Five tips on how to “study better” for an exam: extending memorization for brain memory and recall

When students say they don’t “test well” or that they “don’t know how to study,” parents and teachers often respond with suggestions — and criticism — to, well, just “study harder.” Great. But what does “study harder” actually mean? We can see how “studying harder” might actually work if we divide learning into the two distinct parts […]

Laptop, Tablet, or Desktop? Google Docs or Office 365? Which technology is best for high school and college?

What’s best for school, a laptop, tablet, or PC? Heading back to school always feels like a fresh start. And like a new set of clothes, getting a new device just makes you feel good. But for high school and college students, freshmen especially, the choice of technology can really impact academic performance. The wrong […]

Student web searches on why I have to do homework & how a misguided SEO program taught us a lot about students

Search engine results reveal much about ourselves, something worth reminding both teens and their parents. Not only can a search history flag a teen’s behavioral choices, such as being frustrated over grades and homework, it tells us what’s going on in general. And web searches can even predict the future, such as a Bing analysis of web searches that […]

Dan Bozzuto on Effective Teaching, Learning & Standardized Tests: Student Success Podcast no. 27

Dan Bozzuto explores the difficulties to replicate great teachers, the inherent problems with standardized testing, and some great ideas on how to address both. Part 1/2, featuring Dan Bozzuto, award winning educator and inspired classroom teacher. Dan considers my question, “are good teachers replicable?” which takes him to standardized tests and other obstacles to student learning, […]

ADD: a reminder for parents what “Attention Deficit” really means

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. Wikipedia defines “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD) as: characterized by problems paying attention, excessive activity, or difficulty controlling behavior […]

Sleepers Awake: a celebration of J. Reilly Lewis, master organist, conductor & educator

J. Reilly Lewis, world-renowned conductor, organist, and expert on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and our dear friend, died unexpectedly last week. A Friend to All We called him our friend because, for Reilly, if you were a friend of Bach, you were a friend of Reilly’s — and if you were a friend of […]

Deconstructing Graduation Day: Administrators, “The Road Not Taken” Speeches & Other Regrets

It’s hokey, trite, and boring:  long live the great American high school graduation ceremony & hopes and dreams for students and parents! As a teacher I grew cynical about graduation ceremonies. At my school the faculty blessedly sat well behind the podium, mostly out of view. When one of our kind ever “went to the dark […]

Mike Cahir on Why Shakespeare Matters & How Parents Can Help Their Child Learn & Enjoy Shakespeare: Student Success Podcast no. 26

Oh, no, Shakespeare? English teacher Mike Cahir explains why learning Shakespeare matters and how parents can encourage their child to engage in the enormous benefits of learning from the Bard. Featuring Mike Cahir, high school English teacher and Department Chair. This podcast began when I asked Mike for his advice to one of our A+ […]

Procrastination, values, and connecting long term goals to short term choices

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 […]

How can I improve my essay grades? Students, writing is drafting

With academic writing or other research projects, student improvement has a single source: drafting. Students will always score a better grade if they don’t hand in a “first draft” to the teacher. Think of handing in an unrevised paper as “going in blind.” That means that no one else, including the author, has looked it […]

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