Learning to Be Smart

Learning to Be Smart

These are remarkable stories of individuals improving their cognitive skills and intelligence when they are in their teens and twenties.

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Baby Shower

A Baby Shower in this Strange New World

An online baby shower was a reminder that social distancing, while necessary, doesn’t have to get in the way of expressing our care and love for each other.

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Cognitive Literacy

What Is Cognitive Literacy?

Cognitive literacy means that students can learn and have the skills in attention, memory, perceptual processing, core and higher-order executive functions that prepare them for careers we can’t yet envision.

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Brain Hubs and Networks

Learning Difficulties Are Related to Overall Brain Connectivity Rather than Specific Brain Regions

Learning difficulties relate to overall brain connectivity rather than specific brain regions. They are better addressed by understanding the cognitive skills involved, rather than a label like ADHD or ASD.

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Please Take My Crutches

A 17-year-old high-school student recently walked into a high-stakes test without the accommodations that he had received for years. This was not an arbitrary administrative decision; it was his choice.

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Learn to Ask for Help

One very important thing a student can learn is how to ask for help. Those who know how to do this effectively usually rise to the top of the class.

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Some Thoughts on Learner Variability

Uneven learning skills can make learning experiences unpredictable and very stressful for students. This blog explores how to empower students with an understanding of their own learning strengths and weaknesses so tht learning situations become less unpredictable.

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CEC Report on The State of the Special Education Profession

A new report out from the Council for Exceptional Children, “The State of the Special Education Profession Survey Report: is more a report about how special education teachers feel about the state of Special Education than a real characterization of how the profession is actually performing, but it does reveal some interesting patterns.

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Do Resource Teachers Have the Right Resources?

The system that is supposed to help students get supports often doesn’t work because the goal changes from having a real impact to checking off boxes and focusing on compliance. What is your experience with resource teachers having the right resources?

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Do Too Many or Too Few Students from Poverty Get a Special Ed Label?

Do you have evidence for or believe that students living in poverty (with cognitive impact) are identified as needing specialized instruction and supports – therefore special education services? Or do you believe that these students are over-identified as needing special education services and do not require them and unnecessarily receive an educational label.

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Will ESSA Fail to Close the Achievement Gaps?

Achievement gaps persist for economically disadvantaged students, English Language Learners and students with disabilities. Will ESSA fail to close them?

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Is Your Child’s IEP Really Making a Difference?

Unfortunately, far too often, parents find that their child’s IEP is neither all that individualized nor helping their child make substantial gains. This blog examines three concerns often expressed about IEPs.

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What Do You Mean by “Cognitive Capacity?”

A webinar hosted by EdWeb was provocatively titled, “4 Lies the System Teaches School Leaders about Struggling Readers.” The first “lie,” according to the presenter is that struggling readers have a lower cognitive capacity than typical readers. Is that a lie? Well, whether or not this is a lie depends on what you mean by cognitive capacity.

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Reading Letters

Reading is Not Natural – Part One

Humans as a species did not evolve to read. We did evolve for language – that capacity is hard-wired. But in order to read, we have to trick our brains into co-opting brain processes that do other things.

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The Role of Cognitive Remediation in Special Education

Current approaches to special education generally seek bypass the cognitive processes that are weak in order to minimize the impact of processing deficits. Remediation of cognitive processes needs to be a fourth pillar in our approach to support students in special education.

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Mind the Cognitive Gap

Mind the Cognitive Gap   The phrase “Mind the Gap“ refers to the gap between the train door and the station platform, particularly on the London underground system. It reminds passengers to be careful when entering and leaving the train. The warning is necessary because there is nothing to fill the gap and an unwary […]

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Helping Children Take Responsibility for Their Own Learning

I knew it was important to get at the root of the issues and provide the supports that Charlie needs. When we started, he and I didn’t have a way to talk about the struggles. Kids don’t know why they struggle or why something is hard for them. They just struggle. Conversations about school work just seemed to make him more anxious. It was time for a different approach.

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It’s Not a Quiz! It’s Retrieval Practice!

Few words stimulate greater anxiety in students than “We’re going to have a quiz today.” Most of us can remember that feeling of being unprepared when a pop quiz was announced. What most of us don’t realize, including many teachers, is how important a role quizzes can play in the learning process.

