Aug 13

The Case for Giving Students Down Time

August 13th, 2018 by Austin Butler

Imagine you have an uninterrupted afternoon to do whatever you want. What would you do? Read a book. Garden. Catch up with friends. Take a nap. Even just the prospect of planning an afternoon of freedom can make many of us feel at ease. How often are children ever given the option to do whatever they want for a few...

May 3

Helping Unruly Kids By Making Them Feel Safe in the Classroom

May 3rd, 2018 by Austin Butler

In a perfect world, every student would have two loving parents, a comfortable home in a safe neighborhood, and all their basic needs met. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. While we may not like to think about it, many of our students encounter trauma of some sort. Trauma may stem from poverty, violence, neglect, loss, or an...

Apr 24

Boston Schools Experiment with Play

April 24th, 2018 by Austin Butler

There’s a saying that has spread through the education sector in the past several years that “kindergarten is the new first grade”. With the adoption of more rigorous standards and the increasing emphasis on standardized tests, schools are eager to get students reading and writing from the first day they walk in the door. There’s one school district, though, that’s...

Mar 27

How to Get Students to Put Effort in to Their Own Learning

March 27th, 2018 by Austin Butler

Imagine trying to build muscles by going to the gym every day. But instead of lifting weights, you merely watch your personal trainer lift. Needless to say, this wouldn’t get you very far in your quest for strength. We often equate the brain to other muscles in our bodies in that the more use it gets, the stronger it will...

Mar 14

This Young Entrepreneur is Revolutionizing Mental Health Education in the US

March 14th, 2018 by Austin Butler

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a very impressive entrepreneur who has created an educational character that is now being viewed across the nation on Florida PBS and the Children’s Television Network which is the in-house station at children’s hospitals. The most amazing part is that the creator of this project is only 13 years old! Adam initially created...

Mar 13

What to do When a Student Gets an Answer Wrong

March 13th, 2018 by Austin Butler

How many decisions do you think you make every day while teaching? While researchers have found a range of answers to this question, many agree that teachers make around 1,500 educational decisions during an average school day. Assuming about 6 hours of instructional time, that averages out to 4 decisions per minute! While some of these decisions can be planned,...

Feb 28

This 3-Second Change Could Have a Huge Impact on Your Students’ Learning

February 28th, 2018 by Austin Butler

Have you ever noticed that you can gauge a person’s wisdom by how quickly they respond to questions? Sometimes you ask someone a question and without even a second of thought they’re blurting out an answer. On the other hand, there are those individuals who calmly take their time to consider a question carefully before composing a response. In most...

Feb 21

How to Encourage Students to Take Risks

February 21st, 2018 by Austin Butler

In a classroom environment where students' grades often depend on obedience and towing the line... it's easy for students to develop a strong aversion to risk. But that could be detrimental to their future careers. As the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Studies show that individuals who are willing to take risks are much more likely to get promoted,...