Lets focus on something that is so simple it slips by most educators. In fact, it is easily the most non-predicted, surprising “Top 15 factor” for student achievement. That’s partly because it is happening everyday, all day, in your work. It’s ubiquitous. It’s almost like the joke that 8-year olds tell:
“Help, help, it’s all around me!”
The friend says, “What’s the problem? What’s all around you?”
“My belt” he says, with a grin.
Actually, this factor is so powerful, it’s finally getting the research done that it deserves. Can you guess what it is?
Few words are thrown around more often during the second half of the school year than “stress.” But what you’re about to find out is that… most of what you’ve heard about stress is dead wrong! For example…
Our featured school is actually several schools: The King/Chavez is a system of five schools in “Barrio Logan” in San Diego. This month is time for a reality check. If you work at a public school you may have thought, “Those charter schools have it easy; they can break all the rules!”
Actually, it’s no different.
Yes, I know of charter schools that do quite well. But being designated a charter school does not, by itself, raise school performance. That’s not the reason they do well. Good teachers working in good schools are how a school does well.
Today, the school is different; it’s a higher achieving school that does far better. The kids are the same, but the school is different. How did they do it? Their formula was… (more…)
3 year old Jonathan conducting to the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. This piece was conducted by Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker, one of Jonathan’s favorite conductors and orchestras. Jonathan’s passion for classical music became apparent when he was only eight months old. Shortly after that he began conducting on his own.
This month, we’ll focus on how you can get your brain (and your students’ brains) to work better. There are countless ways we could go about this process, but since it’s the beginning of a new year, we’ll focus on what contributes to us feeling happy, smarter and even losing weight. Best of all, every one of these insights are free!
In a moment, I’ll share some of the brain-based insights in human behavior. There are just TWO (out of 50+) brain chemicals that do 90% of the work in your brain. These two are the “uppers and downers.” These two must have a poor PR agent, since most educators don’t know much about them or how important they are. They are named glutamate and GABA (gaba aminobutyric acid). (more…)
We could focus on all the “holiday” stuff (like how to help you “navigate the holidays without adding inches to your figure”), but it’s the school year and we turn to how to affect one of the “Big Four.”
The first mistake (over 50% of all teachers make) is selling yourself short. You have far more influence than you think. The “Big Four” in teaching are: effort, behavior, cognitive capacity and attitude. When you strengthen these four, your students improve dramatically. The good news is that every one of these is teachable.
I’ll illuminate just one way you can influence a student’s attitude. The second mistake (over 50% of all teachers make) is to talk about a student’s “attitude” as if it was a fixed entity. Attitude is NOT fixed. In fact, new research shows how much teachers can influence a student’s attitude. For example… (more…)
Our featured “Extreme School” is an elementary school in St. Cloud, Minnesota. This high-poverty school had struggles for years. From 2006 – 2009 the school struggled to make annual yearly progress every year, missing in four and sometimes eight academic areas. Today, the school is different; it’s a high achieving school that does well in every single content area. The kids are the same, but the school is different.
How did they do it? (more…)
As we get closer to the start of the holiday season, we learn about one of the most important understandings you’ll ever have about your brain. In fact, for me, it’s one of the top 10 brain-based insights of all time. This understanding is fundamental to the amount of joy you have, your weight (that you’re always trying to manage) and satisfaction in life.
In short, this has changed how I understand my own brain and it just may do the same for you. We begin with a simple study about self-control.
The study pitted 19 chimps against 40 humans in a groundbreaking experiment. What you’re about to learn just may change your life… (more…)
This month our featured “Extreme School” is a Title 1 high school. What’s unusual about it?…… For the first time ever in the 14-year history of school grades in Florida, this high school achieved consecutive grades of “A”.
Never before in the state had a high school with a free and reduced lunch population above 80% been able to earn not just one A, but back-to-back “A’s”. And test scores have been rising every year!
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…)