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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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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Five Tips for Helping Students with Special Needs
Special education teachers face a unique set of challenges, and so do the parents of special needs students. Keep reading to learn some practical tips for making your life as a special needs teacher or parent easier.

They say that teaching is a thankless job – not only are teachers underpaid, but many of them dedicate countless hours of their free time to do extra work for their students. Being a teacher, in general, can be very difficult, but being a special needs teacher comes with its own unique set of challenges. Whether you are a special needs teacher or the parent of a special needs child, keep reading to learn some helpful tips for making the most of your child’s education.

What are the Challenges of Working with Special Needs Students?

Compared to most other professions, the burn-out rate for special needs teachers is extremely high – approximately 50% of special education teachers leave their jobs within just 5 years. Teaching is a difficult and stressful career in and of itself, but special education adds an extra layer of difficulty. Some of the biggest challenges of working with special needs students are as follows:

  • Lack of parental support. You can pour your heart and soul into your efforts as a special education teacher but if the child’s parents are not on board, all of that work could be for nothing. Having a positive relationship with the parents of your students is essential.
  • Lack of appreciation. Teachers do not teach because it is a prestigious or high-paying career – they do it for love of the students. Still, a little appreciation goes a long way, especially in a challenging and stressful field like special education.
  • Too much paperwork. Every special needs
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Challenging Your Gifted Student
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.

This video discusses teaching 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
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10 Best SAT Prep Methods
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 a 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 risk of overloading and

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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.
 
This video from PBS discusses reinventing summer school to avoid learning loss.
 
 
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.
 
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