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How Exercise Benefits Your Student’s Brain


Is there a deficit in the amount of exercise our students are getting? Is there a simple solution?

If you were to approach my grandmother and ask her opinion on what’s wrong with “kids these days,” she’d vehemently reply (in a heavy Brooklyn accent), “Kids these days! All they do is sit around, watch television, and play video games. They need to get up and play outside!” Well, Grandma, an increasing amount of…
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Blocks and the Design of Childhood


In "The Design of Childhood", Alexandra Lange details an illuminating exploration of the material world that children inhabit.

The Design of Childhood is the kind of book that brings sunshine to your heart on rainy day. The author, Alexandra Lange, is an architecture and design critic, a historian, and a mother. In her book, she draws from each of these core aspects of herself in an illuminating exploration of the material world that…
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50 Family Snack Recipes from Bloggers


These family snack recipes are sure to be a hit amongst your children, and can be a good opportunity to teach your child basic cooking skills.

These family snack recipes are sure to be a hit amongst your children. Bring the classroom to the kitchen and practice fractions, or form a positive experience with fruits, veggies, and some of that yummy, sugary stuff (in moderation, of course). Making these snacks with your child also gives you the opportunity for you to…
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Building Data Literacy [TED Talk]


If we read a story that interprets a data set in ways that support our preconceived beliefs, we rarely don't stop there.

In his TED Talk at the London Business School, speaker Alex Edmans considered the question of “…what to trust in a ‘post-truth’ world?” Edmans opened his talk with an exploration of confirmation bias: our propensity to accept a story (eg., a newspaper article) we like as being true, without being duly critical. For example, if…
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Loris Malaguzzi on the Active Child


Loris Malaguzzi centers everything on the active child who, together with a nurturing and experienced guide, actively constructs her own learning.

Loris Malaguzzi was an Italian educator and the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach to education, which is similar to other models like Montessori and Waldorf. Like other theorists of the late 20th century, including Bruner, Piaget, and Vygotsky, Malaguzzi centers everything on the active child who, together with a nurturing and experienced guide, actively…
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Cultivate Your Moral Imagination by Reading Fiction


The moral imagination is our spirit’s capacity to understand, respond to, and appreciate Beauty.

You know that guilty feeling you get when you start reading a novel…that feeling that says there are a million non-fiction books you should be reading now. Well, that feeling is wrong; you can enjoy that novel without guilt! We need — yes, need — to read fiction. We live in a culture that continually…
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Read to Kids and Talk to Adolescents


Reading aloud to young children and having open and thought-provoking conversations with your teens are a form of involvement.

In her keynote at the National Summit 2014, Amanda Ripley shares a story about receiving an automated call from the school principal: “Wednesday is Chipotle night. Go to Chipotle and if you buy a burrito, ten percent will go to the school.” Amanda gets the call and says, “Oh alright. I’ll put it in my…
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How Education in Poland Transformed with 4 Changes


Education in Poland was the one of the worst in the world in the year 2000. By 2012, Poland was near the top of the list. How did this happen?

In the year 2000, Poland had one of the worst education systems in the world. By the year 2012, Poland was near the top of the list. Today, Poland is considered to be an education powerhouse and its 12 year transformation provides us with hope that the United States can also transform its education system.…
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What Do Exchange Students Think About Education? [Survey]


202 exchange students completed a survey about their experiences with education in their home country versus abroad.

In May 2012, journalist Amanda Ripley and researcher Marie Lawrence worked together with AFS Intercultural Programs to conduct a survey of exchange students. 202 students completed the survey. It should be noted (as a limitation of the study), that of the respondents, “a significant number (19%) had studied in Italy. Of international respondents, a large…
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The Smartest Kids in the World [Book Review]


The Smartest Kids in The World is filled with powerful insights as well as counter-intuitive truths.

Amanda Ripley, an accomplished journalist, stumbled upon a mystery: America spends more money on education than almost any other country in the world and makes use of more technology in the classroom than most other countries and yet it continues to underperform. Why are American kids not doing as well as their peers around the…
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