Archive for the 'Parents Of Students' Category
The public library in Sudbury, Ontario, has teamed up with a therapy dog group to give some kids a chance to read to a furry friend.
Monique Roy, the Greater Sudbury Public Library‘s children’s librarian, is a dog lover herself and has owned a therapy dog. She had been looking for a way to combine that part of her life with her passion for youth literacy. Thus began Reading Tails, a program to help kids aged 6 to 12 improve their reading skills by reading aloud to canine companions from Magical Paws Pet Therapy.
“Kids seem to react to the dogs a little bit better,” Roy told the CBC. “The dogs listen, they don’t comment, they don’t critique, and the kids feel like they’re gaining something. And also, they feel a connection with the dog — that they’re reading to the dog, they’re doing a service to the dog. So they just feel better.”
Margaret Julian has recently started bringing her seven-year-old smooth-haired Daschund named Liesl (named after the character in The Sound of Music) to the program. She believes reading to dogs relaxes children and is an enjoyable way to improve literacy.
“They can concentrate, and they can have fun at the same time. I have as much [fun] as they do, I think. I always have a laugh when I come here.”
David, a young boy who is taking part in Reading Tails, loves petting and cuddling with Liesl during reading sessions. A reporter asked him whether reading to a dog was different than reading to his mother.
“Yes, because mom doesn’t bark,” he said.
“The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires”
– William A. Ward
Share with us an inspiring teacher story by placing a comment below.
Every once in a while, someone sends me something absolutely incredible that defies description.
Today’s blog post is about an article on teenage brains. It is so erudite and engaging I am not even going to attempt to summarise it. If you are a teenager or the parent of a teenager, I promise you it’s going to be a great 10 minute investment. Click on the hyperlink to access the original article.
The educational system today has less and less influence on students than ever before. The infiltration of technology (Google) and communication modalities (Smartphones and Facebook) are destroying the traditional boundaries of school (discipline) and the ‘outside world’. When I was in school I studied and ‘focused’.
I am not advocating that all technological progress is bad, just that students are incapable of dealing with it (as are their parents) and until an optimal ‘balance’ is re-established, students will continue to sub-optimise their outcomes.
This is one of the most troubled generations and will unfortunately suffer the consequences for the remainder of their lifetimes – I know it’s a sad prognosis, but just as the war and great depression generations before them, they will take this to their graves.
Of course it’s not all bad – it’s just not as good as recent previous generations.
The good thing is that once this ‘passes’ and it will – things will get better, a lot better. Just not soon enough for ‘this generation’.
A more ‘visual’ analogy is the increase in obesity – those effects are (permanent) lifelong for this generational cohort – even though a small few within the group can become healthy and fit – most won’t.
Governments have the group/cohort/generation to deal with – not single individuals. That’s why their problems are so complicated and in the case of obesity, expensive (healthcare).
The great news is that there is ALWAYS HOPE for that special child who has the nurturing environment to ‘buck the trend’ and learns the skills to achieve – in spite of the odds.
I help try to help counteract these forces as much as I can with my student accelerated learning and speed reading programs – teaching a holistic approach that is founded on traditional foundational “how to study” principles that work for students of all ages.
LAST month, two kindergarten classes at the Blue School were hard at work doing what many kindergartners do: drawing. One group pursued a variation on the self-portrait. “That’s me thinking about my brain,” one 5-year-old-girl said of her picture. Down the hall, children with oil pastels in hand were illustrating their emotions, mapping where they started and where they ended. For one girl, sadness ended at home with a yummy drink and her teddy bear.
Grappling so directly with thoughts and emotions may seem odd for such young brains, but it is part of the DNA of the Blue School, a downtown Manhattan private school that began six years ago as a play group. From the beginning, the founders wanted to incorporate scientific research about childhood development into the classroom. Having rapidly grown to more than 200 students in preschool through third grade, the school has become a kind of national laboratory for integrating cognitive neuroscience and cutting-edge educational theory into curriculum, professional development and school design.
