College Ready

Sharing strategies for student success, college readiness and academic coaching


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Sage advice from that wise guru, Dr. Seuss

Read to a child! Reading just 15 minutes a day makes a big difference. Over the course of a year, that 15 minutes adds up to just over 90 hours! And it’s fun!!

We know that kids that love to read, do read. Because generally, we enjoy doing things we are “good” at. So, reading to your child from a very early age (from birth!! but it’s never too late to start!!) instills into them a lifelong love of reading. What a simple but huge way to make a difference in the life of a child!

Throughout the month, I’ll be posting about the Readaloud 15 campaign, including the really super fun part for a book nerd like me: book suggestions!! Hey, if you have an amazing book that you’d like to recommend for kids 12 and under, please post it in the comments.

In fact, if you have anything to tell us, about reading, early literacy, or education, post a comment. We love comments, almost as much as we love books.

Have an wacky, wild, reading a good book, kinda day,

Lisa (aka The Happy Teacher)

PS: “Like” us on facebook, please. 🙂

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15 Things to Give Up to Get Happy!

Here are “15 Things to Give Up” to Get Happy.

This is good advice all year long, but especially at holiday time and as we look towards the new year.

You have the power to flip this script! It might read something like THIS:

-Believe in yourself.
-Think Positive
-Embrace Failure
-Build healthy relationships
-Engage in meaningful conversation
-Speak highly of yourself and others
-Live in Joy
-Eat to fuel your body
-Get up and go
-Positive Self talk
-One step at a time
-Go after Success
-Live in Simplicity
-Be Authentic
-Become comfortable putting yourself FIRST…or at least work up to putting yourself on the list. Take care of you!

When we give up the things holding us down, we make room for more goodness and opportunity to enter our lives.

Drop us a note in the comments on which of these you are planning to give up in the New Year, or turn the phrase around (flip the script) and tell us what you WILL be doing in the days, weeks and months to come to live a healthy, happy life.

And as we approach the holiday season of light and love, we want to offer our appreciation and gratitude to our amazing tribe (that’s all of you–our readers–from all over the world) who make this community a better, brighter, and more vibrant place. THANK YOU.

All the best,

~~Lisa (aka, The Happy Teacher!)

Want to connect with us on facebook? Do that by clicking right here. If you’re on Pinterest, you can find us right here. Grazie!

www.collegereadycoach.com


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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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3 Ways to Stop Bullying: Stand Up, Connect, Care

October is Bullying Prevention Month.

“Nobody likes you. You can’t play on this court. Not at this lunch table. You talk funny. You’re not one of us. Too short. Too tall. Too fat. Too dumb. Too smart.” Hurtful words that cut deep. And in the rapid-fire age of social media that our kids live in, these words become wounds that spread quickly. 

We must all work to prevent bullying–in our classrooms, our communities, and our homes. October is Bullying Prevention Month. No, it’s not fun, it doesn’t have a catchy ring to it, and sometimes, adults are actually afraid to talk about the issue. But, it’s our job. We need to stand up, be role models and work for change.  

STAND UP. Be the Change and Stop the BullyingWe all need to be a part of the solution. Do your part. Stand up and speak up when someone is being a bully—whether it’s an adult, or a child. I found out that my child was teased at school recently, and I can tell you, it wasn’t a good feeling. Luckily, she told me about it, and I was there to make sure something was done. But lots of kids are silent, ashamed, or don’t know who to turn to. Be a Hero. Be a role model. Don’t shrug and say “kids will be kids.”

Let’s give our kids some tools to talk about bullying, to prevent bullying, and to come to us if & when they have a problem. The best way to make sure that happens is to remain open, caring and truly engaged. 

Connect. Create a Culture of Respect:  James Dillon, a retired elementary school principal who now speaks at workshops on this issue, recently told education website Edutopia that: “Little things can make a big difference. Simple and genuine gestures, such as regularly greeting students, talking to students, and addressing students by name, help to make students feel connected.” 

When students are connected to a school, a classroom, or even the community, they are less likely to engage in bullying behaviors. When children know educators and adults genuinely care about them, they are more likely to report bullying at the early stages and get the help they need. 

