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Topic Archives: Executive Function & Self-Monitoring

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 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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A Parent’s Guide to the First Six Weeks of School

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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Mindprint Exclusive: Observation Checklist for Learning Struggles

June 28, 2016

This is one of many exclusive Mindprint guides found in the FREE Parent & Teacher Resources section of the Mindprint website. We hope it makes it easier for you to identify the source of your child’s struggles. If you’re looking for more detailed insight, consider a confidential Comprehensive Mindprint. Once you know the source of a child’s difficulties, search our free Toolbox to find research-backed strategies to support a struggling learner.

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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 Right Skills for the WEF’s “4th Industrial Revolution”?

January 28, 2016

By Mindprint Staff A new report out of the World Economic Forum last month says that over one-third of the most important workplace skills will change over the next five years. That’s a rate of change that we know our schools can’t possibly keep up with. 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. Historically, schools have focused on teaching students content knowledge, leaving career skills for on-the-job training. It’s not necessarily the wrong approach. Foundation skills such as vocabulary, reading comprehension, math rubrics, and factual knowledge in history, science and social studies are the essential building blocks… Read More

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Beating Test Anxiety

January 11, 2016

by Mindprint Staff Undoubtedly, many bright students struggle with a bad case of test anxiety. When it comes to a big exam or standardized test, these capable students never seem to do their best. Rather than the positive adrenaline a little bit of stress can provide, they end up with a full rush of hormones that interferes with their ability to think clearly, access their memory and demonstrate their full capabilities. Fortunately, understanding and addressing the root cause of a child’s test anxiety can break that cycle– And instead launch the much sought after virtuous cycle of greater self-confidence and improved performance. Our child psychologists tell us that most children’s struggles can be stripped down to a few underlying causes. The trick is to figure out which one is the cause… 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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