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Quick Tricks Level One
(no extra time required, minimal effort required!)
1. Look directly at the teacher when he or she is speaking. Look at his or her forehead, ears, or nose if you are uncomfortable making eye contact.
2. Greet the teacher by name when speaking to him or her at least every other day.
3. In every class, speak at least once. Ask a question, make a comment, or ask to have something repeated.
4. Arrive on time; better yet, be a minute or two early.
5. Avoid watching the clock or glancing at your wristwatch. Do not begin to move out of your desk until the bell rings.
6. Leave only after the bell has finished ringing. Pack up only if the teacher has finished speaking. Never slam a book shut, slam it on the desk, or slam the seat up.
7. Say “thank you” at least once a week as you leave. (This can be combined with #2.)
(After the student is comfortable using the Level One Quick Tricks, he or she will move on to learn the Level Two Quick Tricks.)
That wonderful, all-inclusive book Multisenory Teaching of Language Skills, edited by Judith R Birsh [see previous post] includes Chapter 18, “Learning Strategies and Study Skills, The SkORE System”, by Claire Nissenbaum.
Nissenbaum’s SkORE System (“Skills for Organizing and Reading Efficiently”) begins by teaching students fast working “Quick Tricks” that engage the student’s attention and cooperation, reduce high-frequency errors, begin systematic memory training and provide emergency strategies for handling long assignments (page 482).
Although the Quick Tricks seem simplistic, they almost always result in perceptible changes. They help a student begin a more intentional, pro-active, responsible mode of behavior. After a few weeks, writes Nissenbaum (page 489), “students generally report more positive responses from teachers.”
This in turn motivates a student to use the Quick Tricks more and more consistently, and finally a teacher begins to say “Carl’s sure showing a great attitude these days!”
[Source: Multisensory Teaching of Language Skills,ed. Judith R Birsh, Brookes Publishing Co, page 490]
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