By Angela Duckworth, Character Lab Founder, and CEO

Sixty Seconds of Actionable Advice, Based on Science, Brought to you by Character Lab

Published as a part of a collaboration between McGraw Hill and Character Lab, where this piece first appeared. Character Lab advances scientific insights that help kids thrive (you can watch a short video here). By connecting researchers with educators, Character Lab seeks to create greater knowledge about the conditions that lead to social, emotional, academic, and physical well-being for young people throughout the country.

Write a gratitude letter to someone you’ve never properly thanked.

This was the task I recently assigned as homework to my undergraduate class. I explained that the recipient…


By Dr. Gerald Paterson, Principal in New Jersey

Animation of sayings for Why I Teach
Animation of sayings for Why I Teach

School Principal Appreciation Day is on May 1 and I must say that I truly feel appreciated each day that I have been a principal in the great state of New Jersey. It is truly a dream job! Seven-time SuperBowl winning quarterback, Tom Brady shared his advice with an elementary student during the pregame SuperBowl LV show and that was find something that you enjoy, work really hard at, and it will never feel like a job.

I’ve never dreaded going to work as a principal, even on the days that I knew were going to be a challenge. In…


By Issac Scoggins, M.Ed., Teacher at Dallas Independent School District

Illustration of learners and a teacher
Illustration of learners and a teacher

I remember when I was going through my internship before I graduated with my master’s in education, and my mentor said something that I think about frequently. She said, “As a teacher, it is vital to take your craft and work it every day. It is necessary to try something different because you never know what will work.” Many years later, and several hundred hours of teaching later, I still think that this is a crucial thing to do. As educators, if we do not try new things and have a method of experimentation with what works and what does…


By Skylar Primm, 6–12 Environmental Educator

A small group of kids doing outdoor learning activities in the woods
A small group of kids doing outdoor learning activities in the woods

A School Forest Story

A few weeks ago, our school community experienced several challenging events in a row. It was just one of those weeks where each day felt worse than the last, and stress levels and tensions were high for both students and staff. Then came Thursday. Thursdays are always days for outdoor, place-based learning at High Marq. The field experience that week was one of our annual “Survival Days,” where students work in established teams to practice survival skills at one of our school forests. The sun was shining, the skies were clear, and the students had purposeful work to do together…


Steps to Protect Students Against Cyberbullying and Internet Predators

Today’s teens know that the Internet can be incredibly useful. More and more teens and young adults have personal web pages and use the Internet for a variety of purposes. Unfortunately, the Internet can also be a dangerous place. The hazards you can encounter range from upsetting situations — like being insulted in an instant message, blog, or text message — to physical threats, such as Internet predators.

This doesn’t mean that being online isn’t worth the risks. It just means that you need to know how to protect yourself. Here are a few precautions to take when you’re online:

Understand Cyberbullying


By Laura Head, Founder of Heads Up Learning

I’ve spent the last couple of months developing my series on remote learning. I’m sure I will in the future return to remote learning with more key insights, but for now, a new series: Social Justice in the Classroom.

This is in no way an exhaustive list, but it’s a start to share some of the things we did in my classroom to facilitate social justice. Have I missed a stellar idea? Let me know!

Diverse Books by Diverse Authors

I did a Donor’s Choose for my class one year, in order to collect diverse books by diverse authors for diverse readers. …


For children with dyslexia, learning to read will likely become a deeply personal and ongoing journey — they will experience the process, successes, and difficulties of literacy differently than their non-dyslexic peers. But that doesn’t mean that these students are destined to suffer in school — it simply means that the instruction, tools, resources, and learning experience provided to them must be all the more deliberate and powerful. With the right instructional materials and pedagogical approach, we can empower dyslexic children to successfully tackle challenging texts throughout their academic careers.

The unique learning experience of dyslexic children requires a unique…


By Fiona Vernal, Director of Engaged, Public, Oral, and Community Histories and Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut.

With the help of her colleagues, Dr. Fiona Vernal created Part 3 of our series, “Voices in Social Studies”, as a resource guide for teachers interested in the intersection of SEL, culture, and community. Special thanks to Isalena Gilzene and Hope Brown. Read part 1 and part 2.

Old Wine, New Bottles? Thirty Years of Social and Emotional Learning

Every few decades, education experts reconsider what pedagogies, principles, materials, and methods will contribute to success in the classroom. Social and emotional learning (SEL), a framework developed almost thirty years ago in 1994, is beginning to coalesce and gain momentum throughout the country. By August 2020, 29 states had developed SEL standards


Celebrating Financial Literacy Month

Every April we celebrate Financial Literacy Month, an observance founded by The Jump$tart Coalition to improve financial literacy, especially among our nation’s youth, and to promote financial well-being for all consumers.

Studies have found that providing students, as early in their education as possible, with foundational financial education skills and educational programs can build overall financial wellness. Unfortunately, the OECD’s 2018 PISA Survey results reveal that one in five US students fail to demonstrate more than a basic level of financial knowledge and skills, and students are performing below the baseline level of proficiency. [2]

This means that the vast…


Learning Science 101: Worked Examples

Illustration of a student looking at a math problem
Illustration of a student looking at a math problem

Let’s face it: most kids think video games are a lot more fun than learning. But, that doesn’t have to be the case.

In reality, teaching and video games have a lot in common. Many of the video games that kids today love are actually designed based on the science of how children learn.

That means if we tap into the smart strategies that make video games work, we can make instruction more effective, content more engaging, and students more excited to learn and grow.

But how might we do this? One effective learning tactic often seen in video game…

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