As teachers and parents, we know that when our children believe in themselves, they are happier, more persistent learners. The media is finally catching on with articles that highlight how students’ beliefs about what it means to be smart can make them into more successful, persevering learners.
Yesterday we shared a great article, “Kids Fail Less When They Know Failure is Part of Learning,” research that confirms the addage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
Here is another useful article, What Kids Should Know About Their Own Brains.
After you read the article, go to Brainology to see how it works. The good people at Brainology (www.mindsetwords.com) have posted videos to get you started, as a parent or as a teacher, helping children become happy, engaged power-learners.
We here at mathcoachinteractive.com respect children’s innate math-i-ness and support children as they learn. With our common sense tutorial system, based on best practices, children learn to build up their brain power.
For families: Raising happy children can be challenging. Here is an online resource that I always find helpful, brought to us by the Children’s Health Council, a wonderful organization in the Stanford University family of resources. Even if you do not live in the Bay Area to attend their many free information seminars, the articles in the Children’s Health Council newsletters provide helpful suggestions for actionable parenting techniques that you can apply at home.
For teachers: If you have a student with ADHD in your classroom, share these practical tips with families. These practical tips for helping children get organized and stay on task can greatly reduce stress levels at home and at school.
As a teacher you probably already know that when your students believe that they can succeed at something if they try hard enough, they will use mistakes as a learning moment and become persistent problem solvers. Part of being a great teacher is to teach children that learning is hard work.
Now there is research to back up the wisdom of “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”
Researchers found that explicitly telling children that failure is a normal part of learning led to a more can-do attitude and greater success in problem solving when faced with a difficult task. “Helping children to interpret difficulty . . . as [a normal part of learning], improved their performance on very demanding and difficult tasks and reduced their feelings of incompetence.”
My friend Nan requires her fifth graders to analyze the exercises they got wrong on classwork or homework and figure out the correct answer before they get to sign off on the assignment. This procedure helps children dig into the work at hand, learn about themselves as learners, identify misconceptions, and build the confidence that comes from a job well done.
Of course, as a teacher, you already know this. Pass it on! Share the article with the families of your students. Let’s all be smart about educating the next generation.