The Freshman Transition Network

Working together to transition freshmen & transform schools from the bottom up!

All Blog Posts (208)

Seven Secrets of How to Study

According to Indiana University the average American student only studies 3 hours each week. That amounts to 20 minutes a day. A total of 60,000 students responded to this study skills survey. Each year thousands of students enter college thinking they can use high school study habits and easily sail through a college degree. They have a rude awaking when they discover success in college requires a minimum of three to five hours studying each day. Some students say studying the night before… Continue

Added by Dr. Stephen Jones on July 31, 2009 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

5 Back to School Savings Tips

Every year thousands of parents grab a cart and engage in the age old tradition of back to school shopping. There is a level of excitement in the air as students consider new school supplies and what clothes they will wear back to school. All parents can do is look at their pockets and try to find a way to stretch a dollar. Many parents start their shopping without a plan and that’s where money is lost. Have you ever noticed how things are strategically placed around the store so that you will… Continue

Added by Dr. Stephen Jones on July 30, 2009 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Part 7B – Creating a Freshman Transition Program – The Role of the Administrator During the School Year

Part 7A of this series on Creating a Freshman Transition Program dealt with the role that an administrator plays getting a Freshman Transition Program started. This post – Part 7B – focuses again on the role of the administrator. Specifically, it focuses on how the administrator interacts with the Freshman Transition Program during the school year. It assumes that the Transition Program is already up and… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on June 9, 2009 at 10:31pm — No Comments

Part 7a – Creating a Freshman Transition Program – The Role of the Administrator

A 4 ½ month old makes it hard to find time to do much of anything, let alone post to a blog! It has taken me a long time to post this latest installment of Creating a Freshman Transition Program, but I think it’s a very important one. Hopefully, my brain has had enough sleep to write coherently. If not, then I’ll blame little Matthew!



So what is the role of an administrator in a Freshman Transition Program? In some ways, each post in this series has been about the role of an… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on May 17, 2009 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Part 6 – Creating a Freshman Transition Program – Which Teachers?

One of the most important decisions that must be made when creating a Freshman Transition Program is deciding which teachers will be a part of the program. After all, the single greatest factor in any educational endeavor or reform effort is the teacher in the classroom. Without the teacher, the plan is just a plan. The teacher is the one on the front line making the magic happen.



As Jim Collins says in his book… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on April 26, 2009 at 11:15pm — No Comments

The 3 Magicians

We’re on spring break right now. I have to admit that the 2 or 3 weeks leading up to spring break were not exactly my favorite. It is not uncommon for people to ask, “How can you be a high school administrator? Don’t you get tired of dealing with nothing but discipline?” Typically I am able to inform them of the fact that my days and my job consist of much more than discipline and that I love my job. However, during those weeks leading up to spring break I was beginning to wonder myself how I… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on April 13, 2009 at 9:14pm — 1 Comment

Part 5 – Creating a Freshman Transition Program – Don’t Forget to Team

If you’ve been reading the posts on this website (example) over the past few months, read my book The Ninth Grade Opportunity, or attended one of Solutions, etc.’s Freshman Transition Conferences, then you are aware of what I consider to be the key to successfully transitioning freshmen –… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on April 5, 2009 at 8:45pm — 2 Comments

Part 4 – Creating a Freshman Transition Program – Which students?

Early in the process of creating a Freshman Transition Program most schools begin planning for which students will be a part of the program. Before sharing some ways to look at this question, let me first state 2 common pitfalls that schools fall into when answering this question.



Pitfall 1 – Starting with only the most “at-risk” students.

A program like this is destined for a stigma. Parents and students alike will not want to be a part of it. Teachers will not want to… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on March 22, 2009 at 10:52pm — No Comments

Part 3 – Creating a Freshman Transition Program – The Pros and Cons of the Departmentalized Approach

In my last post I discussed the pros and cons of the Freshman Academy approach to Freshman Transition. I defined the Freshman Academy as a method of easing the transition from middle school to high school that uses locale as its primary means. In other words, freshmen in the Academy model are separated from the rest of the high school for some period of time during the day. I ended that post by stating… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on March 15, 2009 at 10:08pm — No Comments

Part 2 - Creating a Freshman Transition Program - Pros and Cons of an Academy

To have an Academy or not to have an Academy? That is the question.



These days when schools create Freshman Transition Programs they often use the term Freshman Academy to name their efforts. This post’s purpose will be to discuss the pros and cons of such an approach, and to introduce an alternative model.



First, let me define what I mean by the term Freshman Academy. A Freshman Academy is a means of easing the transition from middle school to high school that uses locale… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on March 12, 2009 at 9:23pm — 1 Comment

Part 1 - Creating a Freshman Transition Program

My plan is to post a series of blog posts about creating a Freshman Transition Program in your school. I’m going to start at the beginning and go through some recommendations step-by-step. These ideas are based on my experience at my own school (Salem High School in Salem, VA) and on my experiences as a consultant for Solutions, etc. working with numerous schools in 18 states. I hope you’ll find these ideas and… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on March 8, 2009 at 10:30pm — 4 Comments

A Story About Responsibility

Do you ever feel like you are teaching in some alien culture where the sun rises in the west and sets in the east?



Our classrooms are filled with students who don't understand that they have a responsibility to their community and to their world to become productive members of society. I often talk to them about the little old lady who lives on the street next to our school. I ask them if they are giving her a good return on the investment that she is making in them through her tax… Continue

Added by Ray Moore on February 26, 2009 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

Use a Scalpel Not a Band-aid or What I Learned From Ray

As a new teacher I I learned so much from being able to work closely on a team with Ray Moore.



One thing Ray taught me was to focus on what our students really need. I would describe his lesson as follows: Don’t use a band-aid when you need a scalpel.



Like most teachers, my goal was to impact the lives of my students. I would love for one of them to say one day that I was the reason for some positive direction they took. My ultimate goal in the classroom – beyond teaching… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on February 15, 2009 at 5:00pm — No Comments

What if teachers were like the coaches of the Steelers?

What if the coaches on the Pittsburgh Steelers each had different expectations for the players on the team?



What if the offensive line coach expected all of his players to arrive to a game 2 hours before it started so that the offense had time to run through plays, but the coach of the receivers tells his position players that they don’t need to arrive until 15 minutes before the game started? It would be pretty hard for the offense to practice. What if the linebackers’ coach… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on February 1, 2009 at 11:30pm — 1 Comment

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