Teachers on Call

Archive for August, 2017

Note Taking Strategies for a Successful Start to High School

Note taking strategies

Great note-taking skills can help you do well at school, preparing you for classes, essays, and exams. It’s a skill that will serve you all of your life, yet it rarely gets taught.

We’re here to help with fourteen strategies to incorporate into your note-taking routine to maximize your academic results this school year:

Add the date and title: You’ve been told this trick for years, but it’s worth a reminder. Never lose track of which class your notes belong to with a date and the title of the course.

Leave space: Leave space to add in more information whether you ask a question in class.

Get decorative: Use doodles, boxes, drawings, different coloured pens, and highlighters to make important points stand out.

Take notes in your own words: Whether listening in class or reading a text, write down the text in your own words.

Add examples: Especially helpful for math and science subjects, write down the example the teacher shares in class and label all the steps; this will be an invaluable reference when studying.

Pay attention to what’s on the board: If your teacher wrote something on the board, you could be sure it means they want you to take notice. Write it down and highlight it in some way. 

Review your notes: The day or weekend after class spend 20-30 minutes reviewing your notes and take note of any questions you have remaining.

Rewrite your notes: For some people rewriting notes into a Word Doc or in Google Docs helps them to organize their thinking, note areas of difficulty and have easy to read study notes.

Mnemonic devices: These are helpful for remembering the tricky material. Remember BEDMAS (brackets, exponents, divide/multiply, addition/subtraction) from middle school? Make up your own mnemonic device to memorize.

Write down all your formulas: Highlight these in your notes. Write them down first when studying and do this during an exam, too.

Make a study guide: Will your notes be used for a test? Take the time to combine your in-class notes and any reading into one document.

Add important dates to your agenda: Use your notes to help you plan how much time you will need to prep for a test. Add in dates to review and consolidate your notes in an agenda.

Use sticky notes: Did you come across some relevant information but run out of room on your paper? Write or draw down the new info on a sticky note and put it on top of the section of your notes it belongs too.

Figure out your method: As the year progresses, you’ll start to see a pattern emerge for how you like to take notes. The best way to take them is in a way that works for you! Keep it up!

Posted in: English Tutoring, History Tutoring, Parent Education Resources, Special Education Tutoring

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Four Back-to-School Trends To Rule The School Year

Back to School

After a long summer away from the classroom, the shift to back-to-school can be a stressful time for families. It’s tricky to change pace and step back into a routine, but a smooth transition is achievable through planning, talking with children about their feelings, and of course, shopping for essential supplies.

Here are 4 of the latest school trends that will get everyone in the family prepared for a successful school year.

Litterless Lunches

Reusable containers continue to rule for back to school lunches. Families who choose to use eco-friendly lunch containers have so many choices that are great for the environment and their wallets.  Among our favourites are colourful lunch totes, stainless steel insulated water bottles, and bento boxes that make packing healthy lunches simple.

Supplies with a social conscious

Staples carries ME to WE school supplies which are perfect for the socially minded child, letting them see the educational impact of each purpose using a unique tracking code. This collection includes binders, lunch bags, and backpacks.

Canadian-themed products

Canada’s big birthday isn’t over yet! Students can continue to celebrate Canada 150 all through the school year. Staples has patriotic products including animal and lumber jack 150th-anniversary pencil pouches,  Hilroy moose themed planners, and Merangue Canada beaver pens.

Tech tools that rule

Technology in the classroom is here to stay with schools embracing STEM learning, Makerspaces, and some even adopting bring your own device programs. There are so many neat tech tools and apps that support student learning, but one of our current favourites is Tile, the personal item tracker. Students can use it for locating all their lunch boxes, sports gear and even cell phones.

What’s more, fun that shopping for back to school?  A giveaway from Staples for a back-to-school product bag, valued at approximately $300, full of the coolest trends and essential supplies PLUS a $50 Staples gift card.

Teachers on Call Back To School Giveaway

The bag will include over 25 items including: Maxwell Action Kids Headphones, Whoosh webcam cover, Avery Emoji Binder, Merangue Emoji Pen, Sistema Ice Rod and Snack Attack Container, Elmers Slime Glue Set, Mr. Sketch Scented Markers, Staedtler Wopex Eco-Friendly Pencils, Crayola Doodle Scents Markers, Staples 2 Port Wall Charger and much, much more!

