Victory is not found in a grade but in doing the little things over a long period of time. Doing five things every day is what 100 freshmen will experience this summer at Connections at Washington High School. Here is an overview:
During a semester don’t throw anything away. But it in a box at home. This simple process of carrying a piece of paper home rather than throwing it away means that 100% of all paper is either in their backpack or the Box. It’s a simple, no-stress hack for managing paper that means that every paper is available and nothing is lost.
Practice and Ponder
We talk so much about studying and too many students have no idea how to do it. Some of this lack of studying is rooted in a fixed mindset. Students believe that they have it or they don’t and studying would not change that reality. That needs to be challenged. We will attend to this with a number of great YouTube videos and discussions about growth mindset. (Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset Animation)
Personalize and Post
Students need to write their name on each paper like them mean it. I believe that good homework starts with a well printed name at the top of the paper that declares ownership and a desire to do excellent work. Too often I see sloppy, abbreviated names atop a poorly done assignment.
Students also need to adopt a new name. It’s their name plus the date or at least the day. This is a great organizational structure and a folder is just the next level.
Lastly many freshmen do not have a signature so we spend a period doing just that. (How to Design Your Own Amazing Signature)
Persist and Prevail
This ties into a growth mindset as well. I want to prepare students to NOT understand. It will happen. This shouldn’t be a shock. It shouldn’t generate despondency. It requires engagement not avoidance. But first it requires a little peace. Chill. Don’t be surprised. And then persist.
Pencils and Pens
If you don’t have your gear, the deal is done. It is completely unacceptable to not have a pencil or pen all the time. We set this expectation and this goal.