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 →
Is math just for math people? Are you just not wired for math? Well, you and your math-struggling student can celebrate Pi day, too!
I was awful at math in high school. So bad, in fact, that I didn’t qualify to take math in college.
Felt great at the time, but looking back on it, what a shame. The only math I could do as a kid was “breaking a twenty” as a cashier at my job at the drug store. I could make change like a champ! Now, cashiers don’t even have to know any math at all, since the machine does it all for them.
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
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.
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.
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 →
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.”
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.
A student’s mom is upset about her grades and that she’s not doing her homework. But the student thinks her mom is being too pushy. Like high school teens & parents everywhere, they’re both a little right — and also a little wrong.
The student’s mom is right to be concerned. And the student 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
Our student 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 →
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.