Reach A Student Blog

Tackling TAP- 8th Grade

Added on April 3, 2020 by Jasleen.S

What is TAP: TAP is a fifteen minute presentation in front of all of your teachers! I remember making 8-12 connections for each of my classes. It seems a little stressful, but you need to make sure you prioritize your time. I recommend students to choose a challenging topic or a unique topic. For example, My presentation was about Neuroscience. I suggest you should finish your connections as soon as you can, your teachers definitely would go over your script and help you out with any unclear connections. You should explain each connection thoroughly (5-6 sentences ). Your connections are basically the base for your script! Before you start your actual script make a rough draft or outline your connections. Your script is required to meet 15 minutes and no more than 15 minutes. I know, it may seem like a lot! But, you would actually want to write more than 15 pages. A tip: During your presentation, use notecards for key points. 

Visual Aids: I definitely would recommend to use visual aids. For example, I used a sheep's brain, and I make a jello brain with gummies in it (gummies=brain disease) During my presentation, I also gave they teachers an opportunity to dissect the brain with dissecting tools.

Layout for your Connections: 8-12 connections (depending on each subject/teacher)

Connection #1

How does it relate:

 

Connection #2: 

How does it relate:

 

Connection #3: 

How does it relate:

 

Connection #4: 

How does it relate:

 

Connection #5: 

How does it relate:

 

Connection #6: 

How does it relate:


Connection #7: 

How does it relate:

Connection #8: 

How does it relate:

Script: You should definitely make a rough draft because you will be deleting a lot of information on your script. I remember when I first timed my presentation, it was around 24 minutes. You basically have to simplify and shorten your script. Make sure your script is not boring, you don't want to lose your teacher's attention. Make some jokes, interact with your teachers during your presentation!

Presentation: Again, Don't lose their attention! Your teachers don't want to hear a 15-minute long speech. You might be nervous and it's okay! Your teachers will understand, just make sure you memorize your speech and know what you are talking about. If you mess up, its okay, play it off and keep going! If you ever need to talk to someone about TAP, talk to freshmen or sophomores about it. Ask them for their advice and their experience! I couldn't stress more to use notecards. Note Cards could be used to help you with the order of your script, bullet points you want to address during your presentation. Just read your script over and over! Don't be nervous and I'm sure you'll do great!

 

The Importance of Emails

Added on March 10, 2020 by Manya.A

The Importance of Emails

Do you ever wonder how to get involved in student activities or how you are able to communicate with teachers and other students when you are not at school about school related things? The answer is through emails. Since not everyone has the phone numbers of every single student, and definitely not the numbers of teachers, many people like to communicate about school related things through emails.

For example, the SGA, especially the High School SGA loves to try to increase grade and school involvement through emails. These emails may give links to sign up for Spirit Week Events or links to sign up for contests where you can win Free Homecoming Tickets and things like that. Emails are often sent to the entire grade, and they often contain valuable information not just about how to get involved, but many important memos such as PSAT Locations, Field Trips, and College Planning Meetings.

It's not only just the SGA and Lead Faculty that loves to communicate through emails. Many other clubs love to communicate through emails as well about meeting days and locations, and ways to collect information like T-Shirt sizes. Even teachers use emails to communicate memos about their classes like their lesson plans, quiz reminders, study guides, and location.

So, if all these people use emails for many reasons, why don't you? The email system, despite sounding boring and not as quick as text messages, is still a fabulous form of communication. It is professional, formal, and leaves a great impression on your teachers. Emails are a great way to ask your teachers questions, schedule meetings among members of the Laker Community, and blast out memos. Remember that when in doubt, check then write emails. 

 

Volunteering

Added on February 14, 2020 by Isabella.M

 Volunteering is a big aspect of academic life; it not only helps out with hours, but it also aids in building skills such as empathy, commitment, and it opens an opportunity to play a bigger beneficial role in the community around us. As known, many students look for volunteer opportunities, that is why I have interviewed Mrs. Danielle Newbold, responsible for Miles To Go, a charity organization that operates in the Orlando area.

1.How did MTG start?  What was the original idea?

"Miles To Go began one afternoon at a red light on the corner of Turkey Lake & Sand Lake Rd.  There was a panhandler there asking for money. Miles was in the backseat telling me to give him cash.  "I know you have some Mom, why aren't you giving him any?!"

I had been putting this conversation off for awhile.  Miles was not letting up this time and was getting quite upset.  So I told him, "We can't be sure how he will use the money." Miles had the solution, "So then we need to give something else!"

We went home and brainstormed items to give.  We googled, used our common sense and knowledge of our local weather.  It was a great start!

Our original idea was to do this as a mother/son community service project.  It didn't take long to realize that we were meant to do more!

Our first 150 empty bags were donated by Orlando Body & Movement Therapy.  It was there that the name "Miles To Go" came to us as well.

From there we became a 501(3)(c) and have now packed/donated over 600 bags!"

2. How can the community help MTG on a daily basis?

"The community can and has been of great help!  You can simply save your hotel shampoos, add a couple MTG supplies to your weekly grocery order, order from our Amazon wish list, order through Amazon Smile (.5% goes back to the charity of your choice), attend a packing day, host a supply drive…..so many options!"

3. What is MTG's goal?

"Our goal has been the same since the beginning; Spreading love one bag at a time. We do not have a monetary or quantity goal.  We just want to help as many people as we can. We do that with our gift of a Miles To Go bag to the homeless & also by growing compassion in the person giving the bag out."

4. Can helpers get volunteer hours? How can they be a part of MTG?

"YES!  Helping our youth is one of our favorite things!  We love assisting you get your hours and growing compassion while you do it!  You can do a supply drive with your club, team, church, family, so many options!  You can also help in by getting supplies ready for packing (like folding t-shirts, pairing items, numbering cards, etc).  Social media is a big one too! You can spread awareness, share our Amazon wish list and so much more!"

5.  Do you have any future plans regarding the future of Miles To Go?

"On the horizon we have a brunch at Plancha (the Four Seasons) November 4th where a portion of the proceeds will be given to MTG & a packing day November 15th.  Both are open to the public. We are excited to announce that Miles To Go was selected by Visit Orlando to be the philanthropic feature at their event in Tallahassee this December!

We are set to do a large school fundraiser in Ocala in February, are partnering with local schools and doctor's offices in Orlando, Windermere & Winter Garden and can be found in local gyms as well!"

*After that, if interested, I recommend you to find more information about Miles To Go and be a part of this amazing project in order to get some hours, help the community, and be a part of many smiles that come with the bags. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know!

  Isabela Maluli.

 

The Life of a Student Athletic Trainer

Added on January 9, 2020 by Kristjana.P

The Life of a Student Athletic Trainer

Football can be considered the most popular sport in America; almost every high school in the U.S. highlights the sport. What is not usually highlighted is the group of people behind the scenes, assisting the players when they are on or off the field, the people who make the athlete's health their number one priority. 

What the audience sees is a few girls carrying water racks at the football games, handing the athletes a bottle of water when they ask for it; what people don't see is the enormous responsibility that is placed on these students. 

Every day, these students go to school and go throughout their day as any other high school student. When the bell rings, they rush to the Athletic Training room and get everything prepared for that day's practice. They tape writsts and ankles for the athletes that need the support. After that, they start filling up coolers with ice cold water, bring the coolers to the field, and fill up every water bottle to the brim. 

