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Technology Time Management Strategies April 11, 2019 15:32

Tech Management Strategies That Get Buy-in By Children

Before students begin to schedule themselves they need to understand the following:

  • Their brains form and prune dendrites, which helps build memories and recall information
  • There are chemicals emitted during game playing that are needed for concentration and proper healthy sleep 
  • The brain needs a break after video game playing to maximize their study time and sleep
  • Scheduling games before study times and before they go to sleep will make studying harder and make it more difficult to remember what was learned the night before.

Scheduling their game playing requires an understanding of time. Because their prefrontal cortexes are not formed fully, it is difficult to schedule themselves automatically, but they can be trained how to do it. Firstly, they need to see what time looks like. Providing them a daily schedule broken into fifteen minute increments for the time represented when they leave school until their bedtime is not enough. To a poor time manager, the scheduler below gives them a false sense of having a lot of time.

So, we need to help students see time differently. To manage tech, they need to think about all the other things in their day they need to consider that they normally wouldn’t think about. The first part of time management training is to make a list of all outside activities they have after school. Ask the children to fill in the times they have to set aside for extra-curricular activities and chores.

Most students do not consider all the time wasters that result in finding themselves out of time. They need to put time to travel, dress, eat, bathe, and the need to add extra minutes to each task to allow for unexpected challenges.

To a poor time manager this schedule has a lot of white space that gives them a false sense that they still have a lot of free time. We need to show students how little time they have. When I began highlighting unavailable time, it created a sense of urgency in my poor time managers to get to work right away.



Now this student has a better sense of the actual time left to study, do homework, or play a video game.

When scheduling their game playing, they have to take into consideration how much brain rest they need to be effective with their other responsibilities. If they play for fifteen minutes, they should allow a minimum of 30 minutes of brain rest from video games before attempting to study or complete assignments. They will need to have at least an hour of brain rest prior to going to sleep to maximize their recall of information learned that night. Looking at this schedule, my student decided he could play for fifteen minutes before he went to soccer practice. He considered everything he needed to do before he could play, such as get into his soccer clothes. He also stated, "If I play for fifteen minutes and go to soccer, that will give my brain enough rest so I can concentrate on my homework when I get home." On another day, he announced, "Doesn't look like I have any game time in my future today." 

When they understand that their brain functioning can be compromised by playing the game, they will gladly make appropriate decisions. Ask the students if they would like to remember tomorrow what they study tonight. Video game playing before going to bed can impact their brain’s ability to get the right kind of sleep that promotes easy recall the next day.  Ask them if they want to waste their time by playing a game and risking not remembering what they tried learning the night before. They will usually make the choice of planning their game playing when it won’t impact learning and sleep. After they have assigned times to each activity they need to complete for the evening, they are ready to decide when and if they have the time to play games.

Empowering them to make these decisions about game playing will serve them well when they are alone in their dorm room with no one monitoring them. 

Next Blog will deal with the advertising strategies game makers use to capture our children's attention. 

 


How Can I Motivate a Student? November 23, 2018 13:47

At my most recent presentation, I was asked, "How can I make a child do their homework?"

My answer was rather blunt, "One can't make another do anything against their will." The old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink," holds true to children as well. 

So, how do we encourage children to do their homework? I use the same means to motivate students as advertisers employ to motivate people to purchase products, or politicians use to motivate people to vote for them. I help them see what is in it for them. 

There many things teachers have done in the past in their desire to motivate students. Some have been punitive, while others use rewards. Neither is tremendously effective when the fear or the reward is removed. We want students who are intrinsically motivated. Neuroscience Education has accomplished that for my students. 

Neuroscience help to create buy-in for my students.  They begin to see the value of regular practice provided by homework.  Neuroscience explains how the brain makes and retains information. It explains why students make think they will remember concepts, but without practice, they forget.  It has been the single most effective way for students to be encouraged to:

  • Study every night instead of waiting until the last minute
  • Review for tests and quizzes to determine what they didn't know
  • Practice for presentations
  • Ask questions about homework so they are prepared to do every part of it when they get home. Neuroscience explains why questions help the brain find answers and cement concepts. 

