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Topic Archives: Uncategorized

Choose Your Own Adventure: The Importance of Learner Choice

September 27, 2021

For those of us who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s the reference to Choose Your Own Adventure books likely brings a nostalgic smile. What was it we universally loved so much? They certainly weren’t the best written stories. But, they empowered us. We chose the plot. We made the character’s decisions. One could say we had all the power of storytelling without the hard work of writing. For many reasons these books aren’t nearly as popular today. Perhaps the biggest one is that students don’t need them the way we did. They have the power of storytelling at their fingertips.  It’s called social media. They choose whose story they want to follow and what pictures they want to view. While adults might not like social media, teens find… Read More

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Re-thinking the Academic Three R’s

August 24, 2021

Despite what social media might have you believe, the academic Three R’s, Reading, (w)Riting and (a)Rithmetic, are still the foundation for all learning. Without these essential skills, students will not have the building blocks for the higher-order thinking that drives 21st century skills like computation, communication and collaboration. This back-to-school, students of all ages might struggle to meet grade level standards. The natural reaction might be to load up on more practice — make up for lost time during virtual learning! While that’s an understandable response, the reality is more might not be better. Instead, students might need something a little different. Consider the Cognitive Three R’s For students at risk of falling behind, we’d strongly encourage you to consider the Three R’s from cognitive science, that is… Read More

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The Check-In: Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 4, 2020

I’ve known Cindy for four years.  If you need to speak with someone on how to parent with less stress, she’s the person to talk to. While Cindy specializes in working with families who have children with ADHD, in a world of remote or hybrid learning most families will benefit from her sage wisdom. I was thrilled when she agreed to write for us. As you gear up for parent-teacher conferences (or “speed conferences” as I like to call them), Cindy’s advice will assure you are prepared and make the most of those precious minutes. Guest Blog by Cindy Goldrich Speaking one-on-one with your child’s teacher is incredibly valuable. Whether it’s a regularly set meeting or prompted by concerns from the parent or… Read More

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Top 5 Back to Remote School Recommendations

August 18, 2020

by Nancy Weinstein, CEO of Mindprint Learning Author’s Note: After working with parents, teachers, administrators (and my own children!) this Spring and Summer on remote school, I’ve discovered this top 5 list is essential for all students regardless of their Mindprint profile. Keep in mind that remote learning requires an even greater level of parent-teacher partnership. Parents and teachers should communicate regularly to ensure every kid gets what they need. #1: Keep a Daily Schedule Routine is essential during uncertain times. A schedule sets clear expectations of where students should be and what they should be doing. While many students might complain they don’t need schedule, every student (teacher and parent) will benefit.  Post the schedule on a wall where it is clearly visible. Best Practice: A schedule includes time for… Read More

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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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Every Child Who Needs a Test Can Get a Test

April 12, 2020

We’ve been flooded with emails about Mindprint over the last few weeks How is this different from academic testing? Is my school doing this or should I be doing this at home? What are the benefits? We greatly appreciate your interest and decided to write a new “Dr. Fauci-inspired” Q & A to answer the most common questions about cognitive testing and provide what we expect is a relatable analogy. How is Cognitive Testing similar to Corona Testing? Think of your current achievement tests (e.g. MAP, STARR, iREADY,  PARCC, state assessments) as the swab test. The swab test confirms if you have corona at a single point in time. Similarly, achievement tests confirms what a student knows (or doesn’t) at a moment in time. And just… Read More

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How to Help Stressed Out Students

October 17, 2019

If you are working in a high performing school, you probably know all too well that you have a lot of stressed out students. Still, you might be startled by new research that classifies students in high performing schools as having the same level of risk for serious mental health problems as students living in poverty, foster care or who have an incarcerated parent. There’s no magic bullet for addressing the complex set of societal issues that has gotten us to this point. Programs for social-emotional learning (SEL) and suicide prevention can help. Structured programming will take time and fidelity. Clearly, there’s no time to lose. Here’s a potential “quick win” that could make a big difference for stressed out students,… Read More

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10 Learning Traits that Drive Academic Outcomes

June 21, 2019

The following is a brief summary of the learning traits that drive most academic learning. Everyone has their own unique combination of these traits, just as we all have our own unique fingerprint. It’s what makes each of us special but can also make learning confusing or challenging at times.   The 10 skills are organized in four key domains. Click on the links for more in-depth information on each skill. Complex Reasoning Complex reasoning is the ability to analyze information and solve complicated problems. When students use reasoning skills, they are thinking through ideas in a logical way to arrive at a conclusion. This is often referred to as “higher order thinking.” Don’t be surprised if you have a student who is strong in one area of… Read More

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Summer Assignment: Foster Creativity

June 2, 2019

If you read one education book this summer, consider Alan Lightman’s In Praise of Wasting Time. If it strikes too close to home, you’re not alone. Lightman articulates what many of us are feeling. That our very wired, very stressful lives are driven by a pervasive feeling of #FOMO (fear of missing out). We feel we need to be purposeful (or at least seen to be) every minute of every day. And it’s exhausting. The Joy of Doing Nothing Lightman begins with a vivid reflection on his childhood, as he describes, his “careless, wasteless hours at the pond.”  He makes us wistful for the joy of doing nothing.  While Lightman mourns that loss, at least he has memories. His concern is that today’s kiddos won’t… Read More

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Want to Ensure College and Career Readiness? Develop Flexible Thinking

December 17, 2018

Note: This is one of a 10 blog series on learning traits. Read about all 10 learning traits here. It’s true that verbal and abstract reasoning are the cognitive skills that predict academic achievement. The ability to make sense of complex information is undeniably essential to learning at every age. But once students leave the K12 classroom, research suggests that flexible thinking might be equally important to college and career readiness. As explained by author Eric Barker, “Schools reward students who consistently do what they are told— and life rewards people who shake things up.” What is flexible thinking? Flexible thinking is the ability to shift gears or change direction to adjust to unexpected circumstances or novel problems. Educators might be acutely aware of students who struggle with flexibility, even if they don’t always realize it. They might view these… Read More

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