This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 3 title
This is default featured slide 4 title
This is default featured slide 5 title
 

Monthly Archives: March 2017

Success First Day of School

Show up to school early. Now I don’t mean go overboard and show up an hour or two early. But arriving at school a good 15-20 minutes before the first bell will prevent you from feeling rushed as you go to first period. Some schools give students their locater cards a week or so before school begins while others hold them until an advisory period the morning of the first day. The first day of school traffic is also hard to gage. There is nothing wrong with having 5 or 10 minutes to spare so you don’t have to run to class before the bell rings on the first day.

Know your schedule. If possible get a copy of your schedule before the first day. Most schools do some type of new student orientation where schedules are handed out. Once you get your schedule you can walk the campus and find your way to each class before the first day. This is just one more thing that you won’t have to worry about.

Practice opening your locker several times before the first day. If your school still has lockers available for students, opening them on the first day of school often causes stress for students. Most of the time, these lockers are very old and can be tricky to open. When you add this to the fact that there is a limited amount of time in between classes, you have a recipe for potential disaster. If you are going to put things in your locker on the first day, be sure that you can open it at least three times with no problems. Otherwise, keep your belongings with you and practice opening your locker after school when there isn’t a time crunch.

Show up early to each class to have your choice of where to sit. Most teachers allow students to pick their seats on a “first come, first served” basis. If you have friends in a class, you may want to sit near them. The best way to make sure that this happens is for you and your friends to show up as soon as possible to find a few seats together. Also, I would recommend not sitting in the back row or class. There is plenty of statistics that show that the majority of students who sit in the first 3 seats in each row score better than the class average.

Write down any assignments you are given. With the exception of AP and honors classes, you won’t have much homework for the first night. However, you still may need to get a syllabus signed or complete a small assignment. To make sure that you start of the class on a good note, write down any assignments as soon as they are given to you. This would be a good time to also ask your teacher if you can use your cell phone to keep track of your homework. There are several great apps out there if you have a smart phone, but even a quick memo to yourself on a flip phone will do the trick.

Ask questions if you have them. Don’t hesitate to ask questions when you have them. It could be asking someone on campus where a key location is (like the nearest bathroom). It may be asking your teacher if they can use Twitter or Facebook as a way to let students know about homework and upcoming tests. The bottom line is don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Be friendly to others. If you implement the tips above into your first day of school you will be more prepared and ready to succeed than most of your classmates. This will allow you to be yourself and relax throughout the day. Trust me. You will see students with the “dear in the headlight” look. If they need help or are overwhelmed smile and be friendly to them. You never know where your act of kindness may take you. You might be saying hi to your future BFF.

Instructors Do Promote Learning

Additional Questions About Learning in the Classroom

As I have been thinking about the process of learning, I have developed a list of additional questions that I would like to pose to help other educators also consider how students learn.

How do you define learning? Is it a matter of students acquiring information, completing assignments, earning a grade, participating in class discussions, completing a course, or something else? Do you consider outcomes measured by the learning objectives to be temporary in nature or do those goals indicate that something long-term has occurred when students are able to demonstrate mastery or completion of each one?

Does every student learn something in your class? This is important to consider as it is almost assumed that learning is going to happen, as if there is a guarantee it will take place for every student who makes an attempt. You can also consider the amount of effort a student puts in and whether or not that will influence their ability to learn.

Do some learning activities promote learning better than others? For example, when a student answers a discussion question, has this student demonstrated learning or is a response to an instructor’s follow up question a better indicator? Are written assignments as effective, or more effective, than class discussions for helping students demonstrate what they have learned? Are some types of assignments more effective than others for serving this purpose?

My Perspective as a Student and an Educator

I obtained two of my degrees in a traditional college classroom environment. What I remember most are some of the class projects I had to complete, along with some of the written projects – especially the culminating project for my MBA program. I wrote a business plan and I was required to conduct the research necessary to launch the new business, which really put to use everything I had studied. As a result of this project, there are concepts and an application of theories that I never forgot and this helped to inform my work as an educator.

I obtained the remainder of my degrees in a non-traditional or online college classroom environment. The most challenging degree was my doctorate degree as there was nothing for me to memorize and no tests for me to pass. I earned my grades by conducting research and completing projects, especially written projects that applied the information I gained in a manner that I was creating long term knowledge. I remember those projects very well, especially my research study, and the work I began during that doctoral program I continue today. The knowledge I gained has been applied to my career, along with the books, blog posts, and articles I have written.

When I taught at the community college, I was different than many of the other instructors as I did not want to teach for a test. I knew that most of the lectures I heard while in my traditional programs were long forgotten, as were the tests I had taken. I wanted to be different and I incorporated interesting elements into my instruction. Many students were taken by surprise as they expected the same two hour stand-and-lecture approach, followed by a mid-term and final exam.

Most of my work as an educator has been in the field of distance learning. I know that the for-profit online school industry has been under scrutiny. However, distance learning can be effective if there is an instructor who has been trained not only in the subject matter but the principles of adult education. When students are provided with discussions and meaningful papers to write, and there is an instructor to guide them, they are likely to gain something of value from the class. This has always been my goal. I know as a faculty development specialist that instructors who do not understand adult education principles are the ones who often struggle to relate to students and that can leave students on their own, which can have an adverse impact on the learning process.

I have also watched a non-profit online school become prominent in the field of distance learning and it has caused many accreditors and educators like myself great concern as there are no instructors involved. It is advertised as being competency-based, but that is just a fancy phrase (for this school) for correspondence-style courses. Students can study (or not if they choose) and take assessments (three or four times if needed) until they pass – often with a score as low as 51%. There are no grades issued on transcripts, only pass or fail indicators. It will be interesting to see if this fad is accepted in the long run, or if accreditors will demand instructor to student interactions.