I begin the year with a lesson on the different parts of the brain involved in learning and creating memories that will support them with their homework and tests. Once they understand how each part of the brain functions best and how to use each part effectively, students will practice for tests and presentations without any prompting from the teacher. 

I have several ways to share neuroscience with students. Contact me for more information.


    What Would Your Children Put in Their Bags? August 21, 2017 15:17

    My grandson just started second grade. His first homework assignment was to fill a bag with five items that would tell the class something about him. He gave it great thought and placed the following items in his bag: 

    • A medal he earned from swim team that required lots of practice to show improvement
    • A belt that he earned in Tai Kwon Do
    • A medal he earned in diving that only came after many back and belly flops
    • His Par Core Band 
    • A badge he earned in Cub Scouts

    I thought he would put in a dinosaur because he used to spend hours playing with them. Each of his choices are centered around something that didn't come as a gift, but instead came only after hard work. His medals weren't the "you tried and so you deserve a medal" kind. They represented a symbol of hard work. Not one of the items were connected to anyone helping him.

    There were times when he wanted to quit, because he wasn't making progress. My daughter encouraged him to keep working at it. She retold stories of people who gave up on mountain climbs one foot from the top of the mountain. He heard stories of Michael Jordan, who was told he would never make the high school team, but kept practicing until he did. 

    So when we want to step in and help our children do that which they can do for themselves, we need to remember the struggle is what holds the real value. We simply need to coach in strategies that will allow them to experience the joy of the journey and obstacles they overcome. They will come to realize the real joy is in the struggle and not the medal, grade, or award.

    Be sure to take time to celebrate every struggle as a means to an end. When they achieve their goal, celebrate the struggle that led to the success. Tap into how the struggle felt and how the achievement feels. Tapping into the emotions will assure them of continuing the work toward future goals.


    To Guarantee a Successful Year-Start at the End! August 18, 2017 07:17

    It’s a new school year and an opportunity for students to get a fresh start. Now is the time to decide what they want to accomplish this year. 

    The best way to have a good year is to start at the end. This may sound odd, but I am a firm believer in creating a clear picture of what one wants to accomplish and the specific reasons as to why. 

    I ask students to write what they would like to see on their report cards at the end of the semester. Some of the comments might be, “Susan was an active participant in the class,” or “Jane never gave up and when things got hard, she eagerly asked for support.” I focus on the behaviors they might exhibit rather than on grades.

    If students initially focus on the grade, I ask them to define the behaviors or actions to demonstrate in order to achieve the desired grade. It is helpful to coach students with some of the following statements:

    To get an “A” I will need to:

    1. Listen intently in class.
    2. Pay attention to what the teacher writes on the board.
    3. Remember to ask for material I miss when I am ill or out of class.
    4. Preview chapters and form questions about what I think I will learn.
    5. Read the questions first on all assignments before reading the material and before the concept is being taught. This will allow me to focus better on the things I need to learn.
    6. Read written work aloud several times to both proofread and check that it makes sense.
    7. Ask for clarification to be sure I understand the teacher’s instructions. 
    8. Make note cards to use for studying and review material regularly.
    9. Ask questions when I am unsure of what the teacher is explaining.
    10. Pay attention to homework assignments when I enter the classroom, so I know what I am expected to complete after school. Plan to get started during recess, if I have a lot to do after school. 
    11. Pre-read homework assignments to see what I do not know and ask questions before I leave class. 
    12. Do nightly homework and turn on time.
    13. Check over graded work and find out why I missed problems.
    14. Have someone quiz me before tests, so I am sure I understand the material.
    15. Use only positive comments when thinking or speaking about my abilities.
    16. When I do not do as well as I expect, I immediately make an appointment with the teacher to ask for strategies to improve. 
    17. Write reasons I made mistakes on my corrected work.
    18. Review all tests for information to check to see if there were possibly errors in correction and to find out what I didn’t know.
    19. {Made a separate item.} When studying for a semester or year exam, I will make sure to determine the correct answers and make note cards for review.
    20. Use the teacher’s office hours to discuss my progress.
    21. Keep a running record of my grades so I know where I stand at all times. 

