Category Archives: School

What To Expect on ACT Test Day

Good sleep? Check. Good breakfast? Check. Review our Test Day Checklist and get ready to test.

LEAVING THE HOUSE

  • Dress comfortably. Some test centers are warmer or cooler on weekends than during the week. Consider dressing in layers, so you’ll be comfortable no matter what the room conditions are.
  • If you’re unsure where your test center is located, do a practice run to see how to get there and what time you’ll need to leave to arrive by 8:00 a.m.
  • If you arrive earlier than 7:45 a.m., you might have to wait outside until testing staff complete their arrangements.
  • Bring snacks or drinks to consume outside the test room only during the break.

ARRIVING AT THE TEST CENTER

  • Report to your assigned test center by the Reporting Time (usually 8:00 a.m.) listed on your ticket. You will NOT be admitted to test if you are late.
  • Testing staff will check your photo ID and ticket, admit you to your test room, direct you to a seat, and provide test materials.
  • Be ready to begin testing after all examinees present at 8:00 a.m. are checked in and seated.
  • Please note that ACT may visit test centers to conduct enhanced test security procedures including, but not limited to, collecting images of examinees during check-in or other security activities on test day.

DURING THE TEST

  • Once you break the seal on your test booklet, you cannot later request a Test Date Change, even if you do not complete all your tests.
  • A permitted calculator may be used on the mathematics test only. It is your responsibility to know whether your calculator is permitted.
  • If your calculator has characters one inch high or larger, or a raised display, testing staff may seat you where no others can see the display.
  • Do not engage in any prohibited behavior at the test center. If you do, you will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored. For more details about prohibited behavior at the test center, please see Terms and Conditions (PDF).  Note: For National and International Testing, you will be asked to sign a statement on the front cover of your test booklet agreeing to this policy.
  • Also remember that cheating hurts everyone. If you see it, report it.

TAKING A BREAK

  • A short break is scheduled after the first two tests. You will not be allowed to use cell phones or any electronic devices during the break, and you may not eat or drink anything in the test room.
  • If you take the ACT with writing, you will have time before the writing test to relax and sharpen your pencils.

FINISHING UP

  • Students taking the ACT (no writing) with standard time are normally dismissed about 12:15 p.m.; students taking the ACT with writing are normally dismissed about 1:15 p.m.
  • On some test dates, ACT tries out questions to develop future versions of the tests. You may be asked to take a fifth test, the results of which will not be reflected in your reported scores. The fifth test could be multiple-choice or one for which you will create your own answers. Please try your best on these questions, because your participation can help shape the future of the ACT. If you are in a test room where the fifth test is administered, you will be dismissed at about 12:35 p.m.
  • If you do not complete all your tests for any reason, tell a member of the testing staff whether or not you want your answer document scored before you leave the test center. If you do not, all tests attempted will be scored.

*ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this service.

Source: http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-day.html

Getting College Credit Before College

You can improve your chances of graduating on time and may even save money on college costs if you earn college credits early. There are several ways to do this. These include testing out of college classes and taking college-level classes while in high school.

Taking college-level classes can help you graduate from college on time or early.

Ways to Get College Credit Early

Below are some options for earning credit before starting college.

Take AP Courses and Exams

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) offers college-level study in a wide range of subjects and allows you to earn college credit if you score high enough on AP Exams. AP courses stress deep learning, critical thinking and the application of knowledge.

Take CLEP Exams

The College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), accepted by over 2,900 colleges and universities, lets you earn college credit for the knowledge that you have already acquired. By passing any of the 33 CLEP exams, you can earn 3 to 12 credits toward your college degree and move to more advanced courses. The amount of credit you earn depends on the exam subject and the policy at the college you attend.

Participate in the IB Program

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program offers college-level courses that provide students with an in-depth, culturally diverse, global education. Certain colleges offer credit to students who earn high enough scores on IB exams or who complete the IB diploma program.

Take College Classes While in High School

Some high school students start their college studies while still in high school by taking day, evening or weekend classes at a local college. The rules for who can go and who pays the tuition are different in every state.

