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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Design Thinking is a perfect example of the union of emotional and academic thinking. A must read! Courtesy ofASCDSmartBrief.

What is design thinking?
What is design thinking?
Design thinking has captured the attention of educators, but there may be ambiguity about how to define the concept, says Neil Stevenson of global design company IDEO. Stevenson offers insights about the definition and its application in schools.
The Atlantic online (1/4)  Bookmark and Share

Sunday, January 1, 2017

This is a practical powerful article that helps students understand how to work with students who have challenges (anxiety and defiance) - about 50 percent of our clientel in the US. Courtesy of Mind/Shift. Well worth the read.

20 Tips To Help De-escalate Interactions With Anxious Or Defiant Students

A National Institute of Health study found that 25.1 percent of kids ages 13-18 in the U.S. have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. No one knows how many more haven't been diagnosed. Additionally between eight and 15 percent of the school-aged population have learning disabilities (there is a range because there's no standard definition of what constitutes a learning disability). Nine percent of 13-18 year-olds have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (although the number one misdiagnosis of anxiety is ADHD), and 11.2 percent suffer from depression.

Jessica Minahan is a certified behavior analyst, special educator, and co-author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students. She says in any interaction with students, teachers can only control their own behavior, but that's actually a lot of power. "We are 50% of every interaction with a child," Minahan said. "We have a lot of control over that interaction."

You can find more information in the link below, but here is a snapshot of some of Minahan's tips, including how to better navigate transition periods:

Tip 5: When teachers want to wrap up a task they often use a countdown. "Silent reading time is going to be over in five minutes." But counting down doesn't support a high achieving anxious child who feels she must finish. And it takes a lot of executive function skills and cognitive flexibility to fight the urge to keep going after the time is up. So instead of counting down, a teacher might walk over to that student and say, let's find a good stopping point. She may stop a minute later than the rest of the class when she reaches the designated point, but it won't escalate into a tug-of-war.

Transitions are another common time for kids to act out. Younger students often don't want to come in from recess, for example. But when a teacher says, "Line up. Recess is over. It's time for your spelling quiz," it's no wonder the student doesn't want to go from something he loves to something he hates.

Tip 6: The teacher can give students an in-between step to make the transition more palatable. Go from recess, to two minutes of coloring, to the spelling quiz. The intermediary step gives that non-compliant student behavioral momentum. He's already sitting down, quiet, with pen in hand, so the jump to spelling isn't as jarring.

For middle and high school students, school is all about being social, but the only times students get to see their friends are in the two to five minute passing periods between classes. Again, the transition is from something they love to something they hate, so don't make that transition extra hard by collecting homework as they come in the door. The toughest kids are probably already not doing well in the class, and a reminder of the homework exacerbates feelings of inadequacy.
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Sunday, December 25, 2016

How SEL prepares students for academics, life - Excellent article - well worth the read! Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

An increasing number of schools are making social-emotional learning a priority, and the trend is expected to grow, asserts David Adams, director of social and emotional learning at the Urban Assembly in New York City. In this blog post, he highlights the benefits of SEL and his school's approach.
SmartBrief/Education (12/21)  Bookmark and Share

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Here is an article on how some schools are using mindfulness to atune students to their emotions and build self control. Courtesy of ASCD SmartBrief.

Schools decrease detentions with mindfulness

Officials in some US schools are introducing mindfulness practices in the classroom as an alternative to traditional discipline. At one Baltimore elementary school that has adopted this approach, officials report fewer trips to the principal's office and no suspensions over the past two years.
U.S. News & World Report (12/8)  Bookmark and Share