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Closing the Achievement Gap by Closing the Cognitive Gap: A Matter of Equity

As educators and education policymakers seek to understand and remedy the achievement gaps, much attention is paid to the concept of equity. A variety of inequities have been identified as impediments to students having the opportunity to achieve their potential. Disparities in per-pupil spending, teacher experience, and technology and other resources are well-documented and top of mind. A less visible disparity, and one that connects directly to student learning is highlighted by contemporary neuroscience research – cognitive development.

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Skepticism

Cognitive Training: Questions Frequently Asked by Skeptics

There continues to be controversy regarding cognitive training (sometimes called brain training) programs, and there continue to be many skeptics. As the developer of the most researched, comprehensive, integrated cognitive training program available today, we encourage skepticism. Skepticism is healthy and it also means that the skeptic is open to a variety of possibilities. Here are some comments and questions we often hear from cognitive training skeptics and the way we answer them for BrainWare SAFARI

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Brain Games Are Not Brain Training

Brain Games and Brain Training Are Different

In the last week, we came across another study that says that neuroscientists have debunked the claims that a brain game results in a brain gain. No kidding!

Research scientists seem to be in love with the idea of contradicting the market hype about the value of brain games. And that’s a good thing. There is far too much hype. And too little understanding of the difference between a brain game and serious cognitive training (also called brain-training). Saying that a typical “brain game” can yield measurable cognitive benefit that translates into real-world improvements is like saying that exercising the biceps of your left arm will lead to overall physical fitness.

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Webinar-BrainWare Learning Company

Time for Some Summer Webinar Binge Watching?

Time for Some Summer Webinar Binge Watching? Summer is a great time to catch up on webinars that you might have missed (and get some professional development credit along the way). Here are some of our most popular webinars. Neuroscience & Learning STEM & SEL: A Perfect Match Facts and Myths About the Brain: Can […]

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ESSA Kids

Helping Schools Meet the Goals of State ESSA Plans

Helping Schools Meet the Goals of State ESSA Plans Over the last few years since the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) became law, state departments of education have developed plans to implement the provisions of the legislation. While each state plan has its own characters and its own priorities, they all address the key provisions […]

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Teaching as a STEM Career

Teaching as a STEM Career

Teaching as a STEM Career In the work that I’ve been doing on the connection between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and SEL (Social and Emotional Learning), I was looking for examples of STEM and non-STEM careers. In the course of doing that, it became apparent to me that many careers that weren’t STEM […]

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Am I Smarter than a 5th Grader?

Am I Smarter than a Fifth Grader?

A reading coach and mentor describes her experience using BrainWare SAFARI with her students, more than doubling their growth in reading levels and dramatically improving their intellective capacity She explains that, in working through BrainWare, her students had not only pushed past their own problem-solving ability through trying, and trying again and not giving up, but they had also pushed past her own ability.

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End Summer Brain Drain

Practical Ideas for Ending Summer Brain Drain

Practical Ideas for Ending Summer Brain Drain Numerous research studies support the evidence that many students lose a good portion of their learning over the summer. Estimates are that the loss is around 2 to 2.6 months of learning and affects both math and reading levels. Unfortunately, most students end up the year significantly behind […]

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Cognitive Skills and MTSS

Cognitive Skills and MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support)

Cognitive Skills and MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) Education is grappling with a relatively new acronym: MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support). MTSS is currently conceptualized as an integration of two other acronyms: RtI (Response to Intervention) and PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) (McIntosh, 2016). Simply stated, MTSS seeks to meld the systems of interventions […]

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Wallace Foundation Framework for Social and Emotional Learning

A New Framework for Social and Emotional Learning Based on Cognitive Skills

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is an active topic of discussion in schools (and outside of schools, for that matter) these days. The interest in SEL is likely being driven by a variety of factors, including federal policy (the Every Student Succeeds Act) which adds social, emotional and behavioral factors to academic measures. Another factor […]

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3 Keys to Building Learning Capacity

3 Keys to Building Individual Learning Capacity

  3 Keys to Building Learning Capacity A lot of attention has been paid to building learning capacity for organizations. Indeed, a Google search for “building learning capacity” yields over 8 million results, the first few pages of which (like most searchers, we didn’t go further), describe learning capacity in organizational terms. Learning capacity is […]

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Sleepy Owl

Sleep and Cognitive Functioning

Sleep and Cognitive Functioning We have been coming across so much research lately on the brain and sleep that it seems like a good time to remind ourselves what we know about sleep and cognitive functioning. One misconception about sleep is that our brains essentially go offline and simply get a break from the work […]

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Complaint Department

The Fine Art of Complaining

Negativity rewires our brain to be more prone to negativity and practicing gratitude is more healthy. However, complaining has its place and there is an art to it.

