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Topic Archives: 21st Century Skills & Flexible Thinking

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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Do You Really Need a United Front in Parenting?

March 23, 2017

Nancy Weinstein offers a mother’s contrarian view, admittedly developed out of desperation Is a United Front in Parenting Essential? Conventional wisdom dictates the importance of children experiencing a united front in parenting when it comes to rules, discipline and behavior. If Dad says it, Mom needs to back him up. And vice versa. Otherwise, psychologists tell us, children will feel confused and not have the structure they need to feel safe and secure. According to Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., author of The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting, “My advice is that if your child is not yet eleven or so, you and your spouse should do what you can to present a united front. It will make life a lot easier for… Read More

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How to Get Kids to Do What You Want

February 15, 2017

Without question the best way to get kids, all kids, to do what you want them to do is… Let them choose. If this is a new concept to you and you are dealing with a teenager I’m not going to guarantee it will work the first time. However, after a few trials you are likely to discover why this approach, while perhaps against our most visceral impulses, is far more effective than asking, telling or demanding a child to do what you want. Why it works? Quite simply, choice empowers. When students choose, they take responsibility, and when they take responsibility they follow through. Glorious isn’t it? Ok, so it doesn’t always work perfectly. But as you get more comfortable letting… Read More

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News Fatigue: Supporting Students in Challenging Times

February 2, 2017

by Nancy Weinstein Is there anyone not feeling news fatigue? It’s hard to watch and yet you must. If you are a parent or teacher the challenges are compounded. Quite simply, you can’t hide kids from the news. And lest we forget, kids are not little adults. In most cases, they are not socially, emotionally and intellectually ready to process the drama, trauma, and full implications of what they are hearing, seeing and reading. Our solution: business news. Yes, business news. The networks like CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and Fox Business that cover the daily markets. While their programming of charts, graphs, and, let’s face it, [mostly] men in suits might not garner the same enthusiasm of general news, you can rely on them for factual, bi-partisan information across… 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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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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How to “Crush School”

July 20, 2016

by Mindprint Staff There’s a new book coming out this month, that might just have the missing ingredient to increase student motivation and efficiency. The author, Oskar Cymerman, is a high school chemistry teacher. If you have any doubt of his ability to understand and motivate teenagers, just know that this year he will become the first teacher in his school to “Starbucks” his classroom. Here are excerpts from our conversation with Oskar about his forthcoming book: Mindprint: Why did you decide to write your book “Crush School“? Oskar: I wrote the book to help students learn how to learn. As teachers, we tell students how to learn or study, and while many of these strategies are effective, we rarely… Read More

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‘New Skool’: Digital Learning Options You’ll Love

July 12, 2016

Looking for what’s new, different and fun to keep kids learning and entertained?! You’ve landed in the right place. Check out our teachers’ favorite collection digital options that teach AND engage. And we provide you with the unique perspective you need to decide if it will be a good fit for each unique learner. Find non-digital options here.     iCivics Free Website, App Why We Like It: These free well-designed games, developed by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s foundation, are a fantastic option to teach students about legislative and judicial processes. Each game teaches students a significant amount about the branches of government through a combination of story-telling and gamification. There are nine different games on the site, so parents should be able to find one that will be of interest… Read More

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Identify Learning Difficulties: Observation Checklist

June 28, 2016

Are you worried about your student’s grades or difficulties in school? The best way to help is to start with an accurate idea of what exactly is the problem. Use this checklist to identify it. Then click on the skill in parentheses to learn more. Once you know the underlying reason your child is struggling, use your Mindprint Toolbox to figure out exactly what to do next. Executive Functions Does she have trouble staying focused for longer tasks or those she has less interest? (attention) Is his work inconsistent or have random errors? (attention) Does he have trouble following directions? Completing multi-step tasks? (working memory) Does she have difficulty with planning? Staying organized? (working memory) Does he have over-react to transitions or unexpected… Read More

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