5 Strategies to Help You Ace Your Midterms

Midterm Exams

Midterm season, that daunting time that falls conveniently between the two biggest holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving. This season can prove to be successful with these fool-proof study techniques that’ll get you on the right path to acing even your toughest exams.

  1. Choose a beneficial study spot. Get out of your room — it’s a far too distracting place, especially when that little dorm cube doubles as your kitchen, dining room, and living room. Find a place with minimal disruption like a quiet coffee shop, the library, or in an empty classroom. The point is to find a spot that fits your habits.
  2. Take a break. A study break will help you stay focused, healthy, and stress-free.
  3. Eat superfoods. Research suggests that high-carb, high-fiber, slow-digesting foods like oatmeal are best during test days. Additionally, when you study, your brain consumes glucose, so (as previously mentioned) take a short break every few hours to let your body produce more fuel for your studying. Eating a healthy snack is very beneficial and can make a significant difference (almonds, fruit, and yogurt are good choices).
  4. Form a study group. Your classmates may have different studying habits that you have not considered before. Their notes may also be more thorough than yours in some regards. A study group is a great way to guarantee that you’ll make time to study, and perhaps even learn things you didn’t know.
  5. Start early. This is often the single hardest technique to practice. Cramming is a poor habit because the information being gathered during a rapid cram session is also rapidly lost. Sure, glance over your notes the morning before an exam; but try not to lose sleep and cram the night before test day.

 

 

5 Things You Should Know before Heading in to the Real World  

The Real World

We can’t say it any other way, except that these life snippets will help you become a stronger, well-shaped person, and prepare you for the real world (when the time comes, of course).

  1. There is absolutely nothing standing in the way of what you want to accomplish. The only roadblock, of course, is you; so yes, dream big, but also set realistic goals that you can accomplish to help you get closer to the bigger picture.
  1. Life isn’t fair. It’s very important to be a realist. We all have struggles, hardships, and trials we must face. While you should and need to accept what comes your way, don’t lose sight of staying motivated and working hard.
  1. The balancing act is no joke. Spend your extra time (whether it’s during a commute, on your drive home, or in the evenings) on something captivating that is not work related. Trust us on this when we say you will feel like a healthier, less-stressed person. If you don’t take time for yourself, both physically and mentally, your body will catch up with you.
  1. Be patient with your goals. Keep in mind, your goals will not be accomplished over night and will take time – just like everything else in life. Just because you have the degree doesn’t mean that you will fall into your dream job right away – so stay focused and be patient.
  1. No job is a small job. Take advantage of any and all internships or jobs that will help you. Be humble and remember that no job is too small. Who knows you may even meet people at an internship or job that will help you network later down the road.

5 Ways to Build a Culturally Responsive Learning Environment

 

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Every classroom in the United States today is diverse. Students nationwide have varying socio-economic backgrounds, religious beliefs, and family structures. Each student also has his or her own individual personality, interests, and abilities. Simply put, people from all corners of the world can be seen in the same classroom.

These days, most educators are embracing the bounty of cultures we call diversity, and using multiculturalism teachings to create a healthy, and more meaningful learning environment. Here are 5 ways you can incorporate the many cultures in your classroom into a strong and unified group:

  1. Pay attention to families and communities. Recognize that home and school are strongly connected, and support cultural traditions that occur at home
  2. Allow students to talk about their backgrounds. Make it obvious that you appreciate and value your students’ cultures
  3. Be informed. Take it upon yourself to learn as much as you can about the different cultures in your classroom. Read as much as you can. Search the Internet. Talk to other teachers and staff members about finding appropriate resources to help you with this. Once you are aware of some of the subtle differences among your students, you will find it easy to be a more effective teacher.
  4. Provide culturally responsive instruction. Promote activities that will increase your students’ self-esteem. Students who are self-confident tend to feel good about themselves.
  5. Teach cultural sensitivity. Teach your students to value their differences. By doing this, you are creating a truly global classroom. And by expanding students’ appreciation of each other, you are showing them how to appreciate the rest of the world.

6 Easy Strategies to Drastically Increase Your Motivation

Increase Motivation

To achieve big things in life, it takes hard work. It also requires taking serious action, despite the way you feel.

How can you stay motivated to keep taking action, especially when the task is painfully boring and you feel in a flat mood? Here is a list of strategies in which you can motivate yourself.

1. Know your motivation cycles. Most people are better at doing certain tasks at certain times. For example, one person’s creative peak may be in the morning, while another person’s may be in the middle of the night. Understand what type of motivation you have during different times of the day and attack your tasks based on those times.