Benefits of College-Level Study in High School

Taking college-level classes in high school can introduce you to new academic passions and the excitement of exploring interesting subjects in depth. It can also help you:

  • Learn the time-management skills, study skills and discipline you’ll need in college.
  • Improve your chances of getting into the college of your choice.
  • Improve your chances of qualifying for scholarships.
  • Free up enough time in college for you to take part in programs like study abroad or to double major.
  • Graduate from college on time or early, which will save you money.

Your Next Move

Talk to your school counselor, principal or teachers to find out which options for earning college credit may work for you. And make sure that the colleges you want to attend will accept your credits.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/college-costs/getting-college-credit-before-college

20 Ways to Boost Your Baby’s Brain Power

At birth, your baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons (as many as there are stars in the Milky Way)! During their first years, they will grow trillions of brain-cell connections, called neural synapses.

The rule for brain wiring is “use it or lose it.” Synapses that are not “wired together” through stimulation are pruned and lost during a child’s school years. Although an infant’s brain does have some neurological hard wiring (such as the ability to learn any language), it is more pliable and more vulnerable than an adult’s brain. And, amazingly, a toddler’s brain has twice as many neural connections as an adult’s.

When you provide loving, language-enriched experiences for your baby, you are giving his brain’s neural connections and pathways more chances to become wired together. In turn, they will acquire rich language, reasoning, and planning skills.

  1. Give your baby a physically healthy start before he is born. Stay healthy while you are pregnant, and be aware that certain drugs can be destructive to your baby’s brain in utero. Many children who were drug-abused in the womb struggle with severe learning problems and suddenly act with unprovoked aggressive behaviors. Studies have also revealed that cigarette smoking during pregnancy causes lower fourth-grade reading scores.
  2. Have meaningful conversations. Respond to infant coos with delighted vocalizations. Slowly draw out your syllables in a high-pitched voice as you exclaim, “Pretty baby!” This talk is called “parentese.” The areas in the brain for understanding speech and producing language need your rich input.
  3. Play games that involve the hands (patty-cake, peekaboo, this little piggy). Babies respond well to learning simple sequential games.
  4. Be attentive. When your baby points, be sure to follow with your gaze and remark on items or events of interest to her. This “joint attention” confirms for your baby how important her interests and observations are to you.
  5. Foster an early passion for books. Choose books with large and colorful pictures, and share your baby’s delight in pointing and making noises — say, the animal sounds to go along with farm pictures. Modulate the tone of your voice; simplify or elaborate on story lines; encourage toddlers to talk about books. Remember that building your baby’s receptive language (understanding spoken words) is more important than developing his expressive language (speaking) in infancy.
  6. Use diaper time to build your baby’s emotional feelings of having a “lovable body.” Stroke your baby’s tummy and hair. Studies have shown that babies who are not often touched have brains that are smaller than normal for their age. Also, when diapering your baby, you are at the ideal 12 to 18 inches from her eyes to attract attention to your speech.
  7. Choose developmentally appropriate toys that allow babies to explore and interact. Toys such as a windup jack-in-the-box or stackable blocks help your baby learn cause-and-effect relationships and “if-then” reasoning. If a baby stacks a big block on a smaller one, the top block falls off. If he successfully stacks a small block on a bigger one, he “wires in” the information.
  8. Respond promptly when your baby cries. Soothe, nurture, cuddle, and reassure him so that you build positive brain circuitry in the limbic area of the brain, which relates to emotions. Your calm holding and cuddling, and your day-to-day intimate engagement with your baby, signal emotional security to the brain.
  9. Build trust by being attentive and focused. Babies who are securely attached to you emotionally will be able to invest more life energy in the pleasures of exploration, learning, and discovery.
  10. Use body massage to decrease your infant’s stress and enhance her feelings of well-being and emotional security. Loving touches promote growth in young babies. Research has shown that premature babies who are massaged three times daily are ready to leave the hospital days earlier than babies who do not receive massages.
  11. Enlist help from your toddler at clean-up times — a good way to practice categorization. Toddlers learn that stuffed animals have one place to go for “night-night” time; cars, trucks, and other vehicles also have their special storage place. Children need to learn about sorting into categories and seriation (placing things in order; for example, from littlest to biggest) as part of their cognitive advancement in preschool.
  12. Set up a safe environment for your crawling baby or toddler. Spatial learning is important, and your mobile child will begin to understand parameters such as under, over, near, and far. He will be able to establish mental maps of his environment and a comfortable relationship with the world in which he lives.
  13. Sing songs such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Ring-Around-the-Rosy.” The body motions and finger play will help your baby integrate sounds with large and small motor actions. Songs also enhance your child’s learning of rhythms, rhymes, and language patterns.
  14. Match your tempo to your child’s temperament. Some children adjust easily to strange situations, some are bold and impulsive, and some are quite shy. Go with the flow as you try to increase a shy child’s courage and comfort level. Help a highly active child safely use his wonderful energy while learning impulse control. Your acceptance will give him the comfort he needs to experiment and learn freely.
  15. Make meals and rest times positive. Say the names of foods out loud as your baby eats. Express pleasure as she learns to feed herself, no matter how messy the initial attempts may be. This will wire in good associations with mealtime and eating. Battles and nagging about food can lead to negative emotional brain patterns.
  16. Provide clear responses to your baby’s actions. A young, developing brain learns to make sense of the world if you respond to your child’s behavior in predictable, reassuring, and appropriate ways. Be consistent.
  17. Use positive discipline. Create clear consequences without frightening or causing shame to your child. If your toddler acts inappropriately, such as by hitting another child, get down to his eye level, use a low, serious tone of voice, and clearly restate the rule. Keep rules simple, consistent, and reasonable for your child’s age. Expecting a toddling baby not to touch a glass vase on a coffee table is not reasonable. Expecting a toddler to keep sand in the sandbox and not throw it is reasonable.
  18. Model empathic feelings for others. Use “teachable moments” when someone seems sad or upset to help your toddler learn about feelings, caring, sharing, and kindness. The more brain connections you create for empathic responses and gentle courtesies, the more these brain circuits will be wired in. This helps not only with language and cognitive learning, but with positive emotional skills, too!
  19. Arrange supervised play with messy materials, such as water, sand, and even mud. This will teach your toddler about the physics and properties of mixtures and textures, liquids and solids. During bath time, the brain wires in knowledge about water, slippery soap, and terry towel textures. Sensory experiences are grist for the learning brain.
  20. Express joy and interest in your baby. Let your body language, your shining eyes, your attentiveness to babbling and baby activities, and your gentle caresses and smiles validate the deeply lovable nature of your little one.

