We’ve all at one point or another had difficulty learning something. Whether it was Chemistry in high school, Algebra in Middle school, or even Art in kindergarten, we all needed to find a way that we learned best.
Many students today focus on the Procrastination-Cram method, where they wait until the last day or hour and try to “cram” as much information in their head as possible. Other students maybe use memorization or repetitive mnemonics to help them recall the information.
But, what teachers and professors are finding out is that there are small good things that can help with the big bad work they have to complete. Anthony D. Fredericks, Ed.D speaks of many “laws” about teaching/learning in his book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Success as a Teacher. I found a way to condense them into 3 easy techniques.
The first technique is Content. Relevance, association and interest play a big part in what you are teaching. Make sure you are using examples that your child can understand and relate with. But, not just things that are new.
The second technique is Interaction. Your student wants bright, colorful, moving parts. They want to be able to see and feel that they’re doing something that has impact. Just like when you work and you get paid, they seek that direct causal relationship between input and output. Which leads us to the last technique.
The third technique is Effect. Your child needs to see the effect when there are no moving parts. The reward and the challenge needs to exist. Overcoming a challenge can be a reward in itself. But, if the task becomes to cumbersome, a reward at each milestone can help them move forward.
Hopefully, these techniques can aid you in assisting your child or student in many ways!
This year, Firewall Centers aims to focus and expand its already prevalent service footprint in Broward County. Students who are a part of Firewall had their first opportunity of the new year to serve our local senior community by visiting Artis Senior Living of Davie. Many of us would like to imagine that the seniors of our community are enjoying their years reminiscing on all of their life memories. However, many are not experiencing that because they have been placed in nursing homes where they have limited contact with family and friends. An estimated 60% of residents in nursing homes never have a single visitor and spend weekends, birthdays, and even holidays by themselves.
How can Firewall make a positive impact on changing this reality? Students from both Plantation High School and Western High School were brought to Artis Senior Living of Davie, where all of the residents are experiencing symptoms of dementia. This gave our students the opportunity to model the servant leadership lifestyle that is a part of everything that Firewall instills.
Daily, our students are being taught the importance of having good character and serving the people around them. When the idea was presented to the students they were excited for the opportunity to be the first visitor for many of the residents. At Artis Senior Living of Davie we spent time with the residents by doing crafts, listening to music, and playing games. The students also talked with the residents and heard about their different life experiences. Two juniors from Plantation High School expressed that they are excited to go back and talk to one of the women that they spent time with.
This month for Valentine’s Day, our students will be making handmade cards for residents living in different elderly care centers. This is their third year doing this. We love seeing our students serve others!
Firewall partnered with Lauderhill 6-12 STEM-MED Magnet School, where we just finished our first program school year, to launch a brand new summer program on June 11th. Serving over 35 incoming 6th and 7th grade students for 3 weeks, the program consisted of a full day of academic and character-building activities.
In the morning, Firewall Mentors delivered hands-on activities that reinforced important academic skills such as mathematics and Language Arts. They also taught life skills to students using Firewall’s character building curriculum and emphasized the importance of servant leadership as students learned about acts of kindness and how each of them could help transform their communities.
Students learned how to set “SMART” (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals and created their own PowerPoint presentation on a specific goal they wanted to achieve this coming school year. “While doing my SMART goals, I realized what I want to do in ten years is harder than I thought. This is why I need goals,” said Nyrdgie, an incoming sixth grade student. Additionally, students also engaged in innovative projects with their science teachers pertaining to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
The summer program not only gave students the opportunity to continue their academic success past the school year, but it also helped provide a smooth transition from elementary to middle school for the incoming sixth grade students. One of the students, Anika, believes she can now enter middle school with more confidence thanks to the program. She said, “I did not know how to solve equations, and I learned it here. It feels so good to go into 6th grade knowing I am better prepared.”
The summer program ended June 30th and we are excited to serve Lauderhill 6-12 students again this August!
There’s a lot of talk about HAPPINESS these days… How to find happiness, the benefits of happiness, and what does it really mean to be HAPPY?I think we can all agree that even though TV commercials and movies tell us that success = happiness, it just isn’t the truth. No matter what lies we want to tell ourselves:• Once I finish school, I’ll be happy• When I get “that” job, I’ll be happy• Once I get married, I’ll be happy• When I am successful, I’ll be happyThe TRUTH is that SUCCESS DOES NOT EQUAL HAPPINESS.You can stand in line at the grocery store and read any celebrity magazine to prove that being beautiful, successful, or rich does not make you happy.So how do I find HAPPINESS?Step #1. Admit that your not going to find it in something you buy, do, or achieve.
These things may make you feel good for a little while but soon there is something else your going to be wanting. True happiness is found in the journey!Step #2. Make HAPPINESS a habit. Being happy is not some magical mystery, you have to train your brain to be happy. Experts say it takes 21 days to build a habit, start your habit today, choose something to help you focus on being happy and set a goal to do it for 21 days.Harvard studies proved this significantly can change your mindset to run on HAPPY.• Do something creative. Write. Paint. Compose the next song about being happy. Just do something fun and artistic.• Be thankful. Every day. And just don’t think it. Share with someone why you’re grateful.• High five someone. Tell them how awesome they are and let them know they are important, this can be through email, social media, or in person. By making someone else’s day it will make you happy!• Journal. Write down 3 things you are thankful for.• Surround yourself with happy people. It’s infectious.And so is this song: