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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It’s Our Anniversary!! One Year Old Today!

Happy Blogaversary!¬†¬†It’s been exactly one year since I started College Ready Coach.¬†What a year it has been! I’ve learned so much, and met so many great bloggers, writers, students and educators along the way! The one common denominator we all share: a passion for learning.

Gift in celebration

I could not have anticipated what the year would hold, but decided to take that leap, jump in and get started. It’s meant a lot of writing, amazing opportunities, more writing, and new adventures, as the message of¬†College Ready¬†has been shared & spread around the globe. Now, 12 months later, with over 6700 visitors from 93 countries, I am grateful, humbled, and excited to embrace the next step!

Thank you so much for making this blog a place for students, parents, and educators to have a conversation, share ideas, and support one another. We need opportunity, access, and mentors to make sure every student has a chance to be college ready. For more on helping first-generation college students succeed, check out this article.

Making smart college choices means not being buried in debt when you graduate. Here's why students are rejecting America's top college: ROI

I truly believe that “Education is the movement from darkness to light,” (Allan Bloom). Reach out to me if you have any questions, or need help shedding some light on the process of getting from high school to college.

I am happy to feature guest bloggers, especially international students , college freshmen, and parents of college students. Feel free to message me if you have ideas or suggestions.

Happy #Teachers: Changing the World in Three Easy Steps: education, confidence, hope equals #peace  visiting collegereadycoach for more teaching inspiration

For more on why I started the blog, and the importance of being a mentor in a student’s life, you can read this post: 1 Easy Way to be a Hero.

To find out more about CollegeReadyCoach, check out our About page.

Many thanks~~~Lisa

aka, The Happy Teacher


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#1 Rule for Summer: Don’t Forget to Play

It’s Summer. Don’t Forget to Play.

Unwind. Unplug. Do more of what you love.

don'tforgettoplay

 

Get outdoors. Put your toes in the sand. Read a book just for pleasure. DON’T take any notes. Take a digital detox. ¬†Let go of schedules.

Remember what infinite possibility felt like…that’s summer!

xo~Lisa

aka The Happy Teacher


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How To Bust Through Writer’s Block. Causes and Cures for a Blank Page.

One writer’s thoughts on writer’s block, and an infographic from StudyMode that breaks it all down. Reblogged from Street of Dreams’ blog.

Street of Dreams

the abyss.
a freshly fallen torrid
that stretches as far as a the eye can see.
a blank page
what do you do when the cursor
when the pen and paper
leave you snow blind?
medium_writer_s_block

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Yes, It Pays to Go to College. Here’s Why.

Does it pay to go to college? Yes!

We hear that question a lot in the news. And the simple answer is, yes…it does. These statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reflect the difference in weekly salary and in the unemployment rate¬†between a worker with a high school diploma and a college degree.¬†

Image

 

So, the answer is yes, but proceed with awareness. See my earlier post regarding the ROI–Return on Investment-of a college degree. The territory needs to be navigated with not only enthusiasm for a certain school or university, but with awareness and information. This awareness should include a strategy to get to the finish line with a diploma in hand and without the burden of too much debt. To do this, make sure to carefully consider which college you attend, for how long, and what if any student loan debt you will have upon graduation. Visit your on-campus advisors and counselors early and often and make sure to have the information you need to be¬†informed.

Millennials are the workplace of the future. Those with degrees will not only be more employable after graduation, they will make higher salaries and be in demand.


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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.

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 5.13.29 PM

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.

The 20 Habits of Highly Authentic People

As part of my June challenge, I’m spending the month reflecting inward. This article from MindBodyGreen was a powerful reminder of how we can all (self included!) live a more authentically happy life. Build each other up. Spend time with yourself. Notice the beauty all around. Smile at a stranger.


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Six Tips to Keep Kids Reading this Summer and 5 Apps to Help Make it Fun & Rewarding

Make sure your students continue to read this summer. Reading leads to greater success in both college and career, and greater engagement in community events and civic issues that are important to us all. Reading truly is the road to success.

Here are 6 tips and 5 apps to make it easier to hop on the road to summer reading:

Why reading matters.


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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)