AAOHS Virtual View

November Newsletter

Inside This Issue

  1. 50 Fun and Fast Facts About Your SAC
  2. Online Students Have Talent
  3. Have You Accomplished Your Goals
  4. We Want to Hear From You
  5. Managing Your Courses During the Holiday Season
  6. Why Take The ACT
  7. Interest Inventory - Connecting To Potential Careers
  8. How Are Your Communication Skills
  9. Top 10 Talking to Teenagers Tips
  10. What Teens Need to Succeed


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AAOHS DOES!!

50 fun and fast facts about your student achievement coordinator, Brooks McMullan

  1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Nope
  2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Roast Beef
  3. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes
  4. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes
  5. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? If you gave me a million dollars.
  6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Kashi Go Lean
  7. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Yep
  8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR OF ICE CREAM? Chocolate Chip
  9. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I forget things
  10. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Black
  11. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Pretzels
  12. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? People typing in the background
  13. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Navy Blue
  14. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SMELL? Pine
  15. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE? Beach House
  16. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Football
  17. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE TEAM? Oklahoma Sooners
  18. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? Pizza
  19. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy Endings
  20. WHAT IS THE LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Epic
  21. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? No clue…color blind
  22. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer
  23. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION? Computer
  24. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Silver Chair, CS Lewis
  25. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Pictures of family.
  26. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SOUND? laughter
  27. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL? Physical education
  28. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE BAND/SINGER? Carrie Underwood
  29. MORNING OR NIGHT PERSON? Morning
  30. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Tortola, British Virgin Islands
  31. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Nope
  32. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE? Tan
  33. WHEN I DANCE, I LOOK LIKE…? Elaine on Seinfeld
  34. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TV CHANNEL? ESPN
  35. WHAT IS YOUR PET’S NAME? No pets
  36. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE HALLOWEEN COSTUME? My family dressed up as the Incredibles…very cool.
  37. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD AT THANKSGIVING? Turkey!
  38. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GAME TO PLAY? Active -- Dodge ball / Board Game -- Monopoly
  39. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BEVERAGE? Dr. Pepper
  40. WHAT IS ONE OF THE THINGS YOU WOULD PUT ON YOUR “BUCKET” LIST? Go to Ireland…I’m Irish.
  41. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE SUPER HERO? Captain America
  42. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOBBY? Mixing Music
  43. WHAT IS THE STRANGEST THING YOU’VE EVER EATEN? Octopus
  44. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE FROM A MOVIE? “Carpe Diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary." Dead Poets Society
  45. WHAT’S THE FIRST THING SOMEONE WOULD SEE IF THEY OPENED YOUR REFRIGERATOR? Watermelon!
  46. WHERE IS THE WORST PLACE YOU COULD GET STUCK? In the desert…
  47. WHAT STORE DO YOU SHOP AT THE MOST? Wal-Mart
  48. WHAT TV SITCOM FAMILY WOULD YOU BE A MEMBER OF? The Wonder Years
  49. WHICH IS WORSE, FAILING OR NEVER TRYING? Never Trying
  50. WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 REASONS STUDENTS LOVE CONTACTING YOU? 1, Friendly; 2. Non-judgmental; 3. Encourager


Now it’s your turn! Brooks would like to learn a little bit about you! Send Your 50 Fun and Fast Fact responses to Brooks through Classmail or email at bmcmullan@advancedacademics.com

Online Students Have Talent

Calling all students! Do you have a special talent? We want to feature you in an upcoming newsletter! Submit your art work, photography, poetry, short stories, or other creative endeavors to your SAC, Brooks McMullan, at bmcmullan@advancedacademics.com. Participants will receive a prize!
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Have You Accomplished Your Goals?

It’s that time of the year! The air is getting cool and crisp, the leaves are starting to change colors, shopping market aisles are lined with miniature football fields constructed of soda-pop cases, everyone is sporting their favorite team colors, and football is more than likely on your T.V. That’s right, it’s football season!