Entering is simple. You can win the Staples back-to-school package and gift card by entering below! We’ll announce the winner on August 25th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in: Educational Technology

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5 Tips to Prepare for the First Day of Kindergarten

Back to School Kindergarten

Time flies and your child is finally ready to go to kindergarten.   You’ve spent the last couple of years practicing reading and counting along with learning about colours, letters and playing with other children.

While your child is taking a big step forward in their growth, it is also important to ensure they feel comfortable and are ready for kindergarten.  Here are five tips to prepare for a successful transition to kindergarten:

Get Comfortable: We would recommend to tour the school in advance and make driving past the school part of your summer routine.  Some parents may ever want to practice going to do school in advance.

Listen: Discuss with your child what he or she is looking forward to about kindergarten and where they might have challenges.  If your child is nervous about something,  listen to their tone or see their expressions.   Be encouraging and support them where needed.

Make a Routine:  Start to build a back to school routine and adjust bedtimes and other schedules several weeks in advance.  That way the first day of school is not a sudden transition for your family.  The night before the first day, lay clothes out in advance, have lunches packed and allow for plenty of extra time.

Be Organized: Understand the school year calendar and policies in advance.  For example, what forms do I need to fill out and are their any food policies.   Finally, have your child’s items labelled.  Mabels Labels sells excellent products.

Stay Positive: Most importantly relax and be positive.  Show excitement about this wonderful milestone and don’t make drop off too big of a deal.

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

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Back-to-School Advice from Julie Cole

August - Back to School

The Four A’s of August

It’s hard to believe the summer is winding down, and the school season is fast approaching. September can be a busy and chaotic time for families as they transition back into every day routines.

To get the lowdown from a true parenting expert, we consulted Mabel’s Label’s co-founder and mother of six, Julie Cole, to share her tips on preparing for back-to-school time.

To take full advantage of the month of August when students are out of school, Julie suggests parents focus on the four A’s of August:

Appointments - Take advantage of the break to set up doctor, dentist, eye (and any other appointments) now so your children can avoid missing any school in the fall.

Academics - Over the summer holiday, learning loss popularly referred to as “The Summer Slide” can occur and studies have shown that students can experience a potential decline over this time.  Use the next month to focus on reading every day, making math fun and taking summer educational field trips.

Adjusting Schedules - Encourage children to ease back into their school routines to avoid experiencing an abrupt change the first day of school.   Getting back in the swing of things a couple of weeks early will make the first day of school much easier!

Activities – Take the time now proactively to plan, register and decide which extracurricular activities your kids will be doing. Look at the family calendar and consider your budget. Remember that you don’t have to say YES to every activity they want to do!

Enjoy the rest of summer and follow these four A’s to make back-to-school time a breeze!

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

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Preparing for Back to School

Preparing for Back to School

Summer is about half way over and it is hard to believe that school is coming soon.  While many families still have vacation time planned, it is never too early to start planning for back to school.

Here are some tips below for your family to be in great shape before the start of the school year.

Adjust Your Routine: The summer can bring later bedtimes and we would encourage children to ease back into their school routine rather than having a quick change before the first day of school.   Getting back in the routine a couple of weeks early will make waking up the first day of school a breeze!

Build a Transition Plan: For students starting Kindergarten, Middle School, High School or switching schools, it can be a big transition. Here are some helpful tips for a successful transition to Kindergarten, Middle School and High School.

Ease Family Stress: Transitioning to a new school year can be hard for parents and students alike. There are a lot of unknowns when school begins, and this uncertainty can cause jitters. Here are ten simple but effective strategies you can use to help reduce back to school worries.

Stay Focused on Avoiding The Summer Slide: You have worked hard with your family to continue to read and do STEM activities in a fun and engaging way.  Keep up the great work as it will pay off in leaps and bounds when your child is ready for school and avoids any gaps from the prior year.  For tips on avoiding the Summer Slide, click here.

Back to School Shopping:  Starting early and looking for sales is a great way to save money on clothes, school supplies and other items.  Check out Staples Canada Back to School Centre for great deals.

Healthy Meals: Snacking and meals can be tasty and fun.   We have consulted nutrition expert and guest presenter for the Marilyn Denis show, Miranda Malisani for advice on healthy snacking and eating.   Click here for tips to stay healthy during the school year.

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

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