Part 2: Learning May Not Be Simple–The Student’s Perspective

In Part One of our “Learning May Not Be Simple” series, we discussed the complexities of presenting new information in an average classroom, as well as how a teacher’s management of the class can influence the learning process.  The following highlights the student’s perspective and the complications of understanding new information, particularly for high school…

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Learn HOW to Learn: The Legacy of Mr. Coombs

At this time of the school year–after first semester grades and well-into the next semester–I receive increased requests for tutor referrals.  Parents and students naturally assume that a less than expected grade in a class is due to content deficit–that somehow the student just “isn’t getting it”; “it” being the ideas and concepts presented in…

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Teaching Style Can Create Stress Among Some Students in a Classroom of Thirty Five Students

Today’s podcast is an edited conversation with a client (high school junior) who was attempting to identify pressure surrounding the day-to-day academic grind. Within the broader conversation, the student suggested that the teaching style of their AP English teacher was creating undo stress and anxiety on the part of the student and their family.

College Applications: Beware of Hidden Obstacles

Stress and seniors.  For us, at this time of year, the two words are synonymous. Senior teachers are marching forward with their curriculum and homework assignments, seemingly without regard for the time, effort and mental space required to focus on college applications, especially essays. Seniors, in their typical teenage wisdom, are continuing to attend EVERY…

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Grades Don’t Only Measure Learning

Grades are a complex mix of a student’s performance meeting the teacher’s grading standards, managing assignments so they’re completed & returned to the teacher on time, AS WELL AS actually learning the concepts in class.  Too often, the last part–the learning & understanding–is the only part that consumes students’, teachers’ and parents’ efforts, when a…

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Standardized Testing: The Good, The Bad and A Hmmmm…Moment

Bob Schaeffer of FairTest, an organization committed to a fair use of standardized testing in K-12 schools and college admissions, recently spoke with Creative Marbles about assessments.  Our conversation reminded me of questions I’ve been asking since I was a beginning teacher, “How do we know (i.e. grasp clearly in the mind) what another has…

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California’s Budget Shortfalls: Opportunity for Improvement?

The reported $3 Billion shortfall in tax revenues for California may mean: Increases to tuition and fees at community colleges, CSU and UC campuses–expanding the overall cost of a college degree in California Continued cuts to services, like counseling and librarians, for K-12 schools. Families may have to increase their volunteer hours to fund-raise for…

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