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September 26, 2016
Kacey Templin

Math Mind: How Children Learn Math Skills

STEM

When I was in kindergarten, I loved numbers. I would count the stairs as I went up them or the jelly beans in the jar on my teacher’s desk. In third grade, I excelled at the timed multiplication table tests we took on a weekly basis. My father, an engineer and math enthusiast, sat with me and worked on equations nearly every night. It was my dream to become a scientist, a profession I knew would require lots of math courses.

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September 24, 2016
Kacey Templin

Fall Learning Series Part 1: Fall Science

STEM

September 22nd marked the official beginning of fall! The kids are back in school, the hours of daylight are shortened, and the leaves will begin to change soon. In this season of change, we will be taking a look at some fun and educational activities you and your children can do at home. First up: Fall Science!

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September 19, 2016
Mike Ritchie

The Value of a 'Growth Mindset' in Education

Learning Through Play

“When educators create growth mindset classrooms…equality happens, and here are just a few examples:

  • In one year, a kindergarten class in Harlem, NY scored in the 95th percentile on the national achievement test – many of those kids could not hold a pencil when they arrived at school.
  • In one year, 4th grade students in the South Bronx, way behind, became the #1 4th grade class in the state of NY on the state math test.
  • In a year to a year and a half, Native American students in a school on a reservation went from the bottom of their district to the top, and that district included affluent sections of Seattle. So the Native kids outdid the Microsoft kids.”

This quote is from a TEDx talk given by Carol Dweck, a researcher whose work, in her own words, “examines the self-conceptions (or mindsets) people use to structure the self and guide their behavior. My research looks at the origins of these mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal success.” So how did these teachers she describes achieve these results? What exactly is a ‘growth mindset’?

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September 14, 2016
Kacey Templin

Make Learning Fun: Brainteasers from Visual Brainstorms

Learning at Home, Brainteasers

Hello puzzle lovers!  This week we're thrilled to bring you 3 more brainteasers from our very own Visual Brainstorms set, along with the answers to last week's brainteasers! 

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September 12, 2016
Kacey Templin

This Is Your Brain on Music

STEM

As a child, music was everything to me. In my grade school years, I’d jam out to Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears as I headed to my piano lessons. When I went on to middle school, I traded the piano for the violin, and Britney for Avril. I went to my first symphonic orchestra performance in 8th grade, where I fell in love with classical music, adding pieces from Wagner, Mozart, and Vivaldi into my iPod shuffle. Today, my car radio is programmed with stations ranging from country to classical to pop. Music is all around us – in the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, and even in elevators - and you might be surprised by how important it truly is.

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September 05, 2016
Kacey Templin

Man's Best Friend: The Science Behind the Dog and Human Relationship

STEM, STEAM

It’s been a long day at work. You’re exhausted and ready to crash. You open the door, and suddenly there’s a wet nose, wagging tail, and slobbery kiss to greet you. It would seem that your arrival is the highlight of a dog’s day, and it very well might be. You greet your friend and look into his happy face, grateful for the companionship.

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August 29, 2016
Kacey Templin

Out of the Storm: How Relocation Affects Children

STEM, STEAM

Eleven years ago, Hurricane Rita threatened to directly hit my hometown, Houston. All of the meteorologists on every major news channel urged citizens anywhere near the metropolitan area to head inland. I had just started my freshman year of high school, but school had to be put on hold as thousands of Houstonians packed their belongings and fled the city. I helped board up the windows around the house, and put the possessions I couldn’t bring with me in closets and bathrooms, unsure if I would ever see them again.

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