The Scoop

University High School and Preparatory Academies

Welcome to the December Scoop!

Dear UHS&PA Families,

Whether your child is highly-motivated or not, it is natural for him or her to lose motivation or to tire half-way through the school year. As a parent, you may find yourself intervening by saying things like this:

· “Tell me what the problem is and I’ll help you figure it out.”

· “I know you can do this!”

· “You’ll feel better once you get something done.”

But sometimes that little pep talk just doesn’t seem to work. What do you do then?

The trouble with offering solutions and advice is that it doesn’t leave enough room for your student to figure it out for him- or herself. The solution is to balance the student’s own problem-solving abilities with your guidance. The 9 Steps to Inspire Student Motivation is one method you can attempt to support your son/daughter.

The surprising thing about the 9 Steps is that they don’t involve offering advice, giving instructions, or persuading the child to feel differently. In fact, the model warns parents to avoid these tactics. That’s because the model is designed to encourage students to identify, analyze, diagnose, and solve their own issues with your guidance and encouragement.

Here is a brief overview of the 9 Steps, highlighting both the child’s role and the parent’s role at each stage.

1. Breaking Ground

Child: Openly voice your concerns, speaking freely.
Parent: Listen without interrupting. Listen as closely and carefully as you can. Set no time limit on this step, and wait until the child is finished describing his or her specific concerns.

2. Narrow the Focus

Child: Choose one issue to focus on.
Parent: Restate what the child has said to make sure your understanding is clear. Do not add your own thoughts or ideas.

3. Envisioning the End

Child: Form a positive statement that summarizes the end goal: “I want …”
Parent: Help the child form the statement, and also offer positive encouragement.

4. Scaling the Issue

Child: Use a scale of 1 to 10 to determine how much the issue affects motivation. The “1” stands for something that halts all motivation, while the “10” is something that has no negative effect on motivation.
Parent: Assist the student in defining the scale, if need be. State what the number chosen by the student means so as to ensure that you both have a clear understanding.

5. Scaffolding

Child: Brainstorm as many ideas and solutions as possible to achieve the goal.
Parent: Say this to the child: “Imagine your situation after achieving your goal. What are some of the ways you could have gotten there?” Write down all of his or her ideas, but don’t suggest ways to improve them. Leaving room for the child to fail and try again is important to the learning process.

6. Cheerleading

Child: Clarify any ideas on the list, if need be.
Parent: Read back the list of solutions and offer encouragement to show your support and enthusiasm.

7. Plan of Action

Child: Choose the steps to take to achieve each solution: “I will…”
Parent: Help the child establish concrete actions for each solution, and list them in steps.

8. Visualize

Child: Picture your success.
Parent: Instill confidence in the child, celebrating the work he or she has done to get to this point. Set a specific date for when you will return to the 9-step cycle to review the child’s progress.

9. Seeds of Success

After using the previous steps to work on the issue for a set period of time, it’s time to move on to the stage of evaluation.

Child: Explain what you did that worked.
Parent: Take a look at the scale from “Scaling the Issue” and praise your student for any positive improvement. Point out that his or her idea worked. Determine whether the child followed all of the steps and achieved the goal. Return to the list of solutions and continue the cycle if the child wants to improve more, or start all over to address a new issue.

Source Material Adapted from Connections Academy

Educationally yours,

Dean Williams

Announcements & Acknowledgements

Metro Parent named our school as one of the best schools in the Tri-County Area. For more details please click here.

Approximately 200 students have applied for admission to UPREP and UHSA for the 16-17 school year. Thank you for your support of our school during the application period.

Wednesday, December 2, is the end of the Second Marking Period.

Friday, December 4, is UHSA & UPREP Leadership Night. Students should confirm participation with club/organization sponsors.

Freshmen have the opportunity to participate in Operation Adventure: Team Building at the University of Michigan-Dearborn on Friday, December 4, or Friday, December 11. Freshmen English teachers have permission slips.

Friday, December 11, is the NSBE Skating Party at Bonaventure. Tickets are $11.00 and may be purchased during lunch or afterschool from NSBE members.

Winter Recess begins at the end of the day, Friday, December 18. The building will close at 4:00 pm. School resumes on Monday, January 4, 2016. Have a safe break and a wonderful new year!

The Testing Corner

On Wednesday, October 14, students in grades 8-11 took the PSAT Test. We expect the test results to arrive later this month. Students should continue to increase their skills by working in Khan Academy. Khan Academy offers free, personalized test prep.

Students will begin the Winter MAP Test Cycle in January. Testing will begin on January 5th and will conclude on January 14th.

AP Exam Registration will open in February. Test dates and times, pricing, and other pertinent information will appear in the February Edition of The Scoop.

Physical Education News

This year in physical education, we have played a variety of sports and used new fitness equipment that was granted to us from the Meemic Foundation. While the weather was nice we were able to get outside and play tennis, lacrosse, soccer, and ultimate frisbee.

Students have created and presented a fitness related presentation as well. Some examples of student presentations include, volleyball skills, ballet, fitness drills, and team building games. We have also been working hard on our fitness levels. Students have been fitness tested twice, while practicing their endurance, strength, and flexibility skills. Students have participated in fitness stations using strength bands and other fitness equipment, and yoga.

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Staying Active Over Winter Break

It is hard not to indulge over the holiday season. Here are a few tips to work off those seasonal calories:

During commercial breaks, complete:

  • 15 Push-Ups
  • 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 25 Sit-Ups

· Don’t have weights or access to a gym?

  • Use cans of soup/books to complete bicep curls and other free weight exercises.
  • Walk/jog up and down stairs at your house.
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Let's Do Brunch!

Saturday, Dec. 5th, 10am-2pm

29295 Southfield Road

Southfield, MI

Please join the UHSA/UPREP PTSA for Brunch! Order from the buffet or regular menu with 20% of the proceeds going to the UPTSA! The event will take place on Saturday, December 5, 2015 from 10:00am until 2:00pm at the Southfield Pancake House - formerly Dimitri's, which is located behind Dunkin Donuts.
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Madrid & Barcelona

April 1, 2017 - April 8, 2017


Round-trip airfare, all transportation, sightseeing tours and site visits, all hotels with private bathroom, breakfast and dinner daily, full-time multi-lingual tour director.

All-inclusive insurance is available.

Click on the link for more information & check out the flyer below.

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