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Learning Abroad in Rome!

Ciao! I’m writing this post from the airplane as I’m traveling home from Rome. I was fortunate to spend the last 9 days chaperoning my school’s spring break trip. Our Latin teacher took 14 of her students to study the ancient Roman culture, and we had an amazing time! Our awesome group! The intent of the trip was to expose the students to ancient Roman culture and see firsthand where the heart of the language evolved. As the counselor of our school it was interesting for me to see students in an entirely different setting, and I witnessed [...]

How to Get the Most out of Community Service

I first want to thank a colleague of mine (you know who you are) for turning me on to a weekly summary of the latest and greatest trends in K-12 education called the Marshall Memo. I highly encourage parents and educators to take a look and possibly subscribe to it as it discusses several important topics. In the latest edition, Richard Weissbourd of the Harvard Graduate School of Education offers his thoughts on a report called Turning the Tide, which offers several recommendations for increasing the overall well-being of high-school students during the college admissions process. This report has been [...]

How to Interpret PSAT Results

If your student is in 8th, 9th, 10th or 11th grade, then he or she likely took the PSAT exam this past October. While the PSAT has been a mainstay for high school students, interpreting the scores can be challenging. College Board has made sweeping changes to both the SAT and PSAT, so understanding your student’s score report may be more difficult than in the past. This post is an attempt to help you understand the new changes. The New PSAT In an effort to make the PSAT more meaningful, College Board is now offering different tests for 8th/9th graders [...]

Academic Resolutions

Academic Resolutions Goodbye 2015, and Hello 2016! I’m not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions, but for students I think it’s a good time to think about some academic resolutions you can implement for the next 12 months. Don’t stress about trying to make too many changes; just pick a couple and see how they work for you. 1.  Read a book every month I know students get plenty of reading assigned to them throughout the school year, but I want them to find a book they truly want to read outside of school. My list of spring break [...]

10 Steps To Ace Final Exams

How to Ace Final Exams  For most students final exams are right around the corner. While most of us think of finals as the most stressful part of the school year, I like to think of it as the best opportunity of the school year. Typically final exams represent anywhere from 15-25% of your total grade for the semester. That means you can significantly increase your final grade with a strong performance on your final exam. So how can you ensure success on these test? Let’s look at some strategies to help you ace your finals. 1.  Keep it in [...]

Why ADHD Diagnoses are Set to Rise

  ADHD Diagnoses Will Continue to Increase I just returned from the Texas Psychological Association’s annual conference, which was held this year in San Antonio. It’s a great event that brings some of the best psychologists from Texas and around the country together to discuss current trends and other hot topics. I attended several sessions ranging from topics on executive function to health care reform. The most interesting talk I listened to was a discussion of key updates the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, or what most people refer to as the DSM-5. The DSM is [...]

How to Motivate a Reluctant Student

Motivating a Reluctant Student One of the biggest challenges we face is motivating students who are not necessarily motivated to begin with. There are numerous theories on motivation in the educational psychology realm. One of my favorites that I think helps explain the difficulty with motivation is intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation. Understanding these two types of motivation can give good insight into your student’s troubles. Intrinsic Motivation Intrinsic motivation is the motivation that drives us to do things simply because we want to do them or enjoy the process. Taking a walk on a gorgeous Sunday morning, playing basketball with [...]

5 Big Changes to the New SAT

Preparing for the New SAT Closeup of a SAT test answer sheet and pencil Beginning March 6, 2016, the SAT will be offered in a completely new format. After careful analysis of “stagnant results” on the old SAT, College Board decided to revamp its most widely-used college admissions assessment to reflect the skills necessary for college success. The new SAT test will focus on the “critical set of knowledge, skills, and understandings that predicts student success in college and workforce training programs.” Simply stated, the new SAT will reflect what is learned in the classroom. So what does [...]

5 Strategies for Students with ADHD

Strategies to Maximize Study Time Sustaining attention long enough to complete a night’s worth of homework can be difficult and taxing for students with ADHD. It’s not unusual for middle- and high-school students to have multiple hours of homework and studying a night. Students who struggle with holding attention that long will need to adopt some key study skills in order to make it through the night’s work and perform well in school. The following strategies can be used to help maximize attention and focus to complete homework assignments and study for tests. Some strategies will work well for some [...]

Understanding a 504 Plan

504 Plan Basics In the last post I discussed IEP Basics. IEPs are comprehensive plans for students diagnosed with a specific disability. Many parents wonder what the difference is between and IEP and Section 504 Accommodations. The difference can be confusing. This post will hopefully clarify the differences and help you decide which to pursue. What are 504 Accommodations? Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals are protected under federal law from discrimination related to a disability. Unlike an IEP, 504 is not specific to school. However, for the sake of this post, Section 504 pertains to students [...]

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