For Classroom Teachers

Raising Awareness & Building Skills Missing in Today’s Grads

The detailed College Smart® Teachers’ Guide sparks highly interactive classes.
  • It uses captivating ways to involve students and show them real-world connections to what they are learning now.
  • Its daily message? The skills students practice now are crucial to succeeding in college and life.

Some samples

Answer: Being able to talk well “dresses” you for success.
Answer: By repeatedly going to the same restaurant, you “learn” how to get there. Repetition is vital to study.
Answer: No one asked about measurement. Engineering used English units. NASA used the metric system.

Answer. It takes an average 23 minutes and 15 seconds1 to get back “on track”. Share this link with students. Research says “even when you retrieve your topic, you’re not working at the same capacity you were pre-distraction.”

Ask students: Do you look at your cell each time it makes a noise?

Answer: To practice talking. Poised talkers are respected. They often become leaders. Talking well takes finding the courage to speak — and practice. Like shooting baskets: You keep trying. Dr. Bob shows you how to practice in private.
Answer:  They should. One for friends. One for adults. One for figures in authority. Students should be able to shift.
Answer: By using a variety (16) of College Smart® tactics, students will learn different ways to absorb information. Benefit? Using different methods relieves monotony. It “layers on” learning by coming at information from different directions. You should have a “collection” of effective tactics to call upon. The College Smart® book lists 16.
Ask students to share their experiences using these tactics with the class as they adopt them. Perhaps once a week for a month.

How a College Smart® class discussion is like a basketball game

First ask students to explain, What’s entailed in basketball teamwork? Jot down answers where students can see them.

Next, ask them to apply basketball awareness on the court as it applies to a classroom in detail. Help students explore all the similarities, if needed. List these also.

In a good discussion, ideas are passed around like the ball. “Players” all work together.

  • Players are always aware of what’s going on: the actions of other teammates on the court
    Why? this awareness helps player try to “move the ball toward a goal.” ( Like listening during discussions and asking questions.)
  • In the classroom
    – Students toss around ideas like a ball.
    – Some score and others don’t.
    – But all students paying attention, all working together to reach the goal: learning/understanding.
    – A student answers a question.
    – Other students (acting as teammates) may add to the answer, or ask the student to clarify (do you mean….? )
    – Or ask How does that work?)
    – Or challenge a point.
    – Or correct a detail (make a “save” in sports lingo).
    – Or support an idea” (an assist) Yeah, that’s right because…
    – Or draw a conclusion (an assist.)
  • What do the classroom and a workplace meeting have in common? Answer: Both pass around ideas, build on each others’ thoughts,  point out an advantage or a shortcoming from different angles, and reach conclusions.
basketball player

The Big Concept: These are prized traits. Leaders have them. They are what today’s graduates lack

The classroom should teach “working with others” and “learning together in a group.”

WHY? The classroom is the place to practice for contributing in the college classroom, study groups, and the workplace meeting rooms.

Your mind is your Operator’s Manual for Success. Critical Thinking Skills are your power tools.

Ask students to create a list of Critical Thinking Skills and explain how they work.

In Your Operator’s Manual for Success — Critical Thinking Skills are your power tools.

Choose an athletic event, a historical event students have studied — or a movie/novel/short story with which they are familiar.

Prompt them with questions, applying Critical Thinking to the subject to better understand it.

Explain how they work.

  1. observing
  2. analyzing
  3. interpreting
  4. reflecting
  5. evaluating
  6. inferring meaning
  7. understanding what’s happening
  8. problem solving
  9. making decisions
3 books image

That’s why I wrote my College Smart® books. They present every dimension of a student’s academic development one-by-one

They fall into 12 categories. Students see — maybe for the 1st time — what’s involved in learning.

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