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Topic Archives: Executive Function & Self-Monitoring

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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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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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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A Parent’s Guide for Back to School Success

August 2, 2016

Before School Starts One or two weeks before the start of school, have some one-on-one time with each child. Discuss the upcoming year. Do a lot more listening than speaking– you want to hear their concerns and allay them. For younger students, parents might need to set expectations for homework time and grades. For teens, it might be time to let your child set realistic expectations about their classes, grades, and extra-curriculars. Then agree on a schedule or routine to make it happen that includes sufficient sleep, full meals, and time for relaxation. Week 1: Focus on a good adjustment. For younger kids, do they have the seat that will enable them to focus? Are they comfortable speaking to their teacher? Do they… 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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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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5 Summer Resolutions for School Year Success

June 21, 2016

by Mindprint Staff New Year’s might be the traditional time to make resolutions, but at Mindprint we believe the summer solstice can mark the best opportunity to make important lifestyle changes. Summer affords plenty of time to persevere and make sure that those new habits stick without the competing demands and stress of a rigorous academic schedule. We’ve picked our favorites that should be relatively easy to keep once you get started and can truly benefit the whole family. Our Top 5 Summer Resolutions for Kids of All Ages 1) Get Enough Sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health, school-aged children should be getting 10 hours of sleep a night. A good night’s sleep improves emotional and physical health and enhances learning and retention. During the school year,… Read More

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Does Your Child Have the Skills for the World Economic Forum’s “4th Industrial Revolution”?

January 28, 2016

The World Economic Forum reported last month that over one-third of the most important workplace skills will change over the next five years. That’s an incredible rate of change. So what’s a concerned parent to do? Not panic for starters. Parents who are pleased with their own child’s school (and surveys show that 75% of parents are satisfied) need first and foremost to continue to support their children’s academic learning. However, students spend on average, only 15% of their waking hours at school. Parents need to foster the essential skills their children will need to be successful in the real world.     Top 10 Ways for Parents to Nurture the World Economic Forum’s Top 10 Skills: Know your child’s stronger and weaker skills. Keep in… Read More

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7 Reasons for Test Anxiety and What To Do About It

January 11, 2016

  There are a variety of reasons for test anxiety. The best news is that a little bit of test anxiety is good thing. It provides an adrenaline rush to work efficiently. But too much stress produces a full rush of hormones that interferes with the ability to think clearly and rememberwhat you know. If test anxiety is a problem, read on for the seven most common reasons for test anxiety and what to do about it. The very first step is to recognize that the reasons for test anxiety are different for every student. The trick is to figure out which one is the reason for your child’s test anxiety. Subject-Specific Anxiety Sometimes kids develop test anxiety around one subject but not another, similar to how they might have anxiety around… 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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