238: Colleges Love Good Grammar!

Too many students have poor grammar, and it weakens their writing. This has become increasingly obvious to Megan as she works with students on writing their college admissions essays.

If you are looking for skills to build or strengthen with students grades 6-12, consider following some of Megan’s advice to improve students’ grammar and usage.

In this episode, Megan breaks down:

  • three reasons why it’s important to improve grammar sooner rather than later (hint: one of them is the SAT and ACT tests)
  • the importance of not just acquiring knowledge of grammar rules, but of ALSO practicing this knowledge so that it becomes fluent, and
  • some tools and tips for how to get this practice regularly.

Megan also recommends the following resources:

Listen in as Megan shares advice in improving students grammar!

235: Is it Even Possible to Make School Work “Fun”?

At a recent speaking gig about how to tackle procrastination, students asked Gretchen how to make school work fun! They seemed incredulous that “fun” is even a worthwhile pursuit when it comes to school.

Listen in as Gretchen provides a few thoughts about how to take responsibility for making your learning by “anti-boring” no matter how bored you really feel, including:

  1. Two mindset tips, so you can change your THINKING about school work and fun
  2. Three practical actions to make your experience of class less boring.

234: Military Academies and How to Get Accepted

Military academies require a lot of extra work to apply to, but it can be worth it for the high quality free education they provide if you get in.

In this episode, Megan answers this listener question and details the steps it takes to apply and get accepted to these kinds of schools:

Dear Megan and Gretchen,

I have begun to listen to you at the end of this summer because I wanted to improve my act and sat score although I haven’t taken the sat. The start of this summer I’ve had the motivation to attempt and get into a military academy as in the naval academy and Air Force etc. I’ve found the basic requirements to get into those types of schools and have been working my way too achieve those.

I wanted to ask if there is anything you guys know that will help me have a better chance to get accepted. My current act score is a 24 but haven’t taken it in a while and am about to go into a class for it. My GPA is around a 3.7 but have a lot of upcoming AP classes and am determined to get all A’s. Lastly, I feel I have an edge up because by the end of high school I will have studied Chinese for 8 years with two AP Chinese classes.

I wanted to know what you guys think and I respect your drive to better students lives by providing them quality information. Thank you!!!

Braxton

Listen in as Megan answers a listener question on this topic!

224: Anti-Boring Tool #4 – Quizzable Study Tools

The most important part of studying is retrieval practice (in other words, testing yourself)…

…but how do you test yourself in new and interesting ways so that you don’t bore yourself to tears?

Tune in for Part 4 of the Anti-Boring Summer Series, where Gretchen walks you through how to create quizzable study tools, so you have lots of choices for how to test yourself .

If this anti-boring tip delights you and you want more from where this came from:

Don’t forget to click here to hear Part 4 of the Anti-Boring Summer Series, where Gretchen walks you through how to create quizzable study tools!

223: How to Apply for Testing Accommodations for ACT & SAT

 

It’s possible to receive accommodations on the SAT & ACT for students with physical or learning differences. However (and this is a super important point for families of these kinds of students):  you need to apply in advance.

Both SAT & ACT have tried to make the process easier, but unfortunately not all families know this is an option.

 

Listen in as Megan breaks down common issues related to applying for accommodations on standardized testing.

 

 Then, for more information, check out an article she wrote on the topic!

222: Anti-Boring Tool #3 – Hone It Notes

Do you ever review your lecture notes after you take them?

Most people don’t… mostly because it seems like a lot of work and they don’t know how.

This simple note taking tip could change your entire ability to learn effectively. It’s not easy, but if you could get yourself to do it — you’d e so much more ready for every test and feel that much more confident as a learner

If this anti-boring tip delights you and you want more from where this came from:

220: Anti-Boring Study Tool #2 – The Study Senses

Is studying tedious and boring?

Use the Study Senses as a simple checklist for how to engage your brain while learning, so that you learn more in less time.

Tune in for Part 2 of the Anti-Boring Summer Series, where she walks you through a simple model for how to mix up your studying so you’re processing information in multiple ways.

