Why are my child’s math grades low? Guided versus Indpedendent Practice and how to improve in math class

Making sense of math grades Guided Practice versus Independent Practice We so often hear from students that they “get it” when the teacher shows it to them, but they can’t do it on their own. When a student struggles in math class, it is usually a product of a disconnect between “being shown how” by the teacher and “doing it yourself” by the student. “Guided Practice” is where a teacher demonstrates a lesson and the students follow along. “Independent Practice” is where the student engages the material alone. So when a student “gets it” when shown but can’t “do it” alone, there is a disconnect between the Guided and Independent Practice. The Connector: Feedback What connects — or in its absence, disconnects — Guided and Independent Practice is feedback. When a teacher provides feedback by showing the answers to an entire class, students may not be getting any real feedback because the teacher is not addressing […]

The Third Quarter Grind: How to find success in the toughest part of the school year

Q3 is make or break time! The third quarter is when best laid plans either triumph or fall apart. In fact, research shows that students who procrastinated during the first semester may have done well during the fall but they will likely perform worse in the spring, since all the build up of last minute panics, incomplete work and overall stress that had accumulated turns into a heavier and more stressful load in the spring.  On the other hand, students who worked consistently throughout the fall term will reap the benefits of that investment in less pressure, fewer challenges, and higher overall performance. It’s funny, though, because the same thing applies to teachers and schools. Year after year as a high school teacher, I saw how all the beginning of the year administrative, department and individual teacher planning was out the window by the Third Quarter, and it was panic and push time in order […]

Why get a tutor at the beginning of school? How academic coaching is more effective – and affordable

A+ Club academic support opens future opportunitie for students

Helping your child with math tutoring or chemistry tutoring at the beginning of the school year isn’t a bad idea. Anything a student can do to get ahead of class and really make sense of the teacher when school starts is great. However, there are several important reasons why parents should be wary of starting tutoring early in the school year: 1. Direct tutoring, even online tutoring, can be very expensive. 2. Direct tutoring can backfire on a parent because once school starts some students come to rely on their tutors and don’t learn to act independently. 3. Academic success is a process, not an outcome. 4. Successful students overcome barriers and empower themselves to problem solve, negotiate with teachers and succeed on their own. Certainly it’s better to do something than nothing, and you don’t want to be one of those panicked parents who call us for help in February. We’d rather help your child […]

Mentors for Students: the power of guided reflection, goal setting & problem solving

A+ Club teachers, mentors & academic coaches

Having someone who cares gives students confidence and a sense of purpose The academic coaches and mentors at the A+ Club fill that role for our students. We call them “Student Supporters.” They are, actually, experienced educators who believe in and love working with students. Studies show that college students who engaged in a mentoring relationship find greater success in the job place after college. Makes sense to us! — which is why we built the A+ Club academic support program around a consistent, positive and non-judgmental mentoring relationship with an experienced educator for middle, high school and college students. The A+ Club student support program places each student with a professional educator who acts as academic coach and mentor. Our academic coaches care deeply about their students and want to help them flourish. A+ Club academic coaches guide students through the daily struggles of schoolwork and help them gain the skills and confidence they […]

5 Signs That Your Child Would Benefit From An Academic Coach

1. He struggles with procrastination. Many people (not just children!) struggle with procrastination at some point in their lives, but chronic procrastination is a sign of an underlying issue. Avoiding homework signals your child’s belief that the work will be difficult and thus unpleasant, so he chooses short-term satisfaction and diversions over long-term rewards. An academic coach can help your child recognize their patterns of procrastination and then combat them by going to the root of the problem: mastering the tough materials that create barriers. 2. He is disorganized. Organization is a vital for academic success. Poor organization can mean homework gets lost and he doesn’t study for tests because he didn’t remember he had one. An academic coach helps him learn how to keep track of their papers and assignments, so nothing gets overlooked. 3. He doesn’t test well. Poor performance on tests can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it’s just because he didn’t study, […]

Academic improvement is not easy!

Finally, all-round academic help for parents of teens! If a middle or high school student has a low grade in one or more classes, what can a parent do? You can’t just say, “do your work!” — kids often respond to that with anger and excuses. Plus, your parenting time is precious and you’ve got enough to do with work, extracurricular activities and other children. One option is tutoring: if a student is struggling in a class, you can hire a tutor, say for math or chemistry, who can show your child how to get the work done. But think about it: isn’t your child supposed to be learning from the teacher? Direct math tutoring, for example, can help a student start to make sense of what’s going on in class. We love it when that happens! But we worry that the same habits may lead to the same outcomes — and then the parent […]

Piecing Together Academic Success: Study skills are essential for student improvement

When tutoring isn't enough: academic coaching for all-round improvement Many parents of teens who are underperforming in school look to find a tutor for homework help or figuring out math and other subjects. While a tutor can help organize a class or learn certain information and skills, at the A+ Club we don’t rely on tutoring alone. In addition to online tutoring, we use academic coaches and mentors who help students who want better grades and overall academic improvement by addressing their fundamental academic skills and concerns. Our academic coaches and mentors are experienced teachers who help students identify what it really takes for academic success. These include: 1. how to identify teacher expectations 2. how take full advantage of resources such as textbooks, study guides, and essay or homework assignment rubrics, and 3. how to develop effective organizational and time management skills. Lasting student improvement comes from our all-round approach, not just from hourly tutoring […]

The A+ Club Advantage: academic coaching, tutoring & mentoring

Here's how it works: For a full page version of this chart, see The A+ Club Advantage Copyright School4Schools.com LLC, 2016 The A+ Club brings a holistic approach to student support We build the skills needed for academic success, including: goal setting executive function time management study skills All this while still offering direct online tutoring in all subjects, including math tutoring, science tutoring, reading & writing tutoring and essay review. That’s Academic Support done right: the A+ Club Advantage! Study Skills, Time Management & Executive Function Tutoring is great, but we want our students to learn how to learn on their own. That is why our experienced classroom instructors, whom we call “Student Supporters” engage our students in fundamental skills development such as goal setting, time and calendar management and other executive function skills. All of our student interactions are shared with parents so that our parents can follow student progress and provide positive […]