1+
Academic Coaching
Helping Students Achieve in School with Less Stress
Making A Difference

Academic coaching has helped reduced the stress in our home.  My daughter is already doing so much better in school.  She now regularly uses a planner and rarely if ever forgets an assignment.  She also uses timers to keep herself on task, and studies ahead for exams.

0

10th Grade Parent

I think most of the kids in my classes would do better in school if they knew the things you teach me.

0

8th Grade Student

My ten-year-old daughter was in a difficult place with her violin practices, something she had once enjoyed. Asking her to practice resulted in crying and screaming, which resulted in growing tension during her lessons. Using DIY Homework took some of the stress out of our relationship. She received her instructions on her tablet and was responsible for reporting back on the tablet. After a week of practicing this way, she had shed her bad habit of screaming and crying about violin practice, and we were able to get back into an easier routine

0

5th Grade Parent

Recent Blog Posts

Graphic Organizer: Making Quizlet Decks Quickly

Do you love using Quizlet, but you don’t want to repeat work? Graphic Organizers are an amazing tool to help students take their materials from class and personalize their learning experience. But you can make them even more powerful by creating Quizlet decks. In this video, I explain how to quickly transform the first two columns of the graphic organizer into a Quizlet deck. Like 0

0
Read More

Make it Stick: Chapter 3

Reflection Often learning feels so dry that students stop thinking about their learning as soon as they leave a class. But studies have shown that being able to reflect on and process the information they get each day and connect all the ideas that they are learning. The best way I have found to help students do this is to use a Graphic Organizer. Cramming is Not the Answer We have these firm beliefs that studying with the single-minded focus…

0
Read More

Power of Study Groups

Often students feel that they need to do all of their studying alone. Students who learn to study with others have a huge strategic advantage when taking tests, writing paper, and communicating in class. Studying in groups can help students fill missing information through retrieval practice and teaching. Group study sessions also help students feel less isolated, build in regular study time, and avoid procrastination. I will be creating a series of posts on how to have productive group study…

0
Read More

Asking Teachers for Help

Are you intimidated when talking to teachers? Often these conversations are scary because we don’t get a lot of practice talking to teachers outside of class. Preparing for these meetings can help reduce your stress, and make the meeting more productive.  I often have students use a template when they are preparing to talk to teachers.   Template  This template helps students clarify what they know, kind of know, and don’t know, and can help them define the spots where they…

0
Read More

Make it Stick: Chapter 2

Effortful Learning Our brains have evolved to be efficient because they require a lot of calories. And learning is an activity that involves a lot of effort. It can feel hard because it is creating new pathways and connections in the brain. We can use strategies to make it more efficient, but not all learning will be fun or fast. Spaced Practice vs Massed Practice We often think of forgetting as the enemy of learning, but it is an important…

0
Read More

Analyzing Papers, Projects, and Tests

When students get an assessment back it is very common for parents and teachers to help them analyze their work. This process can help students critically examine their work, effort, and approach.  I explain how we can modify this process and help students become more self-reflective and open to critical feedback. When students can pinpoint what went well they can start to build mental models and study habits around their success.  Many students have never been asked to reflect on what…

0
Read More

Learning Cycle

Do you ever feel lost about how to study? Sometimes learning feels like a black box. Students feel like they put a lot of effort into their school work, but don’t get the results that they want. Understanding how the brain learns can help students use their study time more effectively. The study cycle is made up of three parts 1- getting information into our brains (encoding) 2- practicing getting information out of our brains (retrieval) 3- learning the information…

0
Read More

Graphic Organizers

Do you feel stressed when your teacher announces a test? Do you have a hard time figuring out how to use your worksheets, textbooks, online activities, and class notes? Graphic Organizers are a great way for students to organize all of the information they get from each class. This general format students can use to help them organize their materials in any class or subject.  Graphic Organizers help students take materials that are given or assigned to them and allow…

0
Read More

Note Taking Template: Lectures, Videos, and Textbooks

Do you want to know how to take notes with less stress? Students are often not taught how to take notes that will help them study effectively. Note Taking helps students stay active during lectures or videos.  It is very easy to zone out when others are talking. This template is a variation on the Cornell Note-taking method. My students often complain that notes feel very time-consuming and useless. I have found that this method allows students to take effective…

