WVA Virtual View
Online Students Have Talent!
Check out two of our online students, Sophia and Grace Babb, which make up the duo, Annie Oakley! Having played venues, events, and festivals that expanded their following with every performance, these 16-year-old twins released their debut EP, Annie Oakley, in December 2013. Their music and compelling harmonies have a soulful, indie-folk feel that has been described as coming “straight from the heart.” Annie Oakley has a lot of events coming up in April! For more information on Annie Oakley, and to see a list of upcoming events please visit http://theannieoakley.com/upcoming-events.html
Thank you for sharing your talents!
Your Voice Student Poll
In the March Newsletter we asked, “What is the best April Fool's joke you've played on someone/someone has played on you?” Here’s what you had to say:
- One thing that I love to do is grab all of my friends’ cell phones and change the language setting to a foreign language.
- One year, while my mom was at work, I hard boiled all of the eggs in the carton and put them back in the refrigerator. It paid off for me! I love egg salad sandwiches.
- Last year I put food coloring in all of our hand soap dispensers. This was also a great way to catch people that didn’t wash their hands!
- My sister is obsessed with the Hunger Games, so this year I’m going to change her contacts in her cell phone to the names of the Hunger Games characters. Katniss Everdeen calling!
- The best April fool’s joke I have done was last year. Since my mom doesn't like the taste of our water at our home she gets water in the bottles and we filter those so I changed out all of the water bottle's water with white vinegar. Let’s just say she didn't find it funny... but the rest of the family did!
Thank you to everyone that submitted a response! We hope you had a fun and safe April Fool's!!
We want to hear YOUR VOICE! It’s time to share your comments with your fellow students, teachers, counselors, and Student Achievement Coordinator. We can’t wait to hear what YOU have to say!! This month’s question is:
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE SUMMER??
This month’s Student Spotlight is on Khamis Cahn. We recently asked Khamis some questions. Here’s what he had to say:
WVA Virtual View: It's obvious that you consistently achieve your academics goals every week! What do you do to make that happen for you?
Khamis Cahn: What I do to meet my academic goals is looking at what assignments have a lot of percentage. I work with my mother and plan out how many assignments/percentage I will do that particular day. By doing this I don’t focus on how hard an assignment is. Rather I focus on making sure I complete the assignment that day and gain the percentage.
WVA Virtual View: What do you like best about your school? What would you change?
Khamis Cahn: What I like best about Wauwatosa Virtual Academy (WVA) is that the work is somewhat very easy. The Staff is very professional and nice. One thing I would change is when you fail or get a low grade on a test or quiz the teacher’s in required chat will go over the questions one by one. For this reason, we as the students will get the information better and retake the test, quiz, or assignment with ease.
WVA Virtual View: Why did you decide to come to this school?
Khamis Cahn: I came to this school to get a better education. I came also to graduate from high school. I realized later that WVA was meant for me, in getting really good grades.
WVA Virtual View: What achievement are you most proud of?
Khamis Cahn: The achievement I am most proud of is getting my percentage recommended every week so that I can graduate June of 2014. In addition to this I not only look forward to graduating but, finally being done with high school. I am ready to move on to college and get a higher education.
WVA Virtual View: What do you think is the best character quality to possess and why?
Khamis Cahn: I think the best character quality to possess is motivation and eagerness to do my school work or task. For example, one can get quite bored with their school work. Therefore, there needs to be something that motivates a person, in order to have success. I know that as long as I keep my eye on graduating I know everything is possible to get me there.
WVA Virtual View: Who is your favorite actor/actress or athlete and why?
Khamis Cahn: My favorite athlete is Lebron James. Even though I am a football person and player I still like basketball too. The reason why I like Lebron is because he is a very good basketball player. He has went through so much in his young life trying to win tournaments and accomplish his goals. Now he is a living dream of success in reaching those goals as a NBA two-time MVP.
WVA Virtual View: What about you is unique?
