Monday, December 29, 2014

Eat Well in the New Year

Almost everyone's holiday season has included a wide variety of food and drink, not all of it completely healthy for us. After indulging over the holidays, many of us are making ourselves and/or our loved ones a promise to eat healthier in the new year.

For people who maintain healthy eating habits, food is the pharmacy of feeling good and staying focused and energized, or relaxed and calm.

In our book Thinking for Results: Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement By As Much as 30 Percent, we explain that healthy eating is important for fueling the Body-Brain System.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Helping Young Students Achieve Self-Control

Helping students achieve self-control is an important component of teachers' ability to be effective in the classroom.

The famous marshmallow test, which was conducted more than 40 years ago by psychologist Water Mischel, was a breakthrough in the study of self-control in children. Most educators are familiar with this study, which tested preschool-age children's ability to delay immediate gratification for increased benefits in the future.

In the study, a researcher placed a marshmallow (or other desirable treat) on a table in front of a child. The child was left alone in the room for 15 minutes with the instruction not to eat the treat until the researcher returned to the room. If the child was able to do so, he or she was rewarded with a second treat.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Focusing on Student Motivation

Do you believe students become smarter through learning or that intelligence is determined at birth? How we as educators answer that question ties into the subject of motivation as a force for learning.

For me, the importance of motivation surfaced in the early 1980s while I was working with a group of seventh-grade students who had been classified as "gifted."

Some of these students were highly motivated to achieve while others were less motivated and underachieving. This latter group seemed to believe that because they were "smart," they did not need to put forth much effort in school. In contrast, their higher-achieving peers seemed to understand that they needed to put forth effort in order to reach their potential and achieve better results in school.