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Schools across the nation have adopted the Common Core State Standards (the “Standards”) that are raising the educational bar to prepare our future generations for college and the workforce. Now in place in the school systems of 46 states, these trail-blazing standards clearly outline the skills and content students are expected to learn in mathematics and English language arts from kindergarten to the 12th grade – creating higher demand opportunity for supplemental education providers.

The Standards are not a ready-packaged, federally-funded curriculum or one single sanctioned teaching method, but a set of skills students are expected to acquire at each grade. The responsibility to choose appropriate curricula and adopt effective teaching methods that best suit the needs of all students – below and above grade level expectations – still lies with the individual states, schools, and teachers.

Nothing is without controversy, however. Proponents of the new approach proclaim that the Standards place higher demands on cognitive functions such as comprehension and analysis over rote memorization, thus preparing students to become more competitive on the international stage. Opponents question the benefits of the Standards by stating that they set the bar too high, which will result in having more students fail tests and fall into the “underachieving” category. Some oppose the Standards based on their top-down, one-size-fits-all approach, and question the role of the federal government in state-run schools.

For those of us in the supplemental education industry, the question we must ask ourselves is not which side of the Standards fence we may fall on, but instead, how can we best accommodate the needs of students who must measure up to these higher academic requirements?

Supplemental education programs will play a crucial role in helping to bridge the gap that exists between what the Standards require schools to teach and what is actually being taught, reinforcing the complex skills expected from the students, and preparing students for high-stakes standardized tests. Given that one of the architects of the Standards is now the president of the College Board – which authors the SATs, Advanced Placement program, and other standardized tests – you can expect the SATs will also be aligned with the Standards, resulting in a higher demand for supplemental education.

The bottom line: Supplemental education programs cannot have a wait-and-see attitude toward the Standards. At Eye Level, we are advancing our curriculum to support these new expectations, and are committed to providing high-quality programs that offer customized support – and a competitive edge – to students. Supplemental educators must take a proactive align-and-deliver stance in order to seize this opportunity and deliver materials and programs that will help students meet these benchmarked guidelines and ultimately achieve their future goals.

By Amy Endo, Ph.D.
Director of R&D at Eye Level

Although classroom and study habits have changed with the advances in technology, standardized testing remains a constant comparable measure for students. It’s an efficient tool to categorize and compare student performance, whether for achievement, measuring aptitude, or placement. The preparation for these tests is just as important as mastering the material.

As we head into Back-to-School season, below are helpful tips from Eye Level for any math or English evaluation:

  • Read As Much A Possible. Reading helps build vocabulary, which is a major advantage when it comes to standardized testing. Expose your child to novels, news articles and magazines which contain countless benefits – ranging from visualizing story concepts, knowing correct grammar usage, to analytical thinking.

  • Analyze Your Reading. Standardized tests are always full of critical thinking, comparing and linking questions. When reading, don’t just have your child identify the basic who, what, when, where, why and how. Encourage your child to take their reading to the next level by posing questions that will help them fully comprehend the material and reinforce critical thinking for testing.

  • Visualize the Problem. Visualizing the problem ensures that test takers don’t get bogged down by possible distractors or additional, nonessential information. This tactic is especially useful for math problems.

  • Master Mental Math. Mental math speeds up the test taking process, and practicing with flashcards is a great way to master basic math operations and enhance mental math skills. Writing carryovers and additional steps could cost precious seconds and minutes needed to check or evaluate answers.

  • Estimate to Eliminate. Being able to estimate the answer and apply math sense is important in eliminating possible wrong answers and distractors, particularly problems that contain a wide range of answers. Even if the test taker is unsure of the exact answer, an approximation is helpful.

  • Identify Math Vocabulary. Teach your child key words associated with math problems that will help them quickly identify the correction operation to perform:

    • Addition: sum, add, altogether, both, in all, total
    • Subtraction: subtract, difference, left, less, minus,fewer, how many/much more, remains
    • Multiplication: times, multiples, area, volume
    • Division: in each, average, quotient, amount of each, per, ratio divide

Tips for All Types of Tests

  • Time Management. It’s important to spend time figuring out the correct answer, but DO NOT fixate on one problem or second guess your answer.

  • Practice Makes Perfect. Practicing and preparation are vital components to being a successful test taker. If you know that a test will contain more or a variation of a type of question, practice answering those types of questions. This is also a great way to get used to the testing environment and be aware of a time limit, which can be intimidating. With enough practice, your mind will be aware and trained on how much time is appropriate for each question.

