6th May 2021
Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!
Book of the Week
Undisruptable: A Mindset of Permanent Reinvention for Individuals, Organisations and Life, by Aidan McCullen. Aiden knows something about reinvention. He had finally achieved his dream of becoming a professional rugby player, when injury forced him to completely rethink his life’s journey and turn to business—and writing, where he is a master of analogy. (We personally like to think of analogy as one of our favorite mental sports!) As Aiden observes: “Rather than a rigid set of frameworks or business models, I present the book as a series of mental models. To bring these mental models to life, I offer analogies from nature, anecdotes from business, ancient wisdom, exemplars of perpetual change and evidence from evolution, neuroscience, business and life.” Aiden’s goal is to help you adopt a mindset of permanent reinvention. Enjoy!
Teach Your Kids This Simple Strategy for Improving Focus
Here is a wonderful article by Deborah Farmer Kris about using the Pomodoro Technique to help reduce stress while getting schoolwork done with ease. Kris’s article hooks from the very beginning:
“‘I just can’t make myself get started,’ a high school senior told me. She was sitting in my office in obvious distress. College deadlines were approaching, and all she had for an essay were a few scattered notes.
“‘Try a Pomodoro,’ I suggested. ‘Right here, right now. I’ll set the timer for 25 minutes. You don’t have to finish your essay — just work on it till the timer goes off, then take a break.’
“Twenty-five minutes later, she looked up. ‘OMG. I’m half-way done. That totally worked!’
“When faced with a task you are dreading or that seems overwhelming, the hardest part is usually just getting started. And this is the space where so many of the parent-child homework battles live.
“The single most concrete, effective tool I’ve found for starting a task and remaining focused on one’s work is the Pomodoro Technique. Alas, I was twice my student’s age before I heard about this strategy. During an interview with Barbara Oakley—author and creator of the wildly popular Learning How to Learn MOOC—she shared with me that of all the techniques she teaches in that course, the Pomodoro Method is ‘far and away’ the most popular.
Education Endowment Foundation Teaching and Learning Toolkit
This fascinating website points toward independently evaluated projects or materials, focusing on 14 high priority issues. or themes, for schools. “The themes provide greater depth to the evidence on common school challenges by linking together evidence in the Toolkit with key messages emerging from [Education Endowment Foundation] EEF-funded projects, and other resources. Taken together, they provide a rich picture of the developing evidence base on how to improve the attainment and wider outcomes of children and young people. These themes were developed in collaboration with teachers and school leaders in response to demand for evidence around specific school challenges.”
This is very fun to poke around with!
MOOC of the Week
We’d like to recommend the fascinating, highly rated MOOC “Sheep in the Land of Fire and Ice,” put forth by the University of Iceland and co-starring one of our favorite instructors, David Hik, who also co-taught the wonderful Mountains 101 course. While reading last week’s superlative The Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West, we learned a little about sheep’s sometimes inexorably pernicious effects on grasslands—”Sheep in the Land of Fire and Ice” delves further into this phenomenon—and how to resolve it.
That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn—
*******AND, stay tuned for next week’s big announcement!!!!*******
Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team
- Get in early on the upcoming critically acclaimed Uncommon Sense Teaching!
- Get the course recommended text, A Mind for Numbers!
- Learning How to Learn, a book for kids and parents.