10 Things New Graduates Should Know
Lessons for the graduates...
The class of 2014 has now graduated. I always have mixed emotions when students leave after several years of working together. I remember all the struggles along the way, and how they made it through those struggles to graduation day. Most are elated to be leaving and look forward to a new life free...
Fairness Is Not Always What It Seems
Parents sometimes feel guilty about spending money on one child who needs extra help and not spending the same amount of money on their other children -- or, not having the money to spend on the others. Tutors, special summer classes, or attending a special school can be very expensive. I see parent...
Lessons on Respect From To Kill a Mockingbird
Lessons on respect in my final blog for School Family.
Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, passed away on Feb. 19. Most children read To Kill a Mockingbird, in 8th or 9th grade. Many, many students cite it as the best book they ever read. To honor her, I had my students watch the scene from the movie of the book when Atticus Finch talks with hi…
Putting Mathematics into Action - The Steward School
So proud of what our math teachers are doing!
It’s not always fun and games when it comes to mathematics, but it is in Barbara Filler’s twelfth-grade Statistics classes. This is the third year several of Mrs. Filler’s classes have thrown a statistics carnival in the Bryan Innovation Lab.
Does Technology Help or Hinder Students' Development?
Are teens using too much technology?
Tim Elmore writes about teaching leadership to young people. I have written about some of his work in an earlier blog post about coping with stress. He calls the generation of kids born after 9/11, Generation Z. A characteristic of these teens is that they spend a great deal of time with their elect…
Why Sports Can Help Kids With School
Kids learn life lessons playing sports.
Research suggests that students who participate in sports tend to do better in school. Some say it is linked to the physical activity. That makes sense; even a small amount of activity can increase blood supply to the brain and help you think better. I believe participating in organized sports offer…
Helping Teens Make Their Own Decisions
Important to allow your teens to make big decisions for themselves.
Recently, I was talking with a 10th grader about an academic concern. We chatted for a while, and I offered her a couple of ideas as solutions to her problem. Then I said, “What do you think?” Her answer was, “I’ll ask my mother what I think.” This made me concerned about her future. In the next few…
‘Not a Math Person’: How to Remove Obstacles to Learning Math
Very exciting work coming out of Stanford. You, too, can have a math brain!
Negative experiences such as timed tests, tracking and personal attitudes have hurt how some people feel about math. Stanford professor Jo Boaler wants to change all of that.
Disappointed that I will only be posting one blog per month now for School Family. Maybe another door will open for me.
Strategies for Managing Personal Electronics at School
I frequently ask my students, Who's in charge of your technology?
In many schools, every student has a laptop or tablet computer on their desk. As a teacher, I have mixed emotions about that! I love that my students have vast quantities of information at their fingertips, and that they can share documents with one another so easily. They can do group projects e...
Standardized Tests: Making Our Students and Teachers Sick?
Here is an interesting premise about the cause of anxiety.. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/11/16/standardized-tests-making-our-students-and-teachers-sick
Increased pressure on students has resulted in more test-taking anxiety, among other issues.
How To Get Students To Stop Using Their Cellphones In Class
Interesting read. (...Cell Phones in Class) http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/11/10/453986816/how-to-get-students-to-stop-using-their-cellphones-in-class
Go cold turkey or take tech breaks? Two professors offer different solutions.
Reading Comprehension Strategies for Older Students
Reading difficult textbooks takes extra time and some strategies to help understanding. http://www.schoolfamily.com/blog/2015/11/10/reading-comprehension-strategies-for-older-students
An App That Helps Webpage Readability
Cool app for distractible kids while reading online. http://www.schoolfamily.com/blog/2015/11/03/an-app-that-helps-webpage-readability
Some Changes to the PSATs and SATs
The SAT and PSAT have some important changes this year. http://www.schoolfamily.com/blog/2015/10/20/some-changes-to-the-psats-and-sats
School Success Doesn't Define Intelligence
There is a difference between skills and intelligence. http://www.schoolfamily.com/blog/2015/10/07/school-success-doesnt-define-intelligence
Strategies To Manage a Rotating Class Schedule
Managing a rotating schedule at school.
