Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Avoiding the summer slide

American students on average lose 2-3 months of reading and comprehension skills over the summer. As educational professionals, we find that alarming. Luckily there are things you can do to keep your teen’s brain ready for knowledge all summer. Here are three suggestions for avoiding the “summer slide.”

The simplest way to keep the summer slide from getting the best of your child is to encourage reading of any kind. It is important to be excited about anything your child chooses to read, not just academic books or literary classics. Whether your child likes comics, mysteries, sci-fi, or non-fiction—all reading is good for the brain.

If your child isn’t a big reader, movies about true stories are another avenue to get them thinking about history. Find movies that relate to your child’s interests and it can spark a fire for more knowledge. For example if your child enjoys movies about animals, try nature documentaries or movies like Secretariat, Balto, or Temple Grandin.

Summer Camps
If your teen is more outdoorsy or just wants to learn about something different, look into camps in your area. Community Colleges offer a wide range of interesting classes for high school students that aren’t available during the typical school year. This summer CPCC is offering classes for every interest (see what’s available at http://cpccsummerexperience.com). If your teen is looking for more of an adventure or sports, check out camps at area colleges or YMCA camps. Larger schools like UNCC, Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest offer camps in sports like soccer, basketball, cheerleading, and lacrosse.

Friday, March 29, 2019

The SLANT Technique for Students

As a student, you might not yet have realized that the right attitude can help to get you where you want to go. Showing your intent to learn and having a good attitude is the easiest way to persuade teachers to go out of their way to help you when you are struggling. These simple steps can help you show your teachers your intent to learn, even in the hardest subjects. 

Sit up
Lean forward
Ask questions
Nod your head
Talk to your teacher

It might seem like these things would not be enough to make a difference. But if you apply yourself to SLANT, your teachers will recognize and appreciate the change. And if you continue to practice these steps, over time they will begin to be second nature to you. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Target Strategy

In continuing with our blogs about writing strategies, here is another approach that might work. The Target Strategy is a strategy that can help a writer at the beginning of the drafting process. It can also help keep a writer focused and organized while working. 

Time, Audience, Reason, Goal, Excitement, Tone
Time: Pick a time period, work for that period, and then take a break. Studies have shown that our brains can only focus on one thing for 45 minutes to an hour. Embrace taking breaks as a way to keep you sane while writing. 

Audience: Never forget who your audience will be because it can make a world of difference in how you write. If your audience is a teacher or professor, you need to be more formal and scholarly. On the other hand if you are writing to friends or something more informal, you can be more relaxed and use everyday language. 

Reason: Make sure that your writing has a clear purpose. Whether you are writing to educate or entertain, it should not be hard for the reader to figure out what you are trying to do. 

Goal: Before you start make sure you can define the goal of your writing. And as you write, make sure everything connects to that goal.

Excitement: What about this subject is important to you? If you write about what is exciting for you personally, it can help make your writing be more significant to your audience.

Tone: Always make sure your tone matches with the subject matter. Having a clear tone can express how you feel and how you want readers to feel.  

Friday, March 8, 2019

Before You Write

Sitting down with a blank page when you have to write something can be daunting. When writing, knowing where to start is a big part of the battle. One of the simplest ways to write a good paper is to make sure your thoughts are organized. Here are two easy strategies that can help you get prepared to write a well-structured paper.

Fast write
Take a set amount of time, perhaps 3 minutes, and write as many ideas about the subject as possible. This helps you get out creative thoughts as they come, without worrying about if they make sense for your paper. 

Clustering is similar to Mind Mapping (see previous blog post). The difference is that you do it quickly and aren’t focused on the organization of it. Start with your main idea in the center, and create branches as your creative thoughts start to flow. 
Making sense of it all
Don’t worry if your page starts to look confusing because the purpose of these strategies is to get all your thoughts to a place where you can see them. Once you have written down all your thoughts on a subject, you can start to group together thoughts by which ones are similar. This way you can create an organized structure which can be used for writing your paper.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Parents & Social Media

Your child being on social media is pretty much unavoidable. You can try and keep them off major social networking platforms or keep them from having a phone, but one way or another they will find a way to the things they want to see. Here are some tips for dealing with teens and social media.

