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Topic Archives: Homework & Study Skills

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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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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Mindprint Exclusive: Math Word Problem Tip Sheet

July 20, 2016

Getting started on a word problem can feel overwhelming. For some students, it’s too many words, too many numbers all at once. Use this list to help your student identify the key words that will provide important clues about which operations they will need to use. It also includes ways to identify “hidden numbers.”  

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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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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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Empowering Parents: A Premature Arrival

October 30, 2015

Edited by Mindprint Staff In this story, Beth, mother of 8 year old Talya, describes why she used Mindprint Learning to calm her lingering concerns about her daughter who was born prematurely.  (Editor’s note: To protect the privacy of the child, Beth and Talya are not their real names.) Talya is very bright, but moves notoriously slowly in many ways. She was born very early so I was concerned that there might be learning disabilities that we hadn’t seen show up yet, or the school hadn’t noticed, but lingered beneath her sweet exterior. Talya had a range of services provided when she was little, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. She worked so hard and was placed out of… Read More

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Do they shed tears with those timed math quizzes? Here’s help.

January 30, 2015

Never The First to Finish: Why Pace Matters By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff.  This post originally appeared on the Getting Smart website as part of a series of blogs written by parents called, “Smart Parents.” Remember how it felt to be halfway through a math quiz and a classmate gets up and turns it in to the teacher? Maybe that other student rushed, or maybe he or she just happened to be super speedy. Either way, I always came to the same conclusion: I’m just never going to be that fast. Years have passed since I’ve had to take a math quiz. As an adult, I’m comfortable with my own strengths and weaknesses and the time it takes me to do… Read More

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Now You See it, Now You Don’t: Cognitive Blindness

October 25, 2014

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff A few days ago, my six-year-old brought home a book from school that was considered a “right-fit”. Her assignment was to read the book to me out loud. We’ve been doing this since the start of the school year. It was a routine assignment and from what I could tell from the book’s jacket, a routine kind of book for a typical first grader. But this was not routine. A few pages into the story, she lost much of the fluency I would have expected given the book’s vocabulary. And why? Because she was distracted by the pictures. “That man is not wearing a helmet,” she said, looking at a man on a motorcycle depicted… Read More

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5 Tips to Help them Finish their Summer Reading (and math)

August 15, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff Perhaps you, too, once had a weekend in college when you realized you had two days to read 700 pages of Dostoyevsky. I planted myself in a coffee shop and inhaled The Brothers Karamazov, along with the fumes of java, until I got the job done, my own form of crime and punishment. With a few weeks left of summer, I can’t send my kids to a coffee shop, not without a hefty Starbucks bill and some raised eyebrows. But we have work to do! Sure, we’ve been reading, and yes, we’ve been doing math, but there are papers to fill out and more math to be done. How are we going to get it all… Read More

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Meet My Italian Teacher, He’s an Owl

May 17, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff For the past month, I have been thinking about my interview with literacy expert, Peggy Kaye (LEARN WITH HOMER) who reminded me that children sometimes feel vulnerable when learning a new skill. I had forgotten that sense of fear; a worry that one will never understand. I’ve been reminded of it now each night that I practice my Italian, a hobby I picked up again after realizing it had been ten years and two kids since I first made it a goal to learn the language. When I first started, I bought a textbook and dictionaries and took the “T” once a week for a class in Boston. Now, I have my iPad, the Duolingo app,… Read More

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