Time management is Time Travel, pt 1: Ben Franklin & Managing the Now

You may delay, but time will not. – Ben Franklin By “time management” we usually mean prioritizing, using time effectively, getting things done instead of putting them off.  Except that we all “manage” time — it’s a matter of how well. If done properly, the rewards are large — and costly if not. Ben Franklin put […]

Getting Gritty: can academic “grit” be taught or is it a personality type like John Wayne?

Do we all have an inner John Wayne, or is grit unique to the gritty few? Is grit a product of circumstance that reveals it or do we need to bring grit to the scene? I’m thinking it’s a little of both, but it’s certain that some of us are “grittier” than others, and each […]

Teach don’t preach pt 2: Confirmation Bias & the unintented teacher preacher

Teachers, does your Confirmation Bias shut down student learning? Having scolded teachers who politicize their classrooms in my post, “Teach Don’t Preach: politicizing the classroom is not just wrong, it’s bad teaching,” it begs the question of what to do with teachers who don’t know that they’re preaching not teaching and not just with politics. […]

Is your student an extrinsic or intrinsic learner? And how to bring out the best in each to overcome the other

So how can we bridge the gap between students who only do as they’re told and those who learn only what they find interesting? As students rise through secondary schools, teacher expectations and demands can either tax or reward student learning and behavioral types, in this case, the extrinsically versus intrinsically motivated student: Extrinsic learners […]

Teach don’t preach: politicizing the classroom is not just wrong, it’s bad teaching

Is it the role of a teacher to impart information or to empower students with the skills needed to find information on their own? When a teacher professes a political position in a classroom, student learning suffers a short-circuit. Teachers have strong rights of expression, although courts will uphold teacher dismissal for indoctrination (see this pdf from […]

Common Core Crazy? Making sense of the viral common core math rounding problem

Perhaps you have seen the Facebook post by an angry mother who  is upset about her daughter’s Common Core-based math problem. There’s a larger lesson here, but it’s not about the Common Core. Click here for the Facebook post by Larisa Yaghoobov Settembro The problem asked was, Carole read 28 pages of a book on Monday […]

3.14: A Pi day celebration from a math idiot

Is math just for math people? Are you just not wired for math? Well, you and your math-struggling student can celebrate Pi day, too! I was awful at math in  high school. So bad, in fact, that I  didn’t qualify to take math in college. Felt great at the time, but looking back on it, […]

Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination: a presentation by Michael Bromley

From the Sycamore School Lecture Series: Parenting 21st Century Kids: On March 1, 2017  at the Arlington, VA Central Library, Michael Bromley presented: Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination Michael Bromley discusses strategies to help ourselves and our children overcome the urge to delay. Michael is a high school teacher, historian, published author and founder and president […]

How to know if your student is really learning: “If you can’t teach it you don’t know it”

We hear it all the time. Students say, “I get it when my teacher shows it to me, but I can’t do it on the test.” Then parents tell us that their child “doesn’t test well.” When children say, “I get it when my teacher shows me,” what they’re really saying is that they didn’t […]

Five tips on how to “study better” for an exam: extending memorization for brain memory and recall

When students say they don’t “test well” or that they “don’t know how to study,” parents and teachers often respond with suggestions — and criticism — to, well, just “study harder.” Great. But what does “study harder” actually mean? We can see how “studying harder” might actually work if we divide learning into the two distinct parts […]

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