This time of year not only means indulging in your favorite snacks, lazy Sunday afternoons, and bragging about your team’s big win; it’s also that time of year when you should be reflecting on the goals that you’ve set for yourself.


At the beginning of the semester, your SAC, Brooks, asked you to complete a Goal-Setting Worksheet. How are you doing at this point in the semester? Did you set attainable goals for yourself? Have you followed through with completing your daily to do list in order to reach your goals?


Next time you accidentally bump into that miniature football field at the store or curl up on the couch with a bowl of cheese poofs, ready to watch the game, we hope it will remind you of these:


Top 10 Lessons Football Taught Me About Goal Setting

By Jill Koenig


“1. He who scores first gains momentum. Have you ever heard a coach talk about an upcoming game? Almost always the coach declares the intention to score first, to put points on the board as soon as possible. This is so important because it gives the scoring team a psychological edge. Scoring first has the potential to boost your confidence and deflate your opponents psyche. I have seen many games where two teams with equal talent are won by the team who scored first.”


If you start the semester off on the right track, it’s more likely that you will successfully complete your courses by your deadline. If you are behind at this point, don’t fear, your Student Achievement Coordinator can help you get back on track!


“2. Every inch, every yard forward counts because it gets you closer to your Goal. Most of your offensive plays gain at best an average of a few yards, but over time, they accumulate and contribute to forward movement. Inevitably at times you go backwards a few yards, but if you stay focused on your Goal, you can make up for it on the next play.”


What are you doing daily to ensure you reach your goals this semester? Every assignment that you turn in, every hour that you spend working on your courses, every time you chat with your teacher, you are one step closer to reaching your goals. If you feel overwhelmed, start small! Every bit you do will help!


“3. You cannot play defense the whole game. You cannot just sit back in reactive mode, waiting to see what everyone else is going to do or spend all of your energy responding to circumstances. You have to be proactive, play offense and move yourself towards the Goal by making things happen through deliberate thought and effort.”


Don’t wait until the end of the semester to realize that you haven’t reached your goals. Start doing what you need to do now! Give yourself the task of completing at least one assignment in each of your courses every day.


“4. To be effective, you must manage the clock. There are four quarters in a game and there are four quarters in one year. Carefully and strategically allocate your time, energy and manpower to perform at your peak from beginning to end.”


Talk to your Student Achievement Coordinator about where you should be in your courses each day, each week, and each month. Develop a plan of action to ensure that you are meeting those daily, weekly, and monthly goals, and you will be sure to meet your goals for the semester and the year!


“5. Take quarterly time outs to evaluate. Schedule these into your life. Examine your stats and measurements. How are you doing? You may need to make an adjustment in your game plan, tactics or fine tune your game plan for better results. If you are in need of a short break to re-energize, or are off track at any time, simply call a time out and regroup.”


Review your goals and daily actions with your Student Achievement Coordinator. What are you doing well? What do you need to change? Call your Student Achievement Coordinator today to review your Goal-Setting Worksheet!


“6. You need a strategic Game Plan. Before the game is ever played, every player must know their part and be prepared to execute.”


Have you completed your Goal-Setting Worksheet? If not, what are you waiting for? You can’t reach your goals if you don’t know what you are striving for. Setting goals helps increase your motivation, gives you purpose and direction, and helps you organize your time and resources.


“7. You need a great Coach. Even the most gifted, talented players need a Coach to bring out the best in them and keep them focused on the executing the plan. A Coach has a different perspective than the players. A great Coach brings experience and a holistic view of the game and can see things in the big picture that most players cannot see.”


Your Student Achievement Coordinator, your counselor, and your teachers are all here to support you. Who can you count on at home to hold you accountable for reaching your goals? Talk to those people about your goals and what you’re doing on a daily basis to achieve them.


“8. The greatest players in the game condition themselves year round. Those who enjoy longevity work just as hard on themselves outside of the game as they do in the game. They surround themselves with positive people who support their Goals. If luck is where preparation meets opportunity, the prepared outperform those who are not conditioned every time.”


