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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 →
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 was an incredibly productive man whose pursuits and accomplishments spanned science, literature, politics, and business. Good for him.
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 →
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 of us in different ways.
Academics are newly concerned with “grit,” or “resilience,” as long term success requires the ability to get past challenges and set backs. In fact, students who overcome failure and keep steady towards a long term goal are understood to be better prepared for higher level academics and life in general than students who never faced failure at all. 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
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.
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.”
“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 →