Robotics and Programming Classes Inspire and Engage

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Students in upper school programming class build their own computer. Students in upper school programming class build their own computer.

We’re in the business of inspiring and cultivating passion in our students. What makes kids passionate? More often than not, it’s when they are doing, thinking, and creating— when they are engaged and invested in the learning process. Students in our new Programming and Robotics courses are doing, thinking, creating, and more.

In addition to our courses in scalable game design, programming, and robotics, Grandview founded its first Robotics Team this year. The team, consisting of ten middle school students, received Lego NXT and EV3 robotic kits to begin the school year. Working together, they built the kits, programmed the robots, and participated in three FIRST LEGO League (FLL) World Class Challenges.

The FIRST LEGO League involves over 265,000 children ages 9-14 from 80 countries. Each challenge has three parts: Robot Game, Project, and FLL Core…

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Top Grandview Moments of 2014

What a wonderful year at Grandview!

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As 2014 comes to a close and our teachers, students, and staff are basking in one more week of winter break, we would like to reflect on some of our best Grandview moments this year. Here are our Top Grandview Moments of 2014– in no particular order:

PRIDEVILLE

Lower school students participated in their first-ever Prideville day following a fun grand opening ceremony with honorary Prideville mayor Bill Martin. Students have continued the Prideville curriculum, learning real-world commerce, economics, and business skills while role-playing during the experience.

A second grade student serves as a banker during a Prideville day in November 2014. A second grade student serves as a banker during a Prideville day in November 2014.

CAREER DAY(S)

Middle and upper school students participated in Career Day in February and November.  Career Day at Grandview is a personalized experience for each student, meant to tap into known interests and perhaps inspire a passion for a particular path.  Prior to the event, Personalized Learning…

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Grandview Joins the Maker Movement

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Makerspace Lower school students use the Makerspace during a Prideville day– when they practice business in action!

The Maker Movement is a growing trend across the nation and the world that takes the philosophy of “learning by doing” to another level. The idea is that students learn more from tinkering, creating, designing, and building– and this learning is active, engaging, and innovative. The learning taking place from “making” is precisely the type of learning necessary to prepare students for a future of careers that don’t even exist yet.

This movement is making its way to the classroom in many forms: as part of STEM, robotics, and coding classes, as extensions of science labs, as creative spaces for visual arts, or as a throwback to the wood shop class that many of us took in high school (remember that awesome shelf you made?). Here at Grandview, the Maker Movement has a home in our…

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Physics Students Compete in Grandview Regatta

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Students had to use at least 70% recycled materials for their vessels. Students had to use at least 70% recycled materials for their vessels.

Broadly speaking, the goal of physics is to understand how the universe behaves. It is fitting, then, that physics students should not be contained inside the walls of a classroom. Physics students at Grandview Preparatory School spend time building catapults, slingshots, and kites (and soon, gliders!). Their newest project: building a boat to compete in a Grandview Regatta.

Students’ vessels had to consist of at least 70% recycled materials. Some used boogie boards washed up on the beach, others: discarded plywood and PVC piping from construction sites. Still others used milk jugs and silt fencing.  No matter the materials, all had to be at most 6 feet wide by 7 feet long.

Students applied Newton’s laws of motion, along with lessons in mechanics (including friction, and of course, buoyancy) to design and build the boats. For those of…

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School and The Aha Moment: Making Way for Good Ideas

Newton Second LawThe purpose of attending school is to learn.  Learning is about skills and ideas.  Each school, according to its mission, cultivates different types of learning.  Some concentrate on college-level content, others: skills, and more recently, some are now making more room in the curriculum for creativity. Recognizing that students cannot flourish on consumption of preexisting knowledge alone, more attention is now being directed at the science of learning.

As we understand more about our complex brains, we are able to identify patterns. Our brain waves have five primary frequencies: alpha, beta, theta, delta and gamma. Each frequency has different characteristics, and all are apparently essential for high level functioning.

Alpha waves signal deep relaxation, during states of daydreaming or light meditation.

Beta waves are present during normal waking consciousness and indicate a heightened state of alertness, logic and critical reasoning.