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Human-Like Digital Assistant

Digital Assistants that Seem Too Human May Not Work Best

The more human digital assistants seem, the more we experience them as human and the more we may try to interact with them as if they were human. Or the more we may avoid interacting with them …

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Hurray!

ESE Student Success with BrainWare SAFARI

ESE students with learning disabilities or traumatic brain injury improve in reading, math and performance on the Florida State Assessment following their use of BrainWare SAFARI cognitive training software.

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Brain Training Benefits

Benefits of Brain-Training Apps in Schools

This blog discussed some of the reasons schools use brain-training apps and the benefits they see, including better academic performance, better motivation, better behavior and a stronger growth mindset.

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Autism Apple

Using Cognitive Assessments and Cognitive Training Software with Autism

Will this help my child? That is the question we always hear from parents with children with an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis (ASD) when they come across our cognitive training and assessment programs. We’ll start with the short answer and then we’ll dig in a little deeper.

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Gamification and Growth Mindset

Gamification in Education: Fostering a Growth Mindset

Gamification in Education: Fostering a Growth Mindset When the term “gamification” comes up in the context of education, it is usually introduced as a way to improve student engagement and motivation. Given the dismal state of student engagement in schoolwork, maybe that by itself would be enough. But research has documented a variety of other […]

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Post-It Note Head

New Research on Memory Training

Recently published research from Johns Hopkins University pitted two types of working memory training against each other, but it didn’t translate into general intelligence. Here’s why not.

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Busy Brain

7 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Brain Training Program

There are so many options – from clinical therapy to apps for your smartphone… from single-skill memory training to reading software for learning disabilities… and from crossword puzzles to neurofeedback. It’s confusing, to say the least. So here are 7 questions you can ask when you’re considering any kind of brain training program or tool. Happy National Train Your Brain Day!

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Kid with Report Card

Are You Ready for the First Report Cards of the Year?

The goal of cognitive training is to enable a student to become a capable, independent learner. While tutoring can be helpful, it typically will not address underlying learning issues. Particularly when students continue to be tutored year after year, just to get through school, that is not enabling them to learn independently.

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Talk Like a Pirate Day

Talk Like a Pirate Today and Make it Serious Language Play

Playing with language is a cognitive milestone and language play can be a wonderful form of cognitive exercise. Learn how to speak Piratese in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day.

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Neuroplasticity

The Power of Neuroplasticity

While there has been strong scientific consensus for some time about neuroplasticity, the extent to which our brains can change, at any stage of life, is only starting to become clear.

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Concentrate and Read

Cognitive Skills are Major Factors in Reading Ability

While many educators still see reading as a matter of decoding and fluency practice, the reading process is far more complex. A new report from Digital Promise report cites cognitive skills, social-emotional learning, and student background information, in addition to traditional language and literacy skills, as essential for reading.

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Cognitive Capacity

Is Cognitive Capacity the Civil Rights Issue of Today?

Unless all students are able to develop the cognitive foundation for learning, then only some will have what it takes to fully access and derive value from their education. This is an issue of access much like other access issues in our society. It may be that the cognitive capacity gap is the civil rights issue of our day.

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Intelligence

Toward a New Understanding of Intelligence

It’s time to throw out our old mental models of intelligence and start to embrace what David Shenk in his popular book of the same title, the genius in all of us.

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What a Difference Three Weeks Make!

We spend a lot of time in our conversations with schools, clinicians, and parents talking about “following the protocol.” Why? Because the protocol identifies he frequency and duration of usage that consistently leads to the kinds of improvements in cognitive skills we see in the research on the program.

