Category Archives: L&B Blog

Decisions, Decisions: Helping Students with Complex Reasoning

Most of us have heard the adage about the two ways that someone can get into a swimming pool: jump right in, or enter slowly to acclimate to the temperature a few inches at a time. Most of us have



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The Effect of Alcohol on Learning…

…might not be what you’d expect. My prediction would have been that if I have a glass of wine before I learn some new vocabulary words, I won’t learn those words as well as I would have fully sober. That prediction,



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Criticizing Critical Thinking

Over at Newsweek, Alexander Nazaryan wants to vex you. Here’s a sample: Only someone who has uncritically mastered the intricacies of Shakespeare’s verse, the social subtexts of Elizabethan society and the historical background of Hamlet is going to have any original or



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Lighten the Load

You’d like an 8 page summary of Cognitive Load Theory, written in plain English for teachers? You’d like three pages of pertinent sources? Click here for a handy report from the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation. (That’s not a



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How Best to Count

Should young children count on their fingers when learning math? You can find strong opinions on both sides of this question. (This blog post uses 4 “No’s” and 5 exclamation points to discourage parents from allowing finger counting.) Recent research



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Resources for “Desirable Difficulties”

Here on the blog, we write a lot about desirable difficulties: that elusive middle ground where cognitive work is hard enough but not too hard. Over at The Learning Scientists, they’ve got a handy list of resources to guide you



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Finding Inspiration for Retrieval Practice

Like you, the Effortful Educator knows that retrieval practice benefits learning. But: how to get your students to do it? Here‘s one strategy he proposes…if you’re like me, you’ll admire its wisdom and simplicity.



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Lefty or Righty?

You’ve surely heard about students being left-brained or right-brained. And: you’ve probably heard that this belief is a myth. The folks over at Ted Ed have made a helpful video explaining the genesis of this belief, and the ways that



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How Best to Take Notes: A Public Service Announcement

The school year is beginning, and so you’re certainly seeing many (MANY) articles about the debate over laptop notes vs. handwritten notes. If your research stream is anything like mine, most of the articles you see assert that handwriting is superior



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Online K-12 Schools

The upcoming Learning and the Brain Conference (Boston, November) will focus on “Merging Minds and Technology.” Given that I blog so much about the importance of skepticism, it seems only appropriate to offer up at least some voices that are



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