Khamis Cahn: Something unique about me is that I don't like to stay at home bored. I’d rather be doing something every day that is entertaining with family, friends, and new people I will meet. I really like to enjoy life. For this reason, life is an adventure waiting for people like me to go an explore it.
WVA Virtual View: What are your hobbies or work you do when you are not studying?
Khamis Cahn: Some of my hobbies would consist of going fishing, watching movies, reading magazines about Mustangs (the car), and playing video games in particular Madden NFL and NBA 2K14. I do not do things every day I actually spend most of my time on my school work because right now my main focus is graduating. I also cut grass and shovel snow to earn money.
WVA Virtual View: What do you expect to be doing ten years from now?Khamis Cahn: Ten years from now I expect to be either drafted in the NFL if I make it that is and/or working at my career job which would be repairing, building, and designing cars. I also expect to buy a car and a house if necessary. I would hope I would be moved from my hometown and be in a new city.
We hope to spotlight YOU in next month’s newsletter!
Memory Techniques for Learning from “Mind Tools”
On your path towards an education, you’ll be required to study and process a huge volume of information. In order to become more effective at learning this information, and in order to make the process easier there are memory techniques or ”Mind Tools” which can be practiced daily on your quest to becoming a successful student.
Memory techniques can be used to help you both remember facts accurately and to remember the structure of information. These tools can be split into two sections:
- The memory techniques themselves.
- How you can use them in practice.
“Mnemonic” is another name for a memory tool with the idea of using creativity to encode difficult to remember information in a much easier way. For example, a rhyming Mnemonic to help you remember an important date is, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” A name mnemonic uses the first letter of each word in a list of items to make a name of a person or thing, like ROY G. BIV, which helps you to remember the colors of the spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).
How to Use Memory Techniques
Use your whole mind to remember things by creating vivid mental images which can reliably store both information you are trying to remember and the structure of that information. Because these images are vivid, they are easy to recall when you need them.
Here are a few tips that may help make the mnemonic techniques you use more memorable:
- Use positive, pleasant images. Remember that your brain often blocks out unpleasant memories. For instance, What is a numismatist? Visualize a new mist rolling onto a beach from the ocean and the beach is made of coins. This pleasant image helps you to remember that a numismatist is a coin collector.
- Use vivid, colorful, sense –laden images-these are easier to remember than the bland ones.
- Try using humor. Funny things are much easier to remember than normal ones. For instance, picture two numismatists meeting for dinner for “old dime’s sake.”
The three essential principles of using mnemonics are imagination, association, and location:
- Imagination- The more strongly you can imagine and visualize something, the more effectively you are able to recall it at a later time.
- Association-This is a way of linking certain things together to help you remember the subject matter. For instance you might imagine a depressed bat in order to help you remember that the depressant drugs are Barbiturates, Alcohol, and Tranquilizers.
- Location- gives you two things: a clear environment into which you can place information so that it is grouped together, and a way of sorting out one mnemonics from another. For example, by setting one mnemonic at the beach and another mnemonic with images of night, you can separate them with no danger of confusion.
These are just a few examples of ways to use your on personal “Mind Tools” to help elevate the educational learning process. Understanding and practicing techniques such as these are not only useful with school and education, but can also be valuable in everyday life.
Road to Relaxation
Ugh! You have a slight problem: There are only a few more weeks left until you have to complete all of your courses by the semester deadline. Well, don’t stress out! The simple remedy is you need an arsenal of practical stress solutions that will knock out that pain in your neck, knot in your stomach, or a dozen other symptoms of stress you may experience. Here are five freebies for you:
Blow it off.
Simple deep, slow breathing can often calm the fight-or-flight response during periods of big-time stress. Usually, it takes a few seconds to feel the difference. Simply breathe through your nose while comfortably expanding first your tummy and then your rib cage. (Imagine that you are inflating a beach ball inside your gut through your navel.) Then release the breath through your nose (more slowly than you let it in) and silently say, “Hawaii” (or a word that immediately will relax you).
