back to school readinessThe school year is finally here! After a long summer of relaxing and optimizing your mental fitness with our Six Must Do’s To Prevent Summer Slide, you’re excited to return to the classroom, hang out with friends, and reinvigorate your student persona. We hear you. That’s why we’ve outlined 7 key steps that will make this school year better than ever!

1 – Have a routine.

Committing to a regular bedtime and morning routine is a great way to start each day with an optimal amount of energy and focus. Before you go to bed, review your homework assignments and organize your backpack so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything in the morning. In the morning, be sure to stretch, eat breakfast, and review your notes for first period. Creating and maintaining a solid evening and morning routine will optimize your energy and kickstart this school year.

2 – Get organized and stay organized.

Invest in a binder or folder for each class. Get an assignment book and be sure to keep it with you throughout the day. Prompt organization of deadlines will help you adequately prepare for assignments, projects, quizzes, and tests – you can even leverage the power of your smart phone to note major assignments and tests in your phone’s calendar.

3 – Beef up your extracurriculars.

Reassess your extracurriculars. Make sure that you’ve invested in activities that make you appear well rounded. Generate new ideas that will advance organizational missions and be sure to contribute your own brand of leadership so that by your junior or senior year, you are well positioned to assume an official leadership position. To be an attractive college applicant, you’ll need to demonstrate your leadership potential and acquire significant life experience for college essays. It’s never too early (or too late) to pursue an extracurricular.

4 – Actively take notes.

Instead of daydreaming or staring at the cutie at the front of the classroom, actively listen and take notes. Listen closely to your teachers and try to find real world applications for the material you’re learning, particularly in your math and science classes. Review your notes each evening to enhance retention and mastery of concepts.

5 – Adopt a positive attitude.

We know that middle and high school can be tough. Try not to sweat social dynamics. Each day, wake up with the sense that today is the day! It doesn’t matter what day. The point is to be in the here and now. Remaining grounded in the present will allow you to keep perspective on the difficult parts of teenage and adolescent life. Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara found that college students who were good at remaining focused on each day’s demands (instead of worrying about the future or the past) experienced improvements in their working memory. Taking each day and each moment one at a time will reduce your stress levels and enable you to more effectively retain the material from your classes.

6 – Practice, Practice, Practice.

The famous 10,000-hour rule is more than just a theory, it’s fact: it takes approximately 10,000 hours of guided, concentrated and deliberate practice to master a skill. Anders Ericsson, the Florida State University psychologist whose research generated the 10,000-hour rule, clarifies in numerous interviews that the secret to mastering a skill is “deliberate practice” during which “an expert coach guides you through well-designed training over months or years.” Though no one masters anything without an ounce of innate talent, in the words of esteemed researcher and author Malcolm Gladwell, “the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play.” So work hard, prepare and realize your excellence!

7 – Invest in academic coaching.

Achieving academic excellence means becoming STEM fluent. STEM fluency is the ability to problem solve, think critically and logically, apply theory and innovate. STEM fluency is a way of thinking and learning that empowers complete foundational knowledge of the subject at hand. At MathSP, we know what it takes to achieve complete STEM fluency. When we’re not just equipping our students with a “math state of mind,” we’re eating, breathing and sleeping STEM. Whether you’re seeking academic coaching in your math or science class, we’ll do more than just address your gaps and enable you to achieve solid grades – we’ll impart STEM fluency so that you’ll be able to confidently and competently tackle the educational challenges that lie ahead in college and in life.