If this anti-boring tip delights you and you want more from where this came from:

219: Before You Write Your Admissions Essays, Listen to This

Essays are an important component of college applications, but most people– students, parent, and even educators– have little idea what a winning essay looks like or how to write one.

Check out these resources that we highlighted on the episode:

Don’t forget to listen in as we help you get started and share advice from some colleges.

217: Is Your Student Affected by the Rise of Vaping at School?

As a parent, teacher, mentor there are so many things we need to keep up with as we guide students.

One new development at schools in the last year is the rise of vaping amongst teens. Is your student affected by this new trend in tobacco and marijuana consumption?

In this episode Megan and Gretchen discuss:

  •  what vaping is and why it seems to be on the rise
  • how students tend to use it at schools, and how other students are affected even if they don’t vape themselves
  • how parents and teachers might inform themselves about the types of vaping devices that are used by students,
  • And more!

Listen in to see what Megan and Gretchen say about Vaping in Schools.

216: Why Learning is Hard and How to Make It Easier

Too many students judge themselves as “stupid” because learning new things feels hard. Understanding this one brain fact goes a long way to helping students feel better about themselves as learners.

 

Tune in as Gretchen explains:

 

  • What a neuron is and how a neural pathway is created in the brain,
  • Why it’s totally normal if learning feels hard,
  • How to stick with a hard task for long enough so that it feels easier,
  • And more!

If you’d like to learn more tools and tricks to make learning easier, check out the  Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying online course; you might also like to book a few sessions with any of these certified Anti-Boring Approach Coaches.

211: Six Ways to Use Friends to Get Stuff Done

Did you know your friends can be a HUGE resource to help you get your homework done?

Too many students try to go it alone, but school is hard enough as it is! One of your most useful resources as a teenager is your friends, after all. Why not use them for good?

Listen in as Gretchen walks you through these six ways to use your friends to get stuff done and help you follow through on your academic responsibilities:

  1. Study Groups
  2. Co-working at school in between classes
  3. Co-working on skype, Facetime, or Zoom
  4. Bookending
  5. Co-working right before a fun night out (or in) with friends
  6. Typing while you talk

Listen in as Gretchen walks you through ways to use your friends to get stuff done and help you follow through on your academic responsibilities!

207: Give Your Time Management a Mid-Semester Makeover

By mid-semester students’ time management routines have often weakened or collapsed.

 

 

Consider these four questions when giving your routines a makeover so that you can make it to the end of the semester with your grades and self esteem intact:

  • First, do you have a weekly planning routine? This can be a helpful Sunday task to help you look ahead and plan for the week ahead.
  • Second, do you have a daily routine to do right before and after your homework? This can be helpful to make sure you are adjusting your weekly plan as needed, with every new assignment your teachers give.
  • Third, if the daily routine doesn’t work for you, are you doing a midweek check-in ritual? This enables you to check off items from your To Do list, add new items, and make a plan for the weekend, so that you take action rather than procrastinate during your “off” time.
  • Finally, do you have a plan for accountability? Who else besides you can know about your plans and help make sure you feel a low-grade pressure to follow through?

Listen in to learn how to revamp your time management skills.

206: Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension on SAT, ACT or AP Tests

Believe it or not — raising your reading comprehension scores on standardized tests is often not about improving your reading skills!

 

Tune in as Megan outlines surprising skills to improve if you want improved performance on this section of your tests. Specifically she covers how to:

  • Develop college-bound vocabulary
  • Practice reading challenging material (fiction, non-fiction, archaic rhetorical style, complex scientific, detailed, etc.
  • Learn to find details (open book skills)
  • Practice analysis skills, and
  • Understand that every word matters

Listen in as Megan outlines surprising skills to improve if you want improved performance on reading comprehension of your tests.

 

205: One Student’s Takeaways From a Semester of Coaching

How much can a student’s behavior truly change after a semester of coaching?

In today’s episode, Gretchen walks us through a sixteen year old’s reflections about how he has grown as a result of academic coaching.

The following eight ideas resulted from a brainstorm during this young man’s final coaching session, during which he and Gretchen reviewed what he has learned and what habits he would like to maintain:

1. The Set Up Routine
2. Doing Spanish hw first
3. All the different study tools from the Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying
4. Self Advocacy.
5. Keeping a Planner.
6. Finishing homework by a reasonable hour
7. Take advantage of meds before they wear off.
8. Marking period supply clean out.