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/thinking-skills-learning-styles/20-ways-to-boost-your-babys-brain-power

The New SAT One Year Later

Saturday, March 11 will mark the one year anniversary of the redesigned SAT. So, how has the test fared one year later? Are the results what we all expected or is there still work to be done?

“Students prefer the new SAT by a 7 to 1 margin, saying it’s “easier,” “more straightforward,” and “way more applicable to what we’ve been learning in school,” according to a recent release from the College Board. But is an easier test properly measuring the students’ ability to showcase what they learned?

As a refresher, the changes include:

  • A focus on the areas of math that matter most.
  • A move away from obscure vocabulary words to the use of relevant words in context.
  • No science section. Science concepts are tested in the context of the reading passages.
  • Students now have 43% more time per question on the SAT than on the ACT.
  • No penalty for guessing.
  • A focus on command of evidence.
  • Scoring scale was adjusted from 2400 to 1600, and the essay is now optional

It appears that these changes have increased the students’ overall confidence going into the SAT. In fact, the release states that 80 percent of students feel more comfortable with taking the new SAT and 59 percent of students who have taken the exam in the past believe that it is easier that the original version. The results also show that a majority of students are seeing a correlation between what they are learning in school and what appears on the new exam.

In 2016, after the first batch of results revealed higher SAT test scores, critics began to question the validity of the test and whether these changes were just an easy way to increase scores. Critics like Dan Edmonds of Noodle Education “speculate[d] that the College Board may be intentionally inflating scores to attract more students” in an attempt to overtake the ACT as the most popular college-admissions exam, according to The Atlantic’s 2016 assessment of the new exam.

However, The Atlantic article also identified a number of likely explanations for the higher test scores, such as students “no longer [being] penalized for picking a wrong answer” and “also hav[ing] more time to answer each question on the test.”

