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How Would Your Students Describe Your Classroom?

Would Your Students Describe Your Classroom as Boring or Chaotic?

“This month seems like a lost cause for learning.” Have you heard someone say something like that before? I’ve got an idea for you this month to keep you green and growing all the way till the school year’s over. It’s never too late to try something new that can boost student learning.

This is a great time of the school year for an experiment. Practice going a bit too far in either direction with the strategies below and see if you discover more boredom or chaos. Your student’s not-so-subtle pushback will be the precise feedback you need to find the balance between … Read more

Getting Priorities Right

What should your priorities be this year? From a personal standpoint, managing your health through good food, exercise, and stress management are pretty smart paths to follow. After all, if you’re not at your best, both you and your students miss out.

From a professional standpoint, ensuring that students become strong learners should be a top priority.

Since you don’t have time for every idea on earth, what factors will support your student’s growth the most? For now, we’ll focus on just one of the top five factors that drive student achievement. The study we draw from is grounded in work from several thousand teachers, so the sample size is impressive.

Focusing on what matters most is one sure way to “disaster-proof” your teaching.

PART ONE: Research

A human being is born less able to cope on its own than any other mammal. However, this provides the brain with extraordinary flexibility to adapt to its environment. The method it uses is a monster’s appetite for environmental adaption based on experience. Yet, I’ve always said that our brain is primarily a “gist processor.” That means that we are more interested in being effective (goal acquisition) than we are being efficient, being a deep thinker, or knowing a lot of background. In the classroom, this means that most kids (unless we shape their brains differently) would much rather get quirky headlines, YouTube clips, and do activities all day.

To become effective, the brain relies on an exquisite collection of feedback processors. Read more

A New Insight to the Brain and Nutrition Puzzle

Why You Might be Losing Your Mind

Recent Discovery

Is there anything new in nutrition that you haven’t already  heard? This week I listened to a neuroscientist talk about the research on glucose and the brain. It’s possible your school cafeteria is hurting your kid’s academic performance. It’s also possible your own brain is in trouble. How? Many who are unwilling to read the research claim that what you eat doesn’t matter very much. They are wrong.

Let’s take the simple (ha!) subject of sugar and your brain.

Is your school cafeteria helping or hurting your kid’s academic performance? Many who are still unwilling to read the research claim that what you eat doesn’t matter very much. They are wrong. Many early studies were not done with a strong experimental protocol or they were done on malnourished kids. But more recent ones have used the “gold standard” in research (blind studies, large sample sizes, cross-over design) and they have found that school nutrition does matter.

Here’s what I learned that was new…

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