Get Informed
Learn about the popular social media platforms and how they work. Understanding the way they work will help you know more when you hear your child talk about what they are doing online. Read reviews in your app store or look for videos on Youtube from credible sources that can help explain different sites.

Talk to them about it
Don't be afraid to ask your kid about their social media--what they are on, how platforms work, and who they use it to talk to. Sometimes kids tend to forget that social media can be like a watering hole in the desert. You can surround yourself with your friends and family, but there is nothing to stop predators from joining you if you aren't careful. Remind them of the danger of speaking to strangers online, and how public the internet is.

Trust that you have raised a good kid
Social media can be a way to give kids a little taste of freedom while they still live at home. If you know your kid has good common sense, have faith in them to make good choices. 

Get on and add your kids
As a kid, I wasn't allowed to have a Myspace (man, that makes me sound old) if I didn't add my parents. If you are nervous about what your kid is doing on social media, make them add you so you can keep track. This is a good idea, especially if you are struggling to trust them.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Get To Know The Staff - Mr. Poux

 So what I'm thinking is maybe this is the best experience at a job
I've ever had. It just seems that everything ever experienced,
good,bad,ugly- every job in my life has culminated in this wonderful
experience. Intensive training in theater arts with a bit of
Psychology for good measure from Carnegie-Mellon University. Some good
years in New York City, some great years in Atlanta, and a whole new
life here in Charlotte; teaching, working with disadvantaged,
tutoring, even opening a cupcake-froyo shop. 

All of these, all of these dreams fulfilled have led me to the ultimate fulfillment. This experience at Trinity Prep, a gift of absolute charm. Working with these individuals, teaching them various textures of life; some
history,  lots of literature,and being able to share a passion of
mine, drama. Not the drama of life going crazy. That hides in my silly
brain and imagination. But the historic part. Historic and artistic.

The stuff that speaks truth and makes us dream and cry and pledge a
goodness beyond what we can fulfill. The things I teach level the
field, most importantly teach both me and the young men and women
that...well... we are good, we are bad, but Oh, we are complete. I
love watching these students growth experience themselves and Truth
throughout their theater experience. So far away from growing up in
Akron Ohio, being here in beautiful Charlotte, I must admit if I can
reach any other dream in this lifetime, I would request a Super Bowl
for the Cleveland Browns.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Get To Know The Staff - Mrs. Ennis

Hi everyone!  I have been teaching for nearly ten years.  I started teaching back in 2007 but took a few years off from 2013-2017 to pursue a different career.  However, the teaching profession called me home.  I teach because I love helping students unlock their potential through education.  I love when students get new things and are excited about what they can accomplish.

I did not start out on a path to teaching.  As a Biology major, I always leaned toward medicine or research.  In fact, my previous graduate studies were in Microbiology.  It was at East Tennessee State University that I figured out that I was a bit too social to live in the lab.  However, as a graduate teaching assistant, I discovered a love for teaching.  So, I shifted gears and used the lateral entry program to gain a teaching license in North Carolina.

I consider myself a life-long learner.  I am currently finishing up a dual Masters of Public Health/Masters of Business Administration program that will be completed in December of this year.   So, this semester, I am a full-time student, a full-time teacher, and a full-time mom.  I do not have much free time.  However, when I do get it, I love spending time with my son, reading, traveling, baking, and napping.  Yes, napping.  There is a napping contest somewhere in the world with my name on it.

I used to enjoy running, and I completed a half marathon in 2016.  I hope to get back into running after school is finished.  I would like to get back to running 5Ks and 10Ks.  I am not sure if I want to do another half yet.

I am an avid UNC Tar Heels fan.  I spent some of the best years of my life in Chapel Hill.  Chapel Hill will always have a special place in my heart.  I also enjoy watching the Carolina Panthers.

This past summer, I was able to take my son to Disney World for the first time.  That was a fantastic experience, and he loved it!   He was excited about getting on an airplane for the first time, and he is already looking forward to his next trip to anywhere.  Though, he really wants to go out of the country.

I came to Trinity in January of this year, and I absolutely love it here.  I love that I get to teach science to students rather than teaching to a test.  I love that we can explore student interests and make science real for them.

Avoiding the summer slide