Many schools have a rotating schedule, meaning only some classes meet each day. This can be very difficult for some students, especially those who are disorganized already. It becomes extremely important to figure out a system to keep up with the rotation of classes, know which classes are meetin...
A Practical Way To Deal With Missed Work
Celebrating 5 years of blogs at SchoolFamily! Read how to deal with missed work after absences.
Absences from school are unavoidable at times. Illnesses and family emergencies are not predictable. Some students find themselves getting anxious about how to get caught up when they return. After an extended absence, it does seem overwhelming. Every teacher thinks primarily about what the stude...
Note-Taking Tips for Back to School
Need help taking notes?
Classes in middle and upper school require students to take notes without assistance from the teacher. This is a difficult skill to master for many students, and it is not really taught anywhere in the curriculum. Those who normally use a computer for their homework must decide whether to use it ...
Strategies for a Smooth School Year
Some suggestions for getting the school year off to a smooth start.
Children across America are returning to school! Summer vacation is over. Most kids stay up late and sleep a lot later in the morning during the summer months. It is now time to start getting used to an earlier bedtime and wake-up time so your children won’t be sleepy and tired the first few we...
Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder
What is autism?
There is much concern about the increase in the rate of children diagnosed with autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder-ASD). The Centers for Disease Control reports that in 2000, one out of every 150 children was diagnosed with ASD, and in 2010, one out of every 68 is diagnosed. This is a huge increase...
ATLTGames - The Lost Function
Has anyone tried out this Video Game?
Pi and the Lost Function is a math educational series for effective and accelerated learning of core math skills.
Using Minecraft as a Learning Tool
Considering a video game for your son or daughter? Take a look at Minecraft. It is more than a game.
Years ago I took a course called Using Legos To Teach Physics. We built all kinds of machines using basic Lego pieces and electric motors. We learned some simple programming so that we could direct our machines to do work. For example, one challenge was to build an electric wheelchair and a ramp ...
Special Fonts for People With Dyslexia
Can a change of fonts make it easier for dyslexics to read?
Recently, a friend of mine posted on social media that she has a terrible time reading menus. Several of her friends agreed for a variety of reasons. One reason mentioned is that she is dyslexic and has problems with sequential processing. The organization of menus is often non-sequential with in...
The Power of Positive Attention for Teens
Giving unconditional love to your children can be difficult at times. It is so important.
Human beings need the attention of others. We need to interact with one another and to feel accepted and loved. When teens misbehave, they often do so to get the attention of their peers or the adults in their lives. Years ago, an acquaintance talked for 20 minutes about how awful her daughter wa...
My 250th blog posted this week at School Family. If you ever have an idea for a blog topic, please share! I love to research and write about school success for all students. http://www.schoolfamily.com/blog/author/Livia%20McCoy/
Use Summer for Some College Planning
Middle school is not too soon to start planning for college..
Summer is an important time for middle and upper school students to think ahead to what they want for themselves after high school. If the plan involves going to college, then taking action now can improve the chance of getting into the college of choice. Our college counselor meets with middle a...
Internet Safety Tips for Teens and Parents
Older teens are at risk online, too.
Many experts warn children about the dangers of the Internet. We teach our children to never give their name, address, or phone number to anyone online. We watch them while online to make sure they do not visit inappropriate websites. As children become teens, we tend to back off and trust them t...
Encourage Teens' Writing During the Summer
Exploring writing for fun...
Recently, a student shared a poem he had written with me. I was totally amazed at how beautiful and thoughtful it was. He was involved in a creative writing class, and the poem was an assignment. This made me think about the summer as a time to expand writing skills in a fun way. Teens could see ...
Keys To Helping Your Child Be Successful in School—and in Life
Help your child be successful in school and life.
In a few short days, I will watch another class of seniors walk across the stage to receive their high school diplomas. It is always an emotional time, because I have worked with many of these students for several years and seen them grow from insecure middle school students into self-confident s...