    I ask students to visualize themselves opening their report card at the end of the semester and reading all the wonderful comments and seeing the desired grades. I want them to tap into the wonderful feeling they get when they achieve what they have planned. Tapping into that feeling is a crucial step towards insuring they stay on task. 

    Then they are to type up a copy of their goals to review each morning when they are brushing their teeth. It can be posted on the bathroom mirror as a constant reminder of the things they need to do daily to achieve their goals. 

    All students can benefit from using the list provided above, however, high school and college students often have to take classes they don’t want to take to meet a school requirement. There has to be a reward in it for them in order to create the desire to make it through the class. I ask them to list three reasons they are taking the class and three ways it benefits them.

    Examples:

    I am taking counseling in order to get a clearer picture of what I want to do for a career. Then I will know what classes to take, and understand the way I learn, and school will be easier for me.

    I am taking photography to learn new skills because I love taking pictures. It will give me personal satisfaction, and I can learn about career options related to photography. 

    I am taking anthropology because I need to improve my grade, and taking it again give me a better chance of getting into a four-year college.

    It will also allow me to try out my new study strategies, because I think they will help to improve my grade.

    With an image of the end of the semester clearly in their minds, students will find it much easier to achieve their goals. 


    Recommended Reading October 11, 2015 19:29

    I highly recommend Goldie Hawn's book 10 Mindful Minutes. It is amazing how much students performance can improve when they learn how to be mindful. There are many books available that offer strategies that I will share in the future. For now, her book offers strategies that gives students and ourselves the social and emotional skills to reduce stress and anxiety for happier and healthier lives.

    Know-It-Alls With Comprehension Problems August 27, 2015 05:54


    Since we can all learn from each other, I would like to share questions a parent posed about her son recently at one of my trainings and my answer. I hope this helps other parents struggling with the same thing.

    Questions: She shared that she is concerned about her first grade Know-It-All son who struggles with reading comprehension.  He is going to be in a first grade accelerated class in the fall. What should I do?

    This is my answer to her:

    It is hard for parents to know exactly how much to push their children and when to back off. I have the advantage of having seen children grow and develop over the years. Firstly, the know-it-all child doesn't always grow into the know-it-all adult. If your fear is that he will become that adult that no one can stand, I can assure you that he will quickly be leveled by his teachers, peers, and the reality of the real world.

    "Know-it-alls" tend to be more insecure and that is how they cope. It can be a coverup for knowing he isn't as smart as everything thinks he is. Young children coverup not knowing how to do something by saying it is boring or they already know it. If he begins avoiding work and doesn't do assignments because they are "boring," he will be sending the message that he is struggling. In the minds of bright children, it isn't okay to struggle. They don't realize that even bright people struggle. Helping him identify that he is labeling hard things boring and offering strategies to solve the challenge will help him more in the long run. Reassure him that hard is okay for even bright children. 

    Since he is going to be in an acceleratd class, I encourage you to watch his reactions to those things that are challenging.

    If he is a strong math student, he may not be great at writing. He may be a good reader, but his comprehension skills do not match his oral reading fluency. This is not uncommon for young readers. They are so focused on reading the words, which is what they are learning to do at that age, that they haven't yet develped the ability to retain what they have read.

    I can read a whole chapter to my class, have them engaged because I am reading with feeling, but I won't remember the next day if I read that chapter.