They stand in the heat, making sure the athletes stay hydrated throughout their practice. The trainers often stay after practice just to make sure that everyone has made it off of the field safely and that there are no injuries. If the athletes do sustain an injury, however, they stay until their treatment has been completed. Most days, they stay for over 3 hours just making sure the athletes are in their best interest.

Every Friday night, the team plays a competitive game against another school, which everyone wants to do their best in. In order for the athletes to perform their absolute best, they need the assistance of their peers, who put their performance and health first. 

Every injury sustained in a sport is treated by the Athletic Trainer, who is assisted by the Student Athletic Trainers. Every player is the student's responsibility: everything from bandaging a wound to rehabilitating an athlete who suffered an injury. 

Not everyone can become a Student Athletic Trainer. In order to be considered for the responsibility, you need to be trustworthy, responsible, and dedicated. Learning the techniques needed for the part include taping wrists, fingers, and ankles for games. They need to become first aid and CPR certified so they are prepared for anything and everything regarding possible injuries. 

 

Advice for 10th Grade Extended Level Mathematics

Added on December 10, 2019 by Zaid.S

Advice for 10th Grade Extended Level Mathematics

High School Mathematics is often perceived as a polarizing subject. This is because while it might come naturally to some students, there are a larger number of students who continue to struggle with it even after years of consistent learning. While 9th Grade Extended Level Mathematics was relatively straightforward, 10th grade extended Level Mathematics is a major step up in difficulty in every way possible. I'm here to share some tips and thoughts on how to prepare yourself and succeed in the class. 

Structure of Questions:

First of all, the questions in 10 grade extended level mathematics are structured in a format that mimics IB Questions. While these questions aren't necessarily as hard as regular IB Questions, the framing of the question can easily throw students off. One thing I've learned the hard way is that these pre IB Questions are very rarely taken directly from the homework. While the overall concept is present 10 EL questions are designed to measure your ability to think and process information, not memorize questions. 

Other Resources:

This brings me to my next tip relating to resources. While doing the homework is very important, you might need to rely on outside resources to guarantee yourself a high grade. Resources I recommend are Khan Academy, YouTube videos from "The Organic Chemistry Tutor", and most importantly your teacher. In order to excel in 10 EL Mathematics, you must understand the basic concept and apply it in various situations. Going after school and asking questions in class is a smart way of doing this. 

An Open Mindset:

If you are someone who has excelled at mathematics in the past and then suddenly notices an alarming portion of marks off in the first few tests, don't get discouraged. 10 EL Mathematics is meant to prepare students for both IB Standard Level Mathematics and IB Higher Level Mathematics which means it's going to be harder than usual. If you keep telling yourself that you just aren't capable of doing math then it will simply prevent you from going over your mistakes and learn from them. On top of that, if you demonstrate to your teacher that you are trying everything in your power to succeed in their class, they'll be more inclined to support you with whatever problems you have.  

 

Lakerthon

Added on November 19, 2019 by Natalie.W

Lakerthon

Dance marathon is a movement that has swept the U.S with the goal of raising money, spreading awareness, and showing the power of dancing and fun. WPS held our first dance marathon last year, called Lakerthon, and we raised over $35,000. It was an absolutely amazing experience, and we are hoping to make this event grow every single year. As most people don't know everything about Lakerthon, I figured I would summarize what Lakerthon is, the benefits, and how it makes a positive impact on our community.

Lakerthon is a fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals that raises money for sick and injured kids. We raise money specifically for Arnold Palmer and Winnie Palmer here in Central Florida, so you know exactly where your money is going. We fundraise throughout the school year, leading up to Lakerthon night, which this year will be on February 1st, from 5-11 in the WPS gym. We have a bundt cake fundraiser, poinsettia sales, a spirit week, and so many other opportunities to raise money. It is an all school event and we try to connect the LS, MS, and HS in order to make the biggest impact.

On the actual Lakerthon night, there is dancing, food, games, and hearing from miracle families who graciously tell us their story. Everyone at the event stands for the whole night as a symbol for kids in hospital beds who can't stand. "We stand for those who can't". We commonly use the phrase #FTK, which means "for the kids", meaning that everything we do is for them, and all money raised goes towards helping them.

We raised $35,000 last year, but our goal this year is $60,000. This isn't possible without all of our miracle makers and the support of our community, both inside and outside of school. We encourage anyone and everyone to participate in Lakerthon, because there are so many ways that you can make a miracle in a kid's life.

 

Note Taking

Added on November 1, 2019 by Ryleigh.R

Note Taking

Taking notes is an incredibly important part of learning especially in high school. Although I did not attend WPS for middle school, I have heard that it was pretty easy. At my old school we would often just get an outline or notes already taken for us that we would review in class a lot so we didn't have much to study at home.

Notes are used both in class and at home studying and without them you will not know what to study. Almost as important as the content of the notes is the layout. Notes should have everything you need to make the connections content wise but I find that having a good set of colored pens, markers, or highlighters can help a lot. Not only will your notes look better but when they are neat and structured well, they will be easier to study.

Some teachers are really good about taking structured notes for you copy down from the board, a slide show, or a google doc. If not following a few of my tips listed below should get you off to a good start.

Title :

At the top of the page have a detailed yet concise title that is larger than the rest of the text on the page. It should be about the topic directly.

Subtitles

These should be larger than the rest of the writing that should follow it. They should also be concise. The content of a subtopic should be something along the lines of an essential idea to the topic or a description of the topic.

Headings:

This should be the name of the subtopic.

Subheading:

Slightly smaller than a heading, this could be a sub-category under the subtopic.

Sub Subheading:

The smallest of the headings and can be anything like a word that gets defined directly after. Something less "big picture" than the topic, subtopic, or subcategory but more important than a regular sentence.

Normal text:

This should be the descriptions of everything that is listed above.

The style of your notes in completely up to you but underlining important words in sentences, highlighting topics, using different colors for different sections and including diagrams will really help with note taking.

Although it is "old fashioned" it is definitely helpful to take your notes by hand. It is scientifically proven that taking notes by hand helps to remember what you wrote down plus you want to always be able to take notes and some teachers no longer allow computers to be open during a lecture and handwritten notes don't need wifi.

 

Taking Classes Not Offered at WPS

Added on October 7, 2019 by Jordan.B

Taking Classes Not Offered at WPS

One thing many Windermere Prep students don't realize- you can take the electives or courses you want online even when the school doesn't directly offer them and still have it count as one of your class periods. If Windermere Prep isn't offering a course or elective you're passionate about/really want to take part in, you do have the possibility to take that course during the school year! There are many options offered as to what you can do to ensure you're taking a course you're excited to learn about. For example, I am taking a film course, and a photography course online this year. I am taking these classes because I'm extremely passionate about these subjects, and unfortunately, Windermere Prep does not offer them as a course. But, I don't have to let that restrict me from learning about what I want to do! It's awesome that Windermere Prep encourages their students to do what they're interested in, as they want their students to succeed, so I advise you to take advantage of this. 

Here are some things to consider if you're interested:

-You must talk to your counselor, and have them approve it. This is crucial! They must understand why you want to take the course and how it will benefit you in the future. Your counselor can discuss options with you as to what platforms meet Windermere Prep's standards/work best for you. 

-You need to be prepared to do work on your own. Online courses are relatively independent, so being self motivated is a must. An online course is still a class, and there are assignments and tests that may be due each week. You need to plan accordingly and allot time each week to complete assignments as you would for your classes at Windermere Prep.

-If you do end up taking an online course in place of one of your electives or other courses, you may be permitted early release. Since I am taking two online classes, I have early release each day, as I don't have a 6th or 7th period. This may not work/be ideal for every person's individual situations, but it is something to bring up when speaking to your counselor. 

