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First Test Jitters: Beat Test Anxiety

September 19, 2017

This week your students are more than likely taking their first quizzes and tests of the new school year. Given the desire to make a good first impression, you’re probably noticing a bit more stress than usual. Here’s what you need to know about test anxiety to help students do their best. Optimal Stress A little stress is a good thing. It motivates kids to study. The nervous energy during the test helps your mind actively recall what you know and work at the pace you need to finish. So as the graph below shows, the goal isn’t no stress. The goal is optimal stress. Where’s the Stress Coming From? Students can experience too much stress for innumerable reasons. Among the most… Read More

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There’s an 84% probability your teen is studying the wrong way*

August 27, 2017

  Wouldn’t it be great if teens could study the same amount as they do now and get better grades? Or, at the very least, get their same grades but spend less time studying and worrying? According to science, they can. IF they are willing to forego their instincts and use proven learning strategies that work. It can’t be that simple, you might think, or everyone would be doing it. So, I posed the following question to a few experts in the field. “Why do you think how students study is, in fact, the exact opposite of how they should study?” Their answers to why teens are studying the wrong way might surprise you. Dr. Veronica Yan pointed me to her journal… Read More

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Education Trends: Smart Summer Reading for Teachers & Parents

June 26, 2017

With the summer in full swing, we hope you are relaxing and reflecting. In case you were busy working and parenting the last ten months, you might have missed some of the year’s most important K12 education trends. We identified our favorite reads by topic. We suggest printing them out now and putting them in your bag. Pull them out when you have some free time while sipping your morning coffee, relaxing on the beach, or enjoying an after-dinner glass of wine. 1. Focus, Organization & Planning, Oh My! Teachers and parents are realizing the need to become resident experts on the key executive functions of focusing, organizing and planning. A lack of these skills often explains why bright students underperform. Problems with these skills might… Read More

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Positive Self Talk: Phrases Every Kid Needs

June 6, 2017

Words can be amazingly powerful. If you want kids to feel better and succeed, start with positive self  talk. While real behavioral change is admittedly hard and takes time, changing the language we use is relatively quick and simple. When we eliminate phrases from our vocabulary that take us down, it has a remarkably immediate and effective impact. Words won’t change everything, but they are an essential first step in re-framing a situation. 1. SHOULD HAVE/ SHOULD BE Seriously, get ‘should’ out of your vocabulary. Think about every time you hear the word. It suggests you’ve done something wrong or someone has wronged you. Either way, you likely feel hurt, upset or dissatisfied which often leads to blaming someone else. “I should have gotten an ‘A’ on that… Read More

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Summer Learning: Five MUST-DOs

May 23, 2017

Who isn’t excited for the lazy days of summer?! Especially after what could have been a challenging school year. Time to put any social dramas, challenging subjects, or “not a good fit” teacher-student relationships behind us. September will be a fresh start. Keep in mind, though, it’s often the same kids who have trouble during school that have difficulty finding that right balance of fun and productivity during the unstructured days of summer. Here are a few suggestions that will keep the sanity and the fun. 1. Maintain Some Routine No kid needs the rigid school year structure, but a complete lack of summer schedule isn’t healthy either. Create a visible daily schedule and hang it up. Good things to include: wake-up time, bedtime, allowed… Read More

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