Monday, January 20, 2014

What is "Cool" for Winter?

The weather certainly draws attention to "cool" in middle school.  Many "high thermostat" students seem to not need a coat, hat or mittens while standing and waiting for the bus or walking to and from school.   Here are a few of my coat conversations:  "I have a coat but I don't like it", "I lost it", "It makes me look fat" and finally..."It's in my backpack, I'm not cold".  The same goes for the hat and mitten chat. "My mom made me wear this".  I thought it might be helpful to see what is trending at LMS. While furry bomber hats and wool coats are what is trending in the wider world, middle school students like to be the same. This is what is trending at our school. Neons, knits, scarves and foot gear hopefully will keep our students warm. Even with the spring thaw.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Homework and Organization

It's 2014 and time to REFLECT and LOOK FORWARD.  When the New Year starts we all think in terms of goal setting. It is a time we are all talking about.  When middle schoolers get back to school after the winter break the swing of school can be exciting or overwhelming.  Here are some tips to help them  GET ORGANIZED....
1.  Clean out that back pack.
2.  Use the Reminder's part of the Ipad to help keep up on scheduling and deallines.
3.  Ask your child to check on their locker and clean it out. Lunches can be very smelly AND fruit flies survive in winter.
4.  A zippered pencil case is still a tried and true way to manage all the pens and pencils that are needed for class.
5.  Pick one or two goals at home to accomplish homework and set up a chart in a daily place of viewing.  A refrigerator or mirror are a great place.
6.  Finally:  Routine and habits help students be ready for the school day.  What you can do at home to be ready for school.
       *have an area to homework where you can stop by and check in and monitor computer time              at the same time as homework.
      * if your child is a 7th or 8th grader part of their homework is to keep their Ipad charged.
       * There is always a requirement for reading at least 30 min.
       * Pack up the backpack and have it in a place you won't forget it in the AM.
If students like to do some self help reading there are many teen and tween self-help books that offer great encouragement and tips on being successful.
7.  CHECK, CHECK, CHECK:  6th graders have planners and 7th and 8th graders have folders and web based systems of keeping track of all things school.
8.  Give a tween or teen a job that is part of the process of getting things done in your home.
If you like an internet version. Here is a reliable site that answers all those questions. January is the perfect time to seek out the self help shelf:

If you are interested in a book on the topic of homework and organization check these out.  They are in my office too.