Gamma waves are the most newly discovered, are the fastest,  and relate to moments of insight

Delta waves are the slowest, present during deep sleep 

Theta waves indicate a state of light sleep or deep meditation, the realm of your unconscious mind.

brainwaves1

The key to our highest levels of functioning depend on the balancing and interplay of these frequencies.  It is possible, according to the data, to train our brains to achieve desired results. Legendary moments of insight such as Newton’s apple, Einstein’s streetcar, and Archimedes bath,  share the common thread of ‘down time’.  Researchers now know that great moments of insight are more likely to occur when certain patterns are present.  The formula looks something like this:

intense study of a concept leading to an impasse + relaxing and clearing the mind = moment of insight

 The take away from this research for educators is simple, students must be allowed time in school to both think deeply and relax the brain.  New world skill sets hinge on mastery and creative thought.  Independent schools in particular, without the bondage of mass standardized testing and data consumption, are in a great position to foster the highest level of academic balance.  According to Tina Barseghian,  in the article, “Why Schools need to Change”, the best way to maximize the brain work accomplished in schools is in five specific areas:

  1. PROJECT BASED LEARNING. Project-based learning has shown to be a much more effective way to think about learning, “particularly when you live in a world that’s incredibly unclear on what content is going to be relevant in not just 10 or 20 years, but in three years,” she said. “Over and over business leaders say kids need to be collaborative, work across time zones and cultures because problems are so complex.”
  2. ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT. “You don’t have the opportunity to show what you know in a regular school because standardized tests that are mandated only show what some kids know, but leave out a whole bunch of kids who aren’t able to show what they know in different ways,” she said. We should have alternative criteria for gauging students’ knowledge and ability to show what they know.
  3.  SCHEDULING. Neuroscience research on sleep is becoming more compelling by the day, particularly around depression, Levine said. “We’d always thought fatigue is symptom of depression, but now it’s looking more like lack of sleep causes depression, and that’s something looked at seriously.” Kids needs nine hours of sleep, and if schools were in synch developmentally with teenagers, should would start at 10 a.m., especially when kids enter adolescence. Teachers should also coordinate their exams with each other to ensure that students are not taking multiple tests on the same day.
  4. CLIMATE OF CARE. Research shows that kids do better in classes where teachers know their names and say hello to them, and when they have their own advocates or advisers at school. “Almost every private school has advisory, a person for each kid to go to,” Levine said. “But in public schools, there are just a few counselors for a thousand kids or more. By the time you’re hitting high school, you need someone apart from parents to test ideas with, to kick around problems, a go-to person who a kid feels knows them.”
  5. PARENT EDUCATION. Well-meaning parents are confounded with how to approach managing their kids’ times. Kids needs playtime, downtime, and family time, Levine said. “We’ve robbed kids at each stage of childhood and adolescence of tasks that belong in that particular stage,” she said. “You can’t push kids outside their developmental zone and expect them to learn. You want to push them towards the edge of it, but not over.”

Accelerating the glacial pace of educational change is challenging for institutions, but it can be done.  We have the data and we have the opportunity to improve the connection between schoolwork and true brain work.  There is no better time than here and now.  Except perhaps near an apple tree somewhere….

Alumni Spotlight: Lucy Smith ’13

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Lucy Smith ’13

We caught up with alumna Lucy Smith ’13 this fall. You know Lucy from some of the amazing videos she has produced for Grandview– like this one that completely captures the community, this one about life as a Kindergarten student, and this one about graduating from Grandview.

Lucy is currently a sophomore in the College of Business at Florida State University. This past summer Lucy was accepted into the University’s selective Entrepreneurship major. Since declaring, she has been up to some pretty incredible things: for starters, founding a company called Tribe Tats. Tribe Tats are jewelry-inspired temporary tattoos– a shimmering trend that is blazing through college campuses and changing how we think of jewelry. Here’s what Lucy had to say about entrepreneurship and the trials and tribulations of starting a business:

Why has entrepreneurship appealed to you? Why did you decide to apply to the program?

I always…

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Educating Millenials in the Anxiety Era: Getting Real

Private Or Public Directions On A SignpostWhile many books and articles label young people today as the narcissistic “Me Generation”, we must be careful not to overlook the roots of this condition.   As a society, we  have participated in creating a culture that has unknowingly stripped children of some essential human rights.  Childhood is a sacred learning process, designed with appropriate struggles to enable growth. Current research shows that the ‘everybody gets a trophy’ parenting philosophy didn’t have its intended effect.   Millenials are reporting more anxiety and depression than any other generation in this country’s history.  Most agree that the reason for this dissatisfaction is the gap between this generation’s high expectation of personal fulfillment on one side of the spectrum and the actual reality at the other.