 

A Look Into The Fine Arts

Added on March 10, 2019 by Nur.I

A Look Into The Fine Arts

Windermere Prep offers a wide variety of choices in their Fine Arts department - you can focus on traditional art, dance, drama, or band and orchestra music. I know that sounds daunting, especially if you're first entering high school. It can be hard to choose, especially if you think that you're not particularly good at any of these. But I'm here to tell you that innate talent should not guide you in your decisions, at least in the art program.

High school is the time when people really start to learn more about themselves. They learn what they want, what they're good at, and how to become more independent. They also learn to challenge themselves, and to try and learn new things that they've never done before.

Many of the students you see that blow you away with their sheer talent in art? It didn't come to them just like that. They dedicated time to practice and work on their skills because they genuinely wanted to learn. That's why the teachers are there: to help you learn and practice. They don't look at a student and think, "oh, they're good at dancing, I'm only taking them in my class." They look at a student and consider their potential.

There's no real way I can help you choose what you want to do in the Fine Arts program; that's all up to you. Think about what you want. Consider these questions:

  • Do you want to try something different and new?
  • Do you have a passion for something in the arts department? Do you want to stick with it
  • Do you want to challenge yourself?

Answering these questions will make it easier to make the decision, and hopefully it will leave you satisfied with whatever choice you make.

Good luck, everyone!

 

Transitioning to High School

Added on February 1, 2019 by Grace.A

Transitioning to High School

As you transition from middle school to high school, you start to get more work with due dates closer together. It's important to know the best way to study for tests and the best way to turn in assignments. One important tip is to know your teacher and figure out how they do the tests. Some give you practice tests, and for some, you may have to go up and ask the teacher. I have both of those cases this year as a freshman and it's important to know your teachers, tests and the material. Another important study tool that I learned is to not over complicate the question and just break it down, really understand it.

An important study tip I learned, is to also prioritize your time. This helps especially because if you have a very tight schedule and you think very little time to study for tests or work on assignments its very important you prioritize your time. Something I have learned this year is when I am stressed, the 2 hours that I have to do homework, I need to shut off my phone and just go and get it done. If you really try and just sit there and focus for a solid 2 hours, you could get the work done you would typically do in 5 or more.

 

Come Blog With Us At Reach A Student

Added on January 10, 2019 by Sarina

Come Blog With Us At Reach A Student

I hope everyone had an amazing New Year! 

Our goal at Reach a Student is to help the students at Windermere as much as possible by providing tips and help from a student's perspective.  Answering questions is a great way for students to connect and share with one another, however, the knowledge shared is limited by the questions asked.  Blogging allows students to share their thoughts more freely and anyone can provide their peers with whatever information they think would be beneficial.

Since I believe that every student has some kind of insight that could be useful to others at WPS, anyone can contribute their own personal entries to the blog.  I can even make your entry anonymous if you choose to.  I also believe that the WPS teachers have valuable experience from when they were students (for example, how they faced and overcame an obstacle that a student might be facing today), so I reach out to all WPS faculty and hope you will contribute to our blog. 

If you would like to submit a blog entry, email me at sarina@reachastudent.com

 

The Responsibilities of a Theatre Student

Added on December 1, 2018 by Alex.S

The Responsibilities of a Theatre Student

With the new addition of the Cypress Center and the brand new theatre, there has been a lot of speculation of the theatre programs, including the addition of IB theatre - what does this all mean? I am able to participate in most theatre functions and have a large understanding of how the performing arts programs run daily, as well as all the opportunities available for students.

Thespians

It's called "Thespians" for short, however it is the International Thespian Society. This is a club that revolves around theatre in general, as well as going to theatre competitions. Students practice scenes, monologues, songs, and technical events like costume design and playwriting, and participate in a festival for a few days in our district whilst being judged, and if they get a high enough score, can take a trip to the Florida state festival and take workshops and classes from the very best as well as performing. However, thespians has multiple other events for those who do not get into districts- this includes Improv. Night, The Haunted House, Shakespeare Night, and many new events such as Miscast and W factor (in which boys perform female numbers and vise versa), and school events like the homecoming parade. However, this club forms a community and even if you do not participate on stage or backstage but enjoy the art form, then it is to learn about and celebrate everything theatre has to offer.

WHAT THESPIANS REQUIRE

  • Meetings every Friday
  • Energy whenever we meet or participate!
  • Watch or participate in other theatrical events/shows
  • Go to districts and if possible state
  • Spread the word of theatre around WPS!

OFFICER LIFE

The Officers are very involved in running thespians - our sponsor helps us, however organization of events is all us. We make plans for all the meetings, send emails, and decide what to do throughout the year. We have to be leaders of the troupe and help critique district pieces, have separate meetings, go to club events, find ways to raise money, etc. It is very busy, almost like a job as well have to do something everyday, but very rewarding.

School Shows

With the opening of the cypress center came a plethora of new school shows for students to participate in - both offstage and onstage. These include the current "Peter Pan" All School, the high school play "Steel Magnolias", the HS/MS musical of "Addams Family", as well as the Lower Schoolers "Cinderella" and the MS Broadway review. There will also be a summer camp show of "Les Miserables" in which anyone in the community can participate in. This means that it is a fulfilling year for both technical and theatrical students, but it is also a lot of work.

  1. The Students must research the show and prepare songs and sides before auditions
  2. Auditions and callbacks last approximately a week, with students getting tried for multiple rows and learning new material throughout the week until the roles are chosen
  3. Once roles are given out, students must learn their lines as quickly as possible - once the scene has been blocked it should be memorized and not revisited until cleaning.
  4. Depending on the role, students must be present for long hours after school and for multiple days in the week. For example in peter pan, I have rehearsal 4-5 days a week until 6pm. If not in a scene, students would be memorizing lines or doing homework.
  5. Many techies have to shadow performers and come to rehearsals in order to see how the show runs and to practice moving sets/lightning/finding props
  6. There will be weekend rehearsals for both set building and for full runs of the show, which can be long and detailed and tiring.
  7. Tech week is the busiest time for a production- students spend long amounts of time in the theatre working the show, usually until 7-9 at night. Juggling this and school work as well as other extracurricular activities can be very difficult, and the rehearsals take a lot of time and effort in order to make sure as the pieces of the puzzle (the set, music, blocking, and other technical effects) fit together.
  8. Show week is the time in which the months of preparation are worth it- students work hard in order to show everyone what they had been working on. It is tiring, but rewarding to see the positive comments and to have an audience. There is usually more time to do other work as well.
  9. After the final show, students are rewarded with an after party in which they get to relax and celebrate their work. It can be quite sad to close a show because of all the effort put into it and the memories made, but soon students get excited for the next and will take what they have learnt from the past show with them.

Classes

The performance sets are very difficult to maintain, therefore many students take classes in and outside of school in order to keep and improve their skills. A lot of theatre students take dance classes in order to keep with the demand of movement in shows, as well as musical theatre which can contain high intensity dancing in multiple styles. They also take choir or chorus, to learn the proper technique of singing, the different variations, and how to be united in a group. Both of these classes also give the benefit of making the student a triple threat, something desired in the community because of the versatility of the student that allows them to perform roles with multiple requirements (for example a character that can sing opera, or Tap dances). Some students even take music classes to learn or understand musical instruments and how to read music- there are many shows that now require actors to play instruments and the business is very competitive. These music students also have an opportunity to play in the orchestra of a show.

