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5 Steps to Quickly Learning How to Speak a Foreign Language

Popsugar – Macy Williams

“Learning a language is a huge accomplishment. Some say it takes patience to master a new language, but is that really true? You can actually establish your skills in no time; it all depends on how you go about it. We’ve put together some simple tips so that you can start your crash course on the right foot. Check out these helpful hacks and get to practicing!”(more)

Five reasons to embrace the class quiz, according to cognitive science

TES – Megan Smith

“Quizzes and tests help students to learn, because these tasks involve retrieval practice, or thinking back to information previously learned and bringing it to mind. But quizzes do more than just jog students’ memories. Here are five different benefits of retrieval practice.”(more)

Time management critical for success

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

“Learning to read, write, solve mathematics problems, apply scientific principles to real world situations, and speak a foreign language are not the only skills children need to acquire before they leave home.” ~Confucius

Many experts argue that time management abilities are equally important. Academically gifted people cannot survive in modern society if they are not able to deliver a high quality product, on time.

Most K-12 schools are struggling to teach time management skills, because parents are constantly pressuring them about grades. Many teachers are under so much pressure to issue high marks that they create extra opportunities for students to improve their final course grade.

Although “second chances” give the parents what they want, they have the unintended consequence of teaching kids that planning is irrelevant because there are always other opportunities to change the result.

When young people get to college and/or enter the workforce “second chances” are rare. Most college professors do not offer extra papers or problem sets at the end of the semester and employers take a dim view of late arrivals, shoddy work, and missed deadlines.

Since it has become impossible for most K-12 teachers to teach time management, parents must handle the task at home.

As a first step, kids need to learn how to plan ahead. There are many free computer-based scheduling applications that help in this area. Kids generally find it easy to enter homework day by day, but often need coaching on how to break future activities, like preparing for a test that is two weeks away, into daily tasks.

Then children need to learn how to make productive use of time. For example, it takes “forever” to finish math homework when kids chat online between problems. Learning to stay off social media during homework time can go a long way to improving efficiency.

Sleep is also important for time management. It takes less time to learn material and complete homework tasks when the brain is rested, so it is important to make sure your kids get enough sleep each night.

Multi-taking is not efficient. Teach your childred to finish one task before they begins another one.

Procrastination never pays. If something is due today, make sure it is finished. Otherwise, the next day will be overwhelming.

Prioritize homework first. This prevents late nights and productivity problems.

Learning to manage time is challenging. Start teaching your child early and reward progress often!

 

For Parents: The End of the School Year Questions

The Huffington Post – Barbara Levy

“Before the school year comes to an end, it is that time of year to really find out how your kid(s) are doing at school. Do not wait for a call, make an appointment to meet for a check-in with your child’s teacher. Meet and ask questions…If there are any school concerns, you need to know them by now and hopefully plans are already in place. Review the current plan. The end of the year is too late. What areas need work? Does the teacher suggest any changes to the current plan in place?…If there is a problem, then what do you do? What is the chain of command? Meet with your teacher first.”(more)

5 Misconceptions About the Redesigned SAT

The Huffington Post – Chuck Cohn

“The College Board, who administers the SAT, launched a new version of the exam on March 5, 2016, once again redesigning and updating the test. This newest redesign intends to better determine students’ success in college, and to more accurately reflect the skills that students need in high school and beyond. The latest update also includes several changes that can lend themselves to confusion. Here are five misconceptions about the redesigned SAT:”(more)

Universities to introduce quotas for first-time applicants

The Helsinki Times – Jussi Niemeläinen

“IN the future, universities and other higher education institutions must reserve study places for applicants who have not accepted a study place in a degree programme or completed a degree in a Finnish higher education institution.
The obligation is set forth in a proposal presented for parliamentary consideration on 14 November by the Government as part of its structural policy programme.
The objective of the proposal is to increase the share of first-time applicants who receive a study place and, thereby, to expedite the transition of young people from secondary to tertiary education, says Immo Aakkula, a counsellor at the Ministry of Science and Education. Higher education institutions will also be obliged to accept transfer students – that is, students transferring from one institution or degree programme to another – and to grant them credits for their previous studies. Transfer students, in turn, will be obliged to forgo their previous study place upon their transfer to another institution or degree programme.”(more)