Crack up before you crack!
A good laugh may break up even teeth-clenching tension. Research indicates that laughter prompts the brain to release endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers. One trick you can use is to keep a great comedian or some bloopers in your favorite you tube folder. When you start thinking about the chemistry exam, just push play…it really works!
Quick muscle release
In about three minutes, you can do this to relax your muscles: First step, sit and close your eyes. Second step, inhale, and hold your breath for about 6 seconds while tensing as many muscles as you can. Third step, simply exhale with a “whoosh” and let your body go limp, then breathe rhythmically for about 20 seconds. Repeat these steps twice, and after the third release, relax for a minute, concentrating on happy thoughts.
Talk to yourself
It’s not a sign you’re crazy. In fact, it could help you avoid ending up that way. A private dialogue with your ego is a helpful way to handle stress. You are less likely to have tunnel vision about a problem when you give yourself a chance to hear, question and think out loud what you’re saying to yourself.
Turn on the tunes
Some experts say that music for relaxation should be slow, quiet and instrumental. But don’t despair if you get bored with Brahms or feel like punching someone after listening to drippy elevator music. The most important characteristics of tranquilizing music are familiarity and preference. That means Motown or Meathead, Ella Fitzgerald or Eminem – whatever makes you happy.
Even if you follow one of these tips and tricks, you’ll probably feel wired every once in a while. That’s just the natural fact, Jack. We have evolved to operate at peak efficiency under a certain amount of stress. The idea is simply to balance the excess stress with some deliberate mellowness. Best wishes to you for the rest of the semester!!
Alcohol Awareness Month
April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Do you or someone you know, drink alcohol? Take this self-test to discover if this is a problem for you or anyone else in your life.
make about alcohol and drugs. The decisions you make about alcohol and drugs will influence your health, your grades, your relationships, your job or career, or your freedom. Not to be too dramatic. . . but these are life and death decisions.
Bottom line – you are responsible for your own safety…what are you going to do?
Before we review our Ten Tips for Prevention--Youth, there are two important points to be aware of:
Age of First Use of Alcohol and Drugs:
Using alcohol and drugs before the brain has fully developed increases your risk for future addiction to alcohol and drugs dramatically. Young people who start drinking alcohol before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence than people who first used alcohol at age 21 or older. Research for drug use and drug addiction have found similar results.
Family History of Alcoholism or Drug Addiction:
Whether a person decides to use alcohol or drugs is a choice, influenced by their
environment -- peers, family, and availability. But, once a person uses alcohol or drugs, the risk of developing alcoholism or drug dependence is largely influenced by genetics. Alcoholism and drug dependence are not moral issues, are not a matter of choice or a lack of willpower. Plain and simple, some people’s bodies respond to the effects of alcohol and drugs differently. If you have a family history of alcoholism or addiction, you are four times more likely to develop a problem. To learn more: Family History and Genetics.
So then, as a young person, what can you do to protect yourself and reduce the risk of
alcohol and drug problems? Here are Ten Tips for Prevention--Youth:
- Don’t Be Afraid to Say No: Sometimes, our fear of negative reaction from our friends, or others we don’t even know, keeps us from doing what we know is right. Real simple, it may seem like “everyone is doing it,” but they are not. Don’t let someone else make your decisions for you. If someone is pressuring you to do something that's not right for you, you have the right to say no, the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away.
- Connect With Your Friends and Avoid Negative Peer Pressure: Pay attention to who you are hanging out with. If you are hanging out with a group in which the majority of kids are drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high, you may want to think about making some new friends. You may be headed toward an alcohol and drug problem if you continue to hang around others who routinely drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, abuse prescription drugs or use illegal drugs. You don't have to go along to get along.
- Make Connections With Your Parents or Other Adults: As you grow up, having people you can rely on, people you can talk to about life, life’s challenges and your decisions about alcohol and drugs is very important. The opportunity to benefit from someone else’s life experiences can help put things in perspective and can be invaluable.