Students have been receptive to the new changes, especially removing the penalty for guessing. Knowing this as a student may take some of the pressure off of guessing an answer you don’t know. Though, some would argue that it encourages students to guess more on the SAT. Despite questions that surrounded the SAT, the new exam is definitely receiving strong support from students, teachers and even parents.

“I felt comfortable answering the questions. The vocabulary was perfectly moderate, which helped since it was my first time! I’m very grateful it wasn’t as difficult as expected!” said Valentina of Florida, according to the release.

Meanwhile, results from the College Board’s survey finds that parents are six times more likely to prefer that their children take the new version of the test over the previous version. Also, six out of 10 teachers are in support of the new exam over the older format.

For students who are looking for a practice test, Khan Academy and College Board have joined forces for an online test that 70 percent of students find helpful.

“Unlike traditional high-priced test prep that focuses on strategies for taking the test and quick cramming, Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy supports and reinforces what students are learning in class by helping them focus on the knowledge and skills essential for college readiness and success,” according to the release.

The new SAT is still gaining positive traction one year later. While some may still need convincing, these numbers speak to the overall success of the exam.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: www.educationworld.com/a_news/new-sat-one-year-later-798413613

Staying Motivated in High School

To succeed in high school and college, you have to do your best at all times. But sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated, even when you really care about the work you’re doing. Here are five ways to stay on the right track.

1. Focus on High-Impact Activities

The key to success in school is staying focused on your course work. Make a list to get an overall picture of your workload before you start to tackle any of it. Then, make a plan. Although it’s tempting to do the simplest assignments first, those that take more time and effort to accomplish are probably the ones that you’ll learn the most from.

To determine what your priorities are, rank your assignments in the order of their importance. Then rearrange your time and devote more energy toward those that have the greatest impact on your course work and grades. For example, even though all homework assignments are important, studying for a midterm exam takes priority over writing a paragraph for English class. As you complete each task, think of it as another step on your way to college success.

You can handle any project in small chunks.

2. Create New Challenges

Changing your approach can help you stay interested in what you’re doing. If you’ve been given an assignment similar to one you’ve done in the past, think about it in a different way. If you wrote an essay for a creative writing assignment last year, try a poem this time. For book reports, pick a history book instead of another biography.

3. Set Attainable Goals

If you’re having trouble writing a 25-page paper for class because it seems like such a big job, don’t focus on that final number. Break the paper down and consider each section of your paper individually. You can handle any project in small chunks.

4. Find a Social Support Network

Create a group of people around you who want to help you succeed. Mentors can be teachers or family friends who can give you guidance and help you develop new skills. Counselors can help you with planning your courses and starting to explore colleges. You can also reach out to friends and peers who can motivate you by listening and sharing ideas.

5. Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

Give yourself a quick reward when you complete an assignment or task. Take a walk, send an email, get a snack — whatever works for you. Then move on to the next project.

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/inside-the-classroom/tips-for-staying-motivated

How to Beat State Test Stress

Losing sleep over standardized tests used to be something college-bound teenagers did. Now kids as young as 8 get panicky. All this agita stems from a federal law requiring public schools to give their students in grades 3 through 8 tests in math and English to make sure they’re reaching certain educational benchmarks. While some students don’t think twice about test days, others get seriously rattled. The pressure can affect their scores, and many kids complain about headaches, chest pains, and stomachaches.

These tips can soothe test-day jitters and help every child feel calmer, sleep better, and perform their best on the big day.

ONE MONTH BEFORE:
  • Put it in perspective. To gauge your child’s state of mind, ask how they are feeling about the test, suggests Dr. Bailey. If they are fine, move on. But if they are jittery, say, ‘”This is just a way to see if the kids in your school are learning everything they need to know.” You can also point out that the test score is just a small piece that makes up who they are, along with their sense of humor and drawing chops.
  • Tweak bedtime. For your child to get a full night’s sleep the night before the test, they have to have a good routine going now. If not, “make sure homework gets done right after school, and move dinner to an earlier time,” says Grolnick.

 

THE WEEK BEFORE:

  • Pump up the energy. Add some fun physical activities, like a family bike ride in the late afternoon or some drop-in karate classes. They’ll help your child snooze better at night. Plus, they will produce feel-good endorphins that can relieve stress and boost positive energy, notes Dr. Bailey.

