Thursday, August 6, 2020

Organizing for Successful Students

Have you ever fallen through that internet rabbit hole where you look at the time and realize you've been scrolling for 45 minutes (or more) and have no idea what you just read?

This can happen to our students too, especially when much of their work is done on a computer. In order to organize their time, they may need some "scaffolding", an organizational structure on which to hang their assignments. We want to give students a way to manage their time so that they can complete assignments with the greatest amount of learning and the least time wasted.

Since CCS uses G-Suite for Education and Google Classroom, there is a built in structure or scaffold for students to take advantage of. For example, the Google Classroom has a feature called the To-Do list which shows students all of the assigned work they have for all of their classes. They also have access to their Google Calendar which will show them, by date, when upcoming assignments are due. Parents might want to take a look at this helpful video called, "How to Use Google Classroom for Parents!" to get some practical tips. Although each teacher's Google Classroom may look a bit different, each one will explain expectations for assignments, link students to required resources, and allow students to turn in their work digitally.

Students in grades 6-12 have access to email which they can use to contact their teachers for assistance. A meaningful subject line and clearly stated question will allow teachers to respond most helpfully.

The FACTS Family Portal lists the lesson plans for each class each week and provides a basic structure to follow. These lesson plans can be printed out and used for reference when completing assignments in Google Classroom.

Although paper assignment books may seem like a thing of the past, some students benefit greatly from a hands-on, check-it-off-when-done approach to completing their school work. 

So, as we approach a new school year, let's leverage all of the technology we have available, along with some good old fashioned pencil and paper tools, to help students stay organized and make learning happen!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

"Common Sense" Tech Help for Parents

With the glut of information, websites, apps, games, YouTube Channels, TV shows, and films out there these days, parents might need some help to figure out what is appropriate for their children of different ages. We want to know what's good, what's great, and what we might want to avoid. Younger and younger students have access to media, many on their own phones or devices, or those of their friends. This infographic illustrates "Media Use by Tweens and Teens 2019." It is pretty astonishing!

Having open and transparent communication within our families regarding the choices we make when it comes to media is a key factor, of course. But we might need some help and expert information about what is out there. I suggest checking out Common Sense Media. This website is always up-to-date and will give you some great insights on the latest movies, TV shows, and apps. Though the site is not coming from a Christian perspective, it is a great first place to turn for information which you can then interpret through a biblical lens. It can give you a springboard for discussing the choices that your you and your children make concerning media. They have "Best of..." lists, reviews, parent guides (like this one on "5 Conversations to Have with Your Kids After 'Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker'"), and much more. Check it out, and feel free to let me know what you think!