- Enjoy Life and Do What You Love - Don’t Add Alcohol and Drugs: Learn how to enjoy life and the people in your life, without adding alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs can change who you are, limit your potential and complicate your life. Too often, “I’m bored” is just an excuse. Get out and get active in school and community activities such as music, sports, arts or a part-time job. Giving back as a volunteer is a great way to gain perspective on life.
- Follow the Family Rules About Alcohol and Drugs: As you grow up and want to assume more control over your life, having the trust and respect of your parents is very important. Don’t let alcohol and drugs come between your and your parents. Talking with mom and dad about alcohol and drugs can be very helpful.
- Get Educated About Alcohol and Drugs: You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions that are out there floating around among your friends and on the internet. Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated. Visit Learn About Alcohol and Learn About Drugs. And, as you learn, share what you are learning with your friends and your family.
- Be a Role Model and Set a Positive Example: Don’t forget, what you do is more important than what you say! You are setting the foundation and direction for your life; where are you headed?
- Plan Ahead: As you make plans for the party or going out with friends you need to plan ahead. You need to protect yourself and be smart. Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol or drug use. Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, no matter what, if you need them. And, do the same for your friends.
- Speak Out/Speak Up/Take Control: Take responsibility for your life, your health and your safety. Speak up about what alcohol and drugs are doing to your friends, your community and encourage others to do the same.
- Get Help!: If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs, (What to Look For), get help. Don’t wait. You are not alone.
For additional information, Learn About Alcohol, Learn About Drugs or Get Help may be helpful.
WVA Counseling Webinar
Join us for our next and final webinar for the year on April 15th. Check your classmail for specific time information and take a survey to let us know what you’d like the topic to be.
When I Grow Up
Know what you are going to do after high school? Overwhelmed on where to start? Ever wished there was one place you could go to get career information? Do you know how much money you will make in your chosen career path or how many jobs are available? Want to make a lot of money, but not sure what jobs might make that much money? All of these questions and more can be answered by visiting the US Department of Labor and Statistics Bureau of Labor Occupational Outlook handbook.
This website offers the answer to all of the above questions – or can at least get you started and thinking about what might be out there. Take a moment to check it out – it will be time well spent.
Goal Setting- Smart Goals
Setting goals is an important part of our everyday life. Goals can be small and achievable in the same day, or they can be big and multi-dimensional goals that can take lots of time and preparation, which can take years to accomplish. Whatever goal you have in mind, here are a few helpful tips when setting those goals and achieving them.
- Specific—Keep the focus of your goal narrow.
- Measurable—How will you know if you are meeting your goal?
- Attainable—Set reasonable, realistic goals.
- Relevant—Set goals that will change your life in ways that you want.
- Time frame—When will you meet your goal?
Choose categories that are important (social, family, personal, school, physical, etc.), create goals that fit into one of the categories, and then prioritize the goals. Remember, no goal is too big or small, follow the SMART Goal guidelines and set a goal today!
KidsHealth eNewsletter Invite
In our efforts to provide guidance in the area of Personal and Social skills, we are inviting you to take a look at the kidshealth enewsletter provided by www.kidshealth.org. KidsHealth is the most-visited site on the Web for information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years. One of the things that makes KidsHealth special is that it's really three sites in one: with sections for parents, for kids, and for teens. KidsHealth also provides families with perspective, advice, and comfort about a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral issues that affect children and teens. We encourage you to explore their website, sign up for the free enewsletter, and see how it can be helpful for you. Below are some direct links to specific articles in the KidsHealth enewsletter on Emotions.
It's natural for all kids to worry at times, and because of personality and temperament differences, some may worry more than others. Luckily, parents can help kids manage worry and tackle everyday problems with ease.
Emotions help us relate to other people, know what we want, and make choices. Even "negative" emotions are useful. Find out how to understand emotions and use them effectively.