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The Best Apps to Help Students Succeed in School

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Yes! There’s an App for that.

While technology can be understandably distracting to students it can be useful in helping them succeed too. These days there is an app for everything. I have compiled my favorites and categorized them for students. This list is meant to address the whole student, not just academics. There are apps that help students with anxiety, time management, study strategies, and life skills.  I am not advising to download all these apps. Some of them are very similar. Check them out and see which ones will work for you. Click on each app to learn more.

Time Management and Organization

Combating Stress and Anxiety. Get Motivated.

Productivity Apps for the Gamer

Study Tools

Group Work/ Study Buddies

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Melanie Black of Student Futures is a trained academic life coach for students and teens. She has a passion to help students succeed. Academic coaching helps develop life skills for students as well as gives them academic strategies, which help to decrease anxiety and stress in students. Contact Melanie Black today for a free consultation at Melanie@studentfutures.org or (904) 487-8269.

 

Student Planner for School

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The Student Futures planner for students is ready for purchase!

Academic Coach, Melanie Black is dedicated to helping students with time management. she has created a planner with the whole student in mind. The 6 month planner contains a wheel of life as well as a mission statement activity so students can build a foundation for success. It has a standard monthly layout, a customizable weekly layout, and weekly reflection pages that help students stay on track with their goals and keep track of their grades. Other features include list pages, inspire me pages, as well as 25 pages for notes. The 8.5 x 5.5 planner comes in a customizable 3 ring mini binder which has two pockets on the inside as well as two pockets on the outside. The Student Planner is $20

Mission StatementWheel of LifeStudent Sample Weekly LayoutStudent Reflection cropped

Parents, we didn’t forget about you!

We created a planner for you too! The parent planner is filled with great features to help you not lose your mind. This planner is similar to the student planner except the wheel of life is tailored to adults and the weekly reflection pages are designed differently, in a way that helps you evaluate your week and keep track of your goals. Plus, each week this planner contains a meal planner and shopping list. Personally, I have started off the year using this planner and can’t live without it! The Parent Planner is $22. For $20 we also have a Go Getter Planner which is the same as the Parent Planner except it does not contain a meal plan and shopping list.

Monthly Layout 2Weekly LayoutMeal PlanReflection Page Mom

Melanie Black of Student Futures is a certified academic life coach for students and teens. She has a passion to help students succeed. Academic coaching helps develop life skills for students as well as gives them academic strategies, which help to decrease anxiety and stress in students. Contact Melanie Black today for a free consultation at Melanie@studentfutures.org or (904) 487-8269.

 

 

Students and Time Management

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In my experience as an academic coach time management is one of the biggest issues for students. Rightfully so, considering it is is not taught in school. Most of the time students have to figure out how to manage their course load, athletics, community involvement, etc. on their own. Sometimes assignments don’t get done or supplies are forgotten at school. Consequently, students’ grades drop. Then, their grades are not a true representation of their academic ability. Unfortunately, all of this causes anxiety in students.  Ahhhhhh!

It is important that students have a way to see time. Are there clocks in the house?  One place I like having a clock is the bathroom. Yes! The bathroom. I need to be conscious and mindful of the time when I am getting ready. Think about where else a clock would be useful. Perhaps the bedroom, living room, etc.

Before creating a time management system for students I discuss with them if they prefer to use a digital system or paper system, or both. Personally, I use both. It is important to let students choose. I don’t believe there is one way to do something. With time management there are so many different strategies. We all learn differently and have different personalities. We have to find what is best for us. Explore some idea through our Pinterest Time Management Board.

Next, it is helpful to fill out a time map with how you spend your time. I have students write their classes, sports practices, club meetings, personal commitments, etc. This helps them see time in a way that they don’t normally. The time map is especially useful when creating a plan for studying for finals. I love the time time map because it gives you a sense of time and one can see where their time goes. The time map can be completed on paper or on the computer.

When I am trying to analyze a student’s current time management system I ask them what they are currently doing. Next, I ask them what is working with that current system. Then, I ask what is not working. I ask them what they want to change. This gives us a foundation for creating a time management system.

Personally, I found that a standard planner, one you buy at office depot, was not working for me. The structure was not suitable. A year ago a friend of mine introduced me to the Bullet Journal. It was the best Christmas gift! She gave me a few mole skin notebooks and sent me to the Bullet Journal website. This totally changed my life. For the past year I have spent time creating and using various formats to manage time each week. I finally found one that worked for me. Sometimes when I work with students on time management I give them a blank piece of paper and ask them to draw a structure that they think would work for them.

I have great news! I have designed a planner specifically with the whole student in mind and it is ready for purchase! It great for students in high school or college who are looking for a time management system. to Click HERE to learn more. Parents, I didn’t forget about you either. Click HERE to learn more about the Parent Planner.

