Educators educating Educators

Feb 18

June 17 Summer Reading

This is the last Ed Tip until September, so let’s review the topics presented this year.

In the fall, Ed Tips considered the implications of the often-uttered statement to children that you just have to “try harder” to be successful, the value of giving students more choices in the classroom and in their education, and ending with a discussion of the neuroscience involved in attention.

The winter months started with an examination of the effects of stress in education, followed by a discussion of an old but an immensely effective teaching technique, scaffolding, and closing with an argument the impact educators would have if they were armed with minimal knowledge of the fundamental principles of neuroscience.

In order to increase student learning, the value of increasing student engagement and insuring the relevance of presented material were the first two articles of the spring season. Lastly, the year concluded with a justification that the design strategies used by video game designers in creating their games should be studied by educators and implemented in the classroom, given that despite a failure rate 80% by gamers, the games are extremely effective in motivating children and captivating their attention.

In case you get bored with the lazy days of summer and want to get a jump preparing for the coming school year, I added a section called How to Study Better based on research from Harvard Medical School that highlights four science-backed ways towards better learning (Hint: drop the highlighter).

Moreover, if your school district is one that has eliminated physical education or is considering doing so in the future, I posted a YouTube video under exercise from the Dana Foundation that won the Northwest Emmy award called Exercise and the Brain that explores the benefits of exercise on the brain and learning.

Finally, as a tongue-in-check suggestion, I always recommend some books for summer, beach reading that I have found to be interesting this past year despite being job-related. This year’s recommendations are Mark Katz’s book Children Who Fail at School but Succeed in Life, Beyond Measure by Vicki Abeles, and At What Cost by David Gleason.

As I have expressed each June, I continue to be very appreciative of the feedback, questions, and insights received from my readers.  My main goal in writing these articles continues to be to convey information and ideas that might serve as a catalyst for self-reflection and self-change.

Until September, I hope the summer months provide opportunities for relaxation and satisfaction in your lives.


“If we can control the attention of the child, we solve the problems of education.” Maria Montessori

This month Ed Tip will examine how to improve students' learning by activating their attention.