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 help, sharing, and getting things done, that ain’t so dumb, either.
BUT… dumb is as dumb does, so if these marvelous little devices are getting in the way of student productive academic outcomes, then we’ve got a problem. Continue reading
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 it more succinctly:
Remember that time is money.
So let’s get a new, good start on this “time management” job of ours and break into its essential parts to see how well it can pay. Continue reading
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
Parents of a student who has been diagnosed with “Attention Deficit,” commonly known as “ADD” and “ADHD,” get a reminder every hour of every day that by, “attention deficit,” ADD is more than some inability to focus.
Wikipedia defines “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD) as:
characterized by problems paying attention, excessive activity, or difficulty controlling behavior which is not appropriate for a person’s age.
The key words here are, “paying attention,” something that I am reminded of as I jumped up from my living room chair at the smell of my burning breakfast. My wife would remind me that I always burn the roast. I remind her that she should remind me when I put something on the stove.
A wise, wonderful person, my Belgian host-mother during my student exchange year to Tournai, Belgium, told me (in French), “Michael, you try to do too much at once.”
My own mother wouldn’t disagree, especially during those numerous emergency visits for another round of stitches needed because I wasn’t “paying attention” again. 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.”
Seemed like a good idea at the time…
Two recent Skype incidents remind us of the dangers of social media and the “instant age.”
One, an offensive albeit private joke ignorantly shared online, the other a deliberate spamming via Skype messaging remind us that parents can and should be aware of their teen student’s social media activities. Here are some warnings and suggestions, starting with the idea that with social media, private is never really private.
Likes, Moods, Tweets & Eternal Connectedness
You may have heard about how one Facebook “like” can expose a supposedly private account to a viral world (see CBS article on Five Hidden Dangers of Facebook)
And you have probably seen the news that broke recently about The Bong Hit That Cost an NFL Prospect 8 Million. It wasn’t the use of the drug that cost him $8mm, it was the picture of it that ended up on Twitter on the biggest day of his life – 7 years after the picture was taken. Oops. 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
For successful testing, students need to know what will be on the test. Sounds obvious, but parents don’t want to hear from their teens that there were “surprises” on a test or that they studied for the wrong thing.
This edition of the Successful Assessment will review how to help your teenage student identify what will be on a test.
As outlined in the introductory post, How to approach a test (or why doesn’t my child test well?), at the A+ Club, we help middle, high school and college students succeed on formal assessments, what we usually call “quizzes” and “tests.” Our quick measure of a successful assessment means:
- No Surprises (identified teacher expectations)
- Student Prepared (successful learning)
- Student had time to finish (successful test execution)
“No Surprises” on a test means the student knew what to expect, knew what to study, and was familiar with every part or aspect of the test. Continue reading
One of the most effective strategies to defeat procrastination that we have used with students in our A+ Club academic program is what the procrastination experts call “just getting started.”
As posted in “Beating back procrastination pt 1,” the benefits of “getting started” include:
- Breaking down / overcoming barriers to work
- Identifying needs & concerns
- Identifying time required for task completion
- Makes getting started next time easier
“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
Fight the need to finish now!
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