2. Imagine the end. If you’re really struggling with a project, it can help to imagine the end result and the feeling of accomplishment. Athletes even use this tactic to help stay focused on their goals. You may even consider putting a picture of the end result up on your wall or desktop to stay motivated during the rough times.

 

3. Prepare for every day. Spending a few minutes each night to organize your to–do list for the next day is crucial for maximized efficiency. It’s so simple that we often neglect to do it altogether, but it’s importance cannot be overlooked.

4. Power naps are the way to go. Power naps are short intense naps generally lasting 10 to 24 minutes long. Taking a power nap before 5pm can be a great way to re-energize and clear your mind before starting work that requires a fresh state of mind.

5. Get moving. Studies have found that intense physical activity can enhance creativity, decrease stress levels and sharpen your ability to think. Try hitting the gym or going for a quick run. As a result, your brain will get more oxygen and you’ll be able to maintain focus and concentration.

6. Gain clarity. Get clear on what you need to do. What will the finished product or task look like? Spend some time thinking about this. Once you’re clear on this, set a goal with a deadline of when you want to have this completed by.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Homework

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Experts say allowing children to complete their homework independently is crucial for their personal and academic development, as well as self-esteem. We aren’t saying cut off your child’s help line, but know when to step back and let them rough it out. Follow these simple tips and take the tension out of your child’s nightly homework routine.

Don’t give in to the homework outrage. If your child is having difficulty with an assignment, offer suggestions on how he or she can get help, rather than letting them give up on it altogether.

Do provide a space where homework can be completed. Ban distractions like television and cell phones during homework time.

Don’t schedule too many after school activities. Priorities must remain priorities. Only partake in extra curricular activities if there is a fair balance between schoolwork and those activities.

Do let your child do his or her own homework. Support your child by showing versus doing. Make sure your child is clear on what he or she needs to do (by reading directions together or going through the first problem together.

Don’t talk badly about a teacher’s assignments. If a problem arises or you disagree with how a teacher has assigned homework, discuss your concerns with the teacher privately, but never make negative comments in front of your child. Doing so encourages your child to blame the teacher for his or her struggles and may give him or her the impression that it’s okay to be defiant at school.

Blogging in Today’s Classroom

blogging

With the recent inception of Common Core standards, all educators require teaching literacy across the curriculum. Getting kids to write, especially the weaker writers, can be a challenge, but have you thought about using blogging as your tactic?

Blog writing takes the pressure off of writing and gives your students a voice in a safe environment. Set your classroom blogging space with Kidblog or. Edublog.com (both are a safe and secure publishing platforms).

Send home a letter and permission form to inform parents and solicit their support, especially needed for students under the age of 13.

Write an “about me” post for your teacher blog for students and parents to get to know you better. Your blog is also a great location to post assignments, share resources, or highlight “featured” blogs.

Take the time to properly introduce students to blogging as a platform for quality writing. Many students (and adults) think of blogs as a pass-time activity rather than a reasonable way to inform, reflect, or comment on important topics.

Have your students create an “About Me” post. They can write a short essay or include a story through photos. When students feel ownership for their writing, they care more about what they produce. Students should be encouraged to choose a topic about something that they are interested in or passionate about. Lastly, give students some parameters, or a specific length to shoot for (300 – 600 words is a good standard).

Blogging benefits extend beyond the classroom. Introverted students tend to share more online than they do in person; blogging is an invaluable way for students to understand the importance of hearing many voices.

4 Back to School Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs

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Here’s to another school year. Another school year of staying out late, eating desserts, writing 10-page papers, and much more. This coming school year will not only be tough, but will be a learning moment for you. Here are 4 back-to-school mistakes you should definitely avoid.

  1. Losing the balance between your academic life and social life. One of the most common problems students have is trying to balance all the relationships in their life. With new friends, old friends, family, and teachers, it’s hard to give everything and everyone the attention they need. Set aside time once a week to give everyone important in your life a quick phone call.
  2. Prioritizing your fun first. The pressure to do well in class and hang out with friends outside the classroom can lead to time management mistakes. Do you stay home and study, or do you head out to a friend’s party? Allot yourself certain nights to go out a week. Plan out what nights you can hit the town and which you need to stay in to study.
  3. Lack of studying. Simply skimming through your notes won’t be enough to get you a passing grade on a test. It’s inevitable that you’ll have one class that you’ll struggle with, but know that it’s up to you to push through and do well.
  4. Staying up until 4am for absolutely no reason every night. This is a completely unexplainable phenomenon. You’ll find yourself up until the wee hours of the night for various reasons (some academic, and some not-so-academic), but you do need your beauty rest, so be careful with this one.