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  • 7FIle Photo

    Your guide to getting ready to hit the books

    Tuesday August 7, 2012 Vol. I, No. 1

    SPECIA

    L PRE

    VIEW

  • 2 | August 7, 2012 Back To School www.youarecurrent.com

    Going back to school isnt just for kids.To get a better job, I needed to go back to college. At Indiana Tech, my personal admissions representative showed me how I could balance my hectic life and complete my degree. She helped me customize my schedule with a mix of online and classroom courses to put me on the fast track. If you need to prepare for a better job or a whole new career, check out Indiana Tech.

    Lyndsay KnoxAdmissions

    Representative

    Find out more at www.IndianaTech.edu/CPS.

    Call Gloria or Duncan at 317.863.3450 for classes forming now in Fishers and online.

    Commentary by Jordan Fischer

    Going back to school means going back to a routine of sitting down and focusing, which can be difficult after the freedom of summer.

    Im no educational psychologist, but after a four-year undergraduate degree and roughly eight years off-and-on of meeting daily and weekly deadlines, I think Ive learned a few methods of tricking your mind into working. For those about to head back into the studying fray, I thought Id share a couple:

    Dont mix work and play areas. Once you get to col-lege, this becomes a big one, but with more and more students and schools moving toward laptops, it can apply to anyone. You dont have to get a separate computer to do your school work on, but at least sit in a different chair than where you do your lounging. If you typically sit on the couch at night to watch some TV, dont sit there with your laptop and try to do work. Your brain habituates itself to what you typically do in a setting, so if youre in your play seat, youre going to be in play mode.

    Design your space to facilitate work. If you have the luxury of a dedicated work space, even if its just your bedroom, set it up to facilitate work. Keeping floors and workspaces clutter-free has a similar effect on your brain. Find work-inspiring decorations and fill your space with those I like books and cooler, fall colors.

    Noise can be your friend. Research has shown that music at around 60 BPM (roughly the tempo of a lot of classical music) and background noise in coffee shops can

    actually improve focus and learning. And, much like the first tip, listening to the same type of music each time you study can have a training effect on your brain. I had a roommate in college, for example, who would lis-ten to Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley each night before he began studying. It worked for him, he said, although sometimes he would hear it inadvertently and feel a sudden urge to visit the library.

    Set time limits. Nothing is more disheartening than looking ahead to an endless night of studying. Keep your spirits up by setting time limits, especially for challenging subjects. For those who need a little bit of extra pressure to focus (my category), knowing you only have an hour to complete a task can help. On the flip side, knowing youre going to be free of algebra in an hour can make it a little easier to crack open the textbook.

    Write the first sentence. This is more for essays, but the concept applies. A lot of times, the hardest part of any task is getting started. So I developed the habit of just jotting something down on the page to get some momentum going, knowing I would rewrite the lead sen-tence later. For math assignments, just knock out an easy problem before tackling the big ones. Momentum is key to feeling like youre making progress on the task ahead of you, and that feeling is the key to pushing through it.

    Back to school and brass tacksBACK TO SCHOOL

    Back to School ChecklistKids going back to school are pros at knowing what to bring. But for those heading to class for the first time, heres a handy list of must-haves for your first day of kindergarten (or first grade):

    #2 Pencils (12) Crayons (24) Glue Sticks (2) Box of Tissues Pink Eraser Broad Tip Markers (8) Pair of Safety Scissors Pencil Case Wide-Ruled Spiral Bound Notebook Pocket Folders (3)

    For those heading off to high school for the first time, you might consider adding some of our 9th-12th grade items to your list:

    White Glue Washable Felt Markers Lined Paper Blue Pens (10) Red Pens (3) Ruler 1 Binders (2) Subject Dividers (8) Scientific Calculator Pocket Dictionary Thesaurus Highlighter Pens (3) Student Planner Stapler Staple Remover

    Jordan Fischer is the managing editor of Current in Carmel. You may e-mail him at jordan@youarecurrent.com