What Can Instructors Do to Promote Learning?

As I have studied adult education, I have come to understand learning from the perspective of how the mind takes and processes information. When students read something in the textbook or listen to a lecture, that is information and some of it will be stored in short term memory. The same is true for memorizing information for a test. That information is stored in short term memory. In order for educators to state that learning has occurred, students need to make a connection with that information in some manner or apply it in some way so that it will move into long-term memory. Long-term memory is a storage center and arranged by connections and associations. With this understanding of how information is stored, it can help an instructor prepare to help students in the classroom.

Classroom Contributions: As an instructor, you need to have a dual perspective of your classroom. One perspective is classroom management and ensuring that your contractual obligations have been met. The other is from an educational perspective and what you can do to prompt conditions conductive to adult education – even if you did not control the design of the course itself. The most important addition you can make is your intellectual contribution. As an educator, you have a unique ability to see the course concepts from multiple perspectives and you can share these views during discussions, as follow up replies and prompts. You can also share additional resources, overviews, wrap-ups, summaries, and guides – anything that will provide additional value for your students.

Student Readiness and Preparedness: The two issues that can help students, or hinder their performance at any given time, are academic readiness and preparedness. This may be beyond your immediate control at first; however, as you get to know your students and provide feedback, you will be able to address their developmental needs. What you can do is consider methods and strategies that will help their ability to learn each class week. For example, can you provide a rubric for a written assignment to help them self-check their work? Can you provide strategies and resources as tips to help them? For example, I have shared note-taking strategies and this has helped some students who struggled with reading comprehension.

Instructional Approach: As an educator, I want to focus on stimulating their intellectual interest and engaging their mind. If I provide a canned answer to a discussion question, or I do not take time to read the content of a paper, I am missing out on an opportunity to engage them in the learning process. I want to ask questions that cause students to think further and to look for additional information and answers. For the subject matter I am teaching, I am always reading to stay current in this field and looking for additional resources, case studies, and current issues I can share with students as a means of bringing the course materials to life.

Boost Chances of Winning Scholarship

First off, ensure that you simply begin wanting and applying for scholarships as early as possible. several students don’t consider the price of college till they’re about to graduate from high school. By then, they have omitted on ample opportunities to win cash for college or varsity.

Don’t stop looking!

There are scholarships for various age groups. for instance, some scholarships could also be geared toward high school sophomores, whereas others are also geared toward school sophomores.

This means that you simply can have the prospect to earn scholarship cash before and through school. you’ll be able to even win scholarships that are created for graduate students! Students typically assume that the time to apply for scholarships is strictly the summer before coming to school. this is often false! you can apply for scholarships year-round and throughout your entire college career.

Apply Ahead of Time

Not only must you apply both ahead of time and throughout your school career, however, you must additionally apply to as several scholarships as you can. There’s no harm in applying to a variety of scholarship programs, and it’ll also increase your chances to a great extent of Winning a Scholarship.

Colleges can permit you to report outside scholarships that you just have won, and there’s no limit on what number you’ll win and report!

Apply to scholarships that genuinely interest you, or that faucet into a number of your skills. for instance, some scholarships ask for a video submission or a resourceful writing response to a prompt. If you’re smart at either of those, the more seemingly you’ll truly enjoy finishing your application, that shines through.

Definitely, make sure that you are being attentive to scholarship deadlines.

Some scholarships have multiple periods of time for submission, however, more usually than not, a scholarship organization can have only one probability to win it per year.

Try prioritizing scholarships-supported-deadlines and levels of the issue. I might recommend that you just try and knock out the tougher, additional urgent scholarships first, as you’ll be able to complete easier ones without a lot of stress.

Lastly, make certain you work on your writing skills!

Most scholarships need a minimum of one essay to be submitted, and many need more than that. attempt writing further as you can once finishing your applications, and don’t slack off!

In addition to writing your best, get friends or relations or, even better, get, teachers to review your essays for you. they will be able to catch sure grammar mistakes or rhetorical issues than you likely have created, as they’ll return to your essay with an open mind and have a better eye that may find sure problems easier than you could.

Money Management For Students in High School

My first tip is to open a checking/savings account for your kid. This will allow them to start to learn the basics of money management. Many institutions offer a service that notifies you via email or text message if the account falls below a certain balance. Set the threshold high enough that you don’t get caught with overdraft fees. You want to teach your kid how to manage money – but you don’t want it to cost YOU money! If your kid falls below the threshold – charge him an overdraft fee.

Next, I would set him up with a debit card. It’s often difficult to manage money when you are able to withdraw funds anytime you want. Plus, the balance shown at the ATM is not always up-to-date. It is important for your student to understand that checks written do not post immediately. Also, ATMs can charge withdrawal fees. Plus, most gas stations will allow overdrafts if you pay at the pump, but will not accept a debit card inside if there are insufficient funds. All of these scenarios can cause the inexperienced money manager to overdraft their account. Again, chose an institution that notifies you when the balance is low – so you can teach the life lesson without paying for it!

Another strategy that can be implemented while your student is still in high school is to create a budget. How much do they earn at their part-time job? How much do they anticipate receiving for holiday and/or graduation gifts? What are their expenses? Once you create the budget, make a point to revisit this budget each month and revise as needed. This revision process will allow you to help your kid begin to plan for big expenses (college books) and decide how much to put away each week in savings.

Utilizing these tips will assist your student in becoming a better money manager and hopefully keep them from adding to the growing college student debt. It is important to remember this is a process. Budgeting is a learned skill. There will be bumps along the way – but the experience will pay off in the end.