Again, it’s so important for you to have positive people surrounding you and holding you accountable, but you must talk to them! Let them know when you’re struggling and ask for help!


“9. An effective Blitz can change the momentum and turn the game in your favor. Focusing all of your energy and attention on one area can catapult you forward by leaps and bounds.”


Make school your priority! You are busy, and if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Make a schedule each day, ensuring that you are allotting plenty of time to focus on your school work.


“10. Be a Leader, be a play maker. On every team, in every game, you know who the go to guy is who will get the job done when the game is on the line. You know who puts in the extra effort and that in a close game, that extra push is what makes a winner. Be that play maker in your chosen field.”


With online school, you must be a leader! At the end of the day, you must hold yourself accountable. No one can do the work for you, so stand up, and show others what you’re made of!


“Be a leader and approach every important goal as if it’s your own personal Superbowl!”


“Enjoy the game and live your dreams!”

We Want to Hear From You!

Have you overcome crazy obstacles to reach your goals in school or in life? How has online learning helped you be successful? Why is online learning the best option for you? We want to hear your story! Send your testimony or inspirational story to your Student Achievement Coordinator, Brooks McMullan , at bmcmullan@advancedacademics.com. Participants will receive a prize!

FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ON HOW TO MANAGE YOUR COURSES DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON

There are several important points about the upcoming Holiday Season that you should be aware of prior to planning or considering taking time off.


1. Holidays and weekends are counted toward the semester period. This means that Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are each one more day closer to the deadline. There are no “built-in” holiday times off in your semester.


2. If you have not completed your course work by the deadlines, any incomplete assignment is averaged into your final grade as a zero.


3. If you still have work to complete and you want to take time off for the holidays here is what is suggested:

  • Work ahead to complete the courses before taking time off
  • Or work ahead enough so that you are not behind when you return to finish your courses
  • If you are behind, we strongly recommend NOT taking time off


4. Remember, you can work from any computer that has internet access. As long as you have internet, you can access your courses and work to complete your assignments.


5. If you do decide to take time off, we recommend that you do not take more than a week off.


There is plenty of time for you to consider how to approach your course work verses taking holiday time off. The ultimate responsibility is yours, so plan accordingly. Please reach out to your Teachers and Student Achievement Coordinators and seek their advice.


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Why take the ACT?

The ACT is accepted by all 4-year colleges and universities in the United States.


  • The ACT multiple-choice tests are based on what you're learning.

The ACT is not an aptitude or an IQ test. The test questions on the ACT are directly related to what you have learned in your high school courses in English, mathematics, reading, and science. Every day you attend class you are preparing for the ACT. The harder you work in school, the more prepared you will be for the test.


  • There are many ways to prepare for the ACT.

Taking challenging courses in high school is the best way to prepare, but ACT also offers a number of test preparation options including free online practice tests, testing tips for each subject area tested, and the free student booklet Preparing for the ACT. This booklet includes complete practice tests (with a sample writing prompt and example essays). ACT Online Prep™, the only online test preparation program developed by ACT, is another tool to help you be ready for test day.


  • The ACT helps you plan for your future.

In addition to the tests, the ACT also provides you with a unique Interest Inventory and a Student Profile Section. By responding to these sections, which ask about your interests, courses, and educational preferences, you provide a profile of your work in high school and your career choices to colleges.


  • The ACT helps colleges find you.

By taking the ACT, you make yourself visible to colleges and scholarship agencies, so it's another way to help you get ready for life after high school.


  • Your ACT score is based only on what you know.

The ACT is the only college admission test based on the number of correct answers—you are not penalized for guessing.


  • You choose which scores you send to colleges.

When you register for the ACT, you can choose up to four colleges to which ACT will send your scores as part of the basic fee for your test option. If you take the test more than once, you choose which test date results the colleges will receive. ACT sends scores only for the test date you select.


  • Optional Writing Test.

Because not all colleges require a writing test for admission, ACT offers you the choice of whether or not you want to spend the extra time and money taking the Writing Test. Writing is an important skill for college and work, but schools use different methods to measure your writing skills. Find out what colleges have told us about their policies here.


