You Are So Smart

Drawing was more fun than studying.

Drawing became my first love.

How well I recall my mother’s first explanation of my intelligence.  After a sixth grade conference with my teacher, she returned home to tell me, “Dear, you are just average. You will have to work hard to do well.”  I wasn’t sure what it was all about, but it didn’t sound good.  For me, learning seemed easy, it was the tests that threw me off. Somehow the words didn’t match the ideas I thought I knew. Rather than  studying more, I gave up.   Getting mediocre grades was easier that studying when I already knew I couldn’t do any better.

Years later, dear Mother informed me that she had hoped that by telling me I was average, it would push me to try harder and excel. She called it reverse psychology.

I must say when I hit forty years and decided to take my masters in education, it was a pleasant surprise to discover that by studying, my grades went up.  My teenage children wondered how I gotten so smart since they has seen my childhood and college report cards. Studying counts. Lots of studying counts more.

As a classroom teacher, it became important that students knew and applied a variety of study skills.  Tutoring took the same approach. Each child was shown how they learned and the best way for them to study. The mantra was always the same, “You are so smart.”

Vignette.  One young man in fifth grade felt he didn’t need study skills. “I remember everything,” he said. I reminded him that in middle school he would be with others who were as intelligent as he was, and the work would be harder and taught faster. Grudgingly, he learned the study skills.  The following year, he surprised me.  He  returned to tell me that indeed the work was harder, and his classmates were as smart as he was. “I remembered that you told me that I might feel I had lost my smarts and couldn’t succeed, but that actually I was just being challenged. So, I didn’t give up. I used those skills, and my grades went back up. Thank you.”  Big grin from him. He made my day.

 

P.S.  May I mention that drawing became my first love? What a great trade-off!

Think First….5 Ways

Open your door to thinking!

Open your door to thinking!

Are you a  learner or a teacher or are you  running a company? No matter what you do, to think is to add brilliance to your life!

Research proves that certain types of thinking just plain make you a better all around success story! These five will put you on the path to better thinking.

Ideas all over everywhere!

Ideas all over everywhere!

PRODUCTIVE/CREATIVE THINKING

Get the creative juices rolling. With this technique, you will be popping with new  ideas and alternatives every time!

Step by step and the answer is clear!

Step by step and the answer is clear!

DECISION MAKING considers the impact as well as the questions to lead you to finding the best solution to your problem  – whether shopping or taking a step into the future!

Think ahead and save time and trouble.

Think ahead and save time and trouble.

FORECASTING/PREDICTING isn’t fortune telling, but focus on the possible results and implications before you make a move OR figure out what went wrong from many angles, and you are doing what most people never learned.

A planner avoids mistakes and capitalizes are the future!

A planner avoids mistakes and capitalizes are the future!

Make that PLAN, and it reveals: specific steps, materials needed, and  the research as well as the possible  problems and solutions that may save you from disasters.  New home?                     New step in life?   Doing a project for work or school?  Develop a plan first!

Planning looks at the puzzle pieces before you start.

Effective communication brings it all together.

Analogies, metaphors, specifics or broad ideas – effective COMMUNICATION                           makes your point clear – and your voice heard.

 

Because it’s easier to introduce new ideas with familiar foundations, Cinderella of fairy tale renown will take you down the pathways to thinking.  Decision making helps Cindy decide how to get to the ball. Predicting possible problems, she identifies the implications of a midnight curfew. Creative ideas help her to get her three sisters’ bossy work load done faster – and better.  A plan helps her hide her glass slipper from her sisters.  Communication makes her points with analogies and metaphors when she writes to her sisters back home.

                 For  Cinderella’s detailed thinking techniques , go to http://www.trudicarter.com                                and click on Trudi Loves Teaching.

 

 Be brilliant!  Be a thinker!

 

 

 

Addendum.

This list of thinking skills is based on the teacher training program Talents Unlimited. I trained for them in  the 1980’s while teaching in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. How I use them now is my own take on them as I blend in other teaching ideas.

Source: Talents Unlimited materials are based on extensive research to prove that using thinking skills to learn subject areas increases student achievement both in the classroom and in testing. To find out more about them, go here:  eric.ed.gov and search Talents Unlimited.