SELF Journal: Undated 13-Week Planning, Productivity and Positivity System

25th December 2020

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Our happiest holiday wishes to you during this traditional time of joy. The year 2021 promises to be a happier one worldwide, with vaccines finally on the near horizon!  If you’re looking for a little more joy and cheer, remember that learning something—anything—new can be just the ticket to getting neurons doing their neurogenesis thing, leading to brighter outlooks and more happiness!

Book of the Month

SELF Journal: Undated 13-Week Planning, Productivity and Positivity System for Max Achievement and Goal Success — Track Gratitude, Habits and Goals Daily and Weekly, by BestSelf.  We were given this wonderful book not long ago, and were stunned by both its simplicity and effectiveness.  Just as is recommended in one of our favorite MOOCs (Yale’s The Science of Well-Being), each day begins with a little place where you can annotate what you are grateful for—this helps you start your day on the right foot. (There are many other proven tricks from positive psychology interwoven in the pages.) The journal serves as a coach to help you prioritize your most critical tasks and budget your time, including your also-important time off, effectively. The SELF Journal is also a flexible book that allows you to skip vacation days, even while it helps you be consistent in heading toward your long-term goals.  We love it!  If you are looking to start 2021 off with a productive, up beat bang, this is the book to get!

Different Aspects of Intelligence

Barb became aware of different facets of intelligence when she worked in the fields as a teen picking raspberries.  She’d get up at 4:00 am and head off to work—pay was given by the number of hallocks (berry boxes) picked. Barb would watch some of the champion pickers—of the same age and background as she—and marvel at how they quickly mastered their picking in a way that Barb just couldn’t manage.  Later in high school, Barb worked evenings as a waitress. Here, too, her clumsiness, along with her laggardly working memory, made things difficult.  (When she finally gave her two weeks’ notice, her boss kindly responded “It’s okay Barb, you don’t need to wait two weeks—you can quit now.”)   

All this is a way of introducing this silent movie animated presentation of the many different facets of intelligence by educational psychologist Kevin McGrew.  This paper on African approaches to quantifying intelligence by Seth Oppong at the University of Botswana provides an enlightening contrast. Also relevant here is a paper on slow and fast learners by slow learner Friedrich Hayek, winner of the Nobel Prize. (Unfortunately, we can’t seem to find a direct link to Hayek’s full article.)

Learning to Play a Musical Instrument Does Seem to Help You Do Better in School

Here’s a wonderful article about research that is beginning to tease apart the causal link between learning music and learning in general. As Terra Marquette notes in Study Finds: “It  can be hard to admit when we are wrong, but sometimes the strongest proponents are originally among the ranks of the non-believers. Such is the case for some music professors who set out to debunk the theory that music can play a major role in learning. A recent study reveals having an ear for music really does help children with their reading and math skills.

“Although previous studies have uncovered a relationship between musical and academic achievement, researchers of the current investigation wanted more proof.

“‘There has been this notion for a long time that not only are these areas related, but there’s a cause-and-effect relationship,’ says lead study author Martin J. Bergee from the University of Kansas in a media release. ‘The more you study music, the better you’re going to be at math or reading. That’s always been suspect with me.’

“Bergee and co-author Kevin Weingarten from the University of Washington created a complex controlled study that included such factors as race, income, and education. The team was sure that greater scrutiny would break the so-called link between students’ musical and mathematical achievements.”

A Final Reminder to Check Out IDoRecall

Barb’s favorite flashcard system, IDoRecall, iDoRecall, has a free version but if you are interested, they are offering 20% off the LEARNER ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION during the rest of December. Use the code BetterDaysAhead during checkout. Basically, iDoRecall is a fantastic product, beautifully designed by David Handel, MD, who graduated at the top of his medical school class by using the techniques he shares in iDoRecall.  One thing we especially love about iDoRecall is its intuitive simplicity, but if you’d like to do a deep dive into its based-on-solid-science underpinnings, here’s an hour-long exploratory video.  Educators are encouraged to reach out to David from their school email addresses to arrange a free trial for their classes. 

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

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