Am I eligible for a fee waiver?

If you can't afford the registration fee for the ACT (No Writing) or ACT Plus Writing, you may be eligible for an ACT Fee Waiver. Information about the eligibility requirements and how to request a fee waiver is sent each summer to high schools.

You must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Currently enrolled in high school in the 11th or 12th grade.
  2. Either a United States citizen or testing in the U. S., U.S. territories, or Puerto Rico.
  3. Meet one or more indicators of economic need listed on the ACT Fee Waiver form.

If you are eligible, you may use a maximum of two separate fee waivers total. The waiver is used once you register, even if you do not test on the requested test date.

IMPORTANT: To take full advantage of the waiver, you must follow through and test on your registered test date.

Fee waivers cover only the basic registration fee for your test option, including up to four college choices (if you provide valid codes when you register). Waivers do not cover the late registration fee, test date or test center changes, standby fee, or any other services.

You cannot request a fee waiver directly from ACT; you must contact your high school counselor. If you receive an ACT Fee Waiver Form, follow the "Student Directions" on it for your registration method (or if requesting Special Testing).

Note: If you register online, and register during the late period or request any additional services, you must enter a credit card to pay those fees before submitting your registration.

Interest Inventory…Connecting to Potential Careers

An interest inventory is a self assessment tool, used in career planning, that assesses one's likes and dislikes of a variety of activities, objects, and types of persons; the premise is that people in the same career (and satisfied in that career) have similar interests. The counselors encourage you to click on one of the links below to assess your interests and find a career that would be fit for you!

http://www.pearsonassessments.com/tests/ideas.htm

http://www.rureadynd.com/

https://www.driveofyourlife.org/main/index.html

http://www.truity.com/test/holland-code-career-test

How Are Your Communication Skills?

Students, do you need to talk to your teacher, Counselor, or Student Achievement Coordinator, but feel too embarrassed or shy? Or, maybe you feel like you will be unable to successfully communicate with your teacher or that you may sound stupid? Well, believe it or not, you’re not alone!


We want you to feel comfortable talking to us. Please don’t ever feel like your question is too stupid to ask! We’ve heard every question you could possibly think of, and will not judge you!


If you’re still questioning your communication skills, this website has some awesome tips on developing your communication skills including:



  • Interpersonal Skills - Skills we use when engaged in face-to-face communication with one or more other people. (Verbal Communication, Effective Speaking, Active Listening, Problem Solving)
  • Writing Skills - Communication skills are not limited to direct interaction with other people and the spoken word. (Spelling, Grammar, The Importance of Structure)
  • Personal Skills - Skills we use to maintain a healthy body and mind. (Improving Self-Esteem, Building Confidence, Avoiding Stress, Communicating in Difficult Situations)
  • Presentation Skills-There will probably be times in your life when you need to present information to a group of people, either in a formal or informal setting.


“Developing your communication skills can help all aspects of your life. The ability to be able to communication information accurately, clearly, and as intended, is a vital life skill and something that should not be overlooked. It’s never too late to work on your communication skills and by doing so improve your quality of life.”


Practice your communication skills by contacting your teacher, Counselor, or Student Achievement Coordinator today!

Parent Corner

Top 10 Talking to Teenagers Tips

One of the most difficult times for any parent is when their child turns into a teenager. For a parent this is likely to be the most painful part of the growing up process aside from the big day when a child leaves home. Children who were previously happy, cheerful and willing to share their world with you suddenly start to exclude you from their life and can cut down dramatically on communication.

It is very easy to take this personally. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I certainly have experience of the situation! There are a number of actions I have taken that have helped a great deal.


These are my top ten tips for talking to teenagers.


1. Accept that life has changed

Accept there will be times when your child becomes withdrawn and doesn't want to communicate. This is only a problem if it is happening on a very regular basis. Teenagers are just like the rest of us. They have bad days and are not always in the best of moods.

