Cultivating Curiosity

Growing Responsibility, Routines, Tips & Tools

For most of us, curiosity means a sense of inquisitiveness. Studies suggest that curiosity has a deep impact on learning. Researchers at the University of California, Davis found that brain activity increased when participants were more curious about certain questions, resulting in better quick recall as well as in long-term memory.  What’s most meaningful is the path, not the destination. There is something powerful in being to hold our sense of wonder for awhile. Teachers can help students discover that, while technology can make a search easier, finding an answer is often less satisfying than the struggle it took to …

Read More

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 …

Read More

Raising Responsible Kids

Growing Responsibility, Tips & Tools

Helping children develop responsibility is simply teaching them life skills. It’s more than just about completing a task – it’s also an attitude of helpfulness and intrinsic pride. Inviting your child to experience responsibility is something that can happen daily.

  • Start young.   Doing everything for your child until they reach adolescence and then expecting them to magically become responsible is magical thinking. It won’t happen.  Toddlers can put placemats on the dinner table, sort silverware into a drawer, help to put their clean clothes away, or offer an icepack to a sibling.
  • Invite help. Human beings of all ages like
Read More

“Response-able,” Reliable, Resourceful Learners

Growing Responsibility, Tips & Tools

Like other life skills, learning responsibility takes practice. It is complicated and takes time and practice. One definition of responsibility is to able to be trusted to do what is right or to do the things that are expected or required. It implies both knowing what is right or expected and being able to do them reliably, in a way that others trust you will follow through. Students must also believe that they are capable, that they are response-able. It is often more efficient for educators, to manage daily activities and “work” in the classroom, but when we do, we …

Read More

The Courage to Be Imperfect

Growing Responsibility, Motivation, Tips & Tools

In order to learn, all of us need to be willing to take some risk and make mistakes. That takes courage and it takes a safe space. To create the space for learning you, as the teacher have to make it safe for your students to try something that is hard. They need to know that no one will laugh at them or shame them for not getting it right. You, as the leader of your classroom, can help your students build their courage to try new things, to speak in their own voice be part of your classroom community. …

Read More

Raising Courageous Kids

Growing Responsibility, Tips & Tools

Courage is one of the most powerful factors that leads to success and happiness. It’s important for children to understand that courage doesn’t always feel courageous.  Behind many successes are failure, rejection and adversity. From the outside courage may look impressive, easy and powerful. From the inside, however, it can feel frightening, lonely and filled with self-doubt. True courage is something that happens inside to push us through these feelings. Here are some ways to build courage in your children:

  • Give kids permission to be imperfect. Taking risks and trying new things gives kids an opportunity to learn.
  • Encourage
Read More

Raising a Compassionate Child

Feelings and emotions, Growing Responsibility, Tips & Tools

Compassion develops over time as children grow.  We know from research that the desire to help and comfort others comes naturally to us.  Even two-year olds will offer a blankie or pacifier to a crying playmate.  They may not understand why their friend is crying, but they want to help them feel better.  By age four, children can understand when they’ve hurt someone, and can discuss what it means to be kind. Compassion is our ability to step into the shoes of another person; to care for them without judgment. It can involve putting someone else’s needs above your own. …

Read More

Encouraging Compassion in the Classroom

Feelings and emotions, Growing Responsibility, Tips & Tools

We can build classrooms that foster respect, compassion and deep listening, resulting in spaces where students feel safe and where healthy social skills can emerge. The word compassion comes from the words to be “with suffering.” It is our ability to step into the shoes of another person, to care for them without judgment. It can involve putting someone else’s needs above your own. Building a skill like compassion in a classroom community starts with helping students feel that they have things in common, that they are not alone.  It also comes from learning how to solve problems and being …

Read More

Routines and Getting Ready for Back to School

Growing Responsibility, Routines, Tips & Tools

In most families, summertime means a relaxation of schedules and routines. But…here comes the school year!  It’s time to get back into the swing of routines.  More than just getting everyone out the door on time in the morning, routines help young people develop important life skills.

  • Routines provide the external structure that children need while their internal structure (planning, organizing, evaluating) is still developing.
  • Routines allow some things to be ‘automatic’ (eventually!). Having agreed upon bedtime and morning routines eliminates having to make decisions about these things every day.  Expectations are clear, so parental nagging, reminding, coaxing, can be
Read More

Empowering Students – Growing Citizens

Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect, Tips & Tools

At Sound Discipline we often begin workshops by asking teachers to imagine a student returning to visit as a young adult. We ask them to think of what gifts or qualities they hope that student will have acquired. The list is long. It often includes things like compassion, empathy, confidence, problem solving skills, healthy relationships, respect for themselves and others, communication skills, integrity, passion for something, and perserverence.  When we ask them how easy it would be to teach a young person with those skills, they smile and tell us it would be easy. Educators have a responsibility to teach …

Read More