College Ready

Sharing strategies for student success, college readiness and academic coaching


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How to be a Scholar. 6 Steps to Encourage Critical Thinking

As promised, encore presentations of some of our most popular posts. This post “How to be a Scholar. 6 Steps to Encourage Critical Thinking.” is a reader’s favorite over on our Pinterest page, where it has been “repinned” many times. I like the visual appeal of the infographic and will once again use it this Fall in my Freshman Composition classes. The #1 most important skill for any college student in any discipline or major, is critical thinking.
Always Question! xo~Lisa, aka “The Happy Teacher” ūüôā

Psst: Yep, we’re on Pinterest. We feature high quality, visually appealing content for teachers from K-12 to College, including free resources ready to print and use in the classroom.¬†Check out our boards and if you do, leave a comment so we can say Hello!

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As we get to the end of the semester and school year, we are expecting our students to demonstrate higher order thinking skills, or Critical Thinking. I like this infographic from Learning Commons at the University of British Columbia.

Critical Thinking ToolkitThanks to its simple flow chart style, students can use it to clearly reflect on their own thinking. Students need to constantly question their own process, and those of others. They need to ask questions about the text they read, test possibilities, and allow for new discoveries.

Higher order thinking skills (HOTS) push our students beyond simple responses and elevate them to scholars and critics in their own right. Part of what’s vital in education is for students to learn to trust their own voice, while still questioning their thinking. What strategies do you use in your classroom to encourage critical thinking?

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The Secret of Summer: Take a Break

Subtitle: How to take a nap and be productive at the same time.

Hello, sunshine, ice cream cones, fireflies, warm nights and even warmer days. Hello, July! College Ready will be on semi-hiatus for the month, while we recharge, refresh, & unplug a bit, with our family and friends.

Why take a summer break? Well, you will find that your ability to be productive has a direct correlation to your ability to kick off your flip flops and plant your toes in the sand every once in a while. We all need to take the V-word (vacation) every now and again, so that we can come back renewed and ready for new challenges and opportunities.

Throughout the month, we’ll feature some fabulous encores of “Fan Fave” blog posts from the past year, along with our top-liked inspirational quotes. With gratitude & appreciation for all your support from all over the world~~Lisa


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Beyond the 3Rs: Skills all Students Will Need to Thrive in the Global Market

Move over Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmatic.” ¬†According to “The Learning Curve,” here are the 8 “Must-Have” skills students will need in the future to stay competitive:

Leadership. Digital Literacy. Communication. Emotional Intelligence. Entrepreneurship. Global Citizenship. Problem Solving. Team Working.

Notice the strong reliance on the social-emotional aspects of interpersonal communication, along with the need to lead and be able to work in a collaborative environment. Students often balk at group work, but this is what all future employers see as essential.

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These “21st century non-cognitive skills” are essential in a global market, and are defined as the “abilities important for social interaction.”

I found this post via¬†Edudemic. You can read their entire post here. The information and graphic came from the original report called “The Learning Curve,” produced by Pearson. You can read it¬†here.


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Get Involved. Help Others. Have Fun. Summer Community Service for Teens

Coaches Corner:

Ahhh, Summer. To students, it means freedom and fun and lazy days with friends. With so much free time, this could also mean the perfect opportunity for your teen to try out volunteering at a local non-profit.

Often, teens need community service ¬†for a high school requirement. Others want to volunteer as part of their preparations for applying to colleges and universities. But that isn’t what summertime is all about. Summer is about the unknown, trying new things, and finding new paths. That’s why trying on a new role as a volunteer is the perfect way to help others and have some fun in the sun! Endless opportunities exist for teens to get their feet wet and find an authentic way to get involved.¬†Some teens will love the fast pace of organizing a soccer match at a youth camp, while others will love the serenity of restoring a park trail.

One simple suggestion–I am a big fan of libraries, and summer reading programs. These programs often use kids as young as 13 as volunteers to sign up participants, and help run events. It gives your child a chance to start small. Typically, a teen volunteers for a one-two hour shift just once a week. These programs couldn’t run without the help of the teens who show up each summer.

Check out what is going on locally this summer in your area and you just might find you have a teen that wants to get involved. A quick and easy web search will help you find an organization in need. One great resource is VolunteerMatch.org. They’ve¬†connected over 7.9 million volunteers with opportunities to help in their communities.

Community service isn’t just a buzz word for a¬†college application. It’s about all the good we do, and the good we feel, when we help others in need.

Whether you like the great outdoors, or prefer the great American novel, there’s an Opp for That! An opportunity to volunteer, that is. Here are more organizations that are in need of teens to volunteer in their programs:

United Way Be a reading mentor to a child who needs a little extra support

National Parks Help maintain and preserve the great outdoors

Volunteer.gov America’s Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal

Major League Baseball Action Teams: Goups of high school students who plan volunteer events. They receive support from Major League baseball players & inspire others to volunteer.


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8 Types of Learners: Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom

What’s Your Learning Style?

AKA, what kind of smart are you?

Here’s an innovative and highly visual look at the types of learners we work with in our classrooms. Recognizing these multiple intelligences as valid and effective allows for diverse contributions to the academic conversation. Ask your students at the start of the school year to self-identify where they are on this wheel. ¬†Let them “see” that there are “all kinds of smart.”

multiple intelligence wheel

You can also encourage¬†students to take any number of free online surveys that will help them to determine which type of learner they are. Here is one I often use with my students, from the folks at LiteracyNet. There are 56 questions,(don’t worry, it goes fast, just a bubble to select), and after answering all of them, the student will get their top three strengths, as well as how the other 5 intelligences rank. This information is extremely helpful to students, as they can devise study strategies around their individual learning styles.

Fun facts: Did you know that 65 % of all students are visual learners? (Mind Tools, 1988). However, as much as 80% of instruction is typically done orally. (University of Illinois, 2009)


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10 Writing Tips

Here’s a great Writing Tips chart to share with your students. I like that it emphasizes adding your own style (Step 5) and enjoying your writing (Step 10). If you don’t say it with style, and you don’t enjoy writing it, chances are, folks won’t enjoy reading it.

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27 Ways to Be an Effective Classroom Teacher in one Education Infographic

Try something new during these last few weeks of the school year. It can be like a dress rehearsal to see if you want to blend it into your “teacherly bag ‘o tricks” for next year. I like this education infographic from the amazing Mia Mac Meeken.

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How to Help First-Generation College Students Succeed

This article from the Greater Good Science¬†Center discusses the impact of academic mentoring, engagement and community building on first-generation college students. Research now shows that it’s the social emotional aspects of college life that can be challenging for these students, who don’t have a model of academic success to draw on once they are away at school.

How to Help First-Generation College Students Succeed.

 

image from greatergood.berkeley.edu/


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Why Happy Teachers Matter

This week, I’m posting some favorite quotes and images in honor of all the amazing educators out there who teach, inspire, mentor and encourage our nation’s youth to keep moving forward. Happy teachers are a positive force for change. One kind word can impact the entire direction of a student’s life, and one lesson can light the spark that produces a lifelong learner.

Remember to #ThankATeacher this week!

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Image via CommonSense Media.

A Love Letter to Teachers…or…What a Teacher Does

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all of you amazing educators. Thank you for guiding, mentoring and inspiring students every single day. For the smiles you share. The hugs you give. The belief you have that every single child needs just one caring adult who believes in them. Thank you for being the change. You make all the difference.
With love and admiration~~Lisa
#ThankATeacher

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What a Teacher Does

Encourage, Influence, Guide, Inspire…and so much more.

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