Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mississippi High School Encourages Positivity

At the Center for Innovative Education, we are inspired when schools and districts use our ideas to cultivate a more joyful place for thinking and learning to occur.

At the beginning of the U.S. school year, I want to applaud the educators at Kossuth High School in Corinth, Mississippi, for supporting positivity!

Using one of our articles on the power of positivity in schools, they state, “A positive community of educators within a school has a powerful effect on the students who learn there. Individually, teachers contribute to that positive environment by exhibiting and modeling an optimistic outlook and can-do attitude.”

Monday, August 6, 2018

Australia Report Cites the Importance
 of Metacognition in Teaching Financial Literacy


Having presented in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia earlier this year, Marcus and I are pleased to see our work is being used in New South Wales. The most recent example that we have learned about is in a report authored by Nikki Goldspink Chaffey of the Narranga Public School in New South Wales.

Ms. Chaffey found particular value in our post, entitled “Metacognition, The Gift That Keeps Giving.” In a report entitled, “Starting Young: An international study of successful primary school financial literary programs” sponsored by First State Super, she cited our article as a resource:

“Research shows a classroom encouraging positive emotions and optimistic viewpoints produces broadened thoughts and actions and improves resourcefulness and exploration, which can result in improved academic achievement and fulfilment. Students who succeed academically often rely on being able to think effectively and independently to take charge of their learning. These students have mastered fundamental skills such as being organised, completing tasks on schedule, making a plan, monitoring their learning path, and recognising when it might be useful to change course. These are skills that we now know can be taught through metacognition (the ability to think about your thoughts with the aim of improving learning).”

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Laurel Springs Recommends How Parents Can Give Children the Gift That Keeps Giving: Metacognition

Laurel Springs, an accredited online private school based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, suggests to students’ parents that they utilize our “Drive Your Brain” approach for helping their children prepare to begin middle school in autumn. Specifically, linking to one of our articles on how to teach metacognition—defined as thinking about our own thinking to improve learning—educators at Laurel Springs recommend that parents teach their children this concept because it can have a positive effect on learning. 

In essence, Laurel Springs educators are utilizing our approach for guiding children to use metacognition as an essential thinking tool that improves learning and creates more independent thinkers. They advise parents that once you begin to understand metacognition, you can model it for your child by working through the steps of problem-solving or learning a new concept verbally.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

BrainSMART In Bhutan



The leaders and citizens of the country of Bhutan, located in the Himalayas, are a thoughtful and intentional people and have shown it by making happiness a priority for every citizen.

As strong advocates for well-being, we are delighted to see that educators there are using our article, “Strategies for Strengthening the Brain’s Executive Functions,” which describes how to guide students on how to further develop the awareness and directive capacities of the mind.

An apparent national interest in continuously improving student thinking, alongside a focus on happiness, should be a formula for continued success and well-being.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Research Project Touts Optimism and Learning

One aspect of the BrainSMART Model that impressed Chuck Balogh was its emphasis on the power of positive thinking to increase academic success. As he described in the BrainSMART publication, Effective Teaching, Successful Students, the then-sixth-grade teacher not only put those techniques to work in his classroom, but he also he designed an action research project around optimism and self-reflection.

Balogh, who earned his M.S. degree with a major in Brain-Based Teaching, did his research with 300 students in the Peoria, Arizona, public school district over almost two full school years. The students in his science and social studies classes came from different economic situations and different backgrounds.

A central goal of his research was to increase the positive thinking abilities of learners through self-reflection. Balogh modeled positive thinking and taught his students the power of optimism. He also encouraged them to write daily in “Happy Books,” a technique he adapted based on BrainSMART research that involves writing about emotions, events, and people in students’ lives that make them feel happy and optimistic.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Using Positivity to Reach a “Tough Audience”

High school students can be a “tough audience,” especially for a physical education teacher, but Marlene Mendes described in the BrainSMART publication, Effective Teaching, Effective Students, how she learned a variety of strategies through the brain-based graduate degree program to create a positive learning state and to encourage students to approach new challenges with an optimistic outlook.

Ms. Mendes, who has more than 30 years of teaching experience, teaches secondary students in San Luis Opispo, California. At the time of her interview, she observed that her studies to earn her master’s degree have underscored the importance of the teacher and students maintaining a positive outlook on teaching and learning.

“I had a student who had a very negative attitude,” she reported. “I talked to her about it and asked her to name three positive things, trying to get her to focus on being positive.” As a result of that conversation, the student turned her attitude around. She started dressing out and participating. She became a lot more involved and a lot less negative.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Engaging Students With Brain-Based Learning

Direct instruction on how the brain learns best is an effective strategy, as borne out by Kim Poore’s experience in teaching a class of K-5 students with behavioral and emotional disorders in South Carolina’s Lancaster County Public School District.

Ms. Poore, who earned her M.S. with a major in Brain-Based Teaching, was enrolled in the Ed.S. program, at the time of her interview with the BrainSMART publication, Effective Teaching, Successful Students. This coincided with her teaching in a Title I school with a diverse population.

“I was able to take what I learned in just one lesson and use it in my class the next day,” said Ms. Poore in the interview. She pointed to several strategies from the BrainSMART book, 60 Strategies for Increasing Student Learning, that had immediate practical use in the classroom.