Getting Started at CCA
Attending CCA is a different learning experience than attending a traditional public school. As a learner, you will be more responsible and engaged in the learning process. Here are ideas to help you succeed at CCA.
Setting Up Your Learning Space
A well-organized learning area is essential to a successful school experience. It is important to create and maintain a dedicated learning space that is quiet and away from distractions (television, video games, other children playing). Ideally, a dedicated learning space should be accessible so that the Learning Coach can observe or monitor the learner’s activities. The following components are found in CCA’s most successful learners’ workspaces:
- Computer and computer table or desk — Most instruction occurs on the computer either through online coursework or Live Classroom instruction. A computer table or desk will help the learner be comfortable and supported during the learning process.
- Bookshelf or bin – For textbooks and other instructional material
- Telephone — A telephone near the learning space will be helpful because regular contact with teachers is essential.
- Headset — Necessary for communicating effectively during Live Classroom. This is shipped with curriculum to families.
- Clock/watch — Helpful for teaching learners how to focus and stay on top of time goals. For example, “I have to work for 20 minutes before I can take a break.”
- Calendar — For keeping track of days, dates and upcoming events.
- Writing tools — Pens, markers, pencils and paper should be available to help the learner work through problems and take notes during lessons.
- Notebooks and folders — These could be physical notebooks in hard copy or file folders on the computer, and they should be organized by subject or course.
- Supply box — Markers, construction paper, glue, scissors, and other CCA-provided supplies.
- Contact Sheet — A list of your learner’s teachers and phone numbers. Write your household PIN on this document as well; you will need that number should you call technical support.
Establishing a Schedule
Attending CCA will be an adjustment for both the Learning Coach and the learner. CCA’s most successful learners and Learning Coaches have established a schedule or routine for the school day or week. Establishing and following a schedule that includes start/end times, live and guided instruction participation and coursework, as well as meals and breaks, is beneficial. Learners and Learning Coaches should be available during school hours for any required phone conferences and participation in live and guided instruction unless other arrangements have been made.
Learning Coaches and learners should develop a plan that includes behavioral expectations and goals for the school year. Things that should be considered are:
- What time should school start and end each day?
- Are there specific activities/events (e.g., field trips, athletics, therapy) that we need to include in our schedule?
- When will there be breaks during the school day? How long will breaks last?
- What happens when the learner accomplishes a goal?
- What happens when the learner is not completing assignments?
- What motivates the learner to do well?
- How frequently should the Learning Coach observe the learner and review assignments?