Care. Participate in the Movement: This infographic gives a snapshot of ways you can reflect on and participate in the anti-bullying campaign, this month and beyond. There are facebook pages, an anti-bullying pledge, and even a text-based game. It can be as simple as having a “Unity” day on campus, where students are encouraged to wear orange, the color that symbolizes taking a stand against bullying.

Educators: Do your part. October is bullying prevention month. We need to all care enough to be part of the solution. Kids must feel safe at school.

Let’s make schools safe and inviting for all students. All students deserve that.

Want more resources? Here’s a link to the article from Edutopia called “5 Tips for Bullying Prevention” with different ideas for principals, teachers and parents. And here’s a lesson I’ve posted before, from Squarehead Teachers, which even the youngest children will understand and be strengthened by. The National Bullying Prevention Center has teacher toolkits, resources, and a listing of events designed to raise awareness and get everyone involved to…

Help Stop Bullying: Stand Up. Connect. Care.


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The Only Writing Advice You Will Ever Need

Ernest Hemingway said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” 

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” ― Ernest Hemingway

There is nothing like the power of truth in writing. Writing in your own voice empowers you to tell your story in an authentic way. And don’t worry about what the critics say, there are always going to be haters. When you write your truth, it rings so clear and honest that readers pay attention. And the same is true in life, generally. There’s no substitute for authenticity…for the real.

Life can be messy. Writing is Messy. Life can be hard. Writing is Hard…but just start…with that one true sentence.

~~On Truth, Giving Back, and Free Stuff~~

I am amazed and humbled that even with very little publicity, and still pending a formal launch, this blog will reach 500 views over the weekend, maybe even today…and that’s how I was reminded of this quote. I decided to just start, to jump in, and to share my truth, after being in the planning stage for over a year. Eventually, you just have to take that leap (was the attitude I embraced while jumping!)

Why jump, and risk the fall? I want to give back a little of what my mentors and colleagues have given me. I want to model openness in the academic community. And I especially want to help young adults navigate a path to higher ed and opportunity. (You can read more about all of this in my first post.)

So to celebrate 500 views, from people all over the world, and to thank everyone for the support you’ve given me, I’m going to be offering a free academic coaching session to one new follower on my College Ready facebook page. So check out the details there, if you (or someone you know) is either in college or getting ready to launch their college career. Thanks for reading a little bit of my truth here!

xo, Lisa

PS: Curious as to the most popular posts so far? Here they are:

Students Just Say No to America’s Top Colleges 

Think Before You Share: 7 Rules for Posting Photos Online

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Infographic Thursday 8-1-2013: Social Media, Business and Writing

Social Media Infographics from Communication Made Simple. I like the ones that show how students interact with social, but it is also interesting to see the impact business people place on LinkedIn.

Marty F. Nemec

It’s Infographic Thursday, the best day of the week!

I have 10 infographics for you ranging from the subjects of social media and business to writing and gender differences of social media use. I also made the graphics bigger so you no longer have to click them to read them. I’m sorry about that!

IGT 3-1

IGT 3-2

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IGT 3-6

IGT 3-7

IGT 3-8

IGT 3-9

IGT 3-10

Do you like any of these infographics? Let me know in the comment section or better yet, share it on Twitter! I love infographics.

-Marty F. Nemec

View Marty F. Nemec's profile on LinkedIn

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Books, Bedtime and Beyond: Why Family Reading Rocks

Even MORE reasons to read to a child. Reading aloud “builds a child’s WANT to read.” Think your kiddo is too old for you to read to them at bedtime? Think again. Check out the difference in a child’s interest in reading between Kindergarten and Fourth Grade! What was the key difference? Parents stopped reading to kids.

By 12th grade-only 19% of kids asked said they were interested in reading! When you consider that higher levels of college readiness are linked to reading skills, I have just one word for that statistic: Noooooooo….but what can you do about it?

One thing our family started last summer was family reading time. We picked a classic-The Wind in the Willows-and each of us would read a few pages at a time. We read it together each night and enjoyed the simplicity of the words, the comfort of the timeless message and the beauty of the illustrations. Yes, even my Minecraft lovin’ middle school boy unplugged long enough to take part! He loved doing accents and really cracked up at Toad’s antics. So get silly, have fun, and share the joy of reading at any age!! What types of family reading do you do with your kids?

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This beautiful infographic was produced by usborneusa.com and Nancy Ann Wartman