    Reading words and retaining the meaning are two separate skills created in two separate parts of the brain. The left brain is reading and the right brain is forming images to retain the meaning. They don't often come together, especially for boys, until later. For this reason, your son may not remember what he has read. If someone pressures him, he will feel inadequate and resort to being a know-it-all. It's all a coverup. I would recommend having him stop after each sentence and see if he can picture what he read in his mind. Then have hime retell the story. That is training for real comprehension. 

    Watch my video on the brain. It will explain what will happen to him when someone asks him questions about what he read that puts him into stress mode. He will not remember his name if he is stressed enough. 

    One more point: Most early readers skil the important skill of learning the rules of phonics. They make the connections between letters and sound, but because they come in with reading, they are skipped into a program that doesn't teach phonics. As a result, when they are older and the words become more difficult, they don't always know how to break them apart. If you see that happen, I would alert the teacher about his never being taught phonics and that he might need some training in the rules of syllabicaiton and irregular sounds. 


    Secrets to Managing Time: Cure for Procrastination August 15, 2015 12:08

    LIMITED TIMED OFFER!!

    With the new school year starting, getting students to understand their daily schedule is very important. To help you help your children, I have created a Backwards Planning Time Management Video. I am making the first in the series available to you for FREE.

    Click here to view this video NOW! It will only be available for viewing for a short time, so tell your friends.

    ONLY SUBSCRIBERS WILL RECEIVE NOTICE OF THE FOLLOW-UP VIDEOS, IT'S FREE TO SUBSCRIBE, SO DO IT TODAY.

    If you are not a registered subscriber, 

    CLICK HERE to register for my Ezine. You will find the sign up box at the bottom of the page.

    Do it today TO GET STARTED BEING THE FIRST TO RECEIVE FUTURE VIDEOS FOR FREE!!


    Parents Share Their Concerns July 29, 2015 06:38

    Last night, I presented to a lovely group of moms of children of various ages. They shared many of the same concerns, so I thought my readers might enjoy hearing their questions and some strategies I offered for dealing with their challenges.

    In today's blog, I will answer Question Number One: What if my son claims he is bored?

    Boredom is often misunderstood my students. They use boredom when they really mean “hard.” Clarifying this will help them understand what ‘boring’ feels like and what they can do about it.

    It helps to ask them what is boring about the subject they are studying. They may be able to answer that question, or they may say the teacher is just repeating what they already know.

    If they don't know what is boring, clarification is helpful. Ask if they have a subject that isn't boring. Then ask, "Why isn't it boring." I can pretty much guarantee they will say, "Because it is easy." Respond by saying, "So _____ isn't boring because it is easy, right? Could it be possible that ______ is boring because it is hard?"  Students will see they have been defining their feelings incorrectly and will understand what they actually are feeling is “it is hard for me.”

    Redirection again about dealing with “hard” is very important. "So if it is hard, how do you think it can get easier?" Most students will honestly answer, "By practicing." Offering students ways to practice is helpful.  They will need actual things they can see themselves doing in order to change their feelings from “hard” to “easy.” Be watching for my next blog about my soccer analogy. It helps students see the value of practice.

     

    If children claim the material they are learning is what they know already, share that teachers often remind students of past information when they are trying to offer new information that is an extension of something they have already taught.

    Encourage them to listen for the new information. Repeating information is also another way teachers help students build stronger recall around important information. Teachers will revisit concepts to assure that the concepts are not lost. The movie Inside Out beautifully demonstrates the workers throwing away old useless memories that aren’t needed anymore to make room for new ones. The movie is a beautiful explanation of how the brain stores and prunes information. Helping children see that revisiting these concepts is something to be glad about, since it is helping them store memories and saving them for future use.


    Seven Secrets About Teachers Every Student Needs to Know to be Successful July 22, 2015 10:08

    Over the years, I have been training students how to create their own Owner's Manual for their teachers. It is somewhat like a Teacher's Manual on How to Teach Me, a student's manual. When students know what they need to be successful, they are more apt to become engaged learners. Instead of passively participating in the class, they become actively engaged learners who know how to get their needs met. 

