Teaching Tenaciousness

Feelings and emotions, Motivation, Resilience, Tips & Tools

Every teacher has some students who seem eager to lean into challenges or take on new things – and other students who do the opposite. They seem pull away from taking risks and struggle to manage the frustrating feelings that naturally arise when learning new ideas or tasks. Growing the internal capacity to “lean into learning” helps students thrive in school. Here are some ideas:

  • Teach some brain science. Explain that the process of learning is hard brain work – and some people are more sensitive to the physical sensations of that kind of work. You are actually growing new
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Stubbornness is Perseverance in Disguise

Feelings and emotions, Motivation, Resilience, Tips & Tools

Can you remember a time your child insisted on continue to build something, or play or read – when you needed to go somewhere? Perseverance can be frustrating and inconvenient! When your child is sticking to something they want to do – even though you want/need to do something else it is challenging. Yet, the ability and desire to persist in the face of adversity (your request to do something else) is an important life skill which will benefit them in the future. Some children seem to be born with this kind of focus and determination, while others need more …

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Cultivating a Sense of Wonder in the Classroom

Feelings and emotions, Tips & Tools

There is something magical and exciting that happens when you learn something new. Young brains are open to exploring and seeing things in new ways. There is a natural sense of wonder and delight that motivates us to understand and make meaning of the world around us. It is never too late to provide an opportunity for a young person to appreciate the joy of learning and discovery. To cultivate and encourage your students to look forward to learning with a sense of wonder try:

  • Model a sense of curiosity and wonder. Share your surprise and delight about what you
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Nurturing a Sense of Wonder

Feelings and emotions, Tips & Tools

A child’s world is new and fresh, filled with excitement, joy and mystery. Yet, seems that what is awe-inspiring and beautiful often gets lost before we reach adulthood. From the child’s viewpoint, the most important dynamics of life and learning are social and emotional. They are good at being really present in the current moment. With an eye to the future, adults often focus on what needs to be learned or what needs to be done. You can help your children hold on to their sense of wonder by:

  • Slow down. Be present in the moment and let your child’s
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An Attitude of Gratitude

Feelings and emotions, Routines, Tips & Tools

The month of November, with Thanksgiving and the holiday gift-giving season approaching, is a wonderful time to help students cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Studies have found that the introduction of the practice of gratitude in the classroom can result in positive relationships and helps students feel better about school.

  • Keep gratitude journals. Make it simple by giving prompts like, Thanks for _______. You might keep your own journal for a couple of weeks before you introduce the idea so you can share some of the things you are grateful for as you introduce the idea. Have students write
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Growing Gratitude at Home

Feelings and emotions, Routines, Tips & Tools

Have you ever had one of those days where you just wish that your children would appreciate you and what they have? That they would say, “Thank you” more often or notice what you do for them? Teaching children gratitude is about much more than saying, “Thank you.” Gratitude in children involves perspective taking and some pretty advanced skills in emotional knowledge.  At the Raising Grateful Children Project at UNC Chapel Hill, they’ve discovered gratitude has four parts: Notice-Think-Feel-Do. Parents can encourage their children to experience all four parts by being intentional with each of the steps.

NOTICE

  • Start with
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Building Hope

Feelings and emotions, Growing Responsibility, Motivation, Tips & Tools

Researchers have found that cultivating hope is pretty challenging but offers significant benefits for those who have it.  Hope isn’t just wishful thinking.  It is the ability to see yourself in the future in a positive light. It involves setting attainable goals, having more than one path to get to the goal and the ability to stick with it when the going gets rough. Students who are high in hope have greater academic achievement, stronger friendships, more creativity and demonstrate better problem-solving skills. They also have lower levels of depression and anxiety and are less likely to drop out of …

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Harnessing Hope

Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Motivation, Resilience, Tips & Tools

Hope is the belief or feeling that something positive will happen. It is a positive, exciting sense of what is possible. In the day to day challenges that we face, it can be hard to hold onto hope, and hope can give us the energy to persevere and can offer a sense of purpose, calm and connection. Parents are children’s first hope builders. Your presence, connection, and attitude can help your child be more hopeful. Try some of these ideas to bring hope into your regular family practice.

  • Name hope. Share examples of when you feel hopeful about something.
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It’s Time to Play!

Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Routines, Tips & Tools

What comes to mind when you think about play? For some of us, play is fun, something we look forward to, and a deep source of joy. For others of us, the very unpredictability and unstructured nature of play makes us uncomfortable. It won’t surprise you to realize that how you feel about play also impacts how your children learn to experience play. And, play is important for children and adults. Play gives children a chance to learn and experiment. It is one of the main ways they make sense of the world and their place in it. Play is …

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Play Helps Students Learn

Feelings and emotions, Routines, Tips & Tools

Play is an essential part of development – it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and youth.  It is one of the ways humans learn. According to Dr. Karyn Purvis, author of The Connected Child, play is like a ladder of social competencies that are vital to building deep emotional bonds and learning social rules. It begins with ‘goo-gooing’ to the infant, evolving to playing ‘peek a boo’ and then to imaginative play and board games. It involves discovery and brings a sense of joy.  Play is often missing for many children who live …

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