A Writing Sequence

Where to start? Most students experience the frustration of not knowing where to begin in writing assignments. Planning is the solution.

When thinking about a topic, it is a good idea to make a bullet note list of thoughts. The thoughts do not have to be sequential and they do not have to be related. This is capturing random thoughts about the topic. Instead of evaluating each thought that comes to mind, make a list. Just let the thoughts flow. After the flow of thoughts stops, it is time for the next step.

Organize the notes. They could be labeled in simple mathematical signs such as 1,2 3, etc. This is used for the order in which the thoughts are going to be used to write. Thoughts could be given categories and labeled with A,B and C. Then all the thoughts in the A category can be sequenced with numbers for the order.

Sometimes it is necessary to take an empty page and just fill it with thoughts. Put various shapes around the thoughts. Then sequence them.

Planning written responses in short answer and essay answer questions on tests is important. The planning can be very short. The result is that the student has specific ideas to write about and can have a well constructed answer.

Questions? Contact Beth Silver. Email:bethcarolsilver@gmail.com. Phone: 310-720-0390 Website: educationsage.net.

Homework Amounts

Homework amounts vary by grade level and by course content. Homework itself is something that all students and families struggle with and achieve varying degrees of success.

At the elementary level for grades 1-3, homework should be about 30 minutes and add reading for another 20 minutes. For grades 4-6 homework should be about 60 minutes and add another 30 minutes for reading. For grades 7 and 8 homework should be about 90 minutes and add another 30 minutes for reading.

At the high school level, the amount of homework depends upon the course load a student is taking. For regular courses homework will be about an hour for each course. For honors courses homework will be about 1.5 hours per course. For AP courses homework will be about 2 hours per course.

Have you student begin doing the learning or study work needed for courses. Then the homework should begin with the most pressing, mst difficult courses.

Questions? Contact Beth Silver. Email: bethcarolsilver@gmail.com. Phone: 310-720-0390.

Missing Assignments

Missing assignments plague students in grades 3-12. When a student is absent, it is the responsibility of the student to find out what needs to be completed.

In the upper grades, missing assignments are often marked with zeroes which really hurts a student’s grade point average for a class.

Train your student to understand that completing missed work is important. Making up tests is also vital. Help your student to take the tests as soon as possible after a return to school.

Questions? Contact Beth Silver. Email: bethcarolsilver@gmail.com. Phone: 310-720-0390.

Talking in Class

Talking in class by students at times that are not appropriate is a long standing problem. It is important for students – of all ages- to understand when the time to talk is correct and when it is not.

Students who talk continually are a problem for teachers. These students distract others and do not absorb the content of the lesson. In addition to that, the talking is rude.

It is important to impress upon your student when talk is acceptable and when it is not. Frequently students will talk to other students when they are not understanding the lesson and are looking for clarification. A student should learn to speak directly to the teacher for clarification.

If the student is chatty and is using class time to socialize, it is vital that the student learn to keep his/her mouth shut. Teachers feel that this type of student is being rude and disrespectful of them.

Questions? Contact Beth Silver. Email:bethcarolsilver@gmail.com Phone: 310-720-0390.

Textbooks and Copyright Dates

Most students and parents do not look at the copyright dates of textbooks being used. The textbooks are accepted as a tool that is not to be questioned.

It is important to note that by the time textbooks are published and receive a copyright date the information can be as old as three years. In certain subjects, the age of the information doesn’t matter. What does matter is including current material for students to learn. That is why teachers are constantly supplementing textbook information with hand-outs. Teachers may tell their students that they are not using the textbook because of the age of the information published in it.

Schools have a difficult time keeping up with the advancements of new publications of textbooks because of the cost. Most textbook prices are quite high. A Lot of textbooks cost over $100.00 if they are purchased new.

Questions? Contact Beth Silver. Email bethcarolsilver@gmail.com. Phone: 310-720-0390.

Following Directions – Oral and Written

Following directions is a life long skill. There is a standing joke in my family which is if all else fails, read the directions!

Following oral directions in any phase of life is important. It is particularly in the school classroom. Some teachers are easier to listen to than others. If the verbal delivery is paced evenly most students will be able to follow it. If the instructor goes at a fast pace, it is possible that students will not be able to follow and comprehend the information. If a student has a fast paced instructor then there are a couple of things to do. Ask for instructor notes to be given. The other thing is to search for an online video which contains the same information to listen to and comprehend. The online video can be replayed which helps most students.

Written directions are important. There are times, however, when students look at a page and think they know what to do and don’t read the directions. This is especially true in the case of written test directions. Encourage your student to read the directions.

Have Questions? Contact Beth Silver. Email: bethcarolsilver@gmail.com Phone: 310-720-0390.

What are Cumulative Files or Records?

Cumulative School Files contain information about a student. This information includes: grades, disciplinary comments and school administration input.

Parents should ask to review their students’ cumulative files. This is to make sure that the contents are not negative or derogatory to the student. Parents have the right to expunge such information from the cumulative files. In the future, if a student applies for a government job, the cumulative record may be accessed. Negative comments could hurt the student’s chances of getting a position.

Questions? Contact Beth Silver. Email: bethcarolsilver@gmail.com Phone: 310-720-0390.