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Neuroscience, Teaching and Learning

What Neuroscience Does and Doesn’t Contribute to Teaching and Learning

It has become popular lately for neuroscience experts to disparage the efforts of educators to understand and apply brain research, as a recent article published by PBS does. Sometimes they even seem to wonder why we would be interested. Here’s why.

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Every Day Is Election Day Even in Your Classroom

Every Day is Election Day – Even in Your Classroom

Every day, the people around us decide whether to listen to us, to follow us, to imitate us, or to ignore us. They decide whether to step up and join us in championing what we want to accomplish, or they join the opposition, or they just decide to”sit this one out.” Does this apply in a classroom? Are students voters? You bet!

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When Brain Training Works

When Brain Training Works – Points of Controversy

Pre-publication publicity for a new book on the value of brain training claims that there are 5 conditions that make it effective. While this discussion surfaces some important considerations, it is likely to disappoint anyone who adheres strictly to the five conditions. Here’s where the advice falls short.

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Vision Therapy

Cognitive Skills Development as a Supplement to Vision Therapy

I am a graduate of vision therapy myself. And I will never forget the moment when my vision, which had been blurry my entire life, suddenly became clear, following many months of hard work with a vision therapist. At the time, I thought it was a miracle.

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Reading Comprehesion

The Mystery of Reading Comprehension

Many students can read a passage, but afterwards are unable to tell you what they read. Or perhaps they can answer simple factual questions (regurgitate), but it really has no meaning for them and will be forgotten the next day.

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Brainy Reading Suggestions

Brainy Reading Suggestions

There are so many books about the brain … from simple books for children to dense academic works intended for researchers. Here are some of our favorites – for adults, for teachers specifically, and for kids.

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What Great Teachers and Great Salespeople Have in Common

What Great Teachers and Great Salespeople Have in Common

For some, this comparison will seem obvious. For some, it will seem curious, at first blush. For some, it will seem preposterous, or even insulting. I hope that, like most good analogies, the aptness of the comparison ultimately enlightens.

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Angel or Devil

Reconciling the Neurosophists and the Neurosnobs

A recent article in Brain in the News, a publication of the Dana Foundation lamented the increase in the impressive sounding but empty use of references to the brain in education. Educators have too often embraced neuromyths and neurofads without a deep enough understanding. But that is changing.

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One-Two Punch

A True Growth Mindset Requires a One-Two Punch

People who have a growth mindset believe they can develop their intelligence and their abilities and that’s what enables them to become much more effective learners, according to the groundbreaking work of Dr. Carol Dweck. That’s the first punch. What’s the second punch?

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Tips for a better brain-Web of Cognitive Skills

Five Tips for a Better Brain

Just about every adult I meet wants to know how to strengthen their perception, thinking, and acuity. I believe in practicing what I preach, so here five things I practice on a daily basis. Our brains become what brains do …

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Missing Puzzle Piece

Poverty and Schools – A Missing Piece in the Discussion

Poverty and Schools – A Missing Piece in the Discussion A week-long series created by WBEZ Radio and the Daily Herald in Chicago has been focusing on the persistent connection between students in poverty and low academic performance. What is missing in this discussion is connecting it to the neuroscience of poverty. Recent research was […]

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Are These Children from Lake Wobegon

Are These Children from Lake Wobegon?

Are These Children from Lake Wobegon? by Betsy Hill A little over a week ago, I was in Canada – Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. to be exact. It was excruciatingly cold, of course, but that’s not why I was thinking of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon. The reason I was thinking of Lake Wobegon is that […]

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Neuroscience and the U.S. Education System

Neuroscience and the U.S. Education System

Neuroscience and the U.S. Education System Education informed by neuroscience can give new and real meaning to our desire as a nation to leave no child behind. Moreover, it may offer the only true opportunity for the disruptive change that education needs for current and future generations to be educated to face the challenges ahead. […]

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Brain Training Programs Neither Silver Bullet nor Scam

Brain Training Programs: Neither Silver Bullet nor Scam

Brain Training Programs: Neither Silver Bullet nor Scam A recent article asked the question: Are Brain Training Programs a Scam? Like many articles on the subject these days, the analysis was right in some respects, but missed several key points. The numbered statements below in italics are from the article. The comments following each point […]

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Educational Indigestion

Curing Educational Indigestion – Three Solutions to Overly Full Plates

Curing Educational Indigestion – Three Solutions to Overly Full Plates “Our district is currently doing a lot of work to implement STEM (Common Core, new technology, etc.), and our teachers feel like they are constantly having things added to their plates while nothing is removed.” If I have heard that comment once in the past […]

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Time Turner

Giving Every Student the Equivalent of a Time Turner

In The Prisoner of Azkaban, the third book in the Harry Potter series, Hermione Granger manages to attend extra classes with the help of a Time Turner. The Time Turner allows her to go back in time so that she can, in effect, take two classes at once.