Tune in to the episode to hear more about each of these take aways!

204: AP or Not to AP: Controversy & Considerations

The national average of number of AP classes taken by students admitted to top universities is five to eight total. That’s a lot!

Deciding whether to take (or not take) Advanced Placement classes is more complicated that simply taking as many tests as possible.

In this episode we discuss in detail the following considerations:

  1. The importance of students choosing an appropriate level of challenge
  2. The fact that AP classes (and the AP exams) can push students to learn at a higher level, which is great prep for college!
  3. How to think through your priorities when considering AP
  4. What does your family hope to get out of an AP class– higher learning, AP credit, boost to school GPA / rank, better teachers, taking class with peers, etc.
  5. What are your alternatives?
  6. What will the student have to give up to take these classes?
  7. How to monitor appropriateness (grades, time spent studying, mental health)
  8. When to go for it, and how to step down if you realize it’s too much

Listen in about AP courses to see if it’s right for you!

203: Don’t Overlook These Seven Surprising Study Techniques

Sometimes small study tweaks can make a difference.

In this episode, Gretchen outlines seven small study techniques that can are easy to integrate into your homework time, and can help you be better prepped for tests.

We’re listing them here, though you’ll want to tune in to understand exactly how to integrate them into your study routine. They are:

  1. Take 3-minutes to quiz yourself before every assignment.
  2. Don’t use Google Translate to do your language homework, but do use it to assess yourself after you’re done
  3. Eliminate silly mistakes on math tests by doing a “speed practice” when doing homework
  4. Check your homework every night using www.slader.com
  5. Use blue tape to put flashcards up around your house, so that you can study when you’re walking to and from different rooms
  6. Draw a picture next to information that you’re having trouble remembering
  7. Make a quizzable study tool before each chapter test and save those tools for the final.

Listen in as Gretchen outlines seven small study techniques that can are easy to integrate into your homework time, and can help you be better prepped for tests.

202: Course Selection: How to Develop a Four Year Plan

“Make time visible” is a favorite refrain of Gretchen’s, and it’s equally as true for college planning as it is for daily time management and organization.

In this episode, Megan walks students step by step through how to make the next four years visible…by making a 4 year plan for course selection.

Listen in as she walks you through the following steps, which you can apply to your high school or your college career:

  1. Gather information about the courses at your school.
  2. Start by laying out requirements and prerequisites on a calendar.
  3. Add electives and “one off” classes.
  4. Strive for balance.
  5. Know your options and make sure you have a back up plan if courses aren’t available when you thought they might be.

Click here to listen in as Megan provides 5 steps you can use to apply to your college or high school career.

201: How to Let Kids Fail “Small” Earlier On

Students need to become familiar with failure earlier than their parents often let them.

Megan and Gretchen discuss why it is important to let student fail small in the younger grades, and provide tips for how parents might back off as students transition from elementary to middle to high school.

 

Click here to listen to Megan and Gretchen discuss how important it is to let your student fail small at a young age.

200: How Lapses in Judgement Impact Graduation and Admissions

Teenagers often have lapses in judgement.But when these lapses go too far, how might it impact high school graduation or college admissions?

Megan lays out 5 kinds of trouble that teens can get in and analyzes how that behavior might get in the way of their next steps and goals.

Specifically, she and Gretchen discuss:

  • sexual misconduct
  • social media usage
  • underage sex and pornography
  • alcohol and drug use  and
  • “mob mentality”

Click here to listen in as Megan and Gretchen talk about 5 kinds of trouble that teens can get in.

199: How to Make a Family Nag Plan

Sometimes nagging is necessary! So how can parents do it in a way that will make teens receptive to their reminders and prodding?

In this episode, Gretchen tells stories about how 3 different clients made agreements with their parents about how and when they are allowed to nag them.

These “family nag plans” can make a big different in terms of helping teens follow through and also preserving the peace at home.

Click here to find out more about how to create a family nag plan that will work in your unique circumstances!