    The first place I start is by sharing my "Seven Secrets About Teachers."  Today I will share my first secret: "Teachers are NOT Mind Readers!" 

    Teachers can have the most expensive mind reading glasses or taken the most expensive mind reading course like I have, but they still don’t know what you are thinking or feeling. In fact, they may often misread your mind.

    They also might think you understand everything they are saying, and yet you do not. They may think their instruction is clear, when it is not. They may think you don’t care when you do, or they may think you weren’t listening, when in fact you were. 

    Students' jobs are to make sure they communicate effectively and ask lots of questions. By asking questions, they are helping the teacher clear up confusion.  Questions alert the teacher to the strategies for instruction that are most effective for each student.  Future instruction is directed more by students' questions than by a manual. If the questions are asked of parents, parents are the only ones who know what the students are thinking. If the questions are asked of the teacher, instruction will improve. 

    Overcoming the fear of asking questions is the next topic I will be discussing in my blog. So stay tuned.

    I will be demonstrating my "Seven Secrets about Teachers" in my new Video.  It will be available next week for trial reviews only. Only my subscribers will be offered a limited time free viewing. So keep visiting my blog for the announcement. Only the first twenty-five to respond to the "Request to View," will receive the special code.   

     


    Why Do Children Go to Lala Land? June 13, 2015 09:28

    Every year we have children who appear to lose focus and daydream. I found this article by Paul R. Scheele that explains why students go to "LaLa Land" instead of asking for support.

    It's natural to ask for help during challenging times. But why are some people comfortable reaching out, while others are anxious and restrained?

    According to a study from the University of Wisconsin, our willingness to ask for help appears to be regulated by two completely different brain systems—one detects threats and one is responsible for achieving goals and bonding with others.

    "A balance of two important systems can influence an individual's behavior and emotional expression in times of need," says Ned Kalin, lead author of the study and chair of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.

    "The findings suggest that how open an individual is willing to be in asking for help may depend more than we thought on how secure that individual feels at any given time in a supportive relationship," he says.

    In the study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online, researchers separated 25 monkeys from their cage mates. For 30 minutes the researchers measured the frequency each monkey made "coo calls" to signal for social support. Researchers then scanned the monkeys' brains for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior.

    The brain scans revealed that monkeys who called out for help most had more activity in the right prefrontal cortex—the region responsible for achieving goals and bonding with others—and less activity in the amygdala, responsible for detecting threats. On the other hand, monkeys that called for help less frequently had less activity in the right prefrontal cortex and more in the amygdala.
    So why wouldn't the animals experiencing the greatest threat and most fear be more apt to call for help?

    They're frozen, Kalin explains in the study. "We showed that some monkeys will become inhibited and freeze when they're frightened, especially when a predator is nearby and the monkey believes that it hasn't yet been discovered by the predator. We observed that the greater the fear, the less likely it was that the animals would call for help."

    The authors believe that the same may be true for human relationships. "When a person feels safe enough in a relationship to express his or her vulnerabilities, this appears to be associated with a decrease in amygdala activity and an increase in prefrontal cortex activity. As relationships become more secure for the people involved, it's likely that changes in amygdala and prefrontal cortex activity may be responsible for the accompanying increase in sharing of intimate feelings."

    Do your students feel anxious about asking for support? My upcoming video, "Overcoming the Fear of Asking" will break through the barrier that students possess and help them fee comfortable with asking.  Learning to ask in a hostile environment with teachers who do not embrace questions is an art taught in this video series. Watch for the announcement of it's availability.

    Jack Canfield says, "If you don't ask, you already have a 'no. So at least give the universe a shot at it by asking."

    I say, "If  you don't ask, the answer is "No." If you do ask, you get a 50% chance of getting help and getting a yes. I'd go with the better odds."

