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Help students get organized for 
the school year

​(StatePoint) School-related stress is common among multi-tasking students. But smart organization can make it easier to dash from class to study hall to after-school activities. It all starts with the right supplies. Gear up for a successful, low-stress school year with these handy tips.
Consult the List
     Give your students the tools they’ll need to hit the ground running, and alleviate their stress of being unprepared, by referencing the supply list the school sends home. Then spend some time before the first day of school doing something fun together that’s also educational, like visiting a museum or reading books. This will get brains active and alert before the first bell rings, ensuring a smooth transition to classroom learning.
Work Smarter
     A lot of information is thrown at students during a lesson, but even the quickest notetaker can run into trouble sorting it all out when it comes time to study. The right school supplies will allow students to learn in a meaningful way.
     New alternatives to traditional notetaking can make finding relevant information a cinch during study sessions. For example, the Five Star College Ruled Interactive Notebook includes a table of contents with a spot for the date, topic descriptions and page numbers to help students quickly find specific information. Side margins and page number blocks allow for page customization and organization, while the grid ruled quick reference guide is a handy tool for periodic tables, multiplication tables and a glossary of terms. Students can stress less with organizational tools such as these.
  Likewise, the Five Star Flex Hybrid NoteBinder, which acts like a notebook and works like a binder, is adaptable to meet the needs of all types of learners. On the inside, pocket dividers provide built-in organization and paper storage to which students can add paper and dividers as needed.
Reduce Your Haul
     It’s practical to maintain two sets of certain school supplies -- one for a student’s home workstation and the other in his or her locker. Pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters, extra paper, sticky notes and rulers are great examples of supplies to store in both places. Doing so will save students the stress of remembering everything before leaving for school or home.
Seek Durability
     Stuffed into backpacks, stored at the bottom of lockers, and shuttled between school and home, school supplies take a beating. This can mean ripping and even losing important papers. Seek out items durable enough to store materials for multiple classrooms and functional enough to withstand multiple locker visits, such as the Five Star 3-Inch Binder with Removable Padded Case. It comes with an expanding file for quick access to papers and a padded pouch for storing tech gear. Double the strength of competition, Five Star College Ruled Reinforced Filler Paper is a must-have for schoolwork and pairs well with binders.
     Five Star aims to be an ally and champion for students looking for creative and expressive ways to manage the stress of their daily routines. More tips to reduce school-related stress can be found at strengthenotstress.com or join the conversation using #StrengthNotStress.
     “Stress is a common challenge for students,” says Jessica Hodges, vice president of marketing at ACCO Brands, which builds school supplies based on evolving student needs. “Knowing you can channel stress into something more positive is empowering.”



How ready is your child 
for the new school year
(StatePoint) Backpack and supplies -- check! So, what’s left to do before going back to school? How about finding out how well your child has learned foundational skills that they need to succeed in the next grade?
     Ninety percent of K-8 parents believe their child performs at or above grade-level in reading and math, according to Learning Heroes’ research. However, the National Assessment of Educational Progress finds that only a little more than a third of students are achieving at that level. What’s more, the “summer slide” puts students at risk of losing up to two months of reading skills and two and a half months of math skills over a single summer.
    To get a better feel for how prepared your child is for the next grade and how to support their learning at home, check out these tips from Learning Heroes’ “Super 5 Back-to-School Power Moves.”
1. Get a gut check: Use the Readiness Check to see how prepared your child is for their new grade. Designed by leading experts in reading and math, the Readiness Check instantly provides important information about your child’s grade-level progress with reading and math skills after your child answers just three to five questions in each of the two subject areas. The free tool, which is available in both English and Spanish, also connects you to information, videos and activities to help build grade-level skills at home. To access this tool and other resources, visit bealearninghero.org. Other ways to assess how ready your child is for the new grade include paying attention to how easy or hard it is for them to do grade-level tasks and looking at their annual state test results from last year. 
2. Partner up: At your first teacher meeting, bring your child’s state test results and ask what they mean for this year. Find out what’s expected of your child and how you can provide support at home. Help the teacher get to know your child by sharing their interests and strengths as well. You can also share what you learned from the Readiness Check.
3. Make learning fun: You are the expert on your child and can make learning exciting. Read together, choosing topics that interest your child. Find math in everyday life and turn it into a game. These small learning moments add up to a lot.
4. Celebrate effort: Help your child see that hard work is what leads to success. Focus on effort and what your child is learning. This will help your child feel less nervous about new tasks or subjects.
5. Support life skills: Strengths such as communication, problem-solving, and confidence will help your child in school and life. Talk openly with your child about how they feel and handle situations.
  “Learning happens everywhere -- at home, in the community and in the classroom,” says Bibb Hubbard, founder and president of Learning Heroes. “The Super 5 Back-to-School Power Moves can help you use the summer and beginning of the school year to get a more complete picture of where your child is on track, and where more attention and focus may be needed.”



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