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What Teachers Should Know about the Brain

What Teachers Should Know About the Brain

What Teachers Should Know about the Brain A recently published research study on teachers’ understanding of the brain and neuroscience research has been getting a lot of attention. The findings, based on surveys of teachers in the U.K., Greece, Turkey, Holland, and China, showed that teachers had many misconceptions about the brain. The findings echoed […]

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Funding Professional Development for Teachers

Almost two years ago, I blogged about the stunning research by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on the connection between student scores on the PISA tests and economic well-being.The bottom line was that if the U.S. could raise every childs PISA score to the minimum level of proficiency on the PISA (the international […]

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Rethinking Remediation in Higher Education

Rethinking Remediation in Higher Education

Rethinking Remediation in Higher Education The remediation statistics are sobering. Over half of students who enroll in 2-year colleges take remedial courses in English and/or math. Almost 20% of those enrolling in 4-year colleges do so. The rates for low-income students are even higher 68% and 39% respectively. Of even greater concern is that higher […]

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Deal with the Big Rocks First Prioritizing

Have you ever noticed that some people just drift through life dealing with each problem as it comes along and then wonder where all the time has gone, and why they haven’t accomplished more? Other people seem to live lives that are very well organized and are able to accomplish a great deal. You can […]

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Cognitive Skills Development in an Accelerated Curriculum

Cognitive Skills Development in an Accelerated Curriculum

Much of our work has dealt with helping struggling students  those who are behind or have identified cognitive deficits but it is important to remember that very bright students can also benefit from developing their cognitive skills and executive functions. Heres a story that explains what this can look like: Dr. Sara Fraser, a clinical […]

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Emphasize the Learning in Extended Learning Time

Emphasize the Learning in Extended Learning Time

Emphasize the Learning in Extended Learning Time There seem to be a lot of people talking about extending the school day lately. On the pro side of the argument are those who believe that our students ability to compete in a global economy requires more time devoted to academics. In some cases, the champions of […]

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Reading Comprehension

Executive Functions and Reading Comprehension

Executive Functions and Reading Comprehension There are varied opinions among education and neuroscience researchers regarding how many executive functions are involved in human cognitive processing, but the role that executive functions play in reading comprehension has become much clearer in recent years.This is important to recognize for a number of reasons. First, students with less […]

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Reality Show Text Anxiety

Reality Show Test Anxiety

Reality Show Test Anxiety by Betsy Hill I was watching one of my favorite shows  Restaurant Impossible  when I saw a textbook case reminder of one of the consequences of high-stakes testing. First, let me say that I very much admire Robert Irvine, the star of the show and a very accomplished chef and restaurateur. […]

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Web of Cognitive Skills

What are Cognitive Skills?

What Are Cognitive Skills? We hear the term cognitive skills more frequently these days as we all become more aware that our brains perform a variety of functions critical to helping us navigate school, work, personal relationships  in fact, everything we do. How can we start to understand what these skills are and how they […]

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Stressed Students

Questions to Ask Your Chronically Stressed Students

Questions to Ask Your Chronically Stressed Students by Dr. Lori Desautels   This morning I sat in two middle-school inner-city classrooms in Indianapolis, as I do most weeks. But today, something struck me deep in the center of my chest as I was observing the boredom and apathy on those detached, sleepy and seemingly sad […]

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Left Brain Right Brain

Left-Brained or Right-Brained? You’re Asking the Wrong Question

Left-Brained or Right-Brained? You’re Asking the Wrong Question by Betsy Hill   Earlier this week, I came across a posting on a Linked-In Group I belong to that contained an explanation of the ways that our brains apportion the work we ask them to do between the right and left hemispheres. The article then went […]

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Does Physical Exercise Trump Mental Exercise?

