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Yearly Archives: 2016

5 Key Messages with Kids: So They Really Listen

December 14, 2016

  Consistency matters. If we want our kids to learn, parents and teachers need to be delivering the same consistent, key messages with kids at home and at school. Why so important? Elementary school kids literally hear every word you say. And they generally want to please. But if they get conflicting messages, they can’t please everyone. They might stop trying. By middle school, however, we need to face the reality that tweens and teens don’t hear a lot of what adults say. It becomes even more essential to deliver simple, consistent key messages with kids so that when they tune in, the message sticks. 5 Key Messages with Kids What Do You Think? All too often, adults tell but forget to ask and listen. It’s amazing… Read More

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Play Hard, Study Hard: What Cognitive Skills Tell Us

November 30, 2016

Research on cognitive skills gives powerful insight into what we should generally expect from children behaviorally, emotionally and academically at every age. Scientists from University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine Brain Behavior Lab evaluated nearly 10,000 children ages 8 to 21. They began with fMRI scans and then moved to an online assessment to analyze brain development at every age. Their data is fascinating. What We’ve Known About Cognitive Skills We’ve know for a long time that childhood is a period of rapid brain development. It is important that students shouldn’t be coasting and they shouldn’t be stretched too far beyond their comfort zone. In other words, they should be working in a state of “desirable difficulties” according to Dr. Robert A. Bjork. What’s News About Cognitive Skills from the Brain… Read More

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35 Strategies for Teaching Growth Mindset

November 15, 2016

Teaching Growth Mindset Teaching growth mindset starts with modeling the mindset we want children to have. Children learn most by observing trusted adults. Educators know the power of growth mindset. It is having a positive attitude to our successes as well as our disappointments. Growth mindset enables us to succeed in the face of adversity. Fortunately, we know growth mindset can be taught. Even better is that it is never too late to develop a growth mindset. Using Growth Mindset Strategies Use the links below for the top strategies for teaching growth mindset. Consider starting with Respect and Validate Feelings. All teaching starts with a strong relationship. As you choose strategies, add them to your Mindprint Action Plan. Then gradually add additional strategies over time. Student-led strategies are best for middle school and above. Adult-led strategies… Read More

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My Journey to Miss Teen NJ: My Dyslexia Does Not Define Me

October 24, 2016

  By Isabelle Varga Isabelle is a freshman at Bentley University in Massachusetts. She was crowned Miss Teen NJ 2014 and wrote this blog while competing for Miss NJ Teen USA 2016 where she placed 2nd runner up. I met Isabelle through her mom, who signed her up for the Mindprint assessment. Isabelle is a kind, articulate and beautiful person. I would have never guessed how much she had struggled with learning and social issues. I was thrilled when she agreed to share her story. Isabelle is a great inspiration for all students to learn to accept themselves for who they are, develop self-confidence, and discover their own strengths. Please consider sharing Isabelle’s story of kindness. “Don’t let anyone or anything… Read More

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The Hidden Value in High-Stakes Tests

October 10, 2016

by Mindprint Staff Yes it’s easy to question if there’s any real value to standardized tests, especially if you have a stressed out teen studying for the ACT. High-stakes admissions tests aside, there is plenty of value in standardized tests IF we use them in the right way. The unfortunate reality is they are more often used for inclusion/exclusion or passing judgment rather than identifying how we can help kids succeed. Here’s what we can and should do to change that, one child at a time. The Classic Under-Achiever. Do you have a kid who does well on standardized tests but can’t seem to perform in class? Let’s unlock that potential! Start with the understanding that every kid wants to succeed, no one does well on tests by… Read More

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It Takes A Village

September 27, 2016

Guest Blog by Jen Cort When kids are little, parents know they need trusted adults for events such as picking them up from school in case of emergency or hosting them on playdates. What we may not realize is that trusted adults are perhaps even more important in middle and high schools than in elementary school. Trusted adults are those adults you feel comfortable allowing your child to be in the care of and/or providing advice to your child in your absence. As your child grows, her/his needs also change. Therefore, it’s necessary to reevaluate the trusted adults in your child’s life on an ongoing basis. For example, social identifiers (such as race, gender and religion) may move into or out of… Read More

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The Best Educational Family Games for the Holidays

September 26, 2016

Looking for non-digital options to keep kids learning and entertained?! You’ve landed in the right place. And we provide you with the perspective you need to decide if it will be a good fit for each unique learner.   Plyt Why We Like It: Plyt is an effective board game to help students develop critical skills in mental math calculations and numerical fluency. It is simple, yet fun despite being a purely educational game making it great for home or the classroom, especially since games can be relatively quick while still providing plenty of effective practice. Game can grow with a child developmentally, from learning basic addition to challenging multi-step mental math problems. Develops: Processing Speed, Working Memory Considerations: Requires an adult to guide children on playing… Read More

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It’s All in the Details: A Strengths-Based Approach to Growth Mindset

September 14, 2016

By Nancy Weinstein I’m a big fan of Stanford professor Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset. It’s hard not to be. It’s evidence-based research that, in its most basic form, tells us that if a student tries hard and believes he can do it, i.e. has a growth mindset, he will succeed if he keeps at it. Conversely, if he has a fixed mindset, i.e. believes he was genetically preordained to succeed (or not), chances are that no matter what his gifts and talents, over time he will grow to fear failure, stop taking risks, and not live up to his full potential. Some of the most encouraging findings around growth mindset are that adults have HUGE influence in helping kids develop a growth mindset and it’s NEVER TOO LATE. No wonder that schools… Read More

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Happy Student, Happy Life

August 31, 2016

When parents are asked what they desire most for their children’s future, not surprisingly the overwhelming response includes the word happiness. And yet, grown-ups might be the biggest roadblock to kids finding happiness. Regardless of what we tell children, they primarily learn by example. Our children model what they see, not what they’re told. And that implies that we might be inadvertently instilling behaviors and beliefs that will make their long-term happiness that much more elusive. But we can change. Here’s how. What Parents Can Stop Saying and Start Doing Stop Saying “You need to work hard now if you want to be successful and happy later.” Encouraging students to singularly pursue success under the mistaken belief that success will lead to happiness is a fallacy. As explained in Harvard Business Review, success… Read More

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Back-to-School Essential Reads

August 16, 2016

Re-engaging after a long summer vacation can be tough. So tough that students often need to spend the first month of school reviewing the last two months of the previous school year. Adults are no different. So, today we share with you the most important things that your summer brain might have missed or forgotten. These reads will get you ready to make this the best school year yet. A Parent’s Guide to the First Six Weeks  A primer for parents to ensure a good transition. How to Crush School  Review of new book for middle and high school students by teacher Oskar Cymermann. Teaches teens to develop study skills for school and life success. The Forgetting Curve Learning is a different skill from remembering,… Read More

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