  • www.youarecurrent.com Back to School August 7, 2012 | 3

    BACK TO SCHOOL

    DISTANCE LEARNING AND NETWORKING - The Higher Education Academy has found that employers favor distance learning as a method of delivering career-related study. Stephen Hoare, writing in the guardian, reports that distance learning degrees catering to mid-career profession-als are a growth area for many universities. Another reason distance learning is proving popular among professionals is that it provides unique networking opportunities. Some degree programs give access to forums where one can ostensibly discuss assignments with students, but has the side effect of providing one with a lifelong professional network. - Higher Education Academy

    APPS FOR SPECIAL-NEEDS STUDENTS - Almost every student has a cell phone with access to the internet. Even without internet access there are educational applications for iPhone, iPad, An-droid, tablets and so on. All one must do is search with one device. The methods for teaching stu-dents and special needs students are expanding. Some schools are going "all iPad." This means all students will have iPads with digital textbooks and new learning tools. Some of the new learning tools out there that are especially helpful for special-needs students are educational applications. There are subject-specific applications that include many different learning strategies. There are interactive lessons with peaceful nature sounds in the background. There are interactive quizzes with state test questions in a game format. Daily topic-specific news updates, fun educational videos from YouTube and flash cards-by-topic are other features some of these educational apps. Search and see. - Special Education News

    HOME-SCHOOLED STUDENTS TOTAL 4 PERCENT? - As the dissatisfaction with the U.S. educa-tion system among parents grows, so does the appeal of homeschooling. Since 1999, the number of children who are being homeschooled has increased by 75%. Although currently only 4% of all school children nationwide are edu-cated at home, the number of primary school students whose parents choose to forgo traditional education is growing seven times faster than the number of students enrolling in K-12 every year. Any concerns expressed about the quality of education offered to the students by their parents can surely be put to rest by the consistently high placement of homeschooled students on standardized as-sessment exams. Data shows that those who are independently educated typically score between the 65th and 89th percentile on such exams, while those attending traditional schools average in the 50th percentile. Furthermore, the achievement gaps which are long plaguing school systems around the country, arent present in homeschooling environment. Theres no differ-ence in achievement between sexes, income levels or race/ethnicity. - Education News

    CURRICULUM MATCH TECHNOLOGY? - Academic performances of students wont improve purely with the introduction of digital gadgets, like Apples iPad tablet computer, into the classroom. Schools that wish to get the most out of the technology must first do away with a curriculum that is geared towards the 20th century tools. But before jumping feet first into education technology, people in charge must first figure out exactly what they want to achieve from this integration. Technology

    continues to play an ever greater part in society, so its no wonder that some view the conversion from an analog to digital classroom as a necessary step to-

    wards preparing kids for that kind of future. But administrators must think beyond simply

    replacing a pen with a stylus, and try to tease out the problems that

    could lend themselves well to technological solu-

    tions. - Education News

    The iPad can be an effective tool in the presented curriculum is current.

    Home-schooled students score well on standardized tests.

  • 4 | August 7, 2012 Back To School www.youarecurrent.com

    Studies show that parental involvement has a direct positive benet on students academic achieve-ment. If youre looking for new ways to support your childs school, here are seven ideas on how you can help make your childs school a better place:

    Join the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).Your schools PTA is one of the most important links between you and your childs school. It is designed to enhance school-parent communication and help parents be more involved in their childrens education. PTA will help you get to know teachers and other parents and learn the most effective ways to suggest and implement changes at your school. Enrich the learning experience. Great schools do more than teach students what they need to know for standardized tests. Find ways to enhance your childs classroom. Talk with the teacher or principal about potential enrichment activities and ask how you can help.Share your knowledge. Perhaps you have an interesting job, hobby or life experience that you could share with a class or group of classes. If leadership is your strength, consider devoting some time advising a edgling but important student group. Improve communication. At any schoo