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Supporting Your “Average” Students

February 19, 2018

by Nancy Weinstein If you’re a teacher, you know there’s no such thing as average. The idea that students can be categorized as gifted, struggling, or “just average” is simplistic at best. The 10/10/80 statistic might be helpful for administrators, but it is useless in the classroom. In this blog inspired by the work of Dr. Todd Rose, we explore why there is no such thing as average and offer 8 strategies to manage learner diversity in every classroom. If Not Average, Then What? As Harvard  professor Dr. Todd Rose explains in his book, The End of Average, “Every one of these familiar notions of [average students or average brains] is a figment of a misguided scientific imagination.” Instead, most every student has, what Rose calls, a… Read More

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Can America’s ‘lost Einsteins’ be found more easily than we think?

February 4, 2018

Are we looking for the ‘lost Einsteins’ in the wrong places? Research suggests we should be looking at students’ spatial and flexible thinking skills, not math and science scores. Who are the ‘lost Einsteins’? Late last year the The Equality of Opportunity Project released a report concluding that the U.S. is losing out on as much as 400% of innovation potential by failing to effectively nurture under-represented minorities, i.e. Blacks, Latinos, and girls. The report states, “there are many ‘lost Einsteins’ – people who would have had high-impact inventions” but never do because they grow up in communities where math and science in general, and innovation specifically, isn’t fostered. Stories in the NY Times and The Atlantic among other outlets fueled the social media discourse about an educational system… Read More

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Reversing Declines in Reading Scores in Middle and High School

January 22, 2018

It’s a common concern that only one-third of fourth graders’ reading scores are at grade level. A lesser known statistic is that despite remediation and intervention, 66% of students aren’t reading at grade level in 8th grade. This latter statistic suggests two important findings: For many students, the effects of elementary school reading remediation efforts aren’t long lasting; and Many students who are fine readers in elementary school aren’t continuing to develop at an appropriate rate The implications of poor reading skills are well-known and well-documented, affecting every aspect of adult life. Why do students show reading declines in middle and high school (even if they are fine elementary readers)? A strikingly high number of reading problems are not discovered until middle… Read More

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Prioritize! The Key to Improved SAT & ACT Test Performance

January 9, 2018

It’s not that easy, but it is that simple. Your students’ test scores will improve if they prioritize their studying.  And since we know that most students can’t and won’t prioritize without help, these 5 steps will help any teen prioritize and create an effective SAT or ACT test prep plan. In fact, with a few changes, this 5 step plan will work for any important exam in high school, college, or beyond. 1. Make It a Priority: Take a Full Length Pre-Test. Start by taking a full length, timed practice test, including the writing section. It’s not easy to give up 4 hours on a weekend, but you need to do it. If you’re still deciding between the ACT and SAT, use this SAT vs. ACT Guide to help… Read More

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Is Your Student Hiding a Gift?

November 28, 2017

  Do you know a kiddo who can assemble a Lego set in the blink of an eye? Tells the bus driver how to find his street? Helps you design your bulletin boards to perfection? What do these seemingly nice-to-have but not particularly useful skills have in common? They are all reflections of a student’s spatial perception. And while we might not ask students to apply spatial skills very often in school, spatial skills are essential for careers in engineering, advanced mathematics, robotics, and design. What’s more, spatial skills have a unique role in the development of creativity. Many researchers believe that superior spatial skills are the “X factor” that separates creative geniuses like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Frank Lloyd Wright from the rest of us. If spatial… Read More

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