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Topic Archives: Effort & Motivation

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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35 Strategies for Teaching Growth Mindset

November 15, 2016

Getting Started: 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. Teaching Growth Mindset with 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… 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, we grown-ups might be doing just the opposite. Regardless of what we tell our children, they primarily learn by our example. And when our heartfelt efforts to give our children the very best sometimes violate what we believe or know to be right, we understandably forgive ourselves. But our children? 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, and should, change. Here’s how. Our Top Science-Based Strategies of What Parents Should Stop Saying and Start Doing Stop Saying “You need to work hard… 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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To Label or Not to Label

June 2, 2016

by Nancy Weinstein Using labels, particularly when discussing children, tends to create visceral reactions. Many rightly argue that no one can or should be defined by a single word, or placed in a category from which there is rarely an escape. Here’s one well-written exposition on the unfairness and detriment of defining  or labeling children by a single test. It can have negative consequences for struggling learners and gifted learners alike. Labels can have an ever-lasting negative impact on self-esteem and mindset. But there are others who embrace labels. They rightly claim that only when labels are properly given can challenges most effectively be addressed. Advocacy groups such as Say Dyslexia and Autism Speaks are notable examples. In the case of dyslexia, we know there are programs that have… 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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2016: The Year of the Resolution Revival

December 30, 2015

by Mindprint Staff Is the New Year’s resolution just a foolhardy tradition? By most estimates, approximately 50% of us make them and less than 10% of us follow through on them. Or, in other words, half of us have reached the point of “why bother?” You may wonder why experts in child development would recommend that children keep up this New Year’s tradition when the most essential skills needed to make and keep resolutions (planning, impulse control, and self-awareness) are still maturing. If adults with a fully-developed prefrontal cortex don’t have the executive function skills to keep a resolution, why even consider suggesting our kids try? Because it is our responsibility as parents and educators to help our kids be the best they can be. New Year’s resolutions… Read More

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When It’s a Can’t, Not a Won’t

December 17, 2015

In October I attended the Association of Educational Therapists conference and heard Dr. Tina Bryson’s keynote. She had plenty of great advice, best summed up this way: “When a kid’s not behaving, what if it’s a can’t, not a won’t?” How many of us have told a child that he’s simply not trying hard enough, or threatened punishments for a kid who doesn’t listen? No doubt, we parents and teachers are often justified in our exasperation. It is our responsibility to teach children to work hard and respect adults. We certainly are correct in assigning appropriate consequences when they choose not to listen. But when it’s a pattern of behavior, all the discipline rules change. Step back and think. Is your child often apathetic?… Read More

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Childhood Expert Eileen Kennedy-Moore Answers our Questions

September 21, 2015

We are supremely fortunate to share with you this week insight from a leading child psychologist who has great advice on on how we can better handle some sensitive parenting moments. Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD, is an author, psychologist, and mother of four. She has a private practice in Princeton, NJ, where she works with adults, children, and families. In addition co-authoring Smart Parenting for Smart Kids and The Unwritten Rules of Friendship, she has a new video series for parents, produced by The Great Courses: Raising Emotionally and Socially Healthy Kids. Some of the topics she covers in her Great Courses lecture really interested me, including how to guide children through issues related to anxiety, perfectionism and popularity. I’m happy to share her answers with… Read More

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