However, the most important part is acting or theatrical classes. It is the backbone of musical theatre - performance is about expressing yourself, which is what this class does. There is so much variation in acting and an actor can always improve in each style and in each style and needs constant direction in order to be as close to perfect as possible. This helps abstract theatre, speech, script work, directing and critiquing others, and being able to learn about techniques.

Technical theatre is also expanding at our school, through the use of the art classes. WPS is beginning to make its own sets, and creative minds are needed for this. Students that take art classes are creative, problem solvers, able to view the full picture and see what compliments, and bring new ideas to the table.

It is important to take these fine and performing art classes because it keeps the students in a creative mindset, allows them to expand and grow, and can bring it to their multiple projects.

Volunteering

Many students find their volunteer hours through the performing arts. Many of the lower school and middle school shows invite HS and MS students to tech backstage or stage manager, as well as help the children, and the high school shows have a tech team that consists of high school students- for example, many high school students are "fly crew" in Peter Pan, which is a very big job. Not only does it create leadership and organizational skills, but it gives students many CAS and volunteer hours. Thespians tech at both W factor and Mr. Windermere Prep, and students usually help the performing arts teachers in tasks.

 

How to Succeed in IB Pysch!

Added on November 10, 2018 by Nabiha.A

How to Succeed in IB Pysch!

In the IB Diploma program, I am taking Psychology at the HL level. This course fully revolves around real-life events, and there is a focus on biological, cognitive, and sociocultural levels of analysis. In addition to learning about these aspects, we need to know and understand many studies - which could be experiments, observations, correlations, and etc. These complex studies are used for short answer questions (SAQ) and Essays. Although a SAQ requires one study and an essay requires three (most of the time), students need to know much more to be fully prepared for an exam. From my experience, here are some of the things that I think are helpful.

    • Understanding will help you memorize: This course requires a high degree of knowledge on the material taught. In order to know such a multitude of background information and those "studies," I have to start studying one to two weeks ahead of time. In this way, I would retain (and understand) the information for a much longer time and I would be more confident about it. This is also a way for me to have questions in mind to ask the teacher. Usually, cramming might help you for a one-day exam, but it won't help in the long-run.
    • Outlines: For the SAQ's AND Essays, writing an outline for each prompt (or most of them) is highly recommended. In this way, the format is easier to remember, especially since the organization is a big part of the writing requirement.
    • Making Connections: Try to connect levels of analysis to your daily life. Psychology is all around us, and comparing what you learn to your personal experiences will help you understand the material even better.
    • Talking to the Teacher: Asking questions to the teacher and reviewing over certain sections can be very helpful. Ms. Isley is very kind and is always happy to help:)
    • Review: It is important to know that the IB Exam in May of your senior year is a cumulative exam. I would recommend reviewing previous material from time to time, especially since lots of material can be forgotten with the breaks.

 

A Junior's Guide to The College Application Process

Added on October 30, 2018 by Jenna.B

A Junior's Guide to The College Application Process

If you're a junior, you know that practically everyone has begun breathing down your neck about college. 11th grade is the year where you research, visit and begin to decide upon which colleges you want to apply to. The college search process can be daunting, especially when you don't know where to start. Here are some tips from a senior who just applied to three schools today!

What Should Matter in The Search Process?

The school you attend will be your home for the next four (possibly more) years. You'll want to consider whether you'll be happy there. One factor you should consider is the location and atmosphere of the school. How far away do you want to be from home? You have the opportunity to move somewhere completely new. Do you prefer living in the city or in a more traditional style campus? You'll also want to consider the people that attend that college and the professors. Could you see yourself making friends and lasting connections there? Also, consider the dorms that the school offers. Would you feel comfortable there? Another factor you'll want to consider is majors and academic programs. You are going to college to learn, after all. You'll want to look for a school that offers the program or major you're interested in and research exactly what that program entails. Even if you are undecided, are there a number of majors or programs you could potentially choose later on? In addition, you'll want to consider if the school has any athletic programs or extracurricular activities that you are interested in. Even though you are there to learn, you won't spend all of your time on academics so you'll want to look for somewhere where you can also enjoy yourself. Some additional factors that might come into play in your search might be internships in the area, study abroad programs, leadership programs, etc).

What Shouldn't Matter in The Search Process?

There are many misconceptions about what to look for in a college. Just because a college is popular or has a good reputation, doesn't mean that you should apply there. I'm not discouraging you from applying to those schools, just be sure you are applying there because you could really see yourself there and not because the college is a household name. Also, just because a college has a lower acceptance rate, that doesn't mean it is any better than a school with a higher acceptance rate. Don't apply to a school simply because their acceptance rate is 10%. Apply to that school if you feel that it is a good fit. An acceptance rate should not be a deciding factor, it is only important in showing you your chances of getting into that school. You don't want to apply to a college based on a reputation, so make sure you like the school enough to consider going there if you are admitted.

What Should You Consider?

There are many factors you should consider in the process. One of these factors, as mentioned before, is location. Do you want to stay instate or do you want to move out-of-state? My advice is that you should apply to a mix of both, if you are unsure. Another factor you should consider is the size of the school. Size of schools can range anywhere between 2,000 students to 50,000 students. The social dynamic is going to vary depending on the size of the school, so you should consider whether you want to be a part of a smaller, closer-knit community, or a larger, more diverse community? As mentioned above, you should also consider majors and programs. Some majors may be more rare, and not all colleges may offer that major. On the other end of the spectrum, some majors are offered at almost every school, so you should search for a program that stands out to you (in a good way). Lastly, you should consider the cost of the school. This is something you'll want to discuss with your parents later on, but you should be aware that depending on whether the college is private or public and whether you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, cost is going to vary greatly.

Where to Start Looking?

Now that you are aware of what to keep in mind during the search process, you are probably wondering where to start. I recommend starting with one factor on the list above and using Naviance or Google to find colleges that potentially fit one of those factors. If you know of a college that you're already interested in, research that college and see if you like what they offer. Later on, you should start to look into the requirements for the application process and plan to visit the campus if you can. Visiting the campus will give you a better feel for the atmosphere and the people that attend the school.

Even though you don't need to start looking for colleges until second semester (summer, at the latest), it isn't a bad idea to get a jump-start during the first semester. Don't stress out about finding the perfect college, you only need to find a list of schools that you are interested in. Most students apply to somewhere between four to eight schools, but your interest list can be much longer than that. You'll be able to narrow down that list later on when you start to apply.

Good luck with your college search process!

 

Navigating APUSH

Added on October 16, 2018 by Natalie.W

Navigating APUSH

If you have ever heard of APUSH (AP US History), you probably heard that it is one of the toughest classes at Windermere Prep. Compared to other schools, WPS offers this course at 9th grade, while other schools offer it at 11th and 12th. I am just going to flat out say that if you aren't willing to work hard and put in the time, then this class is definitely not for you, as the work never stops. Now as a former survivor of APUSH, I know a few things about how this class works, and what it takes to succeed.

Outlines

The first part of this course is outlines. Every night, you basically summarize a part of a textbook chapter in a specific format, which Mr. Zoslow then checks the next day. Every outline is a total of 3 points, so as long as you complete it, you should get full credit. Of course it depends on how many pages your reading is for that night, but my outlines were around 10 pages, give or take a few pages. You might be stressing out during your first outline, and it might take you a long time, but just know that they get easier as you continue on throughout the year. My advice to you is to use every minute of the day for outlines. Even 5 minutes at the end of another class can get you a few paragraphs outlined. Don't worry about making everything perfect, because honestly Mr. Zoslow just scrolls through it, and doesn't actually read everything word for word.

