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Topic Archives: Uncategorized

The Value of Siblings: Don’t Listen to the Stereotypes

March 8, 2017

The nature vs. nurture question comes up frequently in education and parenting circles. By most estimates, it’s about 50-50. In other words, 50% of who you are comes from genetics and the other 50% is environmental. That allows parents and educators plenty of influence. So what does that imply for stereotypes about the “selfish only child”, the “responsible first child” or the “lazy youngest child”?   Parenting and psychology expert Dr. Susan Newman provides us the research behind the stereotypes and what parents can proactively do to avoid the stereotype trap. Guest Blog by Susan Newman, PhD If you are the parent of one child, it’s hard not to think about only child stereotypes and hope that none of them will… 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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News Fatigue: Supporting Students in Challenging Times

February 2, 2017

by Nancy Weinstein Is there anyone not feeling news fatigue? It’s hard to watch and yet you must. If you are a parent or teacher the challenges are compounded. Quite simply, you can’t hide kids from the news. And lest we forget, kids are not little adults. In most cases, they are not socially, emotionally and intellectually ready to process the drama, trauma, and full implications of what they are hearing, seeing and reading. Our solution: business news. Yes, business news. The networks like CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and Fox Business that cover the daily markets. While their programming of charts, graphs, and, let’s face it, [mostly] men in suits might not garner the same enthusiasm of general news, you can rely on them for factual, bi-partisan information across… Read More

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After the Denial: What to do if your child didn’t get into the gifted program

January 11, 2017

by Dr. Wendy Matthews Were you disappointed to learn that your child didn’t qualify for your school’s gifted program? Does this fly in the face of anything you know to be true about your child’s capabilities and needs for additional enrichment? If your child was not accepted, you still have options. First, you need to decide whether you are sure the program is right for your child. Do some research. Learn about: (a) the quality of the program, (b) the amount of time involved, and (c) potential programming conflicts. Try to get a sense of the trade-offs for your child and for your family. Consider, too, the time, financial resources, and emotional reserves required of you to advocate for your child…. 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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5 Simple Messages to Make Kids Listen

December 14, 2016

  Consistency matters. If we want our kids to learn, parents and teachers need to be delivering the same consistent message at home and at school. Why so important? Elementary school kids literally hear every word you say. And they generally want to please. But if they get conflicting messages, they can’t please everyone. And they might stop trying. By middle school, we need to face the reality that tweens and teens don’t hear a lot of what adults say. It becomes even more essential to deliver a consistent message so that when they tune in, the message sticks. 5 Simple Messages That Work With Every Kid What Do You Think? All too often, adults tell but forget to ask and listen. It’s amazing what kids will… 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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It Takes A Village

September 27, 2016

Guest Blog by Jen Cort When kids are little, parents know they need trusted adults for events such as picking them up from school in case of emergency or hosting them on playdates. What we may not realize is that trusted adults are perhaps even more important in middle and high schools than in elementary school. Trusted adults are those adults you feel comfortable allowing your child to be in the care of and/or providing advice to your child in your absence. As your child grows, her/his needs also change. Therefore, it’s necessary to reevaluate the trusted adults in your child’s life on an ongoing basis. For example, social identifiers (such as race, gender and religion) may move into or out of… Read More

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The Best Educational Family Games for the Holidays

September 26, 2016

Looking for non-digital options to keep kids learning and entertained?! You’ve landed in the right place. And we provide you with the perspective you need to decide if it will be a good fit for each unique learner.   Plyt Why We Like It: Plyt is an effective board game to help students develop critical skills in mental math calculations and numerical fluency. It is simple, yet fun despite being a purely educational game making it great for home or the classroom, especially since games can be relatively quick while still providing plenty of effective practice. Game can grow with a child developmentally, from learning basic addition to challenging multi-step mental math problems. Develops: Processing Speed, Working Memory Considerations: Requires an adult to guide children on playing… Read More

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It’s All in the Details: A Strengths-Based Approach to Growth Mindset

September 14, 2016

By Nancy Weinstein I’m a big fan of Stanford professor Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset. It’s hard not to be. It’s evidence-based research that, in its most basic form, tells us that if a student tries hard and believes he can do it, i.e. has a growth mindset, he will succeed if he keeps at it. Conversely, if he has a fixed mindset, i.e. believes he was genetically preordained to succeed (or not), chances are that no matter what his gifts and talents, over time he will grow to fear failure, stop taking risks, and not live up to his full potential. Some of the most encouraging findings around growth mindset are that adults have HUGE influence in helping kids develop a growth mindset and it’s NEVER TOO LATE. No wonder that schools… Read More

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