Improving Learning

A comprehensive look at the latest trends, expert advice and recent studies into improving student learning. Explore the latest studies into links between student performance, sleep and music. See why schools are opting for later start times and year round schedules.
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Updated May 11, 2017 |
What You Need to Know About Behavioral Intervention Plans
Children are going to act out - that is a fact of life. But when does a minor behavioral problem turn into a major issue? Keep reading to learn more about behavior intervention plans and how they might be able to help your child curb problem behaviors in school and at home.

You have undoubtedly heard the saying, “Kids will be kids”. This saying is based on the reality that sometimes children exhibit bad behaviors and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are bad kids. But some children take this saying to an entirely different level – their behavioral problems become so bad that they are becoming disruptive in school, unresponsive in social situations, or even dangerous to other kids. If your child is exhibiting problem behaviors at school, you may want to talk to his teacher about creating a behavioral intervention plan.

What is a Behavior Intervention Plan?

A behavior intervention plan (BIP) is simply a plan that is designed to reward and reinforce positive behaviors. Behavior intervention plans look different in every instance because they are customized to a specific student and toward specific behaviors. Some of the problem behaviors that a BIP can be used to address may include the following:

  • Inappropriate language at school
  • Being disruptive in class
  • Aggressive behavior toward students and/or teachers
  • Becoming withdrawn or unresponsive
  • Refusal to do classwork and/or homework

There are several important steps that must be taken in order to develop a behavior intervention plan. For one thing, you need to identify the target behavior(s) that you want to address. Does your child throw things in the classroom? Does he refuse to remain quiet while the teacher is speaking? Does he refuse to do any of his homework or classwork? Once you’ve identified the problem behavior you want to address, you then need to determine what your child gains

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Published October 10, 2016 |
Simple Tips for Boosting Your Child’s Testing Performance
Poor testing performance is not always an indication of low intelligence. If your child struggles with testing, take the time to identify his individual challenges then work with his teacher to practice and improve his skills.

When you ask your child about what he learned in school, he can probably tell you what subject he studied and rattle off some relevant facts. But when he brings home a test on the subject, you don’t see an “A” marked in red at the top of the page. Many parents do not realize that testing is not necessarily an accurate measure of your child’s intelligence, or even of his ability to understand certain subject matter. Testing is a skill and some children simply struggle more than others.

If your child seems perfectly intelligent and hardworking but still struggles when it comes to testing, you shouldn’t just brush it off. Testing is an important part of most school curriculums so it will benefit your child to take action sooner than later if he struggles with testing. Keep reading to learn more about why your child might be struggling and what you can do to help him.

Does Your Child Struggle with Testing in School?

Your child may be bright, or even gifted but he could still be struggling in school – especially when it comes to testing. It is very common for intelligent students to test poorly but, unfortunately, they are evaluated more on their test results than on their actual intelligence. The truth of the matter is that some children are simply better at testing than others – it is not always an accurate measure of intelligence or of the student’s understanding of the material. But what factors influence your

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Updated November 26, 2015 |
How to Make Sure Your Gifted Student is Properly Challenged
Gifted students often fail to thrive in traditional academic environments because they are not being challenged. In this article you will learn how to make sure your gifted student gets the quality education he or she deserves.
Gifted students need to be challenged.

A commonly cited statistic suggests that as many as 20% of high school dropouts are gifted students. Does this statistic surprise you? On one side of the coin, you might think that gifted students would be more likely to excel in school than traditional students. On the other side of the coin, it makes sense that gifted students might drop out of school if they are not properly challenged. If you are the parent, guardian, or teacher of a gifted student then it is your duty to make sure they are pushed hard enough to meet their maximum potential.

Myths and Misconceptions

The statistic quoted earlier could be interpreted in different ways. Some might assume that gifted students will excel no matter what kind of schooling they receive while others might be able to see that gifted students are often bored in traditional classrooms which leads to a higher dropout rate. Before getting into the details regarding how to properly challenge a gifted student, it is important to address some common myths and misconceptions about gifted students.

  • Gifted students will do fine in normal classrooms. According to a study conducted by the Fordham Institute, over 50% of teachers have not received any professional development in regards to teaching gifted students. Furthermore, nearly 75% of those same teachers admitted that the brightest students in their classrooms are often bored or under-challenged in school. These statistics highlight the sad truth that, unfortunately, many teachers simply are not equipped to deal with
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Updated April 16, 2014
10 Best Ways to Prepare for the SATs
The SATs are a make or break exam for high school students. Check out the 10 best ways to prepare for the big test.
Like it or not, the SATs are a critical opportunity for students to prove themselves to college admissions committees across the country.

If you want to be at the top of your game, you need to develop an effective strategy to prepare. We spoke with some of the top experts in college admissions to find out more about the best ways to prepare for the SATs.

1. Start Reading

If you have a lot of time to prepare, the first step is get reading. Richard Bernstein, Executive Director of Huntington Learning Center (Cherry Hill, NJ and Turnersville, NJ), says this is crucial. “If you have a year to prepare, read, read, and read some more.” 

2. Create a Balanced Study Regimen

Build a study pattern that will get you ready for the test. Students can effectively study in group, one-on-one sessions, or by themselves. No matter what you do however, make sure you don’t overload and always keep a reasonable study/life balance.

Setting goals is only useful if they are realistic. The best way to be productive during crunch time is to “schedule play activities first into your calendar, then your work.” Piers Steel, a professor at the University of Calgary, says in a NerdScholar study piece. “It makes sure there is a payoff for being productive.”

A student who elects to devote an inordinate amount of time to studying for the SAT may run the
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Published June 07, 2013 |
10 Tips for Surviving Summer School
For students who must make up classes in summer school, or simply want to get ahead of the game, there are simple ways to make the class time easier to handle. Check out these survival tips if you are summer school bound.
Summer school may be a requirement if your child did not pass one of his classes during the school year. It might also be a choice for a student that wants to get ahead for the upcoming academic year. No matter what the reason might be behind the summer school choice, it can be challenging to hit the books when everyone else is enjoying vacation time. Check out these 10 tips to help your child survive and succeed in his summer school efforts.
 
Avoid Learning Loss
Is summer school the right choice for your child, or would a break from the stress and strain of class be more beneficial? According to a 2003 study cited at GreatSchools.org, summer learning loss can be a concern for parents of struggling students. The study found students lost up to one month of learning by the time they headed back to school in the fall. This gap may be even higher for students who traditionally struggle with academics.
 
Choose the Right Class
Some summer classes may be filled with remedial students or students with severe learning disabilities that do not serve to motivate your own student to success. When searching for a summer class, consider the environment your student will be working in, to ensure it will breed success. The right class will be well worth the cost if your student is able to succeed.
 
Online or Classroom Choice
Today’s summer student has the choice between online and in-person classes. According to the Wisconsin Journal
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Increasing birth rates among immigrant families from Asia and Central and South America, combined with lower birth rates among white families, means that for the first time in history, public school students in the United States are majority-minority. This shift in demographics poses difficulties for schools as they work to accommodate children of varying language abilities and socio-economic backgrounds.
May 11, 2017
Children are going to act out - that is a fact of life. But when does a minor behavioral problem turn into a major issue? Keep reading to learn more about behavior intervention plans and how they might be able to help your child curb problem behaviors in school and at home.
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