KBATS

KBATS are just a bunch of vocab words that you think are necessary to study for the unit exam. The catch is that Mr. Zoslow doesn't give you a vocab list, but you have to come up with the words yourself and then write definitions for them. My suggestion is to either underline or highlight your KBATS while you are outlining so you can go back and know which words you thought were important. Some won't agree with me, but I found it easy to complete my KBATS while I was outlining so that way I didn't have to worry about them later. You will just have to determine what works best for you. Make sure you are only doing definitions for words that are necessary, or you will end up with a couple hundred words for each chapter. Lastly, DO NOT procrastinate these. I guarantee the last thing you want is to have to complete a couple hundred vocab words in one night.

EDQs

EDQs (essential daily questions) are a necessity in this class if you want to succeed. You get a specific question based off of your reading from the night before, and you have to answer it in the form of an essay. When you come to class the next day, there are usually 3-4 readers depending on time, and you get 10 points for reading your EDQ, even if it is completely wrong. It definitely takes a lot of courage to read in front of your classmates, but just know that your classmates really don't listen to the EDQs. Even though you may think that Mr. Zoslow isn't paying attention, he definitely is, so don't try to slide in some wrong information or information from a different topic. There are three main components that you have to include by the end of the year; thesis, contextualization, and synthesis. You will gradually need to do all three, but the first quarter is just composing a thesis. After you read your EDQ, Mr. Zoslow will ask you to repeat your thesis. Don't worry about not knowing how to write one in the beginning, but just make sure you know what you are talking about. Don't try to make up information that isn't true or accurate, because Mr. Zoslow will ask you about it.  You want to make sure that you get your readings done as soon as possible. When you get to the end of the quarter, everyone is in the same boat as you, and then there are too many people and too few days for everyone to read and get their points. At the end of the year for me, there was a huge waiting list everyday for reading your EDQs, and some people emailed 2-3 weeks in advance for a spot to read. You want to complete them every night and not procrastinate doing them, because you will eventually have to turn in an EDQ packet at the end with all of your essays. It is definitely harder to write an essay and remember the information from a month ago, rather than just writing it the night you learned the material.

Unit Exams

I'm not gonna lie; the unit exams you will take for APUSH will SEEM very impossible, but they aren't. After your first few tests, you learn what Mr. Zoslow is looking for, and what it takes to get a good grade. When studying for these exams, don't focus too much about the minor details, but make sure you know the overall picture. You have the whole class period to complete the test, so right when you walk in the door, make sure you already have your pens and highlighters in hand. Trust me: every minute counts. There are 55 multiple choice questions, and there is no possible way that you could get all of them right. I would recommend to spend about 10 minutes on the multiple choice because the essay is where you get the most points. When you get to the essay, make sure you do a little 2-3 min outline of what you are going to write, because that alone can get you 5 points. You get a point for everything you get right, but a point off for something wrong, or even more points if it is a really dumb answer, so just right everything that you know. However, if you are unsure of a date or a specific detail, don't write it, because you may get a point taken off for it. Make sure you frame the narrative, and for every person that you introduce, make sure that you describe him/her and not just simply write their name. If you are given documents, you MUST use all documents or else you will get points taken off. Keep reminding yourself that you are in APUSH, so make sure you don't find yourself focusing too much on other countries. Lastly, sleep is the most important thing. If you don't get enough sleep, your brain can't properly function, and you won't be able to remember any of the information.

Grading the Unit Exams

All of the APUSH tests are curved, which means that points are added on to your raw score. Your raw score is the actual grade that Mr. Zoslow got from your exam, but the curve is made based on how everyone else does. If everyone did really good on the test, then the curve is going to be lower, but if everyone did bad, the curve might be higher. There is what is called a floor, which is the lowest possible score someone could get. If you get lower than the floor, then the floor score is the one that shows up in the gradebook. For example, if someone got a raw score of 20, the curve was 40, and the floor was a 65, then they would get a 65 in their grade book. If someone got a raw score of 80, and the curve was 40, then they would get a 99 because that is the highest grade you could get.  Just know that your first probably won't be the score that you wanted, but it will get better from there.

Study tips

Use your friends for resources, because they are going through the same struggles that you are. Collaboration is key in this class, because there is so much information that you can't possibly remember all of it. Use your prep book, and watched jocz production videos. Before tests, look up practice essay questions and write out a brief outline just to practice to ensure you know the information. Take notes during class so that you make sure you are paying attention and can later use them for a review resource.

The AP Exam 

At the end of the year, you will take the nationwide APUSH exam. It includes a DBQ, a long essay, multiple choice, and short answer questions. Your grade is given on a scale from 1-5, but don't expect that you are going to get a 5. Remember that you are going against juniors and seniors, and a 5 is really hard to get. I would definitely study a lot for this exam because you want to get at least the passing grade of a 3. Also, at the end of the year there is a US history subject test that is required for some colleges, so I would recommend taking it so that way you don't have to worry about it when you are a junior or senior.

One thing to know about this class is that it never stops, not even during breaks or on weekends. Even when you finish an outline, you always have one for the next day or another assignment you should be doing to get ahead. Despite all of the work that you have to do, it is really hard to do badly in this class, as long as you complete all of the necessary work. Even if you get the floor on every test but complete all of your EDQs, KBATS, and outlines, then you might end up with a B. This class is very independent, and it teaches you how you best learn and how to manage your time better. One thing to steer away from is comparing yourself to other people. Don't panic if someone already had their outline done for tomorrow when you haven't even started. Everybody works at their own pace and in their own way. By the end of the year, you will be thinking and working 10 times faster than you were in the beginning of the year. Just know that at the end of the year, you will finally be able to say, "I survived APUSH", and trust me, it's a great feeling.

 

Shailee Shroff 's Special Olympics Football Event with NFL Super Bowl Champion Ray Lewis

Added on September 10, 2018 by Student

Shailee Shroff 's Special Olympics Football Event with NFL Super Bowl Champion Ray Lewis

After participating in the Special Olympics and WPS football clinic and watching the Ray Lewis interview, I want to send a word of thanks to Shailee Shroff on a stellar job!  It was a once in a lifetime event to have the Hall of Famer - Ray Lewis participate with us in teaching football skills to Special Olympics athletes on Saturday at WPS. Not only did it build up the WPS Football team, but we had a great time teaching these great kids about a sport we love.  I especially loved seeing all fun personalities on the Special Olympics team from areas as far as Vero Beach and Lake County.   It was crazy how excited and hyped up they were to meet Mr. Lewis!  Your tenacious and persistent nature helped to get Mr. Lewis to attend – I am sure this was not an easy task.  The questions you asked during the interview helped me realize that he is a caring guy who is much bigger in life than the sports figure on TV.  He gave some great advice and showed the power of dreaming and believing in yourself.  Thanks for inspiring me Shailee!

 

How to get a Perfect Score on your 8th Grade TAP

Added on July 12, 2018 by Sarina

How to get a Perfect Score on your 8th Grade TAP

I remember when the first day the Turning A Page project was introduced to me in 8th grade I was nervous. I wanted to end middle school strong and so I decided to do something unique. I wanted to do something that no one had ever done before, and so I chose the topic of fortunetelling and mysticism. I recommend to students who are looking to challenge themselves to choose a topic out of the norm. By not choosing a hobby or something that I was familiar with, I learned new things. For example, I learned how to read fortunes and I studied the culture of gypsies and fortunetellers. I think that choosing a topic that you do not know well adds a completely new meaning to this project.

