Make Your Classroom A Greenhouse

I have a buddy in the greenhouse business. They design and build structures of all shapes and sizes to accommodate the needs of customers all around the country. Flowers, vegetables, grasses, and trees can safely grow year-round because the company creates spaces that maintain ideal conditions for growth in spite of the environment outside of … Continue reading Make Your Classroom A Greenhouse

Helping Students Fail Forward

Author and speaker John Maxwell has written a number of books about success. One of my favorites is Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success. In the book, Maxwell shares stories of a number of prominent people who experienced significant failures and then moved on from those failures in dramatic, positive ways.  In … Continue reading Helping Students Fail Forward

Applying Weiner’s Attribution Theory to Educational Outcomes

If you think back to your college psychology class, you might recall attribution theory. If not, let me refresh your memory. When we attempt to attribute a cause to the behavior of another, we are exercising attribution theory. In classrooms, this plays out in the heads of our students in a variety of ways. A … Continue reading Applying Weiner’s Attribution Theory to Educational Outcomes

Setting Growth Goals

If you’ve spent any time in the personal development arena, you will see a multiplicity of references to setting goals and growth. Many of those references put goals and growth at differing ends of the spectrum making each appear as a mutually exclusive aim. The truth of the matter is that both can peacefully coexist … Continue reading Setting Growth Goals

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 . . .