Poverty and the Educational Process – Part 4: Relationships and Distress

[Editor’s note: This is the last part of a four-part series on poverty and the educational process. Links to the previous blog posts are included below.] Poverty has a multifaceted impact on both student engagement and student success in the classroom. Last week we looked at Effort and the Growth Mindset. In this post, we … Continue reading “Poverty and the Educational Process – Part 4: Relationships and Distress”


Practical Optimism for Teachers and Students

In their blog post “Cultivating Practical Optimism: A Key to Getting the Best from Your Brain,” Drs. Marcus Conyers and Donna Wilson describe the concept of “positive optimism.” They define it as a way “to describe an attitude about life that relies on taking realistic, positive action to increase the likelihood of successful results.” They … Continue reading “Practical Optimism for Teachers and Students”


How to Challenge Students Effectively

While there is a great deal in the literature about helping struggling students and providing interventions for everything from physical to learning disabilities, there is relatively little on the topic of engaging students effectively. But what does engagement mean? Does it mean simply keeping the students awake enough in the classroom to absorb some of … Continue reading “How to Challenge Students Effectively”


Setting up a Classroom to Establish Critical Thinking

As we have discussed previously (click here for the blog post), critical thinking is an essential component of both reasoning through problems and situations and learning. However, as instructor Peter Liljedahl found, teachers often make the assumption that the students either cannot or will not think on their own. Under such conditions it becomes unreasonable … Continue reading “Setting up a Classroom to Establish Critical Thinking”


Stop the Summer Reading Slide

As the last of the school bells are ringing right now, kids are heading off to a summer that (they hope) will be filled with trips to the pool, picnics, sports, and vacations. Very few are thinking about reading and the need to keep up their hard-earned skills from the previous academic year. This leads … Continue reading “Stop the Summer Reading Slide”


Using Games for Comprehension

Generally when we get individual students, or schools, onto the AceReader platform, we stress that improving your reading skills is not a competition. The only person you’re competing against is yourself, and the only scores that matter are those that show how much your speed, comprehension, and fluency improve as a result of your practice … Continue reading “Using Games for Comprehension”


Targeting the Young to Promote Adult Literacy

As part of the Development Lexicon Project study, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin are currently studying how words are read by people ranging from first-graders to seventy-year-olds. The researchers are focusing on three different characteristics of a word: its length, its frequency of use within the language, and its … Continue reading “Targeting the Young to Promote Adult Literacy”


Motivating Your Students to Read

One of the big questions in education today, especially in reading, is how do you motivate your students to learn? How do you get them to put in the necessary attention and hours to master the subject? One way is to lead by example. If the students are working on a silent exercise or are … Continue reading “Motivating Your Students to Read”