College Ready

Sharing strategies for student success, college readiness and academic coaching


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Trends | Preparing Students for 21st Century Success

Preparing Students for 21st century Success. These are the “skills necessary for students to be able to learn effectively and live productively in our increasingly digital world,” according to learning.com. We all need to help prepare students to succeed in college and/or career.

EdTech Digest

Preparing Students for 21st Century Success - aLearning.com Infographic

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Read, Write, Connect. 18 Weeks in the Life of an English Prof: Week 1, Day 1

CONNECT

Week 1, Day 1 of the semester. Welcome to 18 weeks in the life of a college English professor…or, what I’m affectionately calling “High Heels & a Highlighter.” I have committed to sharing my experiences with all of you. You’ll have a front row seat here in my college English class this semester. As an “Insider” you’ll be privy to lesson plans, learning goals, successes, and (likely) some occasional bumps along the road that happen to us all, not so much failures as, oh, let’s call ’em “learning opportunities.” 🙂

We spend a lot of time at the very first class establishing connections, getting to know each other, and laying the foundation for our Learning Community. One active learning exercise we do is called Common Ground. Students get into groups of 6 and come up with a list of 10 things they all have in common. It is a great way to get students interacting from the very first class!
Fast & Fun Ice Breaker

Fast & Fun Ice Breaker

And of course, I introduce myself, the course objective and overall theme. Along with all of that, I also introduce my students to the concept of Metacognition: thinking about your thinking, or learning about your learning. When students use metacognition strategies, it increases their learning outcomes. Students need to recognize that the brain is like a muscle. The more you use it, and flex it, the stronger it becomes. You can literally build the brain you want. The very latest neuroscience backs this up. Here’s what Judy Willis, MD, had to say in a recent Edutopia article:
“To reduce anxiety about new “stuff” in the classroom — whether related to Common Core State Standards, struggles with reading, or something else entirely — you can find opportunities to emphasize students’ ability to literally build the brains they want. Remind them that, when they turn in a story, demonstrate a science principle in a skit, or even raise their hand to respond to a question, they grow more dendrites and add new layers of myelin to their axons. To them this may sound gross, but it’s actually good news. By activating these brain networks, they continuously use their executive functions as they apply new learning. Like a muscle, the brain responds to interaction and activity.”
Sure, there’s more, but I’ll be keeping these posts more like a “snapshot.” So, that’s a taste of Day One in my classroom. We Read, Write and Connect. In fact…that’s the title of my class! Post a comment on what you do on your first day-I’d love to hear from you. xo~Lisa


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Top 5 Ways to De-Clutter Your Mind, Improve Your Focus & Find Peace in the New Year

“Your Focus Determines Your Reality.”~~George Lucas

So, what are you planning to do in the New Year to increase your focus or productivity? Besides naps, of course. Naps are always a good thing!

I love the new opportunities and new beginnings the New Year brings to focus on what really matters. You know, the big things, like family, friendship, and doing what you love with passion and joy.  Sometimes, though, you first need to clear out the mental clutter before you can do that. All the distractions on that mental “to-do” list can keep us stuck.

Focus. I learned to focus in high school as an athlete.  You only hear one voice - your coaches even when the crowds is roaring.  You focus on the point guard who calls the play.  You focus on the ball.  You learn to drown everything out and to focus on what is at hand.

Over the next month, I’m going to be focusing my posts on ways to embrace the new year feeling peaceful, energized, focused, and yes, even organized. This article by Janet Choi of The Daily Muse on how to declutter your mind is a good place to start. Read it here, “5 Ways to De-clutter Your Mind and Regain Your Focus.” I like this particular list because it is short and sweet. Highlights: Make Lists, Automate (or delegate, if you will), Embrace the Junk Drawer–of your mind–the crumbled thoughts of those things we need to get to, but just can’t seem to do, Manage that In-box (Truth! I can REALLY relate to this one. I once had over 4000 unread messages.), and finally, just Think About it. Make time for some reflection on how you’re spending your time.

It might not be easy, but finding some focus is one way to embrace the new year with a peaceful attitude and positive outlook. You’ll feel more in control and right away, you’ve scored a personal success. I am on the same journey and I’m looking forward to checking some items off of the mental to-do list, pronto!

Napping is still recommended. Heck, with a de-cluttered mind…you’ll be certain to have peaceful dreams. Score! (Again!)


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88. Another Life Lesson #2

Wise Words on Things to Give Up–

To Inspire From Within

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5 Ways a College Degree Pays: a richer life in all respects!

Video: “5 Ways Ed Pays.” A college degree means a richer life-not just in terms of money earned, but in quality of life! Get inspired. Be inspirational. Every student deserves a teacher who inspires! Just be open to good things, and be yourself…that will do! 

 

Do you agree that a college degree means a richer life? Post a comment and join the discussion! We’d love to hear from you!

 


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Wanted: Happy Teachers

For all the amazing educators who help make the world happy! It’s about that “Back-to-School” time around here and…

collegereadycoach.com

The energy we bring to the classroom makes a profound difference on our students and their learning outcomes. The brain “at positive” is 31% more productive than at negative, neutral, or stressed.

What can you do to be a Happy Teacher? I write, share ideas with colleagues, and mentor as ways to stay focused. I also employ “playful learning” strategies, because a place of learning needs to be welcoming and inspiring. Oh, and don’t forget to smile, laugh, and share a little bit about yourself with your students.

How about you? Can you share one idea in the comments for being a “Happy Teacher?” Post your suggestions, tips, and hints here, please. Merci!


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Food for Thought: Harper Lee, on the Power of Books

Always~

"The Book to Read is not the one that Thinks for you but the One which Makes you Think." ~Harper Lee | College Ready

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”~To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee


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Students “Just Say No” to America’s Top Colleges. Here’s Why

The quick answer: it’s about the ROIAt least according to this article in The Week, which is trending at the moment.

college[1]

So, it seems the trend continuesStudents and parents are spending more time digging around the financials and thinking ROI when it comes time to select a college. That’s a smart move in my opinion. Like the article points out, often it is more about the student’s major, than it is about the institution, when it comes time to getting a job and the salary that job pays.

A good rule of thumb: don’t acquire more college debt than a profession’s first year salary. College is still more than worth it when it comes to lifetime annual salary. A degree has also been an effective buffer during a weak economy. Those with degrees had roughly half of the level of unemployment than those with only a high school diploma.

So, yes. Think ROI. Plan, investigate, calculate. When it comes time to select a college, make sure those numbers add up.


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Wise Words: Be You

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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!

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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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