Episode 845 Expert Homework Hacks for Busy Parents with guest Brian Page on the 10 Minute Teacher podcast

Unlock the Secrets: Expert Homework Hacks for Busy Parents

In this how, we discuss homework hacks and independent learning strategies that work with former Milken National Educator of the Year, Brian Page. Explore essential tips for academic success and lifelong learning skills for students and parents alike.

In this episode, I had the pleasure of talking with Brian Page, a former Milken National Educator of the Year with 15 years of experience in the education field.

Brian is the creator of the Homework Hacks Course, designed to equip students aged 13 to 20 with research-backed homework hacks and independent learning strategies.

In this show, we dive into the essential homework hacks that every parent and student should know, focusing on developing lifelong learning skills, enhancing organizational abilities, and promoting a growth mindset.

We can help our children learn! This show is a great one to share with parents!

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    This week's sponsor

    MAD-Learn - Mobile App Development

    MAD-Learn is a free, easy tool for students to use to build apps of their own in a private space for just you and your students. You can publish it and share it with a limited audience, or design something bigger. When people ask me my favorite App-building tool, I always say MAD-Learn. MAD-Learn is an amazing collaborative app building tool. Not only have I used MAD-Learn for the first global collaborative app-building project, I love having my students build together and host a "shark tank competition." I love how my students can edit together but can also view live changes on their smartphones using a QR code demo that is still private just to them and me. Their site is full of every presentation, rubric, and even a full curricuulm to teach design thinking and app building. Go to coolcatteacher.com/freetrialmadlearn to start your trial today.

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Sponsors make this show possible but do not preapprove or necessarily endorse the content. Please support our sponsors by clicking on the link and checking out their services. We only recommend the best in education on the 10 Minute Teacher! Learn what it means for this to be a sponsored episode.

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    This week's guest

    Brian PageBrian Page loves to teach personal finance at Reading Community City Schools in Ohio, where he was named the '11 Milken National Educator Recipient and CNN Money Hero. He served on the Working Group for President Obama's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. He is happily married with three children and has the world's best dog.

    Blog: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianhpage/

    Twitter: @FinEdchat

    Instagram: @FinEdchat

    Linked In: @FinEdchat

    🎙️ Show Notes

    Resources Mentioned:

    • Mad Learn – Today's sponsor. An amazing app building tool used by the host, Vicki Davis, with her ninth graders. Mad Learn Free Trial.
    • Homework Hacks Course – Created by Brian Page, this course offers students strategies for effective studying and learning. Unfortunately, a direct link wasn't provided, but you can search for “Homework Hacks Course by Brian Page” for more information.


    • Make It Stick” by Peter C. Brown –  Provides insights into science-based study techniques. 
    • Powerful Teaching” – Explores evidence-based strategies for teaching and learning. 


    • You will learn about the importance of active learning over passive studying methods, and how helping students engage directly with the material can significantly improve retention and understanding.

    • You will hear about organizational skills that can make a substantial difference in a student's academic performance, including practical tips for keeping track of assignments and managing study time effectively.

    • You will discover strategies for maintaining physical and mental well-being that support effective learning, such as the significance of regular physical activity, proper nutrition, and hydration.

    • You will gain insights into the growth vs. fixed mindset debate, understanding how believing in the ability to grow intellectually can impact a student's approach to learning and overcoming challenges.

    • You will get an overview of innovative learning hacks and strategies, from effective note-taking techniques to the use of mnemonic devices, designed to enhance independent learning skills for students of all ages.

    📝 Transcript

    I used AI in either Premiere Pro or Riverside to help with this transcript. I did proofread it. If you see mistakes, just contact me and let me know. YouTube autotranscripts are not pre-viewed. Thank you!


    00:00:01:05 – 00:00:04:18
    This is the 10 Minute Teacher podcast with your host, Vicki Davis.

    00:00:05:00 – 00:00:18:15
    Today's podcast is being sponsored by MAD Learn, my favorite tool for app building and the one I'm using this year with my ninth grade students. Stay tuned at the end of the show to learn how you can get a hands on free trial.

    00:00:18:15 – 00:00:44:03
    So today we're talking to Brian Page, a former Milken national educator of the Year. He spent 15 years as an educator. He's also creator of the self-help homework Hacks Course, which lets students age 13 to 20 to learn research backed homework hacks and independent learning strategies. So we're talking about ten hot homework hacks every parent and student needs to know.

    00:00:44:03 – 00:00:45:06
    So where do you want to start?

