Start Strong - Building a Better Morning for a Better Day

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Start Strong is an interactive and engaging skills-intensive program designed for first-year students. Discover ways to eat, sleep, and study efficiently to set off on an ideal path toward academic success!

The New Meridian Start Strong assessment was implemented as a requirement of state legislation in 2021, to measure learning losses caused by the pandemic. The test design allows districts to gain early, high-quality information about student readiness while simultaneously providing valuable comparison data against previous years' NJSLA scores.

Set a Good Example

As a leader, it is vital to set an exemplary example for your team. Employees look up to and follow in the footsteps of their leaders; when you lead in an effective way it can have a significant positive effect on the workplace environment. Unfortunately if not managed well then bad leadership can have detrimental results resulting in employees having low morale leading them into poor performance jobs.

As part of your team management strategy, it is also vital that your staff has all of the tools needed to succeed. One way of doing so is providing your employees with a healthy start to each day; doing this will keep your employees productive and content - whether that means serving healthy breakfasts, offering lunches and dinners during breaks from work, or hosting team-building activities in fresh air outside your office space.

Start Strong is a quick assessment designed to give educators quick access to rich, useful data for their students in one class period. Teachers can use this assessment tool to quickly identify areas in which support is required for individual students; and it offers educators views by district, school, class, and student as well as major content standards.

The online tool kit is offered free to educators, youth-serving professionals, and others who work with middle school students. It features strategies for using popular culture to engage young people in discussions about healthy relationships; tips on leveraging social media to support teens and their families; advice from prevention practitioners collected at Start Strong sites around the country; as well as invaluable advice from prevention practitioners across Start Strong sites across the nation. For anyone working with youth to ensure their healthy relationships education efforts are successful.

Create a Healthy Habit

Morning rituals set the pace for our day ahead. While small choices like snoozing the alarm or skipping breakfast might seem innocuous enough at first glance, they can have significant ramifications on both mental and physical wellbeing throughout the day. Rushing, feeling stressed out or anxious makes it harder to be productive at work or school and remain focused. By adding healthy habits into your daily routine you can set yourself up for success and increase overall well-being.

1. Choose a soothing morning ritual. 

Rather than springing out of bed in an effort to wake up quickly, take some time for yourself in the morning to slowly awaken and stretch out. This will ease you into your day while giving your mind time to settle and focus.

2. Start Your Day Off Right. 

A nutritious breakfast of lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats is an ideal way to kick-start the day and provide energy and essential nutrients you'll need throughout the day. Furthermore, eating this nutritious meal regularly will help your weight remain in check and can prevent later overeating.

3. Create a to-do list.

Knowing exactly what needs to be accomplished each day can help reduce stress and anxiety throughout your day, so spend a few moments listing out tasks so you have control of your day - it will feel amazing to cross items off! Plus it feels amazing to cross off things on your list!

4. Exercise.

Beginning each morning right with something physical can do wonders for your blood circulation and clear away mental clutter - not only that, it's an ideal way to start off your day on an upbeat note!

Do keep in mind that creating new habits takes time. It is essential that when beginning something new, to be intentional about doing it and look for ways to reinforce the behavior until it becomes automatic.

Be Mindful

Mindfulness can help people live more fulfilling lives by reducing anxiety, depression, and stress levels. Many have taken up mindfulness practices as part of their daily routine; however, some find it challenging to stay on the mindfulness track due to it requiring an intentional shift in mindset; therefore creating a morning ritual promoting mindfulness could help develop the necessary habits to make mindfulness part of daily life.

Mindfulness requires paying conscious attention to the present moment and tuning in with all your senses so as to fully experience what's happening around you. Mindful living also means letting go of anxiety about future or past events - which can be challenging when starting out on this practice. As a way of starting off mindful living successfully, try drinking a glass of water first thing each morning while mentally scanning your body from head to toe, noting physical sensations you detect along your journey.

Establishing mindful habits can be challenging due to limited willpower in your brain and an unproductive effort at holding onto habits for too long. That is why setting positive intentions each morning can be as easy as setting an intention and thinking through a goal you would like to attain, as well as setting aside five minutes each day for mindful exercises such as brief meditation, journaling, reading, or taking a walk.

Mindfulness practices don't need to be complicated: simply go on a daily walk, enjoy a cup of coffee or take a shower! Just remember to turn off your phone and be present with whatever is happening around you - when your mind wanders of course simply praise yourself for noticing and bring it back quickly into focus.

Be Prepared

Start your day right by beginning it right - with light exercise, a healthy breakfast, and time spent meditating or stretching! Committing fully to something helps us to feel calmer, focused and more productive than jumping straight into our daily tasks.

Stress relief will also allow you to weather external stressors more effectively and strengthen your ability to deal with them. Reading news or social media feeds might seem productive at first glance, but such passive activities often take you out of the moment and leave you feeling scattered and disoriented.

"Be Prepared," which is one of the Scout mottoes, means to anticipate and be ready for whatever may come your way in life - an invaluable approach to school life.

Preparedness can make the difference between success and failure when taking an exam, interview, or important meeting. By exerting effort to be fully prepared, you will know how to respond when unexpected circumstances arise and gain the assurance of knowing your efforts were well worth the investment.

New Jersey students will experience a familiar ritual this fall when their schools administer the state's Start Strong assessments. Designed to detect learning loss due to a flu outbreak, the exams will be given to grades 3 - 8 students as well as high schoolers for ELA (English Language Arts) and math assessments.

These tests are tailored to the most critical content standards from the past year of teaching, providing educators with fast feedback so they can provide just-in-time assistance. Furthermore, machine-scoring capabilities give teachers and districts immediate feedback to provide timely support services.

While the testing schedule remains uncertain, educators will gain some insight into student performance through the Start Strong assessment, providing teachers with valuable data for curriculum gaps to address. According to Michael Cordero of New Jersey Education Association's Executive Director, Michael Cordero emphasized that it serves only as an additional assessment tool and does not replace ongoing state assessments.


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