This gap, coupled with the superficial tendencies of the ‘selfie’ technologies, has set our young people up for disappointment.  The good news is that there is a solution.  When we give ownership of childhood, with both its joys and its struggles, back to our children then this anxiety dragon will diminish.  Scientific and spiritual belief systems hold  one primary principle as a universal truth: the key to human contentment rests with accountability for what we can control and acceptance of what we cannot.  Pain and failure are often the best catalysts for growth.  The absence of challenges does not make an individual stronger, it delays the process of growth.

Most of us have read the characterizations of the generations preceding the Millenials.  The ‘Greatest Generation’ of WWII, the Baby boomers that followed, and the Gen Xers share a success drive, yet the focus of each generation has gotten progressively more individualized.  The ‘greater good’ mentality of the war era has gradually shifted to the ‘good for me’ mentality.  Congruently, our expectations regarding a quality life have shifted from ‘survival and security’ to making personal ‘dreams come true’.  As economic and cultural tides have changed, we now face threats to promises of unbounded opportunity.    The widespread anxiety related to college acceptance has prompted families and schools to emphasize perfect student records.  These records must be untarnished with any ” B’s”, and boast lengthy listings of clubs and activities, regardless of any real commitment to the cause.

This race for an impressive paper trail has made our learning experiences and value systems nearly as fragile as the paper on which it each is written.  To illustrate, before the onset of ‘college acceptance anxiety’, elementary school students came home with report cards reflecting actual performance in class.  Most children were expected to earn “C’s”, with a smaller percentage earning grades on the other ends of the bell curve.  Families did not expect every child in the household to earn straight “A’s”, but of course encouraged each child to work to their potential. Today this is not the expectation.

Today’s elementary school parents fear that “Cs” on the report card now mean “C’s” on the transcript later, which, in turn,  means fewer college opportunities.  This fear has prompted parents to take ownership of the learning process at a very young age.   Nervous parents place pressure on their children, and their children’s teachers, for “A’s”.   As a result, children are divested from this high stakes process.  They become passive, reporting that, “my mom didn’t put my homework in my backpack”, rather than owning any sense of accountability for the work, and ultimately, the grade.  Somewhere along the line  ‘the grade’ has become synonymous with ‘the value’  of the human child rather than a separate measurement for the quality of the work produced.

The “A” child has become a symbol of good parenting, not a reflection of true learning.  By creating the expectation that only A’s are valued, we rob schools of meaningful tools to guide student progress.  There are those among us who reject traditional grading, which is another discussion for another time, but whether we measure by letter grades, numbers, narratives, checklists or progress charts, the point is that students must own the struggle, and adults must authentically assess the work.

Beyond accountability for one’s own work, this era of anxiety has also affected the behavioral growth of our students.   The quest for the untarnished record now also applies to behavioral matters. As parents, we have tools to guide behavior at home such as grounding, removing a privilege etc.  At school, teachers have traditionally employed tools like detentions or demerits.  More and more, educators see push back from parents when a child behaves inappropriately at school.  I cannot count the number of times a family has asked me to have a particular consequence ‘not apply’ to their child, even upon an admitted wrongdoing.  Mistakes are essential for learning and consequences are essential for changing behavior.  We must reclaim the ability to have honest communication between parents and schools, realizing we are on the same team, united in our messaging to the student.    This applies to academic advancement, as well as social and emotional learning. Ownership of the process is a prerequisite to any type of progress.

The perfect storm of the past few decades has seen the rise of over-protective parenting and the decline of economic security; it has also seen a rise in ‘living the good life’ expectations, but a decline in personal accountability.  This widening gap produces anxiety.  To quiet this growing beast, we need to have faith that our young people can handle reality.  If college opportunities are harder to come by, then our children should be a part of the solution.  The solution requires facing facts and doing the heavy lifting.  Students are capable of doing so much more than we have trusted them to do.  Instead of keeping them occupied with meaningless busywork and dispensing “A’s” for mere ‘participation’, we must empower them to be the masters of their own growth. The learning dynamic must refocus on the modern environment.  Our powerful technological tools have kept students distracted with image crafting and shallow social media pursuits, but together we can change that.  These new tools can open the world to meaningful dialogue and meaningful student work.

Adults are meant to guide students to find their inner drive, but too much time has been spent unknowingly crafting a superficial, untarnished ‘school record’.  While we adults have been busy worrying about our children’s futures, they have been distracted by social media.  By the time they are teenagers, students care most about living up to social ideals, or escaping from them, based on external valuations.  Social media sites have exploded, prompting kids to search for massive amounts of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ rather than actual interactions with true friends. Their digital paper trail is a mirror of this quest for the ideal- yet also ‘unreal’ story of their life.  Millenials have picked up on our parental fear that external indicators are more important than intrinsic motivations and authenticity.