Many students may believe that they can start working on the project only a few weeks before their TAP presentation. I think that it is really beneficial to start working on TAP as soon as you can because it takes a lot of time to make your presentation the best that it can be. It gives you time to ask the teachers anything that you may feel concerned about.

Before you start writing your TAP script, start by writing out an outline. I personally preferred making a list. I numbered the list from 1-10 and then I wrote the class subject and explained how my topic could be connected to the subject. It helped to color-code the different class topics. For example:

1. Edgar Allen Poe (A Dream Within A Dream): Explained connection #1

2. Edgar Allen Poe (The Raven): Explained connection #2

3. Writing (Persuasive Writing): Explained connection #3

4: Writing (Foreshadowing): Explained Connection #4

5. The Giver (Conformity): Explained Connection #5

6. The Giver (Colors): Explained Connection #6

After you make your outline, you should show each of your teachers the connections for their class to make sure that they will accept all your connections. Also, it may be helpful when thinking of connections, to refer to Edmodo and look at all of the folders for each class. For math I went through the textbook and read the word problems because they can help for inspiration.

While you are thinking of connections, come up with your visual aids. You can make certain connections by using visual aids. For example, on my topic of fortune telling, I used items such as candles, a crystal ball, and tarot cards. Visual aids are extremely helpful if you know how to use them to your advantage. I made numerous connections to what I read on the different tarots cards. For example I had written:

In the picture of the sun tarot card, you see the planets revolving around the sun. Galileo Galilei, an Italian physicist, astronomer, engineer, and philosopher, proclaimed that the Earth and the planets in our solar system revolved around the sun – a controversial idea at the time as the common belief was that the planets revolved around the Earth. He was also known for throwing two rocks of different sizes off the Leaning Tower of Pisa to see if the heavier rock would hit the ground first. To his surprise Galileo discovered that the rocks, no matter the weight landed on the ground at the same time. As a result of his findings, Galileo theorized that objects of different weights and masses would have the same amount of force pushing them down.

It might be helful when starting to write out the rough draft of your script, to print out your outline. While you type different connections into the script, cross them out from the outline. By doing this you are making sure that you include all of your connections into your presentation. When you are first writing up your script, don't worry about making your writing perfect, just type an outline of your presentation just indicating how each connection will be used. Once you finish the outlining, then go back to finalize and revise it. With your finalized script, it is really important to time yourself as you read it out loud to make sure that your presentation will fit the 15 minute time frame. At first, my script was too long by several minutes and it took a long time to shorten my it down.

One VERY important thing that I learned while making my script is that it is more about making the connections than going extremely in depth on your actual topic. I struggled a lot with time because I had long sections where I talked about my topic and very detailed connections. If you are struggling with time like I did, first simplify the descriptions of your topic before making big changes to your connections. Remember that you are being graded more on the connections, than how detailed you were in explain the topic.

In your presentation, be sure to think of a way to interact with the teachers. Your teachers do not want to hear a 15-minute long speech; they want to feel as if they are being transported into the setting that you have created. Think of how you can use the space that you are given to your greatest advantage. Decorate your presentation area by making it authentic to your project. For example for my fortune telling topic, I decided to make a tent with a lot of gypsy fabrics and lanterns. I researched my topic to see how gypsies decorated their space for fortune telling. I think the visual appearance was one of the biggest contributions that made my project different.

When you are at the final stage of TAP where you are practicing the presentation, and you find it difficult memorizing the order of your script, it may be helpful to make a few note cards with generalized bullets that will prompt you to remember what to say next. Try to separate your script out into different sections and take some time every day to memorize each section one by one, this will make memorizing quicker. For memorizing, I found it helpful to read each section over and over again until I could say the written words without looking at the script.

 

How To Stay On Top of Your Work + Study Tips!

Added on July 2, 2018 by Marya.T

How To Stay On Top of Your Work + Study Tips!

If you've ever found yourself floundering to maintain your grades, barely getting by the first week of school, follow these tips and strategies I have cultivated over my past two years as a high school student at Windermere Prep. 

Time management and Organization

When school, sports, and other extracurriculars get crazy, time management is key to maintain a good learning experience. As a high school student, or a student of any grade, you need to recognize what needs to be done urgently and what can wait. The best way to do this is by finding a system of organization. Whether it be a planner, Google doc, or a notebook, find a place where you can organize everything that needs to be done into categories: mandatory work, extra work, questions you might have, due dates, reminders, notes, etc…This will let you know exactly what you have to do, when, and what's coming up. 

Talk to your Teachers

As much as you don't want to believe it, your teachers are here to help you! Don't hesitate to ask them for help after school or during SRT. A key piece of information worth remembering is that when you actively invest in your education, your teachers will notice this and think of you more often, finding ways to help you and always keeping in mind what you might need. They will come to you with more detailed suggestions and resources. 

Review, Review, Review!

The best way to lighten up on studying for a final, midterm, or even a test or quiz, is to constantly review. Create a system where you review your classes, whether it be 15 minutes daily for each class, or a couple hours on the weekend. Doing this keeps the knowledge fresh, which will ultimately help you study effectively for big cumulative tests or exams. This will also keep you from cramming, giving more time to process the information. When you do this, studying is truly just review, not relearning!

Prepare for Classes

Another great way to stay on top of classes, especially challenging ones, is to introduce the next topic to yourself with some light textbook (or whatever resource is best for the class) pre-reading. This sets up the unit for you and puts you at an advantage. Don't worry if you don't understand at first, when you begin learning with your teacher and other students, your questions will be gone! This gives you more time to understand and process the concept. 

Make use of your Resources

This might be obvious, but don't overlook any resources your teachers give you! These resources are an opportunity, use them wisely! The most accessible and best ones are those added by your teacher on Canvas. One of the best and most useful resources I have found is the canvas calendar. With all your future assignments and tests listed, you can see the exact workload for the upcoming weeks and plan accordingly. If you still find yourself struggling with the class, ask your teacher for more practice or good websites. You can also do your own research and find websites and books to help.

Take Good Notes and be an Active Student

Arguably the most important of these tips is to be an active member of your class. If you have questions, ask them! They are most likely legitimate questions that everyone else also has. They also might bring up a good argument or sub topic that needs to be addressed to avoid confusion later. You might just be doing everyone a favor when you ask questions. You should also try to make connections and share ideas to the class, as this could facilitate a well-rounded discussion with your peers. Lastly, take. good. notes. Find what works best for you and stick with it. This could be hand written notes, flashcards, typed notes…anything! Good notes does not necessarily mean copy every word down. Good notes are ones that summarize main ideas and include key details. You might also want to analyze the information you have and apply it in different ways to test your understanding. 

Learn, do not Just Study

Make sure your priorities and reasons for studying are well-intentioned. Do not just study to attain the "perfect grade". Understand the information given to you, and be able to apply it. This is how you truly make use of what you learn in school.

Recognize the Importance of your Education

As much as we think the things we learn in school are useless, and while we might not remember them or use them later, that doesn't mean we shouldn't learn them! The benefit of learning something "useless" is not in its content, but in the skills developed and used. These classes teach us to think critically, analyze the information, and apply it. Attaining knowledge at our level is an opportunity, so seize every minute of it, whether you think it minuscule or not. And perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give you, do it for yourself. Do it for your self-improvement, for your enrichment, and for your enjoyment. Find what makes you love learning and pursue it, no matter if it isn't the safest bet. Be a reasonable risk-taker. No matter what you pursue, if you do it whole-heartedly, you will find your way to success. Enjoy what you learn and do it to become the best version of you, to become a well-rounded and worldly citizen. And remember, grades are not the final and only measurement of intelligence. As long as you are trying, improving, and working hard, your grades will reflect that. If they don't, there might other aspects of an education that you are stronger in, and those are just as important!