Does Physical Exercise Trump Mental Exercise?

Does Physical Exercise Trump Mental Exercise? by Dr. Sara Sawtelle   A recent article in Time Health and Family, Exercise Trumps Brain Games in Keeping our Minds Intact, reports on the findings from a study in Scotland. The study compared MRIs of adults to see how much brain shrinkage occurred over a three-year period, from […]

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No Specific Genes for IQ

Scientists Can’t Find Specific Genes for IQ

  Scientists Can’t Find Specific Genes for IQ   Recent research has shown that, while intelligence is believed to be partly genetic, the specific genes that were thought to be linked to intelligence are not. And, in fact, of all the genes that were examined, only one was actually associated with intelligence and the effect […]

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Working Memory Training that Lasts

Working Memory Training That Lasts

Working Memory Training that Lasts Recently the journal Developmental Psychology published a meta-analysis of research on the value of Working Memory Training. A meta-analysis is not original research but combines multiple studies and uses statistical adjustments to try to draw an overall conclusion from disparate studies. In this case, the authors concluded that there is […]

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Homework-Trapped Students

Helping Homework-Trapped Students

Helping Homework-Trapped Students   An article in the Washington Post newspaper caught my attention recently. It talked about homework-trapped students. In the article, Dr. Kenneth Goldberg, a clinical psychologist and author, describes students who struggle to get homework done but whose efforts fall short. The problem, as he explains it is not motivation (these students […]

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What Blogging Can Do for the Blogger

What Blogging Can Do for the Blogger

What Blogging Can Do for the Blogger   Blogging is proving itself to be more than a fad that will disappear the way of a Betamax video cassette. If you’re younger than about 40, you probably don’t even know what Betamax is, but that’s the point. Blogs seem to be here to stay and serve […]

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Facebook and Students' Brains

Facebook and Students’ Brains

Facebook and Students’ Brains by Dr. Sara Sawtelle   I don’t know very many people who don’t have a Facebook account. And everyone who does have one seems to be using it more and more. That is, all but educators, since Facebook is blocked in many schools, as are other social networking sites. But that […]

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Better Grades

Better Grades: Four Myths and the Reality

Better Grades: Four Myths and the Reality   Brain research is showing us ways to improve student learning and help them succeed on tests and in school. But there are also a lot of myths around that deserve to be busted. Here are four myths and the reality, based on solid research, that can help […]

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Timely Resources for Teachers

Timely Resources for Educators Changing the Game

As educational leaders navigate difficult financial times, with increased emphasis on accountability and teacher proficiency, and the Common Core Standards, there are some key resources that all should be aware of.

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Staples Easy Button

That Was Easy!

That Was Easy! by Betsy Hill   On Super Bowl Sunday, my 8-year-old nephew graciously tolerated the adults in our house (most of whom are still 8 years old at heart, if truth be told). He held his own in a game of guessing what the next commercial would be on television (cars? beer? fast […]

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Working Memory Limits Affect College Students' Reading

Working Memory Limits Affect College Students Reading

Working Memory Limits Affect College Students’ Reading   A researcher from the University of Alberta describes the problem this way, The students invest most of their time on reading and they forget the meaning. They read and they decode the whole passage. So, by the time they get to the end, they forget what the […]

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Teaching Teachers about the Brain

Teaching Teachers about the Brain

Teaching Teachers about the Brain   Not everyone in education makes the connection between brain science and teaching/learning. This is something we have observed personally and now it has been underscored by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in a report entitled The Road Less Traveled. In the report, the expert panel […]

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A Glimmer of Understanding

A Glimmer of Understanding: New Concept Formation

A Glimmer of Understanding by Betsy Hill When I was in college, I was fascinated with how humans learn and use language. I took every course I could find related to language The Philosophy of Language, The Psychology of Language, and Linguistics, in addition to double-majoring in French and Russian. The explanations suggested by the […]

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The Economic Value of Cognitive Skill Development

The Economic Value of Cognitive Skills Development

The Economic Value of Cognitive Skills Development   The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published a report on the economic value of improved educational outcomes, entitled The High Cost of Low Educational Performance, which describe its conclusion as follows: The report uses recent economic modeling to relate cognitive skills as measured by […]

