The Maximum Education “infocast”

At mAke the grAde I have a  mission to help as many students reach their academic and personal goals as possible.

So, when I was approached by a national radio syndicate (they have 128 land based stations plus hundreds more which are internet based) to be interviewed about the main educational tenets of Maximum Education, and its mission for success, I accepted the invitation immediately.

Have a listen here:

The interview covers the 3 main tenants:

Time management
Information management
A daily action plan

but there is also discussion of the philosophy on which the book is based and some of my personal viewpoints on why education is so important for everyone (and for society as a whole).

I’d really like your feedback. It is very important to me.

What did you like about the interview?

What do you think was most compelling?

What would you think should have been explored or stressed more?
(for future follow up interview)

Do you a school or individuals who will benefit from Maximum Education?

And, whatever is on your mind.

 

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Maximum Education – The update, the radio interview and the video course

cd6f8-13628385_1066991540051171_50185893_nIn August 2015 I published Maximum Education – The Ultimate Guide to Optimal Academics.  Somewhat to my surprise, the book became a #1 best seller on Amazon in the Education category and continues to sell every day.  Thank you!

This book is essentially a guide on how to “do school” and how to study.  The book was born from years of working with students in a variety of subjects and seeing the recurring pattern that some / part / all of the reason that they were struggling in Math or Science or whatever was that they were unorganized and they did not have a plan.

So I started to to make handouts and exercises for my students to help them organize, and to help them use their time better and to help them plan better… and you know what.. it worked!   I took the handouts and compiled a workbook that I copied on the trusty mAke the grAde office copy machine.  Finally, a parent of a student suggested that I make this into a book… and so Maximum Education – The Ultimate Guide to Optimal Academics was born.

 Summarily the book covers 3 main topics:

Time management
Information management
A daily action plan

Steven-Green-Book-Cover copyThere are also several sections with suggestions for many other academic needs such as writing term papers, studying for standard tests like the SAT and ACT exams, writing college application essays, preparing for midterms and finals, etc etc…

So here are the updates: Recently I was interviewed by a national radio syndicate about the book which is available here, and Maximum Education – The Ultimate Guide to Optimal Academics is now being converted into a video class that anyone can access and follow at their own pace.  The course should be available by August 15th.

At this point I am looking for suggestions.  If you have the book and you have suggestions…

What should be included in the video?
What should be emphasized?
What helped you the most?
What was the least helpful?
What you be willing to provide a video testimonial?

Please contact Dr Steven Greene and provide feedback. 

To summarize:

Listen to the radio interview here

If you don’t have one, get your copy of Maximum Education here

Thank you for you past and present and continued support.

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Summer Education

scenic view of beach

Summer… a break from school and its structure.  Time to relax and recharge.

Summer is also a time to bolster your academics and avoid the ‘summer brain drain’.

mAke the grAde offers these summer programs:

SAT / ACT prep 
There is an ACT July 14th (for the first time the ACT will be given over the summer) and an SAT August 25th.  Who should takes these exams? Raising seniors who want to improve their scores prior to the college application ‘season’ or raising juniors who want to get an early indication of your score baselines.

“I did SAT prep in July and August last summer.  It was so much easier to stay on course without all of the commitments and deadlines of school and activities and sports.  My score went from 1180 to 1310 with 100+ in Math!  Thank you!” — Ryan L

Academics – Fall Preview
Taking a class this fall that you expect to be challenging?  You can use the summer to preview the class and get a jump. mAke the grAde provides support for:

All levels of Math
Algebra
Geometry
Pre-calculus
Calculus
General Math

Sciences
Chemistry
Physics
Biology
General Science

as well as SAT/ACT prep

I am just ok in Math so I was worried about taking Physics along with 3 AP classes.  We got the textbook from the school and Dr Greene and I worked through the first 4 chapters of the book over the summer.  Once school started I was set until the 2nd marking period.  This made things so much easier and took the pressure off of Physics but also all of my other classes.”  –  Kara R.

Academics – Review

Do you need to review a class you took last year?
Do you need to review concepts that you will need moving forward?
Do you need to bridge a gap from prior classes to future classes?

My family moved after my freshman year.  My old school was good but my 9th grade algebra class was slow and didn’t cover a lot of material.  Going into precalculus I knew I needed to review and to practice skills.  We worked over the summer and what a difference…  I had 98% average for the first marking period.  Thank you so much.–Lexi R.

