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The Opposite of Grit–Why Kids Quit

April 17, 2018

It can be painful to watch talented kids quit. We muse how successful this kid would be if he just had grit and resilience. We might have even said it outright, “You have so much talent. If you just…” And yet even Paul Tough, one of the leading authors on grit, would be the first to say, that we can’t teach [or implore] students to be grittier. And telling a kid he shouldn’t or can’t quit rarely does much good. So do we stand by and allow talented kids to “throw away” their gifts?! Of course not. It’s Natural to Want to Quit According to evolutionary psychologists, wanting to quit is the most natural human response when we face challenges. Most of us are hardwired to avoid failure; it’s only a small percent… Read More

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According to Google Execs, The Most Important STEM Skills

April 4, 2018

No surprise that schools and parents are heavily focused on STEM skills these days. Careers in STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math, grew 6 times faster than the number of non-STEM jobs in the last decade, while paying an average of 29% more than non-STEM careers. While majoring in a STEM field isn’t for everyone, pursuing a STEM field is likely to put students on a path to better job security and financial stability. Provided, of course, they are good at their job once they get there. Interestingly, though, two internal studies of workplace success at Google suggest that the most successful workers aren’t the ones with the superior STEM skills. Rather, they are those with good STEM skills and some combination of strengths in 7 other… Read More

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Reducing Student Stress Among High Achievers

March 12, 2018

Are you working with high-achievers? Rather than concerns about motivation and graduation rates, you’re likely worried that your students are too stressed, not getting enough sleep, and will burn out before they even get to college. Stress is considered a growing epidemic among top performing teens. Teachers can’t be responsible for preventing stress and anxiety, but they can instill the importance of self-management and self-care. High achievers need guidance on when to put those books down, how to say no to too many extra-curriculars, and why it might not be a good idea to take every accelerated class. Coaching top performers can be tough. No one wants to hold a student back, tell them they can’t do it all, or stop them from participating in something for which they have… Read More

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Supporting Your “Average” Students

February 19, 2018

by Nancy Weinstein If you’re a teacher, you know there’s no such thing as average. The idea that students can be categorized as gifted, struggling, or “just average” is simplistic at best. The 10/10/80 statistic might be helpful for administrators, but it is useless in the classroom. In this blog inspired by the work of Dr. Todd Rose, we explore why there is no such thing as average and offer 8 strategies to manage learner diversity in every classroom. If Not Average, Then What? As Harvard  professor Dr. Todd Rose explains in his book, The End of Average, “Every one of these familiar notions of [average students or average brains] is a figment of a misguided scientific imagination.” Instead, most every student has, what Rose calls, a… Read More

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Can America’s ‘lost Einsteins’ be found more easily than we think?

February 4, 2018

Are we looking for the ‘lost Einsteins’ in the wrong places? Research suggests we should be looking at students’ spatial and flexible thinking skills, not math and science scores. Who are the ‘lost Einsteins’? Late last year the The Equality of Opportunity Project released a report concluding that the U.S. is losing out on as much as 400% of innovation potential by failing to effectively nurture under-represented minorities, i.e. Blacks, Latinos, and girls. The report states, “there are many ‘lost Einsteins’ – people who would have had high-impact inventions” but never do because they grow up in communities where math and science in general, and innovation specifically, isn’t fostered. Stories in the NY Times and The Atlantic among other outlets fueled the social media discourse about an educational system… Read More

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