I get super suspicious when I hear a student tell me, “There’s no possible way I can quiz myself on this material.” That’s exactly what I heard this morning when my client and I were discussing how he might study for his AP World History exam.
Although it was tempting for me to wag my finger at my client and blame him for being a lazy thinker, instead I realized that he had overlooked a super straightforward way of quizzing himself. He thought quizzing needs to be fancy, with flashcards and quizlet decks and questions with answers. But instead, there’s a simple way to “practice retrieval” (a fancy name for “quizzing”) while you’re reading.
It’s easier for me to tell you about it rather than write about it, so check out this video.
Here are some tips about how to quiz yourself that I talk about in the video:
English teachers beware! You are NOT going to like my tip for the day.
A certain subset of my clients simply won’t read their English texts. They just won’t. No amount of cajoling, creative tips, and incremental steps will get them in the mood to tackle a hard text.
Today a client of mine WAS willing to practice reading a text as long as I didn’t expect her to read the whole text, and as long as we used a variety of online resources to support her.
In the following video, I walk you through the 5 step process that she and I came up with, and then I show you that process in action by sharing my screen.
I know the solution is not ideal, and ultimately we want students to have the stamina, attention and grit to sit with difficult intellectual material. However, especially students with learning differences, we also need to meet students where they are, acknowledge that they have had traumatic experiences with reading in the past, and offer them incremental doable steps on the road to tackling difficult academic tasks.
I’m excited that MY CLIENT is excited about this process, and I believe it’s a whole lot better than ignoring the reading completely. Let me know what YOU think, and I’ll keep y’all updated with how it goes with this student.
If you do not have the time to watch the video the image below describes some of what I talked about in the video to help you with assignments you are having trouble reading.
Do you ever struggle to read complex texts that your teachers assign?
Some students really depend on HEARING texts to understand them better. Luckily, we live in a day and age when it’s super easy to convert text to voice, and in this video I’ll show you how one of my clients does it.
One of my main tasks as an academic coach — other than to help students study more effectively — is to help teens with learning challenges figure out how to follow through on tasks that feel insurmountable.
This week a client of mine reported with such pride that she’d actually finished — and turned in on time! — two history assignments that have been torturous in the past.
I asked her what worked for her, and the tips that poured out of her mouth were so spot on, I couldn’t help but share them with you.
I’m consistently blown away in my work as a coach that, as I help build students’ self awareness, they are less reliant on my creative tips and more capable of finding their own processes. The tips in this video are a perfect illustration of this point:
If you do not have the time to watch the video here are the tips for you:
If you are a teacher, tutor, or academic coach, or perhaps even a parent, interested in learning about how to help your students become independent learners and test-taking powerhouses, please consider checking out my course, The Art of Inspiring Students to Study Strategically.
Most of us have smart phones these days, and many of us depend on a number of different apps to keep us organized.
With a certain subset of my teen clients, however, I’ve noticed that they don’t have their time management apps organized in such a way that they are easily found.
Check out the video below to discover a simply tweak that every student should consider to make their most important time management apps more accessible.
I’ll also introduce you to the most important time management apps to prioritize when you reorganize your home page.
If you would like some study tips head on over to the College Prep Podcast site. I co-host a weekly podcast with Megan Dorsey and we discuss a wide range of academic topics, including things like “How to Make Your Final College Decision.”
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?
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.