Mind Shift

How ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Primes Students for Interdisciplinary Learning, Including STEM

A group of Grade 9 students in Texas who substantially outperformed their district on a statewide standardized test all had one surprising thing in common: they all were members of the school’s Dungeons & Dragons club.
A coincidence? Otherwise, how does a fantasy role-playing game produce improved test scores? The obvious explanation is that the club draws the bright kids who are already academically inclined. But many of the kids in the club at the Title I school had histories of struggling with academics.

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How Stress Affects Your Memory

We’ve all had the experience of studying hard for a test, believing we know the information, and then sitting down in the testing room only to draw a blank. Why does that happen?

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Trying Not To Break Down — A Homeless Teen Navigates Middle School

Fourteen-year-old Caydden Zimmerman’s school days start early and end late.
He has a 90-minute bus ride to get from the homeless shelter where he is staying in Boise, Idaho, to his middle school. He wakes up at 5:45 a.m., quickly brushes his teeth and smooths some gel in his hair, and then he dashes downstairs to catch his school bus.

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Leveraging the Lore of ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ to Motivate Students to Read and Write  

Some parents and teachers despair as they witness the erosion of sustained reading, particularly fiction, with today’s screen-obsessed youth. Whether this genuinely heralds an intellectual Armageddon, or merely marks a benign transition into a new phase of the life of the mind, remains to be seen.

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Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators: Understanding and Mitigating the Effects

Roughly half of American school children have experienced at least some form of trauma — from neglect, to abuse, to violence.
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A Glimpse Inside the Transition to Trauma-Informed Practices

Educators are increasingly aware of how trauma that students experience in their lives outside school affects learning in the classroom. And while this isn’t new information, focusing on how to make the learning environment a safe, nurturing place where those students can succeed has become a robust topic of conversation in many districts.

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5 Simple Ways To Encourage Brain Development In Your Little One

Ron Ferguson, an economist at Harvard, has made a career out of studying the achievement gap — the well-documented learning gap that exists between kids of different races and socioeconomic statuses.
But even he was surprised to discover that gap visible with “stark differences” by just age 2, meaning “kids aren’t halfway to kindergarten and they’re already well behind their peers.”

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How to Help Kids Manage Sleep, Schoolwork and Screens

In the aftermath of a huge New England snowstorm, a friend’s car got stuck driving down KJ Dell’Antonia’s driveway. So she and her four children bundled up and headed out with shovels. After freeing the car once, it slid into a snowbank, and they had to start again as the sun was setting.

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Need Help Paying For College? There’s An App For That

At midnight, Oct. 1, the rush begins.
That’s when first-time and returning college students can get their first look at the 2019-’20 FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Anyone who wants the government’s help paying for college has to finish the notoriously complicated form. But this year, in an effort to make it easier, the U.S. Department of Education has given the FAFSA a new look: a smartphone application.

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Overcoming Childhood Trauma: How Parents and Schools Work to Stop the Cycle

Many people have experienced some kind of trauma in their childhood, such as loss of a caregiver, substance abuse in the home, homelessness or abuse.

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