Did you know there’s a 30 million word gap between children in this country, due to socio-economic factors? We need to do something about that. We can’t let our youngest children down like this. We need to nuture each and every one of our children to grow, blossom, thrive!
I’m excited to announce that I’ve been appointed a “Read Aloud 15” ambassador for readaloud.org. Many of you know that I am passionate about early literacy, books, and all things reading-related + the importance of educational opportunity, access & equality.
I was honored to be asked to partner with this national non-profit, and I’m excited to help spread this message. All month long, I’ll be posting here, and on our CollegeReadyCoach facebook page, about the “Let’s Talk Harvest” October campaign, encouraging parents to read aloud with their children for 15 minutes a day.
Please share these posts. Why? Because reading changes lives.
Every writer knows, that to make progress you have to take risks. To tell the truth and really leave it all on the page, you will feel vulnerable, like the turtle sticking it’s neck out.
But that’s the only way you’re going to get anywhere. Inch by inch. Little by little. Keep moving forward and you’ll get there. Your readers want truth and risk and all those messy bits of life on the page.
Happy Sunday to my collegereadycoach.com tribe.
As a college instructor for over fifteen years, I’ve learned the importance of starting off the semester with a framework for student success. Although you may find it hard to schedule it in, taking time for this type of discussion in the early weeks is so valuable and will lead to better student outcomes, more engagement, and higher student retention.
These are the “Top 4” strategies for student success we’ve been discussing in the classroom:
1. Growth Mindset: Intelligence is not “fixed.” You are not programmed at a certain level of “smart” and that’s that. Your brain is like a muscle, and with more use, and practice, you can grow your dendrites. (See also neuroplasticity.) You can improve in a subject area. For example, it isn’t that you “just aren’t good at writing, never have been,” but that you have not yet learned the right combination of skills and techniques for that assignment. Once you have these skills, (in writing or another subject) you will see steady improvement.
2. Personal Survey: Find out how you feel about learning. (See #1 above regarding how self-limited beliefs can shape outcome.) What were your previous experiences like with this subject matter in school, higher education, or in the K-12 school system? Think about your prior knowledge and experience (schema) on the subject. Find a connection, with your courses, & the college. If you’re not already excited for the semester, find some way (student clubs, sports, etc.) to get excited. The brain on positive is 31% more productive than on negative, stressed, or even neutral!
3. Goal Setting: establish “SMART” goals. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. For best results, write or type out your goals and address each of the SMART areas. When you think about and set goals early in the semester, it leads to you taking the small steps to achieve those goals. For example, it’s fantastic to say, “Well my goal is an A in this class.” You have a positive attitude and are setting high expectations for yourself. But, what specific action steps will you take that will lead you to obtaining that grade? How many hours a week will you study? On what days? Where?
4. “The Basics.” Read the syllabus. Go to (every) class. Visit your instructor early and often when you have questions. We welcome, expect, and want you to come to office hours! We don’t bite! I promise! And we’re even kinda funny, in an endearingly nerdy sorta way! Again, I promise! 🙂
If you are a student, let us know in the comments which of these strategies you find most helpful, or most difficult, to put into action. If you’re an instructor, let us know if you spend time during the early weeks of the semester working on these metacognitive strategies, and/or which others you might add to the list.
For more on all of these topics, (including the research that backs it up), check out our blog archives, or leave a comment with any questions. We like–no–LOVE questions here at College Ready Coach! Now go out there and light some fires!
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.