Let’s explore the role of attention in your work.
This topic is always in the top 10 for requests, so it’s a good time for a review on the subject.
Whether you’re a teacher, staff developer or administrator, today’s audience expects quality. You need their attention for explicit learning. For starters, stop telling your audience to “Pay attention!” It sounds pathetic. Why?
What I have learned is below. For the surprising news and to keep reading… (more…)
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?
With school underway, I’d like to focus on getting students to work hard in school. Most teachers would say it sounds like a pretty good idea. I can just hear you saying, “Wow, my students just sit there. It would be great if they would put out a world class effort!” Listen; there are powerful reasons that kids don’t put out much effort. Each of the reasons leads to a powerful action step.
The first one is…
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…)
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…
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…)
Next month, we’ll get back to the brain and schools. But, during June and July we focus on your personal world. Last month, we focused on “7 Things You Can Do to Prevent Cancer”. This month, we’ll focus on how to prevent or reduce the effects of cognitive decline. This issue may apply to a family member or even yourself. After all, every 68 seconds, another American is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and it’s a cold, cruel way to die.
When our thinking and memory capacity becomes diminished (by a stroke, trauma, aging or Alzheimer’s) we begin to lose our sense of self and we frustrate those around us. The good news is that there are some well-researched approaches that can make dramatic differences in brain health. The first thing you can do is…. (more…)
Here are seven changes you can make to save your life or extend it!
You may be concerned about the “big two” aging fears (cancer and Alzheimer’s). This month we focus on cancer and the July issue will be (again) on Alzheimer’s. By the way, every year these suggestions get so many rave reviews that they are re-sent, forwarded and “re-gifted”. Feel free to do so.
The following changes will reduce your risk of cancer. Let’s look at some recent studies.
This year, more than 1 million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer, a disease commonly believed to be mostly preventable. In fact, the proportion of genetic factors and environmental factors towards cancer risk is surprising. Cancers have a paltry 5–10% genetic heritability. Environmental factors contribute a massive 90–95%. Let’s look at seven contributing factors. (more…)
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…)
Let’s address HOW to deal with the test scores that you get.
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 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…)
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?