To put the dragon of anxiety ultimately to rest, adults and children have to face our fears.  Doing well in school is a wonderful goal, yet our progress should be evaluated based on meaningful, student-centered criteria.  Attending college is a wonderful goal, yet doing well there requires student accountability.  Being successful and happy beyond college is also a wonderful goal, but what that looks like for each individual will be based on his or her attitude and circumstances.  As teachers, parents and students, we must ask the hard questions.  If teachers are giving grades that students have not earned, if parents are asking teachers not to hold their sons or daughters accountable for behavioral mistakes, and if students are detached from the work required to walk their own path, then we are feeding the anxiety dragon.  It is time to realize that our dragons are imaginary beasts – shadows on a wall, monsters in a closet, that become more powerful when we surrender to fear.  The future becomes brighter when we shine the light on what the future really is: a happily ever after of the individual’s own making. Not everyone’s story looks the same.  Each person in any generation has triumphs and tears, the trick is be true to ourselves, work for the outcomes we desire,  and let others do the same.

Social Meania: Yik Yak, Snap Chat and Other Grenades our Young People are Playing With

Social Meania          I have always been a progressive educator when it comes to allowing open access to responsible internet resources that engage students.  Since 1997, when the internet was a brand new tool for schools, our school pioneered many programs on mission to inspire youth.  While I still believe in the multiple blessings of the online universe, its curse is now feeding on our children and gaining strength.

The darkness of some social media sites and apps reflects typical and atypical behaviors. What is pressing about the current problem is the new anonymity and blatant exploitation of young minds by corporate and venture capital groups out to make a buck at our children’s expense.

I am not talking about relatively responsible sites like Facebook and Twitter.  I am talking about sites that make it impossible to trace bad behavior online, sites that use that angle as their primary purpose for existence. I am talking about the people making money from these sites while refusing to accept responsibility for the site’s psychological design.

To use Yik Yak as an example, let’s assume that the founders of Yik Yak are great young people with a vision.  Let’s also assume that the founders intended no ill will, yet the site’s architecture and advertising tag lines focused on geography and anonymity. Why those features together in a gossip app?

In June of 2014, The Wall Street Journal highlighted the fact that $10 million dollars of venture capital had been raised for the app, noting also the controversy about Yik Yak’s potential harm for bullying.  http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2014/06/30/yik-yak-raises-10-million-to-move-beyond-being-a-gossip-app/

Previously, before this large outflow of money toward the venture, many articles had highlighted Yik Yak’s misuse.  On March 11, 2014, Diana Graber, a blogger for the Huffington Post, published a blog about Yik Yak’s dangers.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diana-graber/3-things-kids-need-yik-yak_b_4941478.html.  Yik Yak took some action and she subsequently posted an update on March 26, 2014 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diana-graber/yik-yak-app-makers-do-the_b_5029679.html.  All of this precedes the $10 million dollar investment in the company.

These ‘geo fence’ limitations and other restrictions may or may not be effective over time, but in April 2014, shortly after these safeguards went into place, another article was published by NYMag.com.  The article contains offensive language but highlights the danger of the app and details the trauma caused by teenagers at a school using the social media app.  http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/04/gossip-app-brought-my-high-school-to-a-halt.html.  On October 7, 2014, USA Today published this article by Daniel P. Finney regarding the explosive potential for misuse of the app. http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/10/06/yik-yak-app-campus-concerns/16802255/

Profit is not a bad thing; venture capital is not a bad thing; social media is not a bad thing, but what is wrong with this picture? The truth is that all of the articles above contain useful information for parents and educators about what to do to safeguard children.  Even those of us struggling to do ‘all of the above’ and teach children about responsible digital citizenship, are not able to keep up with the shifting landscape.

Even the most liberal among us recognize that our children cannot fully grasp the responsibilities associated with tremendous freedom.  Our options as parents and educators seem to be as follows:

  1. Sacrifice the potential benefits of online resources due to its potential threats.  Essentially, give up and ban all independent access until a certain age. Or
  2. Continue to educate kids regarding the safe use of the information highway even though many of our young people cannot reach the pedals, or even see over the steering wheel, but are nonetheless in the driver’s seat. And, or
  3. Educate ourselves on ways to keep offenders off the roads well traveled by our kids.  Employ training wheels and driver’s permits in the form of constant supervision, pressure on developers to mandate safeguards, and pressure on adults that shamelessly fund exploitative apps.

