This post is to update our current students, their families, and potential new customers of our plans over the school shutdown. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at any time! Below is information about scheduling for tutoring, test preparation, and at the end of this post, there is information about a free resource we are providing to all PreK-2nd grade families in Warren and surrounding counties.
Joe Deaton is the founder and President of Bluegrass Learning.
We've seen many students missing a fairly easy ACT math question they learned in Algebra I but may have forgotten. This video will show you how to answer this simple word problem. It could mean an extra point on your ACT math score.
Most high school juniors in Kentucky have received their ACT results from the statewide March test. if you didn't get the score you were hoping for, try the below tips on your next attempt. I have included a few of our favorite strategies that students learn in Bluegrass Learning ACT prep classes.
There is a general test taking tip, plus tips for each section of the test (English, Math, Reading and Science). If you would like to learn more, check out our upcoming ACT prep class dates in Bowling Green.
General exam tip: The ACT is a formal test, therefore, it is predictable. Questions and answers are structured in a certain way.
Sending your child off to school for the first day of kindergarten can be stressful for your child, and for you as a parent. This article from Parents Magazine has great tips from the American Medical Association. They explain how to overcome separation anxiety so the first day of school goes smoothly.
For a checklist of other kindergarten readiness skills, download this free 'skills checklist.' It comes from our Family Five parent video series and lists everything your child should know and be able to do upon entering kindergarten.
If your children are 'old pro's' going into higher grades, share this post with family or friends...especially those who are sending their first child off to kindergarten!
There is a horrible secret in the world of education technology. School leaders don’t want to discuss it and EdTech companies won’t admit it. An Assistant Superintendent or VP of Sales might even hire a hit man because I’m revealing it.
OK, it’s not that serious, but it is a big problem.
Don’t shoot the messenger, but here you go: Most EdTech initiatives undertaken in K-12 public schools fail.
I don’t have hard data to back that statement up. After all, who wants to measure something no one is willing to talk about? I do have more than a decade of working with schools, talking to educators and reading the news to tell me it’s probably true.
From what I’ve observed, new initiatives either die in spectacular fashion, never getting off the ground in a meaningful way, or they linger on for a few years (maybe 2 years, but rarely more than 4) before finally succumbing to a slow and painful death.
Most are slow dying initiatives. The district selects a new product, rolls it out to students and teachers who stumble along for a few years, and they never see the expected results.
It is easier for you to learn new information when you have a strong vocabulary. Research has shown that it helps with more than learning. A strong vocabulary has also been linked to income level and upward mobility.
Robert Marzano and Isabel Beck are two influential education researchers who study vocabulary development in children. I won’t be able to do them justice in a short article so you may want to go directly to the source to learn more. Both researchers have books, papers and videos that are easy to find with a simple internet search.
In the book Classroom Instruction that Works (Marzano, Pickering and Pollock, 2001), the authors list five key generalizations about vocabulary instruction:
Parents Are Struggling To Read Messages From School. How Educators Can Improve School-to-Home Communications
This paragraph is written on a 7th grade level. Actually, I ran it through a tool to get a ‘readability score,’ and it came in at a grade level of 7.1, which is slightly lower than the average reading level for adults in the United States. Calling it 7th grade is close enough. The rest of this paragraph includes a tip for writing to parents. When you write for families, it should be very easy to read. If it isn’t, parents may not understand what you send them and your message will not be heard.
Now buckle up while I say the same thing again.
This paragraph is written on a college level. It was analyzed using a readability calculator that assigns a Flesch-Kincaid grade level equivalency and it scored a 14. Actually, it came in at 14.1, which is higher than the college and career readiness benchmark for graduating seniors, but rounding it down to 14 is adequate for our purposes. The remaining information in this paragraph addresses the importance of writing so family members understand your communications. While it is essential for educators to provide letters, documents, forms and tip sheets to parents, guardians and caregivers, while doing so they must remember to write at an appropriate level. If you compose these documents at a level which is too high for the average reader, you should realize that many family members will find it difficult to understand your message.
Do the above paragraphs basically say the same thing? Unfortunately, most school documents for families sound like the second paragraph. Research from the US Department of Education suggests up to 85% of parents may struggle to understand content written at that level.
We know how important it is for families to be 'involved,’ ‘engaged,’ or ‘empowered.’ We even know what type of parent involvement is most effective. Student performance increases when parents set high expectations and work on learning activities at home.
So why do parents struggle to do these two things?
Kentucky Children Who Did Not Attend Head Start, Preschool or Childcare: Two-out-of-Three 'Not Ready' for Kindergarten.
In early August each year, 5 year-olds across Kentucky take their first official test in our public schools. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) just released the Kindergarten Readiness (K-Ready) results from the 2016-17 school year.
The data shows we have much work to do in the Commonwealth.
Data tables from KDE News Release (Dec 7, 2016)
The ‘all students’ group has shown almost no growth in the last 3 years. In 2014, 50.0% of students were deemed ‘ready for kindergarten.’ Last year, that rose to 50.1%. There was no change this year, with ‘all students’ still at 50.1%.
There are some bright spots in the data.
Navigating PTO and PTA fundraisers isn't easy. You must select the right product, round-up parent volunteers, distribute order forms, track purchases, collect the money and deliver orders. It can be such a hassle that many PTO’s are choosing to skip the fundraisers altogether and just ask for donations.
Whether you prefer the traditional fundraiser or “no hassle” pledge drives, there is a passive fundraiser you should consider. It’s administered by Amazon (they call it the Amazon Smile Program) and they return part of purchases to the shopper's charity of choice.
Here is how it works:
We are educators who believe out-of-school time is critical to student success.