  • Get to Bed on Time and Eat Breakfast. Although this should be every day, it is especially critical before a test. In doing both, you can focus on the test at hand instead of being tired or hungry.

  • Be Positive. It’s important to have a positive attitude when taking tests; negativity breeds distractions and mistakes. Visualize how you will be rewarded after the test, whether it is a celebratory meal or extra sleep.

Eye Level(myeyelevel.com), the global leader in self-directed learning, is proud to announce it is accepting entries for the 22nd Annual Literature Award, a worldwide competition that highlights the talents of aspiring authors of children’s books. Adults and children can enter the competition July 1 through Aug. 31, 2014 for a chance to have their story published, and win one of three global grand prizes, including a trip to South Korea and cash prizes of up to $10,000.

This year, Eye Level is inviting students to submit illustrations and short narratives to compete for a chance to have their works published and featured in an Eye Level calendar. Entrants are required to submit their entries at their local Eye Level Learning Center. Categories include:

  • Kindergartners/Pre-K Students will be tasked with creating an illustration and caption about one of several themes, such as My Family and My Favorite. One grand prize winner will receive $300; winners of a first place prize of $200 and second place prize of $100 will also be selected.

  • Elementary Students will create an illustration and short narrative (50 words or less) about “My Dream.” The theme is deeply rooted in the philosophy of the learning center which encourages children to become self-directed learners to achieve their individual dreams. One grand prize winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip to South Korea and $200. Winners of a first place prize of $300 and second place prize of $200 will also be selected.

To encourage aspiring authors of all ages, any adults 18 and older are also invited to submit a short story targeted toward children ages four to 14. The grand prize winner for the Short Story category will receive $10,000 in addition to an all-expense-paid trip to South Korea. A first place prize of $4,000 and a second place prize of $3,000 will also be selected. Entrants are required to submit their pieces online at www.myeyelevel.com. Winners will be announced in November and honored at an award ceremony in December.

For more details on submission requirements and registration, visit: http://www.dkculture.org/dkfair/en/

The U.S. Department of Education is researching and highly regarding a fundamental pillar that many secondary education centers already build their practices on – education starts with seeing things from a student’s eye level. In order to achieve goals in the classroom, instructors must properly understand a student’s learning style and perspective in order to provide an effective, innovative and customizable curriculum in a comfortable learning environment.

To fully understand this principle and further aid students, in September of 2012, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it will award $52 million dollars in grants to nationwide centers for the pre-school through 12th grade. The objective is to help districts and schools meet student achievements and goals through research-based findings. These cases will include investigating study habits and visual, auditory and tactile learning styles.

Eye Level, a global leader in pre-school through high school self-directed learning, believes that strong self-determination and a fruitful environment are keys to academic success. The company embraces the philosophy that people are always students, learning new topics and information.
“We continuously strive to be a global education service leader by developing new educational services and programs to create a lifelong education system that effectively combines on- and offline resources,” said Daekyo Chairman, Youngjoong Kang.

Eye Level’s unique perspective that instructors must first become students of their own students is what separates and contributes to the company’s success. Only when the instructor is able to make this connection to a student at the “eye level,” appropriate goals and tailored programs for the student are set and accomplished. A dynamic critical thinking principle also factors heavily into the curriculum.

Similar methods for students, of all ages, are being researched through U.S. government grants to fund the advancement of innovative and comprehensive education, from individual regional centers to the Investing in Innovation (i3) Development grant. Although providing aid, Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, understands that the responsibility does not solely rely on the student’s shoulders. As stated in October 2012 on the U.S. Department of Education website about the challenges and steps ahead.

“Today, we are asking much more of ourselves and much more of each other – and everyone is stepping up – parents, teachers, administrators, community leaders and of course students,” said Duncan.

The progress of education in the country has come a long way and the actions have been a combined effort, incorporating ideas from both public and private groups. Eye Level was the first Korean business to partner with the government’s Supplemental Education Service under the No Child Left Behind Act, granting permission to private education businesses to come into public schools and conduct after-school classes to failing students.

“Our company is dedicated to creating sound individuals, sound families and a sound society through a philosophy of human-centered management. This humanistic philosophy drives our company as we create new programs and services that best meet the needs of students worldwide,” said Kang.

While much of the research must be completed and analyzed, the U.S. government and supplemental learning organizations are committed to adapting education in hopes to increase student success, indifferent of the learning style.

Copyright 2014 Daekyo Co., Ltd
All rights reserved.

Phone: 888-835-1212
Email: info@myeyelevel.com
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