Our Favorite School Supplies

Our Favorite School Supplies

Skills 4 Life’s Favorite School Supplies

With endless options for school supplies, it can be overwhelming to know what to purchase. We work with many students who have overly complicated systems, making it difficult for students to stay organized and find what is needed quickly and easily.

Here are our top school supply picks to create a simple, unified system that students in middle and high school can use:

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Top 7 Note Taking Tips

Top 7 Note Taking Tips

Every day students are taught information they are expected to learn, process, and apply during testing. But, if students aren’t retaining what they’re hearing in lectures or reading in books, they won’t be able to recall the information and use it in real life.

Writing accurate notes and creating effective study guides is an important tool for students to learn. Yet, note taking isn’t part of the academic curriculum in many schools, and parents and teachers often overlook this key study skill.

Therefore, we must teach our students strong note taking strategies to help them excel in school and life.  

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Abbreviations for Note Taking

Abbreviations for Note Taking

Abbreviations Increase Note-Taking Efficiency & Recall

Writing accurate notes and creating useful study guides are essential tools for students to learn.

Studies show that students who implement solid note-taking strategies take higher quality notes and recall information better. This is especially true for students with learning disabilities.

Students can increase their note-taking efficiency by writing in short sentences and using abbreviations.

An abbreviation is a shortened version of a word or phrase. Abbreviations allow a student to write down critical points quickly so they can listen more and write less.

As a result, students can absorb valuable information in real time and then memorize it later using their notes. 

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Help Your Child Manage Test Anxiety

Help Your Child Manage Test Anxiety

Top 3 Tips to Help Your Child Manage Test Anxiety

This guest post is written by Dr. Aviva Bass-Huh, a licensed clinical psychologist in Boulder, CO.

We all want our children to do well at school and it can be frustrating when you watch your child show up and do the work but then not test well. For many students, test anxiety hinders their ability to perform. When children are anxious, it affects how they think, what they feel in their bodies and what they do. These three parts interact, and a change in one influences the others.

For example, just hearing about an upcoming test can trigger the fear of failure and paralyzing self-doubt in a child. If the student thinks they’ll get a bad grade, they may become nauseous and start to fidget. As a result, their anxiety escalates further, and the child feels like all the material they’ve learned has slipped out of their mind, preventing their ability to perform well on the test.

This cycle is fairly common. Fortunately, there are some simple steps students can take to manage their test anxiety. Here’s the top three ways your child can harness their anxiety and use it to perform better on exams:

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Strategies to Improve Your Study Skills

Strategies to Improve Your Study Skills

Children are taught new information every day in school, but in order for it be meaningful or useful, they have to be able to remember what they learn and apply it in different contexts.

Improve Your Study Skills for Lifelong Learning

Studying teaches children (and adults) how to grasp concepts efficiently – a skill that they’ll use in the classroom as well as the boardroom. Therefore, study skills aren’t just important for acing this semester’s test, they’re also important for how we learn throughout our life.

The best way to develop effective study skills is through strategy and practice. So, let’s discuss some of best strategies for building strong study skills: (more…)

10 Tips for Successful Proofreading

10 Tips for Successful Proofreading

Does your child incorporate proofreading as part of their written work? Most of my students think that as soon as they put their final ending punctuation mark on their writing, it’s done!

The ability to assess and correct one’s own performance is a metacognitive skill. When students have a weakness in this area, they may neglect to proofread and check their work. Some students have difficulty staying on topic and veer off in a different direction or go on a tangent, losing sight of their topic or goal. Others make careless errors by rushing through their work or not paying attention to details.

Tips for Successful Proofreading:

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Online Research Tips & Techniques

Online Research Tips & Techniques

Having gone through school before the age of personal computers, I had to do research the old-fashioned way- at the library. And let me tell you, it required significantly more planning and work!

First, you had to plan to get to the library while it was open. Then, you had to physically search for books and articles and hope that they weren’t checked out by another student. Once you’d found the materials you needed, you then had to make sure you had enough dimes for the photocopy machine. Oh, and remember scrolling through miles of microfiche? Was I the only one who got dizzy and nauseous every time? (more…)

12 Steps to Use Your Planner Like a Pro

12 Steps to Use Your Planner Like a Pro

Use an Academic Planner

If you’re like most of my students, you are probably thinking that you don’t need to use an academic planner because you can just remember your homework, projects, and upcoming tests. Guess what? That will work until it doesn’t! Some things are bound to slip through the cracks, and then you will end up with missing assignments or grades that don’t reflect your capabilities.

Trust us on this one, academic planners are extremely useful tools to help us manage our daily activities and achieve our goals. It’s like having an external brain to help you remember things. (more…)