“Schools were not applying this new neurological science out there to how we teach children,” said Lindsey Russo, whose unusual title, director of curriculum documentation and research, hints at how seriously the Blue School takes this mission. “Our aim is to take those research tools and adapt them to what we do in the school.”
So young children at the Blue School learn about what has been called “the amygdala hijack” — what happens to their brains when they flip out. Teachers try to get children into a “toward state,” in which they are open to new ideas. Periods of reflection are built into the day for students and teachers alike, because reflection helps executive function — the ability to process information in an orderly way, focus on tasks and exhibit self-control. Last year, the curriculum guide was amended to include the term “meta-cognition”: the ability to think about thinking.
“Having language for these mental experiences gives children more chances to regulate their emotions,” said David Rock, who is a member of the Blue School’s board and a founder of NeuroLeadership Institute, a global research group dedicated to understanding the brain science of leadership.
That language is then filtered through a 6-year-old’s brain. Continue reading ‘Kids and brain science’
If you think you’ve got problems – think again. Watch this video and see how perseverance and commitment pay off – for someone who really wants it. It’s not enough to “want it” – you need to be willing to do whatever it takes – sometimes literally!
I stumbled across an article that said Mark Wahlberg is going to get his high school diploma. What does it tell you when a multi-millionaire actor wants a high school diploma?
It means there is value in getting one. This is a man who’s seen more of the world than most and experienced things to fill 3 or 4 lifetimes yet he still feels a little intimidated by the process.
What does that tell you?
Education is worth something. It’s not just self-esteem issue. The stats are staggering, but let’s face it, most high school dropouts don’t care about the stats, but they might care about a RICH, SUCCESSFUL ACTOR going back to school.
So there you have it – ONE MORE REASON TO STAY IN SCHOOL!
If you are struggling to learn a new subject, it might be because of your learning style. I cover this in detail in my study guide in detail, but one of our readers offers this great inspirational story that might help you.
I was helping Fred with his upcoming “electricity” exam last evening.
Fred is kinesthetic.. He loves stories- people’s experiences and all things sports.
He excels at and enjoys history, social studies as he lives the experiences of people from hundreds of years ago.
As you can guess… Fred was less than enthusiastic about electricity et al…
I helped him by making up a story about how RESISTANCE is just a bunch of tough guys in an electrical circuit, conductance is like a conductor of a bus bringing the volts to their “potential” and making a difference… and because it can be a long bus ride.. it’s important to keep the “INTENSITY” of the current high… etc…
He had already memorized the formulas and done the leg work.
He just needed to add meaning- a story – to what electricity is about.
It was pretty cool to see his physiology change right before my eyes. Ironically, with every new idea. I could see eyes LIGHT-UP – sorry couldn’t resist
He was excited, passionate and spent the next half hour telling me all about his plans for finishing this school year and what he will do differently next year !
Anyway, all this reminded me of an episode of WKRP, which I showed Fred, and thought you could use on your blog…
Have a Great Day !
Yale grad’s final essay gets new life after her unexpected death
This undated photo released by the Keegan family shows Marina, a 22-year-old Yale graduate, who penned her life’s lessons in a final column for the Yale Daily News. She died just days after commencement.
But the words of her work, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” have lived on.
The Massachusetts resident died in a car crash on her way to a vacation house on Cape Cod when the driver, Michael Gocksch, lost control of the car. Gocksch survived, but Keegan was pronounced dead on the scene.
The young writer was already making a name for herself in the literary world. She had published stories in the New York Times and had a job with the New Yorker she was about to start.
Her legacy is priceless and timeless and I share it with you here because all students have bouts of self-doubt, loneliness and apprehension about what student life is all about.
Take solace is Marina’s words of wisdom, they are her legacy and gift to you.
We recently announced the new Audio Book version of our bestselling study guide: Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort. We’ve just uploaded the free sample to the product page and it’s yours for free, no opt-in or email required.
We believe you’ll realise you need to get it so you stop wasting countless hours studying for nothing when you could learn HOW to learn while taking the bus or walking to school.