I plan on adopting options two and three, but I’m not going to lie and say it is going to be easy.  Temporary use of option one may be required. Together we must all keep this conversation going.  Who is in the best position to act? Investors? Educators? Parents? Legislators?  All of us must do something other than stick our head in the sand and watch our kids get hurt playing with hazards we know little about. These sites are modern day plagues, driven by all the wrong motives.

As a believer that good always triumphs over evil, even I recognize that it is irresponsible to take a stroll in a beautiful mine field. The digital universe, and its tools,  have much to offer, but the problem here is that our children are on the front line, going in before we get there.  We cannot teach them the tricks, the ins and outs of these apps with our wise old brains.  Instead, we are calling out to them from a place of irrelevance, a non-user too old to ‘get’ what happens in their world.

Today, as a parent, as an educator, and as a citizen, I promise to do what I can to promote independence in young people without exposing them to too much too soon.  As a lawyer, even I cannot find good resources regarding the potential responsibilities of those who make these apps but clearly disclaim liability for their misuse.  It seems to me that any human online deserves some freedom to be anonymous in certain situations, but is there a reason not to be traceable?  To have your digital tracks literally disappear?  So that even law enforcement cannot protect someone’s safety?  What are the good reasons for those freedoms?

I ask these questions because I really don’t know the answers and I’m seeing young people get hurt every day.  I want to be a part of the solution, anyone else up for a stroll in a minefield?

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/15-sites-and-apps-kids-are-heading-to-beyond-facebook

Small Moves. Big Difference: Education Meets Life

Galaxy System This place where we are now, right this second, is the intersection of our circumstances and every single one of our choices.  In our lives we have made millions of choices, perhaps unaware of any one particular choice’s impact on our arrival at this moment.

If life is about choices, then, at its core, a formal education attempts to provide guidance with regard to those choices.  All schools emphasize academic skills, but great schools also try to help students form a framework for the act of choosing.  The goal is for young people to understand the concept that how we see affects what we see.

Perspective is defined as, “a particular attitude toward, or way of regarding, something; a point of view.”

This definition requires two things: a lens and a belief.  If we accept this definition, we also accept that our mental world affects how we see our physical world.  Many years ago I read the novel Contact, by Carl Sagan and watched the film by the same name.  Contact is a story about cosmic mysteries, beliefs, and human behavior.  Opinions about the novel and film vary, but what struck a cord with me is the story’s concept of SMALL MOVES.

In the story, a young girl named Ellie, whose mother died when she was a small child, enjoyed studying the night sky and astronomy with her father. Her father was a gentle soul, guiding her toward self discovery.  At one point in the story she becomes frustrated trying to adjust a radio telescope and he quietly fixes it for her, reminding her that the process is all about “Small moves”.

Small moves, Ellie. Small moves.”   Watching his daughter, the father knew that she was trying to tune or focus the telescope with a heavy hand…moving it too far to the left or too far to the right- when what she needed to do was to be patient, quiet and ever so slightly make a move that would turn static to sound and bring the entire universe into focus.

For all of us, Ellie represents our collective quest for truth and figuring out how we fit in this great big universe.  Finding our place among the stars is a daunting task, which makes adopting a concept of ‘small moves’ counter intuitive to such a big project.

Educators spend a lot of time talking about choices, so you would assume that we think choices are a pretty big deal.  The truth is -the choices themselves really aren’t a big deal.  There is rarely such thing as a big choice.  Instead,  life presents us with opportunities, making our only big challenge the regular and consistent act of choosing. This means we must realize that we are actors in this world, not simply reactors.  Our brains have to be trained to see the path not simply because we are following the masses, but because we see where it may take us. It is this daily collection of small decisions that creates an entire lifetime.

Just to illustrate, people clearly do not choose their character in one swift decision.  A voice from the sky does not echo down to ask any of us, on any given day, “Hey you, person A, the ‘powers that be’ want to know if you will choose to be a good person or a bad one? ”  Instead,  it is the quiet accumulation of our actions that becomes our character.

Great stories of human accomplishment rarely involve one big decision. The world’s greatest authors, artists, scientists, and leaders have been faced with the same daily choices as the rest of us breathing air.  We all have a sea of thoughts swimming around in our heads, but the difference between those who imagine and those who achieve is merely the collection of small moves that it took to turn the dream into something real.