     


    Cheating: Cause and Cure October 31, 2014 06:49

    Cheating can be a sign a student is stuck. Having high expectation for oneself can lead a student to resort to cheating. Many times these students are penalized, this does not change  their situation.  They are often labeled bad students.

    Why?

    Because they have not been taught to recognize what it feels like to be stuck and then how to get unstuck. 

    Stephanie was working on math concepts and asked to go to the bathroom. After returning ten minutes later, she resumed her attempt at solving a few problems. Five minutes later, her peer informed me she was cheating.  

    Her sudden desire to go to the restroom was the first sign of a struggle. The first sign of the stress response is to flea.  In nature, the first thing that animals do for a quick get-away is to eliminate any waste that could slow them down.  We are no different. When we feel stressed for any reason, it is natural to suddenly have to use the bathroom. So, when a student suddenly has to use the bathroom, it could be due to the fight or flight response because they are lost, confused, don't know how to get started, or are afraid the teacher will get mad at them.

    Cure:  

    1. Students must understand that it is okay to not know how to do what the teacher just taught.  Reassuring them that their questions about what is confusing helps the teacher be more effective in teaching them. Being bright is not going to save them from experiencing "not knowing."

    2. Students must over-come the fear of asking questions. There is a belief that questions will make them look dumb in front of their peers. My video will help them see the value of their questions and them overcome this common fear. Please have them watch it.

    3.  As soon as students feel like it's time to visit the bathroom, have them ask themselves, "Am I stuck. Do I need to ask a question?" Then have them determine the exact part of the question that is confusing.

    4. Help them realize that cheating means they feel they shouldn't struggle.  Tenacity is the one characteristic that sets one researcher who can cure a terminal disease apart from another researcher who falls short. Struggle is the one thing that will cement a concept.  Working through the challenge gives a good feel of accomplishment that prevents dendrites from pruning. 

    5. Teachers will want to remind themselves that if a student cheats, they don't know another way of overcoming an obstacle. They simple need another way of handling the challenge.  This requires trying different things until a strategy is found that works. 


    Perfectionism Paralyzes October 30, 2014 20:42

    I presented at a conference this weekend.  I met many wonderful teachers and parents.  I will be addressing their questions here, so everyone can learn from their challenges.  My goal is to offer strategies teachers and parents can add to their backpacks before they need them.

    Questions:  How do I deal with a perfectionist?

    Dr. David Walsh stated, "There is difference between perfectionism and striving for excellence. Perfectionism is a profound fear of mistakes."

    Embracing mistakes as indicators that there might be a better way or a better answer is not an indicator that one is not smart enough. In fact, making mistakes and learning from them by changing what didn't work is smart!

    Strategy: Evaluate mistakes and decide, "What can I do next time to avoid this mistake?' Ask yourself, "What did I learn from this mistake?" Then celebrate the learning opportunity.  Parents: Shift your review of mistakes from over reacting to the mistake to celebrating the opportunity it offers.

    Three weeks into her freshman year, I received a distressed call from my daughter.  "I don't belong here.  I am not smart enough to be here." Once she settled down, I was able to determine that the she was judging her ability to manage college life by one event.

    To help this make sense, let me give you a little background. After taking AP courses in high school, my high achieving daughter decided to attend an honors college on the opposite side of the country. She had gained confidence taking the AP courses, so she felt prepared for this big change. To help herself adjust to the new environment, she retook Psych 101 even though she could have opted out of it.  The first week the professor assigned a small paper on a topic she had researched in high school. So, in hopes of building a relationship early on in the class, she visited the professor to ask if he would look at her paper and see if she was on the right track. The professor was impressed and returned the paper the next day riddled with red pen.  This devastated her. She was certain the paper would be returned with rave reviews, because this same paper got an "A" from her high school AP Psychology instructor. She judged her ability to manage the class by the criticism of this professor. I shared another way of looking at it.  "You do belong there.  Your high school teacher was looking for one thing from your paper. This professor is looking for another. He just handed you back an "A" paper.  Go do the research and give him what he wants. If you handed  that paper to sixteen different professors, you'd get sixteen different types of corrections.  So go give this professor what he wants." 

