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Topic Archives: Grades & Achievement

Accurate Testing: What Educators Can Learn from Dr. Fauci for Fall 2020

April 13, 2020

When done right, testing is incredibly valuable We’ve all heard more about the value of accurate, reliable testing in the last four weeks than at any point in our collective lifetimes. The crystal clear message from trusted scientists: Testing is essential to evaluate and address current conditions. The only thing worse than not testing is inaccurate testing. Accurate, ongoing testing is essential as circumstances change. The same rules of evidence that apply in medicine apply in educational testing. And in Fall 2020 more than ever, educational testing will be critical to help students and teachers address learning gaps. Regardless of your views about the value of end-of-year high stakes tests, the evidence is clear that formative assessments will be the only path to overcoming the… Read More

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Would a Study Group Help?

January 16, 2019

Harvard discovered that one of the best predictors of college success was having a study group. Would your students benefit? Study groups can help students stay motivated and organized. In fact, it’s shown that they can be even more effective than classroom discussions in helping students learn and remember. If you have students who struggled first semester, or just lacking motivation or enthusiasm, consider encouraging them to form study groups. Be sure to help guide them, as there is clear evidence of what works, and what doesn’t, in study groups. Rule #1: Manageable Size   Keep a group size of 3 to 5 members so everyone has an opportunity to actively participate while allowing for diversity of opinion. Rule # 2 Shared Goals  Ideally all participants have a similar objective for… Read More

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Reducing Student Stress Among High Achievers

March 12, 2018

Are you working with high-achievers? Rather than concerns about motivation and graduation rates, you’re likely worried that your students are too stressed, not getting enough sleep, and will burn out before they even get to college. Stress is considered a growing epidemic among top performing teens. Teachers can’t be responsible for preventing stress and anxiety, but they can instill the importance of self-management and self-care. High achievers need guidance on when to put those books down, how to say no to too many extra-curriculars, and why it might not be a good idea to take every accelerated class. Coaching top performers can be tough. No one wants to hold a student back, tell them they can’t do it all, or stop them from participating in something for which they have… Read More

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Parent Teacher Conferences: Making the Most of 15 Minutes

October 30, 2017

  For many, the coming weeks bring parent teacher conferences. If that engenders some hesitation, you are not alone. Parents, teachers and administrators all acknowledge the parent teacher conference system is flawed. Teachers feel rushed to cover too much information. They might feel barraged by questions from parents who recognize they have limited time and want lots of answers. Parents regularly complain there isn’t enough time to hear all they need to help their child improve. Even the typically objective wikipedia cynically describes parent teacher conferences as: Meetings generally led by teachers who take a more active role in information sharing, with parents relegated mostly to the role of listeners. It’s not that schools don’t want to fix the system. It’s just logistically challenging. See the side bar for a quick read on one… Read More

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First Test Jitters: Beat Test Anxiety

September 19, 2017

(This article was originally published on September 19, 2017 but has been updated) This week your students are more than likely taking their first quizzes and tests of the new school year. Given the desire to make a good first impression, you’re probably noticing a bit more stress than usual. Here’s what you need to know about test anxiety to help students do their best. The Goal is Optimal Stress, Not No Stress A little stress is a good thing. It motivates kids to study. The nervous energy during the test helps the mind actively recall what you know and work at a good pace so you can finish on time. So as the graph below shows, the goal isn’t no stress…. Read More

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Education Trends: Smart Summer Reading for Teachers & Parents

June 26, 2017

With the summer in full swing, we hope you are relaxing and reflecting. In case you were busy working and parenting the last ten months, you might have missed some of the year’s most important K12 education trends. We identified our favorite reads by topic. We suggest printing them out now and putting them in your bag. Pull them out when you have some free time while sipping your morning coffee, relaxing on the beach, or enjoying an after-dinner glass of wine. 1. Focus, Organization & Planning, Oh My! Teachers and parents are realizing the need to become resident experts on the key executive functions of focusing, organizing and planning. A lack of these skills often explains why bright students underperform. Problems with these skills might… Read More

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2017: The Year to Bite the Magic Bullet

January 5, 2017

By Nancy Weinstein We remain optimistic that technology has the promise to transform education. Yet we start 2017 with a sobering reminder that technology’s impact has been slow and inconsistent. In every community, students are still struggling or disengaged, parents are anxious, and teachers are stressed. So what do we do next? Keep trying new solutions? Give it another year? We say it’s time to accept that technology is not the magic bullet that will save our educational system. We know technology can help make learning and teaching easier and more enjoyable. But only if we first embrace the three human elements essential to effective learning. Students will need to work hard to learn. There is no solution, technology or otherwise, that will change that. There’s no… Read More

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The Hidden Value in High-Stakes Tests

October 10, 2016

by Mindprint Staff Yes it’s easy to question if there’s any real value to standardized tests, especially if you have a stressed out teen studying for the ACT. High-stakes admissions tests aside, there is plenty of value in standardized tests IF we use them in the right way. The unfortunate reality is they are more often used for inclusion/exclusion or passing judgment rather than identifying how we can help kids succeed. Here’s what we can and should do to change that, one child at a time. The Classic Under-Achiever. Do you have a kid who does well on standardized tests but can’t seem to perform in class? Let’s unlock that potential! Start with the understanding that every kid wants to succeed, no one does well on tests by… 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, grown-ups might be the biggest roadblock to kids finding happiness. Regardless of what we tell children, they primarily learn by example. 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 change. Here’s how. What Parents Can Stop Saying and Start Doing Stop Saying “You need to work hard now if you want to be successful and happy later.” Encouraging students to singularly pursue success under the mistaken belief that success will lead to happiness is a fallacy. As explained in Harvard Business Review, success… Read More

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Back-to-School Essential Reads

August 16, 2016

Re-engaging after a long summer vacation can be tough. So tough that students often need to spend the first month of school reviewing the last two months of the previous school year. Adults are no different. So, today we share with you the most important things that your summer brain might have missed or forgotten. These reads will get you ready to make this the best school year yet. A Parent’s Guide to the First Six Weeks  A primer for parents to ensure a good transition. How to Crush School  Review of new book for middle and high school students by teacher Oskar Cymermann. Teaches teens to develop study skills for school and life success. The Forgetting Curve Learning is a different skill from remembering,… Read More

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