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
We often hear from parents that “my child doesn’t test well.”
Teens have lots of excuses for their grades, and blaming it on the test is one that parents fall for all the time.
In the A+ Club, we measure middle, high school and college student success on a test or major assessment in terms of 1) identifying teacher expectations; 2) student preparation; and 3) successful execution on the test day. 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
At the A+ Club we often hear from parents that their child is struggling in math.
Sometimes it’s, “she never does well in math” or “he does his math homework but scores poorly on quizzes and tests.”
Why students struggle in math: guided v independent practice empowered by feedback from The A+ Club on Vimeo.
“Guided practice” is when the teacher shows or “teaches” a new topic or skill.
“Independent practice” is when the student engages it by him or herself.
Effective teaching develops learning through a deliberate combination of guided and independent practice, where each builds upon the other. However, if the two are disconnected b an absence of effective and direct teacher to student feedback, then learning doesn’t happen.
This is why kids often say, “I get it when my teacher explains it, but I can’t do it on my own.” When your child complains that he or she “doesn’t test well,” it’s because your child is not receiving effective feedback to empower the independent practice required for learning.
This process is the same for all courses and subjects, but it more frequently manifests in math classes because math learning is not as easily processed through “guided practice” as other subjects.
In our A+ Club academic program, we engage students in effective learning techniques and provide guidance and direct math tutoring and in all subjects for overall academic success.
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.
Student Success Podcast No. 25, Jan. 22, 2016
See also Megan’s interview clip
Parents and teachers usually conceive of student procrastination as putting off homework or projects until the last minute.
We also tend to think of disruptive classroom behavior as “disobedience” or “acting out” over some issue, from disconnection or boredom to serious underlying troubles. Which it is.
But those same processes of delay and avoidance over aversive tasks that are procrastination are also at work during class.
Student disruption as procrastination?
We have discussed on the Student Success Podcast and Blog how procrastination is an emotional response to task aversion.
When faced with an unpleasant task, the procrastinator chooses to defer that task for later in order to feel better now (relieve the stress of the aversive task).
So your child is that smart, a high-riding, high IQ, straight A’s academic cowboy!
Cool that, but how’s that maturity thing going?
The peak age for absorbing new information is age 18. The peak age for assessing the emotional state of others is 40.
It makes sense, as our developmental years are for learning, testing, and expanding our bodies and mind and testing how they interact with the outer world. Our adult years are for organizing and evaluating ourselves within the larger world. (Here for How Intelligence Shifts With Age)
So perhaps we can measure our children a bit differently from ourselves?
We call them “short cuts.” I don’t know why.
If the long way isn’t necessary, why take it? Kids sure won’t.
So teachers, are you just setting up unwanted shortcuts, or are you creating useful, relevant paths for your students?
What’s your excuse? I mean, everyone has one, don’t they?
Interviewing students for our A+ Club student support service, we’ve heard some really good ones:
“I loaned my book and he never gave it back.”
“My computer doesn’t work.”
“I lost my calculator.”
And the ever popular…
“I hate that teacher.”