0
Read More

Note Taking Template: Science

Taking useful science reading notes can drastically improve a student’s achievement. Doing well in science class requires students to understand interconnected concepts, formulas, vocabulary, and applications. This template helps students connect these critical parts and master their material with less stress. This template is designed to support students use cognitive science-based learning strategies. Students will learn how to summarize concepts, incorporate images, form insightful questions, and create real connections. It helps students avoid common time-consuming study methods such as re-read…

0
Read More

Note Taking Template: Literature

I have created a note-taking template that students can use to help guide their literature reading so they can write a thoughtful and polished essay with less stress. Using this template as students read will help them avoid time-consuming strategies such as re-reading to find relevant quotes or flipping through a mountain of sticky notes throughout the book. I have included additional lists and reflective questions to help students jump-start their reading and writing process  Using a template can help students…

0
Read More

Quizlet Tips and Tricks

One of the most effective ways to learn new material is to quiz or test yourself. An excellent tool for self-quizzing is Quizlet. Quizlet offers students a lot of advantages over traditional flash cards because it uses an algorithm to help students avoid illusions of knowing. In addition to traditional flashcards, students can create quizzable diagrams from photographs, screenshots, or the Quizlet Database. The combination of text and visuals create a potent learning tool. It is a powerful tool that…

0
Read More

Make it Stick Chapter 1: Learning is Misunderstood

The first chapter highlights the collection of research findings that will be discussed in more detail throughout the book. Th purpose of this chapter is to addresses many of the common misunderstandings about learning and education. Specifically, it outlines the misconceptions surrounding common study strategies, effortful learning, and the memorization. I will discuss these three topics in more detail below. Study Strategies The most useful study method is retrieval practice, also know as quizzing or self-testing. Despite these findings, roughly 80% of…

0
Read More

Book Review: Getting Things Done for Teens

Getting Things Done for Teens is the newest GTD book by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. The book’s message is essential: teens need a strategy to address their complex world. The book is intended to help teens and tweens avoid many of the common pitfalls that happen when we enter adulthood without tangible organizational skills. While there are many positives parts of this book, it, unfortunately, falls into the trap of trying to adjust an adult level organization system…

0
Read More

National College Fairs

Do you want to learn more about possible colleges? National College Fairs are a free resource for high school student. They are an excellent opportunity for students to interact with hundreds of colleges and universities, from the US, Canada, and Europe. Because there is a wide variety of schools students can get a sense of the broad options available in their future. I have found that this experience of attending a National College Fair has two main benefits for students.…

0
Read More

Book Review- Make it Stick : Introduction

I will be reviewing the book Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel. Because the book is so important I will be creating a blog post for individual chapters.  Each post will outline the main takeaways from that section. I will also share stories about how I have used these strategies with my own students. In addition, I will include tips from other academic coaches and teachers about how…

0
Read More

Review: My Class Tracker – College

Do you need a planner for college? My Class Tracker has introduced a College version of their student planner. The college version reflects the unique needs of college students.  The College version of My Class Tracker can help students plan ahead, manage their time, increase their study skills, prevent procrastination, and help them achieve their goals.   Like 0

0
Read More

Planners: A Strategic Advantage

As I work with students, I have noticed that the use of planners has started to become less frequent. When I was young planners were the go-to organization tool for students. I think that the shift away from paper planners is a result of more assignments being put online.  Online systems are a great way for students to track their homework, but they have limitations. There is a strategic advantage to using a planner in conjunction with online systems. Planners…

0
Read More

Hidden Complexity of Technology and Homework

We are in the middle of understanding how to use technology effectively in education. Integrating technology into teaching is a complex negotiation process because there are so many moving parts and individual needs that must be taken into consideration. Many adults assume that students can navigate all types of technology and platforms with ease. While younger generations may be more comfortable with devices, they do not know how to translate them into effective study strategies.  Often developmental milestones and limits to…

0
Read More

The Secret of Getting Things Done

I often hear my students repeat a pervasive myth about achieving in school. They believe that if they want to get more stuff done, they need to find more motivation. As a result, they often spend a lot of time and effort trying to find such a secret and elusive motivator. However, the secret that productive people know is that you can’t count on motivation, because it is unpredictable and fleeting. I teach my students that the key to getting…

2
Read More
Recent Posts