There is no faster, easier way to learn these study tips. The MP3 files are compatible with your iPod, iMac, iPhone, iTunes, iPad and Windows Media Player.
“A students know they get graded on performance.
C students think they get graded based on effort.”
- Dr Marc Dussault
We’ve all been in that place when we wonder if all the hard work and sacrifices are worth it. Click on the hyperlink to have a look at this Infographic on US Education statistics.
If that doesn’t convince you, maybe you need to know the real value of a degree. <- click here for a more uplifting perspective.
One of my very first mentors wisely explained to me that any investment I made in myself, I took with me wherever I would go, for the rest of my life.
I know when you’re young a week or month is a long time and a year seems like forever.
Just think about how quickly the LAST YEAR flew by and that should convince you that it’s a lot shorter than you’re currently thinking!
Don’t ever give up on yourself -
you are your best investment!
If you’re wondering where all your money goes, look no further. Today’s infographic shows you where the average student’s money’s going. Click on the image to enlarge!
There is a dialogue in the comments to a recent blog post I wanted to draw your attention to… Click on the hyperlink to read the thread. You can add to the discussion!
Here is another student with two great questions. One of the answers might just surprise you.
We receive emails from all 4 corners of the world, testimonials and stories that reflect the wide appeal my study book, accelerated learning and speed reading courses are having on students of all ages.
I’m a 16 year old boy from Norway. I have some questions for you, which I hope you can answer.
There are two things that have been bothering me a lot. I am not that good in English, so please excuse me if there are some mistakes in this comment. (Note – I edited a few mistakes, but not many more than most native English speakers would make!)
1) The first question is how I can become better in Math?
Sometimes I’m doing good in this subject. Other times I’m doing bad. It is always up and down. It is weird. Sometimes I can understand a thing and do all the hard “questions”, but the next day I can end up failing on the same questions if there is a test. I feel really embarrassed. I’m going to high school soon and I’m worried about having problems.
2) The second question is how can I improve my English? I want to talk English fluently. Like I want to learn advanced English, if you know what I mean? I’m planning to study abroad when I get older, so I have to improve my English.
I hope you understand what I mean…
How To Improve In Math
Without seeing your math test results, I would guess that you’re memorising math without really understanding the core principles.
The fastest and easiest way to verify if this is true is to find a friend who is not as good as you are in math and teach him or her what you think you know. If he/she understands what you’re saying, then it’s something else. If not, you’ll quickly realise what you don’t know you don’t know.
How To Improve In English
What a lot of people don’t know about me is that French is my mother tongue, native language. I only learned to speak English when I was 7 years of age when my family moved from Montreal, Quebec, Canada to Jamaica. I had no choice, I had to learn English “instantly” – there were no French schools in Jamaica.
That’s when I made a pact with my brother and sister – to NEVER speak French to them and only speak French to our parents (who are both fluently bilingual). To this day, 40+ years later, we STILL don’t speak French to each other – only speaking French to our parents. This is even the case when we’re just family members in the room.
It takes discipline, but it works. You might not be able to do it with your family, but you could find a friend and make that your own pact. The KEY IS TO NEVER BREAK THE CODE. You have to find words and not speak in your native language.
The other way is to use an English spellchecker that will correct your grammar and typographical mistakes. For example, I is always capitalised, never in lower case (i)…
When you get older, you might want to learn OTHER languages since it’s been shown that when you are multi-lingual, learning new languages gets easier. It’s always the first new (second language after your mother tongue) that is the hardest.
Three last suggestions to improve your English skills.
- You should try to find English movies with subtitles in English. They are hard to find these days, but are ideal.
- You should read as many English books as you can – especially fiction novels since they are much easier to read and conversational in nature. I would STOP reading all fiction books in your native language. At your age, you do enough of that for school.
- Learn speed reading. By speed reading, you will acquire a much wider vocabulary and by NOT vocalising the words, you will start to THINK in English instead of translating the words and THEN trying to say them. You can’t be fluent in a language if you are trying to translate WHILE speaking. That takes time and speed reading DECREASES that time by orders of magnitude.