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Topic Archives: Effort & Motivation

Teacher Self-Care: Top 10 Strategies to Support Teacher Well-being

January 1, 2022

Why now more than ever Anyone who’s been in a school building this year can tell you they’ve never seen anything like it. Not the masks and the social distancing. We all know that. I’m referring to the teacher exhaustion. The constant stress of trying to care for their students’ social and emotional needs and making up for lost learning all while managing what we labeled “pervasive unexpected behavior“. And that’s before teachers went home every night to manage their own family’s social and emotional needs and health. Importance of teacher self-care Hopefully the holiday has given all our teachers some much deserved time to relax and rejuvenate. But the obvious challenges ahead means that schools should prepare to support and uplift their teachers for the upcoming… Read More

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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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5 Lessons Schools Learned During the Pandemic to Address Learning Loss this Fall

May 23, 2021

The bigger structural changes many hoped would be a silver lining from the pandemic didn’t happen. However, parents and teachers undoubtedly learned some important lessons that can be used to address learning loss and improve in-person school for everyone this Fall. Here are the top things we learned that are (a) also consistent with science and (b) readily implementable by all schools. 1. Social-emotional Learning (SEL) comes first. Regardless of motivation, if a student can’t focus because they are anxious or stressed or inherently struggle with attention, their brain just doesn’t have the space to learn something new. This will be an absolute need in post-COVID classrooms this Fall to efficiently address learning loss and student engagement. Teachers can…give students 5 minutes at… Read More

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The Opposite of Grit–Why Kids Quit

April 17, 2018

It can be painful to watch kids quit. Especially when we see talent. Sometimes we hold our tongues. And sometimes we might blurt out what we are really thinking, “If you just had some grit, or cared more, or weren’t so lazy.”   Unfortunately, telling a kid he shouldn’t or can’t quit rarely does much good.  Paul Tough, one of the leading authors on grit, says that we can’t teach [or implore] students to be grittier. But that also doesn’t mean we need to stand by and allow talented kids to “throw away” their gifts. Instead, we need to understand, listen, and encourage to help them choose the harder (but better) path. Understand: It’s Natural to Want to Quit According to evolutionary psychologists, quitting… Read More

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5 Key Messages with Kids: So They Really Listen

December 14, 2016

  Consistency matters. If we want our kids to learn, parents and teachers need to be delivering the same consistent, key messages with kids 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. They might stop trying. By middle school, however, 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 simple, consistent key messages with kids so that when they tune in, the message sticks. 5 Key Messages with Kids What Do You Think? All too often, adults tell but forget to ask and listen. It’s amazing… Read More

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35 Strategies for Teaching Growth Mindset

November 15, 2016

Teaching Growth Mindset Teaching growth mindset starts with modeling the mindset we want children to have. Children learn most by observing trusted adults. Educators know the power of growth mindset. It is having a positive attitude to our successes as well as our disappointments. Growth mindset enables us to succeed in the face of adversity. Fortunately, we know growth mindset can be taught. Even better is that it is never too late to develop a growth mindset. Using Growth Mindset Strategies Use the links below for the top strategies for teaching growth mindset. Consider starting with Respect and Validate Feelings. All teaching starts with a strong relationship. As you choose strategies, add them to your Mindprint Action Plan. Then gradually add additional strategies over time. Student-led strategies are best for middle school and above. Adult-led strategies… 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 is encouraging. Carol Dweck’s research demonstrates that if a student tries hard and believes he can succeed he is very likely to be  successful. That simple. And the converse is true too. If you don’t believe in yourself that is likely to be self-fulfilling, regardless of your capabilities. Adults Play an Important Role in Growth Mindset Adults have HUGE influence in helping kids develop a growth mindset. Better still, it’s NEVER TOO LATE to develop a growth mindset. Not surprisingly, schools are eagerly embracing Carol Dweck’s lessons of growth mindset. They are doing everything from measuring it with questionnaires, teaching it as… Read More

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Happy Student, Happy Life

August 31, 2016

When parents are asked what they desire most for their children’s future, not surprisingly the overwhelming response includes the word happiness. And yet, grown-ups might be the biggest roadblock to kids finding happiness. Regardless of what we tell children, they primarily learn by example. Our children model what they see, not what they’re told. And that implies that we might be inadvertently instilling behaviors and beliefs that will make their long-term happiness that much more elusive. But we can change. Here’s how. What Parents Can Stop Saying and Start Doing Stop Saying “You need to work hard now if you want to be successful and happy later.” Encouraging students to singularly pursue success under the mistaken belief that success will lead to happiness is a fallacy. As explained in Harvard Business Review, success… Read More

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How to “Crush School”

July 20, 2016

by Mindprint Staff There’s a new book coming out this month, that might just have the missing ingredient to increase student motivation and efficiency. The author, Oskar Cymerman, is a high school chemistry teacher. If you have any doubt of his ability to understand and motivate teenagers, just know that this year he will become the first teacher in his school to “Starbucks” his classroom. Here are excerpts from our conversation with Oskar about his forthcoming book: Mindprint: Why did you decide to write your book “Crush School“? Oskar: I wrote the book to help students learn how to learn. As teachers, we tell students how to learn or study, and while many of these strategies are effective, we rarely… Read More

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To Label or Not to Label

June 2, 2016

by Nancy Weinstein Using labels, particularly when discussing children, tends to create visceral reactions. Many rightly argue that no one can or should be defined by a single word, or placed in a category from which there is rarely an escape. Here’s one well-written exposition on the unfairness and detriment of defining  or labeling children by a single test. It can have negative consequences for struggling learners and gifted learners alike. Labels can have an ever-lasting negative impact on self-esteem and mindset. But there are others who embrace labels. They rightly claim that only when labels are properly given can challenges most effectively be addressed. Advocacy groups such as Say Dyslexia and Autism Speaks are notable examples. In the case of dyslexia, we know there are programs that have… Read More

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