Mind Shift

Is It Time To Go Back To Basics With Writing Instruction?

Most educators acknowledge that literacy is important, but often the focus is on reading because for a long time that is what achievement tests measured. In the last few years there has been more focus on writing in classrooms and on tests, but many students still have difficulty expressing their ideas on paper.

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Media Literacy: Five Ways Teachers Are Fighting Fake News

As the national attention to fake news and the debate over what to do about it continue, one place many are looking for solutions is in the classroom.

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Can Micro-credentials Create More Meaningful Professional Development For Teachers?

Learning science says people learn best when they apply new information to their own contexts. When learners can make mistakes, reflect on new strategies, get feedback, and try again they gain a deeper understanding of the topic.

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Beyond Sex Ed: How To Talk To Teens About Love

Love — or infatuation, at least — is part of school, whether we want it to be or not. It’s often school that gives us our first crush, our first dance-induced cold sweat, and that first bitter taste of heartbreak.
And so, on this Valentine’s Day we ask: Should educators and parents be talking about love more with the teens and pre-teens in their lives? Could they do more to help students navigate some of the more bewildering emotions of adolescence?

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Why Depression Strikes Today’s Teen Girls Especially Hard

It’s tough to be a teenager. Hormones kick in, peer pressures escalate and academic expectations loom large. Kids become more aware of their environment in the teen years — down the block and online. The whole mix of changes can increase stress, anxiety and the risk of depression among all teens, research has long shown.

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How Reading Aloud to Therapy Dogs Can Help Struggling Kids

By Juli Fraga
Two years ago, principal Diane Lau-Yee grew concerned when she saw how family tragedies were impacting her students at Gordon J. Lau Elementary School in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
“Some of the students were acting out their feelings of confusion and anger by starting fights with their peers, while other children shut down and stopped participating in class,” says Lau-Yee.

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How Access to Nature During The School Year Can Help Students Thrive

In Florissant, Missouri, right off a busy highway, sits the 97-acre Little Creek Nature Area, a nature facility that serves the students of the Ferguson-Florissant School District. This slice of forest is owned by the district and includes classrooms, trails, prairie, chickens, gardens and a pond. Younger students take trips to Little Creek every year and high school students can take a field biology class there.

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Empathy Is Tough to Teach, But Is One Of the Most Important Life Lessons

Dr. Brené Brown has become famous for her speaking and writing about vulnerability, worthiness, shame and the other important emotions running underneath daily life all the time. One theme she returns to over and over is the importance of cultivating empathy, a very different reaction than sympathy.

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How Playing With Math Helps Teachers Better Empathize With Students

Michelle Manes has taught math in almost every setting. She taught public high school students, deaf elementary school students, and middle school girls at a single-sex school. But eventually, she couldn’t fight the feeling that as much as she loved teaching math, she also loved doing math, so she went back to get her Ph.D. in mathematics and is now a professor at the University of Hawaii.

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Two Puzzles to Stretch Students’ Logical Thinking

Riddles are a fun way to get students thinking logically and tackling problems that can seem overwhelming at first. In this TED-Ed riddle, students are put in the position of a famous mathematician who has been jailed by his king, but has a chance at freedom if he can figure out which of 12 seemingly identical coins has been counterfeited by a corrupt official.  The video sets up the conditions of the riddle at the beginning and the answer comes at 1:18.

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