Bringing Optimism Into The Classroom

You may know the names Norman Vincent Peale, James Allen, Earl Nightingale, Robert Schuller, and Dale Carnegie largely because of their work in the area of positive thinking. One of my favorite proponents is Zig Ziglar. In his book, Born to Win: Find Your Success Code, he wrote the following: Positive thinking won’t allow you … Continue reading Bringing Optimism Into The Classroom

The Silly Putty Brain

One of my favorite activities as a child involved manipulating silly putty. It was great fun, because it was easy to reshape the rubbery mass into whatever came to mind. I also enjoyed flattening the putty out and pressing it on the Sunday comics to transfer the colorful images. The best part of it all … Continue reading The Silly Putty Brain

Neuroscience and Growth Mindset

I find the human brain to be incredibly fascinating. It has been said that there are more than 86 billion neurons in the human brain, and learning actually changes the shape of the brain and the neural pathways. There have been a number of studies regarding how the neurons fire while learning takes place, and … Continue reading Neuroscience and Growth Mindset

Ready, Set, Goals!

As we begin our new year, we renew our focus on district-wide, school-wide, and classroom goals. Students themselves are a vital component of the goal setting process, and they should have the opportunity to create and pursue meaningful learning goals. What can classroom teachers and content specialists do to help students establish such goals? In … Continue reading Ready, Set, Goals!

Relationship-based Learning

The importance of the adult-child relationship cannot be underestimated. Countless studies point to the conclusion that students who have a positive relationship with at least one adult in the school have higher attendance and achievement levels than those who do not have such a relationship. It’s important to remember that ANY adult – teacher, aide, … Continue reading Relationship-based Learning

Survey Says . . .

One of the most well known television game shows in the history of the genre is Family Feud. If you’re not familiar with the show, it goes something like this: a survey group asks one hundred people a question like, “Other than a birthday, what’s a good reason to throw a party?” Contestants are then … Continue reading Survey Says . . .

Engagement Makes It Personal

Not long ago I visited with one of my former students. I taught him while he was in his senior year. By his own admission, his high school academic record was a little above average. After high school, he was able to enter a program at a nearby community college, and his academic marks were … Continue reading Engagement Makes It Personal

SCORE with Student Engagement

As a band director, I conducted my fair share of performances. In case you’re wondering, it does involve a little more than just standing in front of the musicians flapping my arms! Creating a beautiful performance involves knowing how all the parts work together to achieve the musical goals of the composer. All of the … Continue reading SCORE with Student Engagement

Student Engagement: It’s As Easy As ABC PFC!

The last quarter of the academic year can be challenging for students, because they are starting to focus more on their outdoor activities. Even so, there are ways that teachers can help students dig deep and engage in their learning.  In the article 6 Intrinsic Motivators to Power Up Your Teaching, author Mike Anderson identifies … Continue reading Student Engagement: It’s As Easy As ABC PFC!