 

THE NIGHT BEFORE:
  • Relax and have fun. Cramming vocab or practicing division problems isn’t going to calm your kid down — or even help them do better, says Dr. Bailey. Instead, plan something that will take everyone’s mind off the test, like family game night or a pizza party. A healthy snack an hour before bedtime and a soothing bath will help them nod off.

 

THE MORNING OF:
  • Fill her up. Start the day off right by serving up a morning meal of complex carbs and protein, says Dr. Bailey. Greek yogurt with fresh (or frozen) fruit and honey or oatmeal with nuts are way better than sugary cereals, which can just cause your child to crash when they need energy the most.
  • Be on time. Kids can get anxious about arriving late and then having to rush to prepare for the test, so set the alarm ten minutes early to get everyone out the door without last-minute chaos.
  • Connect with a friend or teacher. Talking about pre-test jitters with a teacher or a close pal can be a good way to chill. “Not only will it make your child feel less isolated, but it’ll release some of the nerves they may have,” says Dr. Bailey.

Omega Learning® Center offers State Test Prep customized program offers your student an initial evaluation test, completion of practice test sections, review of missed questions, strategic remediation, and validated test-taking strategies. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school.

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/study-skills-test-taking/how-to-beat-test-stress

High School Classes Colleges Look For

If you’re in high school and you’re thinking about college — you should know that the courses you take now matter. That’s because college admission officers want to see a solid foundation of learning that you can build on in college.

To create that foundation, take at least five solid academic classes every semester. Start with the basics, and then move on to challenging yourself in advanced courses. The courses listed below should prepare you for success in college and beyond.

English (Language Arts)

Take English every year. Traditional courses, such as American and English literature, help improve your writing skills, reading comprehension and vocabulary.

Math

Algebra and geometry help you succeed on college entrance exams and in college math classes. Take them early, so you’ll have time for advanced science and math, which will help show colleges you’re ready for higher-level work.

Most colleges want students with three years of high school math. The more competitive colleges prefer four years. Take some combination of the following:

  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Calculus

Take at least five solid academic classes every semester.

Science

Science teaches you how to think analytically and how to apply theories to reality. Colleges want to see that you’ve taken at least three years of laboratory science classes. A good combination includes a year of each of the following:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry or physics
  • Earth/space science

Schools that are more competitive expect four years of lab science courses, which you may be able to get by taking advanced classes in these same areas.

Social Studies

Improve your understanding of local and world events by studying the cultures and history that helped shape them. Here is a suggested high school course plan:

  • U.S. history (a full year)
  • U.S. government (half a year)
  • World history or geography (half a year)
  • An extra half-year in the above or other areas

Foreign Languages

Solid foreign language study shows that you’re willing to stretch beyond the basics. Many colleges require at least two years of study in the same foreign language, and some prefer more.

The Arts

Research indicates that students who participate in the arts often do better in school and on standardized tests. The arts help you recognize patterns, learn to notice differences and similarities, and exercise your mind in unique ways.

Many colleges require or recommend one or two semesters in the arts. Good choices include studio art, dance, music and drama.

Challenging Course Work

To ready yourself for college-level work, enroll in challenging high school courses, such as honors classes, AP courses or IB-program courses. You may even be able to take college courses at your high school or a local college.

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/your-high-school-record/high-school-classes-colleges-look-for

State Test Preparation

Schools require standardized benchmarking “high stakes” tests to determine each child’s level of curriculum comprehension. Most states administer the standardized tests yearly in the spring for students in 3rd through 8th grade. These standardized tests can have a significant impact not only to the school but also to your student. The state test results are vital and may affect your student’s academic placement in future years, and even prevent promotion to the next grade level. No matter how you feel about this controversial assessment tool, it’s important for your child do their very best.

Now your student can take the state test before it counts! Omega Learning® Center administers a free State Test Evaluation to help students better prepare for their upcoming state test. Omega’s free State Test Evaluation is an an initial state-specific test administered in a proctored testing environment. Omega’s State Test Evaluation also includes completion of practice test sections, review of missed questions, strategic remediation, and validated test-taking strategies. Students benefit by taking Omega’s initial evaluation test to help our certified teachers customize each student’s test prep program.

Schedule your free State Test evaluation today! Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school.

