Meditating Before Starting Class

According to a new experimental study by George Mason University professor Robert Youmans and University of Illinois doctoral student Jared Ramsburg, meditating before class can lead to better grades. The pair of researchers conducted three classroom experiments at a California university to see if meditation might help students focus and better retain information in class. A random selection of students followed basic meditation instructions before a lecture, and the students who meditated before the lecture scored better…

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Ideas For Students Who Finish Their Work Early

How to respond when students finish their work early is a classic teacher challenge. Most of it boils down to creating learning opportunities where students are naturally funneled toward extending, improving, and sharing their work. This turns stopping points into more of a matter of scheduling than learning. All of the following ideas, however, are great for those moments when students finish their work early and have a little spare time. Dig: Ask the student…

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Benefits of Flow-Based Learning

Watching children and young adults immersed in learning something that interests them often allows you to witness honest and complete engagement and joy. With great educators, learners often feel and experience excitement, wonder, creativity, accomplishment, connection, and pride in both their formal and informal educational environments. All of these feelings are often experienced as part of a “flow” state. The characteristics of flow, according to its originator and researcher, Czikszentmihalyi, are as follows:  Complete involvement,…

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More Students Succeeding In Advanced Placement Classes

Over the last 10 years, both the number of U.S. public high school graduates who’ve taken an Advanced Placement (AP) exam and the number who have scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam have increased by about 70%. With the class of 2017, more students than ever are participating and succeeding in AP. More than 1.17 million students in the class of 2017 took 3.98 million AP Exams in public high schools…

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Audiobooks in Education

I love listening to audiobooks, but sometimes my enthusiasm for them is met with comments such as “That’s not really reading, is it?” or “That’s cheating.” Listening to books is certainly different from reading books, but is it cheating? Does listening to audiobooks count as reading? I suppose the answer to that question must come from one’s own definition of reading. If reading is understanding the content of the story or the theme, then audiobooks…

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Tips for Grading Student Work

Time demands on teachers seems to be ever-growing, so any way to speed up the grading process is worth exploring. One approach to this is the use of verbal feedback, a quick and effective method when done correctly. Like all learning feedback, comments must be directed towards developing and acknowledging skill and give students tangible understandings of how to progress, or specific comments identifying what was good about the work they produced. Let’s look at…

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How to Learn and Grow From Your PSAT/NMSQT Scores

Educators and students can use their PSAT/NMSQT scores to see areas where students are thriving, and areas where they need additional support. PSAT/NMSQT scores are on the same scale as SAT scores, making it easy to track student progress over time. Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT score higher, on average, on the SAT than those who do not. Scores on PSAT-Related Assessments Increase Like the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT reflects what students are learning in the classroom,…

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Exaggerated Thoughts That Can Cause Teens to Misperceive Reality

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is currently the premier evidence‐based psychotherapeutic treatment for anxiety and depression in both adolescents and adults. CBT focuses on the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems and changing unhelpful patterns in our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes, including exaggerated thoughts. It also teaches behavioral and emotional regulation according to the design of the cognitive triangle, as shown in the diagram below.  At the center of the cognitive triangle…

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Making Art Can Help Teens Understand Their Mental Health

The benefits of art in a child’s education are widespread. Art can help kids express themselves and understand the world around them, and it is usually a fun, hands-on experience. For low-income students, studies show that kids who have more arts education in school see long-term benefits by both academic and social standards. Additionally, art can help students with their mental health. Tori Wardrip, an art teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School in Billings,…

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How Schools Can Help Students Manage Anxiety

The anxious thoughts of students aren’t always just passing worries; they’re becoming deeply rooted, widespread mantras for young people across America. Anxiety is the most common mental health challenge that young people today face, and it’s the top reason why students seek mental health services in colleges across the country. In severe cases, anxiety is stopping teens from doing homework, reaching out to friends, leaving their homes, and even leading to depressive and suicidal thoughts.…

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