Start Smart! 6 Things Your Child Can Do To Start The Year Right

You know it’s almost here! The smell of newly sharpened pencils and the odor of dry erase pens…The aisles of school supplies in the local stores…Sales on children’s clothing…School is upon us! Here are some tips for you to encourage your child to do to get the year off to a great start in their math class!

Greet the Teacher1. Greet your teacher the first day. I cannot stress the importance of making a good first impression. This is especially important in middle school, where we teachers have over 180 students to remember!  Encourage your child to make eye contact with his teacher and shake her hand. Say, “My name is ________ and I look forward to being in your class!”

2. Sit in the front! Now, some teachers choose your seats for you. If they do not, choose a seat in the first two rows. It forces you to listen, and you have first crack at your teacher if you don’t understand something.Sit in Front

3. S.L.A.N.T. This is a behavioral routine (I learned about it when I was an AVID teacher) used by many school districts to encourage positive engagement in class. (For more information, visit

SSit Up – Sitting with your feet flat on the floor, back straight, and facing forward focuses you and puts you in the right mindset to work and take part in discussions.            

LLean Forward- Leaning forward shows you are engaged in the lesson, which often encourages teachers to ask you questions, see how you are doing,  and keep you engaged.

AAsk Questions- I can guarantee you are not the only one with your question. However, by being the bold one to ask it, the teacher knows you are listening and that you care. In turn, she will take more time with you to make sure you understand.

NNod Yes/No- The simple act of nodding when you agree/disagree lets the teacher know you are listening and what you are thinking.

TTalk With Teachers- We are real people. Talk to us. The more we know you, the more we care about you.

HW4. Write your homework down. The most common reason I get for students not doing their HW is that they didn’t know what it was. Get in the habit of coming in and immediately pulling out your planner to write down your HW. When you do your HW, highlight it to indicate it is complete.

5. Do your homework! Start off right. Get in the habit of doing your HW. If you don’t understand it, try it for at least 20 minutes and email your teacher to let her know what you tried and where you got stuck. Just putting in the effort will let your teacher know you care. The more you care, the more we care about helping you.

6. Don’t be absent. Miss school, miss out. You simply cannot make up the discussions and learning that took place on a day you missed. The more school you miss, the more you don’t understand, the more you dislike school, the more likely you will drop out.Absent

Have a great first week of school!

Up next: Questions to Ask Your Child To Help With HW!

Start Smart! 6 Things Your Child Can Do To Start The Year Right

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