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Topic Archives: Memory

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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Sports Success: Why Cognitive Skills Might Be the Key

July 6, 2016

Do you have a kid that seems to have all the key ingredients for sports success: athleticism, interest and motivation? Yet he still isn’t making the “A team” or the coach is “surprised at his lack of progress”. Perhaps it’s time to consider if some of those same executive function skills that affect classroom performance might be interfering with his playing. Listening. Does the coach need to call your kid’s name in the group to make sure she’s listening? If your child doesn’t actively listen to the coach, she’s probably not absorbing as much feedback as her teammates. And chances are, she’s making mistakes as a result. Why doesn’t she listen? The first thing to check is your child’s hearing. If she can hear you just fine, you might… 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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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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5 Assumptions about Teens and Sleep that are Wrong

September 12, 2015

by Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff We hear it all the time: teens need more sleep. They are burning the candle at both ends with early start times for school followed by hours of after school activities and homework. When I taught high school, I saw my students in first period at 7:45 a.m. and dismissed the last class 2:45 p.m. And guess what? These teens were exhausted at both ends of the day. They wanted coffee. Did you drink coffee in 10th grade? As adults, many of us can empathize with the adolescent’s sense of fatigue and desire for more sleep. We’re tired, too. But do we really understand the unique problem teens face when it comes to their sleep… Read More

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Know Your Child: Working Memory

December 5, 2014

I like the name “working memory.” I need my memory to get work done. Working memory is an executive function, meaning the work it does is quite important, although, I admit, I don’t get a corner office when I do it. Instead, my working memory makes sure I soften the butter, add the eggs, and after a few interruptions, still remember to add those chocolate morsels. If only life were a bowl of cookie dough. In reality, the stakes are often much higher. Consider this example from an article on Understood.org: “Imagine a teacher reads a word problem in math class. Kids need to be able to keep all the numbers in their head, figure out what operation to use and create… Read More

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Know Your Child: Processing Speed

November 3, 2014

If grades, performance on standardized state tests, and anecdotal observations about your child’s behavior aren’t getting to the heart of your concerns or curiosities about how your child learns, this series on cognitive skills is exactly what you’re looking for. In the shoes of a child with a processing speed weakness The child whose only weakness is processing speed can feel like she is constantly living the fable of the tortoise and the hare. Given the time to listen, understand, and react, this child can excel. But trying to race to the finish is probably not an option for this child. Depending on the child’s personality, he may be completely comfortable with his slower pace, though he may want to… 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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Concussions: There’s an App for that

September 11, 2014

By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff Ben Harvatine had been practicing hard before he hit the mat and couldn’t get up. He’d been dizzy for a while during wrestling practice, but that hadn’t alarmed him: it’s what happens when you’re cutting weight in a 100-degree room. The twenty-year-old MIT student wound up in the hospital and spent months recovering. It was a concussion, the first he said he’d gotten in more than a decade of wrestling. “For a week or two I struggled to carry on conversations,” he told me when I interviewed him by phone a few weeks ago. He couldn’t keep up in his mechanical engineering and architecture classes. And he was sensitive to light. “I effectively didn’t go… Read More

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