 

Learning A New Language

Added on June 12, 2018 by Kim.N

Learning A New Language

Learning a new language is not all about memorization, but it is more about being passionate and creative. 

Why be passionate? People cannot memorize things that they do not like because those things will not be impressive enough to them in order to be taken into their memory. Before learning a new language, you should have positive feeling towards that language and ask yourself why you want to study it. Your reason for learning a new language can be simple. For example, you may want to learn Korean just because Korean dramas attract you. When you know your purpose, you will be able to better identify your passion. The ability to like a language so much will make the difference in the process of learning. Also, if you are passionate about something, you will spend your time on doing it frequently, thus you will improve more quickly than those who are impassionate.

After you know your passion towards the language, it's time to accomplish your goal- use the language fluently. In order to succeed in this area, you should be an active learner, not the passive one. What does it mean to be active? You should manage your own plan as well as your own method to learn. There are many ways to learn a language, and not everybody will have the same ways, the same plan. You should find the way that is suitable for you so that you can learn comfortably. Here are some tips:

For the beginner, you should know the basic vocabulary first, this can be accomplished by using the website www.quizlet.com, or you can write down words on notecards and stick them where you can see easily and frequently. These places can be on the wall at the desk, on the door, or even neat the toilet- as long as you see it frequently. 

When you know the basics, you should learn how to apply you've learned in daily life. When looking at something, try to reflect on related vocabulary that you have just learned. By doing this, it is hard to forget the vocabulary since it is already a part of your daily life.

Furthermore, you can watch movies in the language that you are learning with subtitles so that you can practice listening skills as well as your vocabulary.  

For writing skills, you can write things that you like in that language and find teachers or tutors who would be able to edit them for you. By having people correct your writing, you will be able to remember your mistake and avoid making it again.

Know -> learn -> apply. These three steps are important and useful to learn a new language. 

These are my tips. I hope that it can help you to accomplish your goal in learning a new language!

 

How To Be Successful At Studying

Added on May 18, 2018 by Megan.H

How To Be Successful At Studying

Having effective study habits can reduce time and stress that comes with schoolwork. Here are some way that can make your life easier:

#1- Learn the Way You Learn

Everyone is individual with the way that they learn. Auditory, visual, and kinesthetic are the three different ways of learning. Knowing what type of learner you are lets you study the information in a better way. You will find better results when you personalize the way that you study.

#2- Deadlines and More

After receiving an assignment, creating a schedule including deadlines and extracurriculars will help you prioritize tasks. With less procrastination more sleep and less stress will come. Having everything in the same place, like planner or calendar will make life much easier.

#3- Teachers

Learning how to talk to your teachers can be very beneficial. Most teachers are more than happy to provide extra help. Not only will this help you on your further assignments and tests, it also shows that you care about your academics. Some grades are given though work ethic so talking with your teachers can also a major grade booster.

#4- Studying for the Test

When studying try not to think of everything thing that has ever been said in class, this will add even more stress. When you start to study, focus on the most important topics. Once you have those topics and are confident with them, if there's still time before the test, you can then move on to the smaller details.

#5- Distractions Vs. the Quiet

When studying it is easy to turn on the T.V or your phone and get off topic quickly. Doing this however breaks your concentration and makes it harder to focus. With less distractions, more studying can be done and the amount of time it takes to study is cut down. If there is no place that you can study quietly, consider studying at the library. Distractions also come from getting up and getting things that you need to continue studying. Once you sit down to study, make sure you have everything you need.

#6-Night Before a Test

It is tempting to hold off studying until the night before. You might tell yourself that it is easier to learn more closer to the test in order to remember more. Create a schedule for a couple days before the test. Take some time review your notes and re-read important things in the textbooks. It might seem that that is a lot to do, but that lets the information sink into your brain in a way more natural way. Sleep is also very, very important. If you are tempted to pull an all-nighter you will only be hurting your chances of getting an A. With a proper amount of sleep, your brain will be in good shape on test day.

#7- Stay Positive!

Positive reinforcement is a very important and powerful thing. After finishing something for school, reward yourself. Whether that be taking a break from studying to get some food, or watching some Netflix, rewards are important. Breaks also can help improve studying, your brain can only take so much hard work at a time. It will keep your stress levels down and the information will also have a chance to sink in. With this new mindset implemented, procrastination can be cut down!

 

Time Management

Added on April 30, 2018 by Sabrina.H

Time Management

Many students dedicate a lot of their time to extracurriculars, sports, volunteer work, jobs, etc. I myself have dedicated my entire life to gymnastics, where I spend every afternoon of every week practicing for just a few moments of glory every year. Spending all of this time involved in something like this makes you realize how important time is, especially when you're involved in the IB program. After all of these years, I have picked up a few tips and tricks on time management and how balancing your social life, extracurriculars, and school work can be done effectively. I've finally learned that balancing my time would help me in the long run and would relieve a lot of unnecessary stress as well.

Firstly, realizing where your time is going helps you understand how you could be using your time better and create a more efficient schedule that lets you control where your time is being spent and how it could be spent better. Setting priorities helps you focus on activities that are most important and allows you to categorize the most important to least important things you need to get done. The best way to manage your time is to stay organized. I recommend using a calendar or planner and daily to-do list, to check off items as you complete them. I also recommend doing tough tasks first while you're fresh and alert and breaking large projects down into smaller chunks to complete these projects more efficiently. I know my main drawback when it comes to time management is procrastination. I've learned that the best ways to avoid procrastination is to set daily priorities, try focusing for short amounts of time instead of hours at a time, and attempting difficult tasks at your high-energy time since your concentration will be easier then. Don't allow interruptions, like a loud room to study or your friend's bothering you, get in your way or else juggling your work may seem much more difficult than it actually is and you'll just become more discouraged. These few tips and tricks may just save you from a sleepless night of studying in the future.

 

Choosing A Sport

Added on April 13, 2018 by Gloria.E

Choosing A Sport

Sports are exciting extracurricular activities that keep you happy, fit, and engaged. But, there's a variety to choose from, each fitting different personalities and abilities. It's great to have an insight on multiple different sports so that you understand the commitment and qualities used in each one. Many sports seem like barely any work when watching, but you'd be surprised at how much practice and effort they put in. I totally recommend playing a sport and trying new ones, but make sure that don't just do it to play a sport. You want to find one that you'll enjoy and will be a great addition to your daily routine.

I've put together a list of commitments required for two fall sports (swimming and volleyball) since they're both very popular and fun to try! It also includes what it's like to play it. I've gotten volleyball information from experience, and interviewed a friend to learn about the WPS swimming program.

Volleyball:

  1. Practices
They are usually 2 hours long and 5 days a week for JV, 6 days a week for varsity. Practices usually involve running (as a warm up or if we make mistakes), ball control warm ups (such as passing), controlled scrimmage, and a few other drills that vary between practices.

  1. Games

Before games, players eat team meals together and then either start warming up, or take a van to the game (if it is away). Each game is best out of 3 sets for JV, and best out of 5 for varsity. If it goes into the last set, that will go to 15 points, while all the other sets go to 25 points. Varsity must watch half of JV's game, and JV must watch half of varsity's.