    00:00:45:07 – 00:01:13:00
    Well, let's start with just the introduction and what what it is that we're trying to accomplish. Essentially, the goal is to address the independent learning strategies that are a lifelong learning skill. So this isn't a topics such as math or science, where the idea is to help a child learn a specific content area, but rather it is the strategies that we know through science are an effective way to learn independently.

    00:01:13:02 – 00:01:46:15
    And the reason that I decided to do this is because as a father myself, it's really hard to find the time to be able to support your own children with all the activities that they already have. And it's really hard for teachers to do the same thing. And so I realized that it was a resource that I have never seen that I know that parents could find extremely useful because it's a matter of putting it in the child's hands for them to understand what they need to do to learn independently.

    00:01:46:17 – 00:02:06:10
    And it takes the pressure off of parents who come home. Like my wife and I, we both work and we're really tired. We’re exhausted. We want to do a good job. And either we lack the time or perhaps lack the resources to hire a private tutor or you just lack the expertise. You know, when students are in high school, AP classes are tough.

    00:02:06:10 – 00:02:14:05
    You know, they might come home with material that we don't remember. And and this really is designed to help students dig in to that material and have a deeper understanding themselves.

    00:02:14:07 – 00:02:15:22
    So where do we start with number one?

    00:02:15:23 – 00:02:37:01
    What does learning look and feel like? So we wanted to address the fact that learning is active. When you're learning, you're actually doing things and you're working. It's not passive, you're not highlighting something, you're not rereading material. And so if you're looking at somebody who's learning, you're looking at somebody who's actually doing the second hack is how to get organized.

    00:02:37:02 – 00:03:05:18
    And for myself, this was something I saw as a classroom teacher. There seemed to be a distinct difference between students who earned really good grades and students who perhaps struggled a little bit more. And oftentimes that difference is just their organizational skills. One of the things that I recognized in my career is that when I assigned something that was for homework, which was rare, I don't really love homework myself, but when I would assign it, the students who would instantly open up their binders and write down what they need to accomplish.

    00:03:05:18 – 00:03:34:10
    And when I almost every time knew that that student was going to earn a A because they were organized. So I just felt like that that should be a foundation of any student who's an independent learner. And so we just we dive into that. And before we go on to the next hack, I want to point out that how we go about teaching students these independent learning strategies is of most important to us because students right now live in a different world than we all lived in growing up.

    00:03:34:10 – 00:03:55:05
    And they open their phones and oftentimes they're engaged with fast flowing social media apps. And so the design of this course was to have that look and feel of these three, four, five minute videos at the most that are super engaging like this. And I'm not the only educator that is a part of it. There are three

    00:03:55:05 – 00:03:57:04
    past Milken National Teachers of the Year.

    00:03:57:10 – 00:04:16:11
    Other Teachers of the Year. A current physician, current college students. One's a neuroscience major. Another is a pre-law major who overcame dyslexia. And all of us pitch in and have our own units to be able to do it in a way where it feels like it's Rapidfire. But at the same time, you move at your own pace and there's reading material support it.

    00:04:16:16 – 00:04:43:16
    The next would be just what your body and your brain need to learn this. I feel this now working from home. If you just sit all day long, it's exhausting and you need to get up and moving. You need to exercise. And exercise doesn't mean being a state champion track athlete. It could just mean walking with friends. And we just dive into the importance of what being active could look like for you and what is the right kind of way to treat your body.

    00:04:43:16 – 00:05:05:10
    Why it's important to drink a lot of water, why the right kinds of foods are important. As a parent myself, I feel like that so much about food is associated with body image, and I think that's a really toxic thing. And for us, what we like to address is just food as fuel for learning and feeling good about yourself.

    00:05:05:10 – 00:05:31:14
    The next learning hack would be the course long learning strategies. A lot of strategies from the book make it stick or powerful teaching where you do things, the scaffolding of kinds of concepts, obviously, but interleaving and spacing, where those strategies we know through science are effective, cramming is not. And so we explain in detail how it is that you go through an interleaving process.

    00:05:31:17 – 00:05:59:11
    What kinds of specific strategies can you use like a retrieval boxes as an example. So instead of just an old school note cards, which we know that they're effective but not as effective as they could be, how you can take note cards and use retrieval strategies that incorporate spacing to become a more effective independent learner. We dive into specific note taking strategies, not just Cornell notes.

    00:05:59:16 – 00:06:18:04
    Cornell notes are just fine. There's nothing wrong with Cornell notes, but so much about how the student learns really is going to drive down deeply into what is their preference. I actually had a student do a lot of this part of the course because she's pre-law. She's a brilliant student at the Ohio State University, and she overcame dyslexia.

