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Topic Archives: Cognitive Ability & IQ Testing

A Smarter Way to Improve ACT/SAT Test Scores

January 19, 2017

Here’s one true thing you will rarely hear from test prep tutors, “All the strategies and practice in the world won’t help if you don’t know how your child learns best.” If your child’s scores don’t match your reasonable expectations, it’s highly likely that there’s something in his test-taking approach that is holding him back. And more often than not, it’s something that he can’t articulate and your tutor won’t figure out by just watching him. The traditional test prep approach is to identify the types of problems where the student makes mistakes. Then tutors either (a) re-teach the skills that should have been learned in school and/or (b) give tons and tons of similar practice problems and hope that the actual test… Read More

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After the Denial: What to do if your child didn’t get into the gifted program

January 11, 2017

by Dr. Wendy Matthews Were you disappointed to learn that your child didn’t qualify for your school’s gifted program? Does this fly in the face of anything you know to be true about your child’s capabilities and needs for additional enrichment? If your child was not accepted, you still have options. First, you need to decide whether you are sure the program is right for your child. Do some research. Learn about: (a) the quality of the program, (b) the amount of time involved, and (c) potential programming conflicts. Try to get a sense of the trade-offs for your child and for your family. Consider, too, the time, financial resources, and emotional reserves required of you to advocate for your child…. Read More

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Play Hard, Study Hard Science Tells Us

November 30, 2016

Researchers 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. And it gives powerful insight into what we should generally expect from children behaviorally, emotionally and cognitively at every age. And here’s why we should all care. A lot. Childhood is a period of rapid brain development. That much we’ve known. What is different about the research from the Brain Behavior Lab is that it might tell us what students should learn for the greatest possible long-term impact. From Dr. Robert Bjork we’ve known that students shouldn’t be coasting and they shouldn’t be stretched too far beyond their… 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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Let’s Not Forget the Forgetting Curve

April 6, 2016

by Mindprint Staff   We are all familiar with the concept of the learning curve. We know that when it’s steep, learning is a challenge. When it’s shallow, the learning comes easily. When we talk about students being smart, we are really saying that they have a shallow learning curve in the subject, or they are quick to understand. Most schooling focuses on getting all students up the curve, testing them to be sure they made it, and then moving on to the next topic. But in reality, learning doesn’t stop with understanding. Deep learning encompasses understanding, storing, and recalling the information as needed for problem solving. If students know their facts or strategies and then forget, they need to struggle right back up the learning curve when they need… Read More

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Does Your Child Believe You? 5 Pre-requisites for Cultivating a Growth Mindset

March 10, 2016

By Mindprint Staff If you work with children or have children, you are probably aware of Carol Dweck‘s seminal work on the importance of growth mindset. In a nutshell, it’s a belief that your capabilities are not something you are simply born with but which you can develop with effort and commitment. Adults can have a big impact by focusing on a child’s effort not outcomes, and help kids understand that hard work and practice  – not pure innate talent – will enable them to succeed. Unfortunately, as can often happen when solid research hits the mainstream media, Dweck’s excellent work has been grossly over-simplified. It’s not as easy as replacing, “Look how smart you are!” with, “I’m so proud of how hard you worked!” and…. Voila, the next Albert Einstein. Or… Read More

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What If Your Biggest Weakness Became Your Strength?

February 24, 2016

By Mindprint Staff Sunday morning on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd turned to his bi-partisan panel debating over what outrageous remark might knock Trump out of contention. He posed the question, “What if everything we thought was his weakness is actually a strength?” And then he went to commercial. Not a bad move for live TV when you don’t want to answer the question. But for the rest of us, maybe it is an important question we want to answer: Can we turn our weaknesses into strengths? And if so, what does it take? Virgin CEO Richard Branson wrote in his 2012 book that his struggles with dyslexia became his greatest strength. It taught him how to be an efficient manager which he believes was crucial to his… Read More

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Who’s In Your Rolodex?

August 13, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff I am reading a biography of a woman who traveled to Europe by steamer ship in the early twentieth century. She took with her an address book in which she’d entered the names and addresses of recommended tailors and doctors just in case she needed one. The modern parent doesn’t need an address book of names on hand in the event of emergencies because at the touch of a few buttons, we can search for what we need instantly. Or can we? If what we’re looking for is a highly recommended specialist, we might want to take a cue from our foremothers, and invest a little time in building our lists before we enter foreign… Read More

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Advice from our Learning Specialists: How to Prepare for an IEP Meeting

April 17, 2015

Note: This was originally posted on April 17, 2015 and edited and updated on March 21, 2016. By Sarah Vander Schaaff It’s IEP Season, that time of year when parents and school teams meet to review the following year’s Individualized Educational Program, (IEP) or the plan students receiving special education services will have to meet their academic goals. It can be a stressful time for families. For this week’s blog, I interviewed Dr. Wendy Matthews, a psychologist in the Princeton area who spent over 30 years in private practice specializing in children and adolescents. In that time, Dr. Matthews administered hundreds of psycho-educational evaluations to children. She is now a vital part of the Mindprint team. 1.  What materials should parents bring with them to the IEP… Read More

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Learn Something New Everyday: Cognitive March Madness

March 22, 2015

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff We’ve had an exciting week on this blog, with a team of bloggers joining me in our drive to “learn something new everyday.” Can you imagine if the energy and money that went into sports commentary were put towards educational programs, or if we had a 24-hour cable network with the pizzazz of ESPN devoted to the issues parents cope with in raising kids? In case you missed it, here’s a recap of what we’ve featured this week.   1. Benefits of Music for Children with Attention Issues This well-received post was written by Nicole Davies with follow-up commentary by a Mindprint Learning educator with years of experience teaching special education.       2. All… Read More

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