    Not only did that make her feel better, it taught her a way to make sure she is on the right track for each of her future professors.  

    Lesson One: Asks instructors to look at your papers a few days before they are due to see if you are on the right track.  The feedback from each professor will be different.  The only one you want correcting your paper is the person who will be grading you. 

    I once heard a student stay, "I read the text book and research the topic of each class I take before the class, so I will be able to answer the instructors questions and know what is going to happen in the class."  This student shared she was fearful of being called upon and not knowing the answer.

    Another student shared how getting anything less than an "A" on a paper was unacceptable because she was bright and that was the expectation. She struggled with turning in papers in fear that they would return with something less than the expected "A."

    Many students feared asking questions in class because they feared being dropped from a college class.  They had a common misconception. They believe questions are an indicator they are not smart enough for the class. This is inaccurate. The truth is, professors want their students to ask questions so they can be sure they are being clear.  It's impossible to teach the same way year after year without questions. 


    Next Blog Topics: Cheating and Overcoming Boredom


    Ending Homework Madness Week One September 12, 2014 06:50

    Homework Anxiety and the fear of the unknown are a horrible way to begin a new year. By their own admission, my third graders entered my classroom two weeks ago full of fear and anxious about not having help at home with homework.  The unknown is always scary. 

    "One's perception is one's truth until someone shows them they are wrong." Author unknown.

    It didn't take me long to make them feel comfortable. I had a job to do, because they knew their homework the year before was not possible to done alone, so this fueled their fear.  Their truth was validated by their previous experience. 

    My job is to relieve that anxiety and change their perception to "I am capable of doing my homework alone. I know my job and if I make sure I know how to do everything on my homework before I leave the class, I will be able to do my homework without a problem!"

    Getting the children to this point took a few steps:

    1. They were given a "Homework Notebook" that contained their agenda, a pencil bag, and pockets in the notebook labeled "To Do-Incomplete" and "Completed."

    2. The front cover housed a list of the steps to the "Homework Habit." 

    3.  The "Homework Habit" begins the moment they enter the classroom and ends the next day when they turn the work in. (A Training Tape will be available soon that demonstrates the process so students feel comfortable with it).

    4.  I offered opportunities to look at their homework "as if" they are going to do it right away.  This will allow them to determine what is clear and what is not.  Their job as a student is to communicate what they do not understand. I shared my "Nuts and Bolts" story with them. (Read it in my archived blogs).

    5. Questions are answered offering strategies for solving the challenge, never answering the question or doing anything for the child that the child can do for him/herself.  Parents will read aloud to their children, when the child needs to be taught how to read aloud.  I will address this method, along with others, in my future blogs.  

    6.  The students learn about the brain and how it works.  This information deals with the stress response, how to activate the brains filter to know what to focus upon, why they might forget a concept by the time they get home, and why they might not know how to do an item on the homework.  This knowledge makes it okay for them to ask questions. 

    7.  Students learn why teachers might say, "There is no such thing as a stupid question," but may make you feel stupid for asking one. Demystifying teacher's reactions is very powerful. 

    I will be blogging about the events that occur in my classroom since they change year to year, and the situations the parents are dealing with at home, so we can all learn from each other.

    If you are a teacher and would like to share challenges your children are having, email them to me and I will add them to the blog.

    If you are a parent and want some help with the challenges you deal with at home, email me and I will do the same in my blog.  

     

    Here's to a new beginning of the school year!!

     


    Communication of One's Needs Creates Winners January 5, 2014 19:05

    In July I shared the story of a graduate student who was experiencing some anxiety about the physiology class he was going to be taking. He had heard horrible things about the professor. The common belief was that the professor expected everyone to know everything from the perquisite class. However, for many of the students, it could have been as much as two years prior to taking his class.

