Cooper’s hawks commonly take wing outside my home’s rear windows. They are majestic birds, soaring effortlessly over the wooded terrain. Occasionally, one or two find an updraft and soar in an ascending spiral, the uplifting thermal keeping them airborne and rising.
Gratitude is like that thermal. It lifts us, both as givers and . . . → Read More: Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Gratitude
Curiosity gets a bad rap. First there’s that whole feline demise thing, and then there’s that literary, trouble-making monkey who required regular rescuing by the man in banana-colored headwear.
These are unfortunate portraits, because curiosity is constructive. Growing individuals and organizations reap the benefits of curiosity by embracing mystery, asking questions, and pursuing . . . → Read More: Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Curiosity
We sat, afraid to move lest we interfere with the learning and interaction we were witnessing. Children — young children — moved throughout the classroom, carrying various materials while maneuvering around tables with teapots and an occasional flower vase before landing and unpacking their selected treasures. The materials were designed to foster discovery, engage . . . → Read More: Looking Around: Creating a Learning Environment (Even Without a Teacher)
The racket was alarming—a crash, followed by my mother’s footsteps rushing down the cellar steps as she hollered my father’s name.
In a rare driving mishap, my dad knocked down one of our home’s main support posts while backing into the garage. Once she established that Dad was unharmed, Mom marveled that the . . . → Read More: Cultivate a Learning Mindset: Attitude
My high school basketball coach was the epitome of patience. Over and over, he’d work with me, trying desperately to help me develop an actual jump shot. I improved but never felt confident with the move. (Fortunately my lack of game didn’t affect the entire Washburn gene pool. I have a nephew who . . . → Read More: Teaching by Modeling: A Tale of Basketball & Mirror Neurons
I wear an identification tag on my wrist whenever I run. Should I meet misfortune while pounding the pavement, whoever finds me will have at least a few critical details, literally, at hand.
When I ordered this thick rubber band with its aluminum data tag, I had one line I could customize. My . . . → Read More: Inscribed Upon My Wrist: Emphasizing Effort to Empower Learning
Struggle. It’s a term we usually reserve for extreme situations. The struggle for freedom. The struggle for power. The struggle for survival.
The struggle to learn? Is this a struggle we should welcome?
Yes. After researching “hotbeds” of various talents, Daniel Coyle concludes in his book The Talent Code that “deep practice” is . . . → Read More: The Necessary Struggle: Deep Practice and Skill Mastery
It’s that time. The nametags, the desk arrangement, the classroom book collection, and a cadre of other concerns fill hours, days, even weeks before school begins. Many teachers approach classroom arranging and decorating as if a royal wedding were imminent. Bulletin boards become 3-D spectacles, multicolored mobiles generate movement with every bit of . . . → Read More: Creating a Classroom in which Minds Can Thrive
“Um, can you tell me one way this can be applied in the classroom?” The question was sincere, and the questioner, earnest and frustrated. Several dozen slides and ninety minutes of lecture lacked a single practical application for teaching.
“No, that’s really not my area of expertise,” replied the scientist honestly. “I intentionally . . . → Read More: Taking Neuroscience Into Teaching
Running gives me a daily dose of thinking time. It also cranks my cognitive wheels into action. Since I spend much of the rest of my day focused on teaching and learning, my running thoughts often flow in the same direction. And, on occasion, these two pursuits merge into a lane where one . . . → Read More: How Teaching & Learning are Like Running