3. Positives

It's an exciting sport to play with friends and there are many positions for people with different skills. There are different actions done throughout each game such as hitting, blocking, setting, serving, and passing. People in the back row pass (and occasionally hit), while people in the front row, besides the setter (who sets) hit and block with an occasional pass. That way, if you dislike one activity, but enjoy the other, you can specialize in your favorite aspect of the game.

Swimming(Information provided by a brief interview with swimmer, Sophia Hill):

Q: How long are practices?

SH: Practices for JV are usually an hour and a half, and practices for varsity are typically two hours long.

Q: What exercises are usually done during practices?

SH: Practices involve a variety of exercises such as breathing exercises, relays, arm and leg movements, and diving practice.

Q: How long and how often are meets?

SH: Meets during the season are typically once a week, or twice if one is on a Saturday.

Q: What are some positives of doing swimming?

Swimming has multiple benefits, such as getting into shape, becoming stronger, breathing better, plus the overall spirit of the team is very uplifting.

As you can see, they both have many commitments, but also many benefits that come with them. I hope this helped you get a thorough insight on these sports and motivated you to consider trying one!

 

The Importance of Sleep

Added on March 23, 2018 by Anavi.U

The Importance of Sleep

Lack of sleep always wins. Don't make the mistake of underestimating it.

As you get farther into high school, the amount of homework you have and the number of activities you are involved in will keep increasing, and your time for doing anything else (including eating, sleeping, and breathing) will steadily decrease.

But don't make the mistake that I did.

As a sophomore, I'm currently taking some of the toughest classes offered at WPS, including AP European History and the first year of IB HL Math. I'm also on the swim team (which has practice for two hours every day), I lead the school's Astronomy Club, and I am on my grade's SGA. When I started staying up till 1:00 am almost every day starting from the second week of school, I knew something was wrong. I began to feel nauseous from lack of sleep, and my constant tiredness only caused me to stay up even later some nights.

After an already exhausting week, four tests on one day near the end of the 1st Quarter was my breaking point. By the time I got to my 7th period math test, I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. I could tell that the questions on the test weren't that difficult, but I just couldn't remember how to solve them.

That test tanked my math grade to the point where I barely scraped an A for the quarter. That time I didn't have to pay for my lack of sleep with my GPA, but that doesn't mean that it can't happen.

Don't cheat yourself out of a good grade. Make sure that you try your very best to go to sleep by midnight every night. Even if you feel like you'll do better on a test if you just study for just one more hour, that one hour of sleep will cost you much more than you will gain with one hour of extra studying.

And besides a lack of sleep hurting your grades, it also hurts your overall health. A 4.0 GPA isn't going to help you if you ruin your health by not sleeping enough. Sleep is more important than perfecting your English essay or doing every single math problem in the textbook. You can't always be a perfectionist, which is something that I never really understood until this year.

So all you perfectionists and overachievers out there, please get some sleep. You know you need it.

 

How to Procrastinate

Added on March 2, 2018 by Skylar.M

How to Procrastinate

1. Don't write down any reminders or set any alarms about when the assignment is due.

Does a recently received assignment seem too difficult or tedious? Simply don't put any measure in place to remind yourself about it. Out of sight, out of mind! This is an important first step to procrastination, as it allows you to remove the assignment from your present conscious and reduce the current amount of stress in your life.

 

2. Take frequent and lengthy breaks from your work.

Once you've settled in to your desk or other preferred workspace after school, feel free to play a few rounds of 2048, browse the internet, or check social media. After all, if you never took breaks, you would quickly become overworked and your work quality would suffer. Take breaks whenever you don't feel motivated to work: you need them!

 

3. Don't set aside time dedicated solely to working.

It would truly be a shame if your work was regimented in constricting blocks of time. Your workflow is arrhythmic, and trying to 'plan' motivation would make you even less motivated than you already were. Therefore, don't make any schedules or timetables. In this way, you'll never have to work on an assignment until you truly want too. The inspiration will strike you when you're ready!

 

4. Do less challenging assignments (and complete other obligations) first.

If you don't want to start that 4-page essay, you can easily put it out of your mind by doing simpler work first. Complete small assignments and do chores so that you aren't forced to cope with the difficulty of writing the essay, At least you're doing something productive, right? The essay can wait until tomorrow while you do this work.

 

5. Fulfill every requirement for you to work optimally.

If you find that the assignment you're working on is becoming dull and your quality of work is suffering, it's most likely because something is preventing you from working well. Perhaps it's because your room is unclean—the aura simply isn't right. To put yourself back in the right frame of mind, clean your room for now and work on the assignment later. While you're up from your desk, be sure to make your bed, eat a snack, watch some TV, and play a few games of table tennis. Once you've gotten all of that out of your system, you'll certainly be able to work much more efficiently on your assignment.

 

6. The assignment is due 8:00AM tomorrow and it's 10:00PM? Take an all-nighter.

Plenty of people, from mathematicians to musicians, write out their most influential proof or greatest opus in one long, uninterrupted, feverish session. What separates you from them? You need to get this assignment done somehow, even if it costs a few hours of sleep. Why not work through the night and ensure the assignment gets done.


(Bonus!) 7. Turn in the assignment late—or don't turn it in at all!  

If you're truly opposed to doing this assignment, you don't have to finish it before the deadline—or at all! For the former, it's easy to postpone working on an assignment if a teacher only takes off 2% for each day late, or better yet, doesn't deduct points at all if you turn it in shortly after the deadline. For the latter, there's no easier way to procrastinate an assignment than if you never actually do it. So omit summative work that's difficult yet takes up a small percentage of your grade, and omit formative work entirely.


Conclusion:

As you may have guessed while reading through the above list, I don't actually advocate that anyone procrastinate. Procrastinating is an unhealthy and unsatisfactory habit, but it's one that is remarkably easy to slip into. Because of this, everyone procrastinates to some extent. In fact, I procrastinated writing this very blog post. Since many people procrastinate, it's important to note some of the factors and justifications that contribute to procrastination. As such, the "How to Procrastinate" list is an exercise in looking at some negative actions we take so that we may see what not to do. Instead of tackling the difficult assignment, which requires effort and focus, many of us would rather resort to doing something from the list. However, it's critical that you recognize the true stress that procrastinating generates, and avoid the items on this list as you see fit. I find that in general, it's beneficial to take the opposite actions of those on this list, and the quality of your work will increase while the amount of work-related stress will decrease. Take all of this with a grain of salt though, as something that works for me may not work you, and vice versa. But no matter how you conquer procrastination, doing so is certainly advantageous

 

Poem: Falling Time

Added on February 16, 2018 by Dania.F

Falling down a hill

It's hard to stop

Speed picks up

As time goes by

When Fall comes around

Time starts to fly

Homework starts piling

Fallen colored leaves

Raked high and neat

To be jumped in

In the cool absence of heat

Weeks flurry past

Blown away by Fall wind

It's hard to make time

When skipping work is a crime

Soon the air will crisp further

But before apple cider turns to hot chocolate

'Fore hot chocolate turns to lemonade

'Fore the cider's back again

Let Autumn delight in the youngest you it'll ever again see

Don't refrain from raking leaves

But take a break for some pie

A tumble down a hill

School might feel like at times

But even tumbles will be missed

When they've been over for a while

In a whirlpool of chilly air

Leaves flurrying around

Coming back to where they began

School years cycling on

Grade numbers nearing twelve

 

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