Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Play, Stress, and the Learning Brain By Sam Wang, Ph.D. and Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D.

Why do many species play? In an online article adapted from Dr. Sam Wang and Dr. Sandra Aamodt’s book Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College (Bloomsbury USA, 2011; OneWorld Publications, 2011), the authors explore how play enhances brain development in children.

As Wang and Aamodt describe, play activates the brain’s reward circuitry but not negative stress responses, which can facilitate attention and action. Through play, children practice social interaction and build skills and interests to draw upon in the years to come." Parents and teachers alike will enjoy reading this September 24 article in Dana Press' Cerebrum.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Supporting Teachers to Implement Common Core State Standards

I am happy to see that there are a number of sessions at the Florida Virtual School conference to support educators in Florida and other states that are implementing the Common Core State Standards. Although the standards are not entirely new to many states that have had various types of standards, it is now expected that students will learn to use cognitive strategies alongside content. In many communities this is a departure from what has been expected, thus, it is important to include in professional development planning now and over time. To assist with implementation of cognitive standards in educational settings, consider doing a book study connecting local requirements for Common Core with our text, Thinking for Results, 2012 (Amazon.com).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On Creativity

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. -- Maya Angelou

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Visit Us At The Florida Virtual School Conference

Thursday I am excited to be at the Florida Virtual School conference in Orlando! The school is an online public school. If you plan to be at the conference on Thursday, Judy Ingram and I will be at the NSU booth all day. Stop by and see us there! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Helping Youngsters Become Academically Optimistic

One of our strategies that many teachers love and often use only takes a minute or so to share with kids. At the end of the school day (or class period) ask children "What is something good that has happened for you today?" Once they have had a chance to think about that and one or a handful have shared their thoughts, ask them "What is something good that might happen tomorrow?" The second question gets them planning and scanning for something good about school. For children who can't think of something, help them with the thinking and language of the positive.

Many parents who have attended our workshops have chosen to use this strategy at dinnertime or bedtime!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Four Lobes for Learning

Learn about your brain's four lobes by viewing Marcus Conyers' YouTube video (Brain Fact #4) with your friends and colleagues! Just search YouTube. Then type in 'Brain Fact #4' and one of the first videos will be Marcus with the orange background of the brain exhibit at the Orlando Science Center. 

If you haven't already, like us on Facebook at 'Brainsmart'! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Marcus Conyers on Your Amazing Brain!

Consider sharing Marcus Conyers' exciting YouTube video (Brain Fact #3) with your friends and colleagues! Just search YouTube. Then type in 'Brain Fact #3' and then one of the first videos will be Marcus with the orange background of the brain exhibit at the Orlando Science Center.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Teaching 21st Century Skills: Financial Literacy

Most agree that financial literacy is important in the 21st Century. The following website gives teachers and parents ideas for teaching children this important knowledge. We have found financial literacy is a great way to teach practical math! 

‎20 things kids need to know to live financially smart lives

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Educational Policy: Let's Help All Children Read in Early Elementary School

We believe that it is critical for policymakers and educational leaders to support effective teaching and learning with up-to-date policy. 

To access my ERIC article on the importance of educational leadership, policy, and reading, e-mail ERICRequests@ed.gov and ask for the article ERIC Record: ED523494 to be made available to you.