ACE My Academics as a Bridge Between Home and School

Fostering a solid home-school partnership is a key to creating a firm foundation for academic and social-emotional achievement. Parent involvement in a child’s education can be important to developing mastery and self-efficacy, and can increase the value of education itself for the whole family.  One vital way to improve the home-school partnership is to give parents tools with which they can engage their children.

Often, parents do not know how to help their children; yet, they want to so desperately. They sometimes fail to realize how their experiences as adults in their work and in their social interaction could be utilized as models for children and adolescents to view their jobs as students.  Parents might feel intimidated by school or not see themselves as their children’s vital teachers.   If parents recognize that they have learned some tips or tricks to make their work or lives easier, they can impart to their children the need to find such strategies in their work and lives as students.  Yet, parents need techniques to teach their children.

What is lacking is a common language for approaching assignments across content areas that can be utilized by teachers, students, and parents alike. ACE My Academics can provide such a language, which can afford everyone a chance to comprehend the mechanisms for completing schoolwork effectively. Common understanding and clear communication foster partnership between home and school. With ACE My Academics, the components of literacy beyond decoding are broken down into specific behaviors with job descriptions and character names. This system gives families a way of talking about learning in English/language arts, history/social studies, and science.  Parents can learn the system and model how they use or could use such techniques in their own lives. In addition to modeling with specific examples from a parent’s direct experience in the workplace or social environment, parents can select sample texts, media, or primary sources of  interest and work through the strategies to show their thinking to their children.  They then can work with students on assignments to demonstrate how the techniques apply to schoolwork. This would be followed by a gradual release to students working on their own, following the I do. We do. You do. paradigm.

With ACE My Academics, through modeling with a common language, parents can elevate the value of student work and give children and adolescents the chance to think about, analyze, interpret, and respond to information in a mindful way.  Parents can help raise self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-efficacy. They can use their knowledge and experience to further support student achievement.  With ACE My Academics, parents have a manner to discuss student work, the school day, and knowledge acquisition in general with their children and with educational professionals. This practice enhances a student’s efforts to be successful in school, while affording families the chance to take part in education and be on the road to lifelong learning.

Solving Important Educational Problems Through Effective Literacy Instruction

As posted on Education Update 7/7/14.

Here are 5 key education needs that deserve an integrated solution:

We need:

  1. to equalize the distribution of resources and opportunities for all students.
  2. to increase teacher empowerment.
  3. to develop students into 21st Century thinkers and doers who make meaningful, pro-social contributions to the world, and who act with gratitude, grit, open-mindedness, and self-control.
  4. a mechanism for implementing Common Core Standards.
  5. high-quality literacy instruction that goes beyond decoding.

For the past five years, I have been working on a platform to help address these issues found at  ACE stands for Always Capture Excellence and is based on the belief that all learners can succeed in school.  This system affords teachers and students a clear structure for communicating about assignments and discussing information, while linking academic to social-emotional learning goals.  ACE’s Module 1: Attacking Reading and Writing Across the Content Areas is designed to give learners from elementary through high school a meta-system of evidence-based strategies and tactics to understand narrative and expository text, media, and primary sources.  It allows students to devise responses that show higher-order thinking, creativity, and insight, while encouraging meta-cognitive awareness and self-regulation.  Here, reading and writing become a narrative process.  Important learning tasks, such as pre-reading’s motivation, prior knowledge, and text structure, and during reading’s vocabulary knowledge, information architecture, and connection-making, become characters that students use to prime themselves, hunt for evidence, and write well.  Students are active through the entire reading and writing process, which can increase academic learning time and achievement.  Learners can have an engaged, playful attitude as they do meaningful work in English/language arts, social studies/history, and science, producing innovative, structured written and oral responses.

ACE My Academics can afford teachers the opportunity to be learning doctors who diagnose problems and prescribe interventions, to be scientists whose classrooms are laboratories for increasing learning potential, and to be social entrepreneurs, who inspire students to be passionate about issues and want to take action in their communities.  The Common Core asks students to be thoughtful interpreters of knowledge and wise articulators of opinions supported by evidence.  To accomplish these goals, we are in need of a common language that is introduced in the elementary grades and is continued throughout high school.  As data complexity increases, students need a firm foundation for learning pattern recognition and understanding subtle informational differences.  We need a methodology that links daily practice of teaching and learning of literacy to the higher-order aspirations that we have for our students and for education-at-large.  ACE My Academics might offer such a path.

Professional Development Workshops Available

Evidence- based Practices for Reading and Writing in the Content Areas

with Matthew G. Mandelbaum, PhD

This workshop teaches a meta-framework for comprehending and communicating information in English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies using the ACE My Academics platform. With evidence-based reading and writing strategies and tactics for expository and narrative texts and media that cover pre-, during, and post-reading stages and the range of written and oral responses, students develop a foundation for creative and critical thinking and academic self- regulation. Special and General Educators in Upper Elementary, Middle, and High School are encouraged to attend, along with therapist and other professionals working in the educational fields. Participants learn the framework, including the use of worked out examples, before utilizing their own texts to develop effective lesson plans.  Participants leave with the ability to apply the knowledge to their settings immediately.  Supports Common Core Standards.

For more information contact Dr. Matthew G. Mandelbaum.