We all sit under these same stars with the power to bring our whole universe into focus.  To do so, we need only to concentrate on the small, yet deliberate moves that each moment presents.  If we do that, the stars are just the beginning.

Time Out! Turning Time Saved into Memories Earned

Time to think  For most adults, and even children, finding time is increasingly difficult.  It seems ironic that the inventions we have created to ‘save time’ have not actually had that effect.  Rushing around each day, in this era of technological conveniences, we have to ask,  what has happened to  the phantom time we have allegedly saved?    Let’s take the example of the fax machine.

In the late 1970’s and early 1980s, the fax machine was heralded as an amazing time saver.  We marveled at the fact that tasks formerly taking weeks to complete via traditional mail, could now be executed in an instant!  Voila! Hooray for people everywhere!   With such increased efficiency, our industries could move on from tedious transactional matters to the really important stuff.  Productivity would increase and, at the same time,  families would enjoy richer, more meaningful lives.  In the decades that have passed since the arrival of this time-saving machine, where did all of our ‘time saved’ go?

Turns out we didn’t ‘save’ time at all.  We found ways to do everything faster, but perhaps not better.  We now engage in a permanent state of action, leaving even less time for reflection. In contrast, our old fashioned ‘snail mail’ carried the benefit of a well crafted letter with a personal touch.  Delay brought reflection, anticipation, and planning- essentially, real brain work.  It turns out that the rhythm of life matters.  Experts agree that children benefit deeply from a state of ‘boredom’.   So do grownups.  We all need a time out; time to recharge, reflect and connect with our slower side.     http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/raise-great-kids/intellegent-creative-child/boredom-busters-good-for-kids.

Balancing instant gratification with the benefits of waiting is the new challenge of our era.  IKEA capitalizes on the idea of ‘old as the new new’ with a clever ad about its ‘bookbook”.

IKEA-Bookbook-Screen-750x415   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Syd1pKOJ__k   This ad reminds us that sometimes not everything in our lives has to be improved in the name of progress.  ‘More’ and ‘faster’ do not always equal ‘better’.  In this regard, we have to wonder if the modern approach to homework in the name of progress is having its intended result.  As our children suffer endless hours of additional homework (after a seven hour school day)-we have to ask ourselves,  are they turning out to be better educated than earlier generations because of it?  Have we truly advanced as a society by adding more to our already full schedules?

GPS PK3Seizing the day involves mindfulness.   We must do more with our time saved to make memories earned.  Memories are our biological time machines.   From the millions of seconds that pass by unnoticed in our lives, a few special seconds hold our hearts and stay imprinted in our mind.  We are able to revisit the places and times where we paused, giving our full attention to an experience rather than mindlessly performing a task.  Making memories with our personal time machines requires proper programming with scheduled time outs.  Educationally, leaders need to build structures that require balance.  Our planning must prioritize:

  1. Quality over quantity.  Modern education is about formulating the right questions.  Avoid mindless memorization of disconnected content.  Rethink time assigned to homework.
  2. Experience over dissemination.  Create multi-sensory, real world experiences that will become memories for our children.  Think field trips, not lectures.
  3. Personalization over standardization. One size doesn’t fit all, ever.
  4. Growth mindset over a fixed mindset. The world of information is constantly changing, as well as our ability to influence it.  All of us can become stronger, smarter and more capable if we practice and examine our technique.
  5. Fast and Slow.  Efficiency and engagement are essential.  So too are reflection and relaxation.

brainMemories are the brain’s way of prioritizing information.  They are the largest files in our complex, living filing cabinets because they involve more than facts. They involve feelings.  Science tells us that memories don’t exist in a place in our brain, they exist as a process of time travel.  Our minds recall experiences based on our both our emotions and perceptions (essentially our five senses).   This is why I can still smell the bread my grandmother used to bake, I can see her kitchen and remember us laughing at the table.  I cannot remember all 50 state capitals, but I understand the causes of the civil war because my teacher at the time created a wonderful role-playing activity that involved me riding a pretend horse named Rusty.   Memories are our way of bringing the past into the future.

As helpful as the fax machine and its web based successors have become regarding instantaneous communication, these same tools don’t save our time.  We the people must do that.  We must choose to plan a picnic with our loved ones (sans technology) just to watch the clouds.  This makes way for inspiration.  In the end, it is the time savored that will forever be our own.