    00:06:18:10 – 00:06:40:08
    So she shares how she does sketch, noting, which is more visual note taking and how that's effective. And then obviously there's other strategies that we incorporate as well, providing not just these 3 to 5 minute broad overviews that are engaging the social media feel, but also the resources to dive deeper and understand that both extension resources of videos and then reading material.

    00:06:40:08 – 00:07:00:15
    So pneumonic and obviously mnemonics are when we think of mnemonics, we think of the ABCs, right? I challenge you to try to say the ABCs without singing it or having that that tune. So it just goes into different mnemonic strategies that that students can learn on their own. And then the next strategy after that is something that I find to be essential.

    00:07:00:15 – 00:07:03:17
    And that's the difference between a growth and fixed mindset.

    00:07:03:17 – 00:07:26:18
    As the son of a special education teacher, I need to express how important it is that our students all believe that they can learn and that IQ is not fixed. It is that your brain is a muscle that that can grow and that a test score is not a stamp of intelligence, but rather it's an opportunity to understand what you need to spend more time learning.

    00:07:26:18 – 00:07:45:12
    So that obviously for us was really personal for students who perhaps struggle a little bit in school. We wanted to do what we could to portray to those students that unfortunately, the way our school systems are designed, I'm not a total fan of like grading, for example, it gives you this feel that you earn something and you are something.

    00:07:45:12 – 00:08:05:19
    And that's just not how the real world works, right? The real world is us always trying to take these ideas and these challenges that we're faced with at work and then learning how to overcome them. And it's not a stagnant process. It's this ongoing process. Just look at what you've accomplished. Vicki Are most of the things that you do right now didn't exist 30 years ago?

    00:08:05:19 – 00:08:31:23
    You just constantly are learning and growing and then sharing with teachers. When I go into independent reading strategies that really builds off of a growth mindset and then finally learning in pairs or small groups. And the first thing we try to address is that, yes, sometimes when you do group work in school, sometimes it feels more like they're teaching you how to work with people who don't like to work more than they're teaching.

    00:08:31:23 – 00:08:40:17
    You know, how to work with groups. But we really try to dive in with some specific strategies on how to work in partnership with others.

    00:08:40:19 – 00:09:06:00
    You said this is younger ages all the way up 13 to 22. So I have a 21 year old. I'm thinking, Hey, I need to get him to go through this course. Parents, as you've listened, do want to go back in and just point one big thing out that that Brian has said this interleaving and spacing. I've been reading a great book over the past few months as we're recording this called Small Teaching, and it's actually about how these principles are applied to the college classroom.

    00:09:06:00 – 00:09:14:16
    This whole principle of interleaving and helping our students have these strategies is very important because it's part of their success.

    00:09:14:16 – 00:09:36:07
    I work with seniors is one of my classes, and I had a parent who said about a particular concern with this particular student, well, he'll learn at some time. And I said, Well, do you want him to learn it now when he's under your roof or you're paying $10,000 a semester or however much it is at your college, then you know, so these are things that will pay off dividends for the rest of their lives.

    00:09:36:07 – 00:09:58:16
    Well, I appreciate you sharing that. If you want to learn more. Actually, it's under my company, Modern Husbands, where we are simply believe that in the new modern world that husbands should work with their partners for an equitable division of labor and money at home. And that includes parenting and our goal is to provide these types of resources to parents to support their children.

    00:09:58:17 – 00:10:00:08
    Excellent. Thanks, Brian.

    00:10:00:08 – 00:10:09:23
    Today, Sponsor Mad Learn is an easy tool for students to use to build apps of their own in a private space for just you and your students.

    00:10:10:01 – 00:10:22:02
    You can publish it and share it with a limited audience or design something bigger. When people ask me my favorite app building tool, I always say, MAD Learn. MAD Learn is an amazing collaborative app building

    00:10:22:02 – 00:10:33:06
    tool. Not only have I used MAD Learn for the first Global Collaborative App building project, I love having my students build together and host a Shark Tank competition.

    00:10:33:08 – 00:10:55:07
    I love how my students can edit together, but also view live changes on their smartphone using a QR code demo that is still private just to them and me. Their site is full of every presentation, rubric and even a full curriculum so I can teach design thinking and app building to my students. Go to cool cat teacher dot com forward slash.

    00:10:55:08 – 00:11:07:01
    Try mad, learn and sign up today for your free trial. That's coolcatteacher.com/trymadlearn.

    00:11:07:01 – 00:11:25:20
    podcast. If you want more content from Vicki Davis, you can find her on Facebook. XCOM TikTok Threads. Instagram Blue Sky and YouTube at Cool Cat Teacher. Thank you for listening.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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    Vicki Davis

    Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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