    I encouraged him to send off an email to the professor stating that he wanted to be prepared for the class and since it had been eighteen months since he took the prerequisite class, he planned on reviewing the material and wanted to be sure that would prepare him for the class. He was surprised to receive a friendly email in which the professor mentioned he would like the student to introduce himself the first day so he could put a face with a name. His perception of this professor changed immediately.

    I ran into this student after not seeing him for several months. I inquired about his experience with the professor, and his response was very positive. He said that the professor made sure that he understood every concept in class before he moved on to a new topic. This eliminated the need for tutoring. He ended up with an 89.7% in the class. Since he developed a relationship with the professor, he was able to convince him to bump his grade up .3% to earn an “A,”

    He wished he had known this information when he was a freshman and has encouraged me to share it with more students.


    How Homework Solutons Began November 8, 2013 12:02

    About twenty years ago I was told, “Homework is a bonding experience for parent and child.” My gut reaction was to feel this colleague’s forehead to see if she was running a fever — clearly she was experiencing delirium.   

    I don’t know about you but, in my home, the sign of homework coming out of the backpack created a bit of anxiety. I won’t even talk about what happened when a project came home.

    This all changed when I finally reached a point of no return. The negative emotions connected to homework lasted long past the homework being completed. he sweet times we once had at bedtime were replaced with one or both of my daughters going to sleep exhausted from the struggle they encountered with each night’s assignments.

    Many nights, there were so many different assignments that it affected their bedtime. The struggles were directly related to assignments that were clearly above my children’s ability. Projects that could not be done without me doing practically all of it were creating stress in our home and interfering with my personal time. And this was just first grade.

    Out of desperation, I did something that eliminated this stress for the remainder of my children’s educational experience. I announced one night, “I am done with this homework. I already did first grade. Do not come home tonight with homework that you do not understand how to do! Take time to look at it first as if you are going to do it tonight and ask your teacher for the help, so when you come home tomorrow you know how to do the assignment.”

    I had come to a realization: If I were to stop doing homework with my girls, I would have to teach them how to ask for help. That’s the day “Homework Solutions for Weary Students” was born.

    My instruction at home shifted from teaching math and language concepts, to providing my girls with strategies that would allow them to get any teacher they encountered to explain concepts in a way that helped them understand. It was a new challenge but one that had life changing benefits.

    Surprisingly, it did not take long to get my daughters to overcome the fear of asking for help.

    There were two benefits that resulted from this shift.

    The first was that my children were able to come home and complete their homework independently.

    The second benefit was one I never expected. As a result of my daughters asking for clarification, the teachers were alerted to the fact that some homework assignments were not at an independent level. This resulted in some of girls’ teachers taking a different approach to homework. They began asking the children if there were any questions about the homework before the children left class. Once this was initiated in the classroom, homework stress was eliminated from our home.

    In many cases, teachers realized the projects were not appropriate for independent completion, and they replaced the projects with ones that were or eliminated the assignment completely. You can imagine my relief!!!

    Your children too are capable of changing education from the inside out. I’ve seen it work. Children yield more power than one would believe. Students, as young as five years old, are capable of communicating their needs and getting those needs met without parents talking to the teacher.

    With the mission in mind of empowering other children with the strategies that were successful for my children, and the hundreds I have taught over the past twenty years, I will be sharing the challenges we encountered in our journey and the way we solved them. My goal is to help parents eliminate the stress they experience while also empowering children with life skills that will take them from kindergarten to college. No more homework havoc in the home!


    Tricks for Remembering October 5, 2013 12:06

    Stress can be eliminated in our lives when we learn strategies for solving problems.  The Homework Solutions' Method of teaching is designed to help students collect a Backpack Full of Strategies that are life skills. 

    I like to bring my readers helpful hints, and Jim Kwik has many memory tips for reducing stress through memory recall strategies.  Check out his tips for remembering names. It can be used for more than just names.  It's FREE to viewers for a limited time. Click here to view him today.