Melanie Black of Student Futures is a certified academic life coach for students and teens. She has a passion to help students succeed. Academic coaching helps develop life skills for students as well as gives them academic strategies, which help to decrease anxiety and stress in students. Contact Melanie Black today for a free consultation at Melanie@studentfutures.org or (904) 487-8269.

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10 Tips for Student Success: Overcoming the Mid-Semester Slump

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It always happens around this time. The excitement from the new school year is gone. The school work is starting to pile up. The stress of school sets in. Students start to feel anxiety and a lack of motivation. Below are some success strategies for helping high school and college students succeed while trying to overcome the mid-semester slump.

1. Make a Change: Find a new place to study, one that will allow you to focus and get your work done. Somewhere there is no distractions! You’d be amazed at how much a change of scenery can help. If you are happy with your place of study then possibly change where or how you are sitting.

2. Don’t Go At It Alone: Form a study group or find a study buddy. Two heads are better than one!

3. Take Care of Yourself: Getting enough sleep and eating well will help you maintain your focus in class and while doing homework. No matter how hard it gets do not sacrifice your health!

4. Analyze Your Grades: Look at your weakest vs. strongest classes. What are you doing right in your strongest classes? Use those same strategies in your weakest classes. If something you’re doing isn’t working for you anymore, try something new.

5. Ask For Help: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you don’t understand a concept approach your teacher and ask for help.

6. Create A Study Plan: It’s time to make a study schedule and stick to it. Go to class, take good notes, get off of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media will still be there in an hour and forty-five minutes. Make time for the library and make time for study sessions. A little planning can go a long way, and keep you away from those difficult late night study sessions.

7. Use a Planner: Plan ahead. Write out what’s happening each week and allocate your time accordingly. Prioritize and do the most important things first. Students who use time management strategies will notice less anxiety and stress.

8. Remember Your Purpose: Revisit your goals from the beginning of the year. Remember why you want to do well. Focus on your vision for the future.

9. Divide and Conquer: Studying will go a lot easier—and you’ll feel a lot better about it—if you break your preparation into bite-sized, manageable pieces. Not only will the task seem smaller—which will keep you upbeat about the activity—you will avoid procrastination and (surprise) build up speed as the preparation goes on.

10. Reward Yourself: Not only will this lift your spirits, you’ll find yourself studying better when you’re in a relaxed and upbeat mood. Pick something you rarely get to do. Create a list of ways to reward yourself ahead of time so you can just select one without much thought when the time arrives.

Melanie Black of Student Futures is a certified academic life coach for students and teens. She has a passion to help students succeed. Academic coaching helps develop life skills for students as well as gives them academic strategies, which help to decrease anxiety and stress in students. Contact Melanie Black today for a free consultation at Melanie@studentfutures.org or (904) 487-8269.

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Back to School 2014

 

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It’s that time again!

Hopefully, you have had a fun and relaxing summer where you learned a lot. Now, it is time to switch gears!  Whether you go to public or private school, attend virtual school, or are homeschooled everyone has many things to do to get ready for the 2014-2015 school year.

Today is the beginning of Florida’s tax free holiday weekend. Yay! What is on your shopping list? Click HERE to see Duval County Public School’s shopping list for K-8. For high school lists go to the school’s website. On Saturday, August 2nd, Duval County Public Schools is hosting Back to School Fest at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds from 9am-noon. Lots of cool stuff happening there for parents and students! This year is Duval County Public School’s 150th anniversary. Wow! Let’s start this year strong!

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The Top Item on Your List

An organized student is a successful student. A successful student is a happy student.

Buying a planner is essential to having a successful school year. You can make your own on the computer for free or stores have tons of affordable planners for less than $20. For those of you that are tech savvy check out the My Study Life app. Check out our Pinterest Time Management board for cool stuff by clicking HERE. I know for most students using a planner seems like a chore or another assignment. Mastering how to use a planner will help you be successful not only in high school and middle school, but in college and beyond.

How can parents motivate students to utilize the planner? Buy or create a planner that suits your student. Have the student make it their own by using stickers, or drawing something unique. If students are allowed to personalize it then they will be more likely to take ownership of it. Create a planner routine with your student. Check in each night and review the planner together. Keep a planner yourself. If you can show your student how you use a planner too then, they will be motivated to use one themselves.

TIPS FOR STUDENTS

– Keep the planner accessible! Most students don’t use the planner because it is never at their fingertips when they need it.

– Write fast! In order to do this use texting language or abbreviations.

– Never be dependent on your memory! We all have tons of things to do. You can’t be expected to memorize it all.

– Keep a pen in the binding

– Mark your current page with a small binder clip.

Here’s to new beginnings! Student Futures wants to help you as you start the new school year. We provide academic coaching services that motivate and inspire students to succeed. Learn more about what we do by clicking HERE. If you know a student who needs some help starting the year off right then contact Student Futures today for an initial consultation.  We want to help you on your road to success!

Keep smiling and reaching for the stars!

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