2. Keep including your teen in the family

A teenager may turn their back on all the things you have ever done together or as a family. Try not to make a big deal of this. If you are going out as a family always let them know that you would like them to come without nagging at them. When they do go along, always tell them afterwards that you really enjoyed their company.

3. Find new activities to do together

Teenagers see themselves as adults, so it is not surprising they have grown out of some of the activities you used to enjoy together or would rather do them with friends. If you search hard enough there are still activities that can help maintain the bonds you have. For me this has included going to gigs and playing tennis.

As you can see from the activities I have mentioned they can be done in a group, but you are likely to derive maximum benefit if it is just you and your teen. Getting out the house and spending time together not only helps maintain the bond, but also gives your teenager a better chance to talk about their world then if the rest of the family is around.

4. Look out for how you talk

Try to ask questions that need more than a one word answer. "What did you enjoy doing there?" is more likely to start a conversation than simply asking if they had a good time.

5. Be a good listener

Usually when anybody wants to talk they just want to get something off their chest or air their views. Unless your teenager is clearly asking for advice don't jump in giving them the benefit of your knowledge and experience. Being able to work problems out for themselves helps boost their self esteem. Everyone needs a guiding hand from time to time, but nobody wants unsolicited advice that suggests they have everything wrong.

6. A little praise goes a long, long way

There is a lot going on in any teenager's head at anyone time. It is a big help if you can remain positive and upbeat. Even if it doesn't seem like it they still value you your support. Putting them down or deriding their ideas will only lead to trouble. Teenagers are likely to be very uncertain if they are trying out a new look or expressing their views. Criticism is likely to damage their possibly already fragile confidence and help to turn them against you. Even if they do not appear to they still value your opinion and they are likely to be very sensitive to your criticisms.

7. Learn to negotiate

If your teenager is not at least a little bit rebellious then there could be something wrong with them or you really are the perfect parent! For the rest of us we need to avoid laying down the law. This is likely to lead to confrontation and your wishes are likely to be ignored. Discuss situations that are troubling you and explain your feelings as calmly as you can.

8. No nagging!

The occasional argument is unavoidable. Therefore to keep your relationship as strong as possible, try not to let the little things get to you. Constant nagging will undermine any relationship very quickly. Biting your tongue too much can be painful, but it is a worthwhile price to pay to avoid silly arguments.

9. Accept times when the door is shut

There will be times when it is simply not good to talk. If your child is about to go out or is simply spending some down time alone in their room it is not a good time to try and strike up an important conversation. Watch and wait for a time when your teen seems ready to talk.

Always be available to talk when your child wants to. It may be that they have had to make a big effort to start a conversation. Be there for them when they do try to talk to you. Turning them away makes them less likely to come back again.

10. Show a little faith

At this time they also need a bit of rope, but not enough to hang themselves. Give them a bit of extra leeway with life. This helps to show them that you trust them and helps to boost their self-esteem. They will appreciate this and as long as you don't take this to extremes it will help them view you in a positive light.

There are times when you worry as a parent. If your child shows signs of becoming truly withdrawn then there is likely to be a more serious problem lurking in the shadows. The first place I would go for help would be my child's school. I would try and find out if there are problems at school and try to gain an understanding as to what may be behind the difficulties.


Tips for Helping Your Teen Succeed in School

Excerpts from, “How Do I Talk to My Teenager” by Jamie Copaken

  • Utilize the Parent Portal
  • Supervise them
  • Find them a quiet place to study
  • Ban all other activities during “school time”
  • Work with the teacher, SAC, or counselor
  • Help them use “chunking”. This is taking a large assignment and breaking it into smaller pieces. For example, just do a few math problems at a time. Or spread larger assignments over several days.
  • Motivate with praise for effort and success. This builds confidence
  • Use incentives and rewards. Only after the work is done-and done well-can they be allowed to do fun things, like watching TV, talking on the phone, or going out.
  • Back up your words. Be clear about consequences and follow through with your promises and punishments.


References

What Teens Need To Succeed

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