, music, sports, movies, etc. When it comes to academics and school work, which are our concerns, here at the Student Success Blog, we have accidently discovered an interesting little indicator of student standing and cries for help in some of the search engine requests that have led to clicks on our site. 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.
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 →
They both know that parenting a teen through middle and high school isn’t always easy. And being a teen isn’t always easy, either.
At the A+ Club, we provide academic coaching, mentoring & tutoring in order to help parents of middle & high school and college students track their work, get tutoring and homework help when needed, and engage in the positive processes of goal setting, problem solving, and academic self-advocacy. Continue reading →
“Getting started” can be so hard. We know that we should get to work on something, but our emotions get in the way because it can seem so big, and so far away, and, well, it’s easier — and makes us feel better for now — to put it off until later. Continue reading →
Getting started on studying, homework and large assignments means just that: start a little now — and don’t worry about finishing until later.
Cramming is a difficult habit to break. The best technique for breaking the cramming cycle is to “smooth out your workflow” by just “getting started,” whether or not you’ll finish it now.
Yet getting started on homework, studying and tests can be so hard, especially when we pressure ourselves to get it done all at once.
Students who have trouble starting an assignment or project often put it aside for later because they feel they need to finish it once they start. Knowing they can’t possibly finish, they don’t bother to start. Here’s the logic: Continue reading →
Megan Rocks! Megan and Michael discuss how the A+ Club helps students, parents and teachers.
Featuring Megan Schneider, Office Manager at School4Schools.com LLC
Megan manages the A+ Club service that provides assignment, grades and missing work updates and notifications, essay review and all-round student help with homework, due dates, studying, grades to build academic awareness and relevancy.
Parents! If schools were meant for learning, why do we have grades?
In other words, if learning were the goal, wouldn’t every student have to get an A+ before moving on to the next level?
If, when a student gets a D, and it indicates the student met 64% of expectations, is there learning going on at that school? Wouldn’t a 100% grade represent true learning?
As long as there are grades less than an A, the point of schools, then, is not learning.
Worse, not all grades are equal. Does an A in PE represent learning as much as an A in math? They both count the same towards your GPA and both are required. Clearly, learning is not the only thing being measured here. Continue reading →
First semester is up and teachers and students across the country are recovering from that last minute freak out: get that missing work in!
Stressed kids near collapse trying to dig something out, anything to get the grades up. Desperate teachers giving up all pretense of syllabus rules and pushing, pulling, and excusing the kids across the finish line. Vice Principals peering over their shoulders, demanding mounds of paper work to justify failing this and that kid. Now into the new semester and it’s starting all over again. Continue reading →