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New Research on Multitasking

New Research on Multitasking

New Research on Multitasking by Betsy Hill   Holidays seem to be times when multi-tasking is the order of the day  preparing holiday meals while keeping a mental list of what I need to get at the store later, trying to listen to my daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law-to-be’s conversation and track my son’s exchanges on the […]

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Spiderwebs

Spider Webs: A Halloween Reminder of How Our Brains Work

Spider Webs: A Halloween Reminder of How Our Brains Work by Dr. Sara Sawtelle   It is that time of year, the time when you see spider webs everywhere you look  real ones and fake ones. And they all make me smile. Why? Because spider webs are a model for how our brains work and […]

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Teacher Effectiveness and Student Ability

Teacher Effectiveness and Student Ability

An op-ed in this morning’s Chicago Tribune holds that the way student learning is measured is flawed because it assumes that all students come with the same cognitive ability to learn.

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Title I

Title I: Closing the Achievement Gap by Closing the Capacity Gap

Since it was first introduced in 1965, Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education has sought to even the playing field by providing supplemental funding for schools with populations of students with low socio-economic status (SES).

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When Charter School Students Don't Succeed

When Charter School Students Don’t Succeed

When Charter School Students Don’t Succeed by Betsy Hill   According to a report on NPR (WBEZ) two days ago, the reason that test scores in many Chicago charter schools are higher than their traditional CPS (Chicago Public School) counterparts is that they systematically push low-performing students out. The euphoria of being admitted to one […]

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Child with IEP

Your Child Has an IEP, but Is the Gap Closing?

Your Child has an IEP, but is the Gap Closing? by Betsy Hill   Statistics and charts are standard fare at an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting. The teachers and professionals are likely to show you where your child is performing relative to the standard for his/her grade and relative to where he/she used to […]

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English Language Learners

Easing the Way for English Language Learners

Today, more school districts than ever are challenged with providing an education to children who speak little or no English, often referred to as English Language Learners (ELL).

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Brain Training that Sticks

Cognitive Skills Training that Sticks

Brain Training that Sticks One of the questions we get asked most often when folks look at the dramatic growth BrainWare SAFARI users experience is their cognitive skills is What happens later? In other words, do cognitive skills stick around once we stop using the program or are they there months after we finish the […]

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Gifted Students

Cognitive Training is for the Gifted Too

Cognitive Training is for the Gifted Too   Sometimes when I talk to an educator or a parent about BrainWare SAFARI and cognitive skills, he or she will assume that the program is only for struggling learners or to remediate a deficit of some kind. But the truth of the matter is that we all […]

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Video Games and Attention

Video Games and Attention Problems: Cause or Cure

Video Games and Attention Problems: Cause or Cure? A study recently published in the journal Pediatrics is getting a lot of attention (pun intended) from parents. It concludes that more than two hours per day of video-game playing increased the odds of kids having attention problems by 67%. While the study doesn’t prove that video-game […]

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Accidental Control Group

The Case of the Accidental Control Group

If you Google Accidental Control Group or look it up in Wikipedia, you will not find a definition. But the Accidental Control Group exists. And it can actually be very useful.

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IEP Meeting

Tips for Getting the Most from Your Childs IEP Meeting

You’ve pressed your child’s school for testing and some learning issues have been uncovered. Your child’s school has put a plan, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), in place and you’re going to the IEP meeting. What should you expect?

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Struggling Student

Your Child May Need an IEP

Your Child May Need an IEP   How did your child do this year in school? Were you disappointed when you saw the grades on that final report card? It can be a letdown from that feeling most of us have in the fall when the school year is just beginning and your child is […]

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Learning Styles

Should We Match Teaching Styles to Learning Styles?

There has been much discussion over the years of multiple intelligences, and learning styles, and being right or left-brained. Often the identification of a particular style

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Boy Brain Girl Brain

Boys and Girls: How Different Are Their Brains?

Boys and Girls: How Different Are Their Brains?   Boys are good at math and science  they are not very good at attention and emotions. Girls are good at language and reading they are not so good at visual processing and being aggressive. Have you ever been in a conversation that starts out that way? […]

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