Currently Browsing: Brain-Based Teaching

Extreme Schools Making Miracles Happen

Foster Road Elementary,

Our featured “Extreme School” is a school in Los Angeles County, California. Not long ago, this high K-5 poverty school had neighborhood drug dealers coming ON CAMPUS. The outside aesthetics of the school were deplorable, with deteriorating buildings. The district rates schools (academically) on a scale from 1-10 (with 10 as highest). This school was a “1” out of ten – the lowest possible ranking.

RESULTS? Today, it is the envy of the Norwalk-La Mirada School District! What did they do and how did it turn out? Are you ready for another miracle?

HOW DID IT TURN OUT?

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Extreme Schools in an Extreme Interview

 Teacher Q&A

Instead of our usual featured “Extreme School” (of which we have many), we are featuring an unusual question-answer session. These were posed by real staff members from two real Title 1 schools. The questions cut right to the core of what it takes to succeed, but the answers may surprise you.

In fact, the answers apply to every single school, including yours. I have combined two school interviews so there’s enough variety for everyone. By the way, everything here applies to ALL schools, not just those in poverty. Enjoy! (more…)

Should you be in to Brainwashing?

Brainwashing Students

Let’s focus on how to get off to a fresh start…by brainwashing others. Whether you work with adults or younger students directly, this month’s issue may change your approach forever. You’ll learn why you should be in the business of brainwashing. Here’s what the research tells us…

The Research

Brainwashing is the altering of beliefs, knowledge or attitudes in the mind of another. The first of your two questions is, “Should I do brainwashing?” The answer is an emphatic, “Yes!” Second, “Why?” Humans live their lives and take actions based on their narratives. Our own narrative is the aggregate of our daily routines, habits and predictive decisions, actions, values and conversations we engage in. Humans are remarkably true to their own “story”. At school, the story that students create and identify with is especially important. (more…)

Extreme Schools: Miracles Happen Every Day

Roosevelt Elementary School

Our featured “Extreme School” is…Well, let a staff member tell her story…

“We needed help; our socio-economically deprived children were not progressing as we wished that they would. About 77% of our students are served by free lunch and free breakfast, and we knew that those students specifically needed to be able to read to realize their maximum success.

Many people thought that this school out in the rural cotton fields probably could not do much differently or much better. After all, we serve the local Children’s Home and the local Boys’ Ranch. These students also had some stumbling blocks in their way toward success.”

What did they do and how did it turn out? (more…)

What About Your School’s Test Results?

Let’s address HOW to deal with the test scores that you get.

Why?

It turns out that the way school leadership, as well as the staff, thinks about, discusses, and frames the conversations about test scores actually affects future scores.

How does this happen and how should a staff debrief the testing?

The Research

The way that your staff frames their results and frames their work is critical to the ongoing success at your school.

A “framing effect” is usually said to occur when varied, but usually equivalent descriptions (of a product/experience/decision or problem) lead to very different decisions. We’ve all known this as, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”

New research done at the University of Michigan by Juth and Helgesson (2012) suggests that your expectations and predictions shape your future efforts via the “framing effect.”

If we started a hypothetical group of elementary children, all earning the same letter grades (ex. A, B, … F), here is how their expectations matter. In those children expecting to become a teacher, an engineer, or a nurse when they grew up, this study successfully predicted that they’d work harder in school.

In this same study, nine out of ten children expected they would attend at least a two-year college, but less than half saw themselves as having an educational degree-dependent job. This is why it is so important to tie their dreams to an actual job, not just to college.

At the secondary level, researchers presented two different options of information to two groups of students. They heard about either: (more…)

How Are You Coping Right Now?

Risk and Reward

Reducing Risk and Building Resilience

Studies in positive psychology have shown that resilience rates high among attitude-based protective factors that help children achieve academic success in environments where, statistically speaking, the odds are against them.

In 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan’s Center for Human Growth and Development showed that preschoolers facing eight or more environmental risk factors such as maternal mental illness or single parenthood, minority status or stressful life events, scored more than 30 points below children with no risk factors on tests of IQ. Yet, they consistently found that groups of high resilient children in high-risk environments still outperformed their peers.

But how do we develop high resilience in our kids and ourselves?
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