Get started now. Contact the mAke the grAde office or

www.makethegrade.net/schedule

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CASE STUDY #12: University Level Big Plan

CASE STUDY #12: University Level Big Plan

Jackie had been a student at mAke the grAde throughout high school, so she was familiar with many of the study techniques, which we had learned over time.  However, she didn’t use all of them as effectively as she could because, frankly, she could handle the workload in high school fairly easily.  Later, she went on to become a pre-med student a large university, which had a much more rigorous and demanding course load – both in terms of the time needed and the complexity of the material.

She found several things helped her in college.  First of all, recording each one of her lectures, (parenthetically, many colleges and universities do this now, but at this point in time they did not), so she bought a small voice recorder and recorded all of the lectures, and then she would transcribe them later.  She also made many flowcharts and concept maps because much of the information was visual, although it was taught in a text style.  To prepare for tests and quizzes, and there were many of them, she studied every day for 30-45 minutes per course, to bring herself up to date on the details of each.

This study technique is called chunking or blocking, which we will talk about more in the next section.  She ended up starting with somewhere between three and four hours of study time each day, which may sound like a lot, but compared to her peers, who often studied twice that amount, it was manageable.  Also, and more importantly, her workflow was actually easier because she was always up to date and was able to go to the classes and lectures ready to take in any new material.

In the end, she reported that she felt that learning the skills when the pressure was off (that is to say in high school when she was able to utilize them without a lot of pressure and without a heavy overload of work) really helped her to master them. So when college time came, and it was game time, she was able to utilize many of the Maximum Education strategies in a coordinated way.  As she told me, “It’s so much easier when I have a system. The strategies do take some time to master, so it’s better to learn them when you have the time to do it.”

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CASE STUDY #11: High School Big Plan

CASE STUDY #11: High School Big Plan

Charlie was a high school junior in the middle of a very, very busy stretch in his academic life during the spring of his junior year. On top of this, he was planning to take college entrance exams (SATs), and he participated in sports in the spring and winter seasons.  This all but insured that he did not have a lot of free time.  He was taking AP world history and honors English, and the rest of his courses were college prep level courses. (This issue was a little bit like Sarah’s, as they simply didn’t have enough hours in the day.)

Again, the solution was multifaceted.  We implemented several strategies all at once, combining outlining, note-taking, and test prep techniques, as well as chunking, blocking and time management protocols, and homework tracking and time prioritization. Charlie got the whole buffet of services!  The main thing that helped him tremendously was breaking up his work into daily, manageable chunks that he was able to keep up with.  The mentality was to prepare as if he was prepping for a test the next day, based on the information to date with his subjects. If he didn’t have a test for six or seven days, he would study about 1/6 of that material as well as all the material up to date to that point he found this extremely helpfulbut .  Not only was it helpful, but it was also actually more efficient. He was able to spend less time studying than he had before because he was able to use his time more effectively. Later he confided that he felt the time management calendaring was most useful because he basically understood the topics, he just wasn’t able to plan things out so that things didn’t start overlapping with each other and become confusing and overwhelming.

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CASE STUDY #10: Middle School Big Plan

CASE STUDY #10:  Middle School Big Plan

Sarah was an eighth grade student when we began working together.   She had inconsistent grades, and she complained that she was overwhelmed by her schedule and her workload.  Part of this issue was the reality that she had periods of high levels of work, with some weeks having multiple tests or quizzes and other weeks having a relatively light work load.   During the heavier workload periods, she was unable to keep up with the work and struggled, which resulted in sub-par grades.

She had what amounted to a grade yo-yo effect.   The solution for Sarah, which is detailed in this chapter, was to break up larger projects into small daily exercises, which could be done every day.   For example, knowing that she would have a history test the following week, she would study all of her history material up to that date every day (as if she had a history test the next day). The same system was utilized for each class: science, math, English, etc.  Basically she took larger projects like reports and papers and studying for tests and broke them into smaller daily activities that she found easier to complete.

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CASE STUDY #9: University-Level Note-Taking

CASE STUDY #9: University-Level Note-Taking

Melanie was a university student taking business classes.  She found that many of her classes were a combination of lecture information, classroom examples and what the instructor would put on the board, and practice problems that she had to do in class, typically on a worksheet. The challenge was to integrate this information into a single flowchart that enabled her to understand the important concepts.  Our solution was to utilize technology to gather and sort information.  Melanie was able to use her phone to take pictures of worked out problems the teacher had done in front of the room on the board.  Once she had these pictures, she copied them into Evernote and added her written class notes as well as pictures or scans all of her worksheets and worked out problems. This use of different technologies enabled Melanie to gather, organize, and store the information in one place, which, in the past, had been separated, if recorded at all.

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