Category Archives: Academics

Believe it or not, a stronger body can contribute to stronger test scores. This guest article from Laura Pearson, co-creator of Edutude. delves into a series of actionable strategies designed to empower students to manage their finances effectively. Through Edutude, Laura strives to find unique, creative ways for parents and educators to encourage students to be challenged, motivated and excited by learning. In addition to her work with Edutude, Pearson is an advocate for children’s rights and education. Embarking on your college journey is an exciting and challenging time. As you navigate your academic responsibilities, it’s crucial to find ways to enhance your learning potential. One powerful yet often overlooked strategy is incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Not only does physical activity improve your overall health, but it also significantly boosts cognitive function, memory retention, and mood. Let us walk you through practical steps to seamlessly integrate exercise into…

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The Advanced Placement exams represent some of the most challenging subject-specific standardized tests a high schooler might ever take, and May is AP month! Every test deserves smart, serious preparation, particularly the ones that can grant college credit to high scorers. So how are you getting ready for your APs? On the Tests and the Rest podcast, we invited expert educators to share key strategies, insights, and resources for getting ready for many of the most popular AP exams: SCIENCE GETTING READY FOR THE AP PHYSICS 1 EXAM GETTING READY FOR THE AP CHEMISTRY EXAM GETTING READY FOR THE AP COMPUTER SCIENCE A EXAM MATH GETTING READY FOR THE AP CALCULUS AB OR BC EXAM GETTING READY FOR THE AP STATISTICS EXAM SOCIAL STUDIES GETTING READY FOR THE AP US HISTORY EXAM GETTING READY FOR THE AP GOVERNMENT EXAM GETTING READY FOR THE AP PSYCHOLOGY EXAM HUMANITIES GETTING READY FOR…

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Why do we keep returning to the message that reading is an incredibly important skill for absolutely everyone? With benefits this concrete and important, why wouldn’t we? Reading is linked to tons of desired outcomes: Increased reading speed and comprehension Enhanced verbal intelligence Greater command of language and vocabulary Higher levels of happiness, calm, and connection to your community Higher average annual incomes Not sold yet? Wait, there’s more! A 2023 study out of University of Cambridge found that Reading for pleasure early in childhood linked to better cognitive performance and mental wellbeing in adolescence: “Children who begin reading for pleasure early in life tend to perform better at cognitive tests and have better mental health when they enter adolescence, a study of more than 10,000 young adolescents in the US has found… The team found a strong link between reading for pleasure at an early age and a positive…

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Did you know that March 30 is National Pencil Day? Why shouldn’t we celebrate the pencil? Anyone writing the history of education in America would be wise to include a long, loving chapter in praise of the writing implement synonymous with the SAT and ACT. Anywhere students huddle over a Scantron form, you will find #2 pencils and plenty of them… at least for now! The ubiquity of this unassuming tool belies the elegance and perfection of its form and function. How the basic wooden pencil became such a valuable and useful writing implement is reviewed in a brilliant article in Popular Mechanics, The Write Stuff How the Humble Pencil Conquered the World. This lavish account of the pencil’s origins and ascendancy reveals some fascinating facts: The word “pencil” is derived from pencillum, Latin for “a fine brush.” The crystalline carbon substance we know as graphite was first discovered under a…

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Mid-March is chock full of special days (as well as snow, if you live in upstate New York, which is another story entirely.) While most people focus on St. Patrick’s Day on March 17–the day most wardrobes and some rivers turn green–March 15 marks the Ides of March, most meaningful, perhaps, to Julius Caesar. Mathematicians start the festivities early, though, commemorating the day that evokes one of the most meaningful and magical numbers of all: pi. What makes pi (or π) so special? The number 3.14159… is the ultimate irrational number, a non-repeating, non-terminating decimal that pops up in all kinds of math and physics formulas. Pi serves as a staple in circle geometry, representing a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Obviously, pi is impressive and worthy of celebration, but how does one actually celebrate Pi Day? Even if you don’t feel…

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No one who knows me or my work would be surprised by my unequivocal endorsement of the value of properly designed and administered standardized tests. Nor would a single soul be shocked by my convictions about the value of the right tests in academic admissions decisions. My support for testing doesn’t spring from my profession as an educator. In fact, the opposite is true. Testing acumen opened access to the kind of high quality high school education most Bronx kids just don’t get. Test scores also secured special scholarships that made a SUNY degree at least somewhat affordable. My experience is, by no means, unique, but neither is it the narrative we’ve heard about testing over the last several years. The SAT was explicitly introduced to open doors to higher education that were previously closed to certain cultural, religious, and ethnic groups. The SAT and ACT still fulfill that mission,…

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