January Parent Action Plan

1. Talk to your child.

In terms of school, ask your child how things are going with school and what subjects are their most and least favorite. Ask what they wish would happen so that the rest of the school year is awesome. Find out what he or she thinks are their areas of strength and need. Then share that information with his or her teacher. (More on this in #3.)

Ask about their friends and classmates. Decide if their extra-curricular activities are working out or not. Find out any help is needed with school and friends.

Does your child need you to check in every night? Does your child need to pack his or her backpack each evening before bed? Does your child need to spend less time with a certain friend? What can you, as a parent, do to help?

2.  Get organized.

Help your child organize their backpack and folders. Clean out all of the old so there’s room for the new.

Go through your family folders, emptying out the papers you no longer need. If you have a central “command station” in your house (usually your kitchen, mud room, or office area), clean it out.

Replenish your child’s school supplies, tend to broken binders, run the lunchbox through the washer. Make sure that everyone — and every thing — is geared up to begin the New Year fresh and ready to learn.

3.  Send an email to your child’s teacher.

Make it short and sweet and simply ask if there’s a time you can chat about your child’s progress. Perhaps it’s over the phone, or maybe it’s in person. Maybe email is best.

Share with the teacher what your child told you about his or her needs, and see what you all can do to make it happen. You are a team when it comes to your child’s education; you must all work together to ensure your child’s school success. Make sure the teacher knows that you’re here to help!

Before we know it, we’ll be wrapping up the school year, so don’t let January pass by without adding these three important topics to your to-do list!

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/blogs/scholastic-parents-raise-reader/3-things-all-parents-should-do-their-kids-january

5 Tips for New Year’s Math Goals

It’s that time of year again, setting goals for a fresh start ahead! The New Year is a great time to not only reset yourself but also have your children evaluate themselves and their school year. How are homework routines going? Are math facts being practiced nightly or weekly? Are good study habits being implemented at home? These are some of the questions we want our children to be thinking about and asking themselves to gain more responsibility and independence. And this time of year is the best time to do it!

1. Setting Goals: Create a fun environment for your children to set new goals for the rest of the school year. At no point do we want them to think of this as a punishment. It could be creating a poster, writing them on different colored index cards, typing them on the computer in fun colors/fonts, or even developing a PowerPoint or Google doc. We want these goals to be reflected on throughout the rest of the year so place them where you and your children can easily read them.

2.    Homework:  Homework routines and schedules should definitely be reflected on. At this point in the school year, many activities can change from the fall and after-school responsibilities increased. So it’s important to review the homework schedule and make adjustments as necessary. Are assignments being turned in on-time?  Are homework corrections being made either in school or at home? Consider cleaning out and reorganizing the homework folder. Does the order in which homework is being completed need to change?

3.    Math Facts: Children of all ages should be reviewing math facts. (A basic math fact is any mathematical number, fact or idea instantly recalled without resorting to strategies.*) This is true for all four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Often, reviewing basic math facts, like the times tables, falls to the wayside as the school year progresses, but it’s very valuable and should be incorporated into daily or weekly routines. Consider switching it up a bit and taking a break from the boring flashcards. There are great apps or websites to practice math facts. You can play math war with cards or dice. Even “beat the clock” can be fun, when kids try to complete facts faster than you doing them on a calculator.

4.    Tests/Quizzes: Good study habits should begin at a young age. Most teachers give a few days’ notice to quizzes and/or tests. It’s important that all students see this time as a preparation period and begin to implement strong study techniques. Reviewing old quizzes/tests is a great way to start looking at incorrect answers and evaluating common mistakes. Incorporating children in this process is incredibly powerful.

5.    Problem Solving: Focus strongly on problem solving when setting goals. Word problems are an area that most students need to improve on in mathematics. Many students can solve the problem, but have a difficult time explaining and showing reason for how they solved it. Incorporating math vocabulary is a great way to increase problem-solving skills. Considering setting a goal that is age appropriate where children have to use 1-3 math vocabulary words in the problem solving explanations.

Whatever goals you and children set for the New Year, remember to keep them obtainable and within reason. The focus should not be on getting perfect test scores or being the fastest, but more about making small improvements that will have a lasting effect on the whole student!

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/blogs/scholastic-parents-learning-toolkit/5-tips-new-years-math-goals