Mathematical Thinking at Play (5 year olds are amazing thinkers)

A few years ago I filmed a couple of the Fletcher gang playing  a game I love called “Set”.  Set shows us that challenging means fun.  The game that requires some pretty sophisticated thinking.   Initially, I didn’t know if  my 5 year-old could handle a full game of set, but I thought I would tryContinue reading “Mathematical Thinking at Play (5 year olds are amazing thinkers)”

Do Not Fight Your Nature

“Accept everything about yourself — I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end — no apologies, no regrets.” –Clark Moustakas First of all, I owe my teachers nearly everything good about what I know.   Mr. Smith, for example, is a teacher who touched my life in 3rd grade andContinue reading “Do Not Fight Your Nature”

Learning What You Have No Interest In

How about you and I start studying geology today?  Let’s spend from 1 to 3 hours a few days per week on it.  Sounds fun, eh?  If you happen to love geology, replace it with something you have absolutely no interest in learning. Now, let’s turn it around.  Let’s say you finally get to take thatContinue reading “Learning What You Have No Interest In”

How Do Kids Want To Learn? My Doctoral Research Pt. 2

Part one of this story focused on boredom and humiliation/fear of humiliation as obstacles to learning.   My experience of boredom and fear of humiliation in my K-12 education was a driver for me to start looking closely at learning.  Here, I present the findings from my doctoral research.  As a student, I never understood whyContinue reading “How Do Kids Want To Learn? My Doctoral Research Pt. 2”

How Do Kids Want To Learn? My Doctoral Research Pt. 1

I want to share with you the findings of my doctoral research published in 2003.  I studied a program created by my mentor, J.P. Das of University of Alberta.  This program, called PREP, helps train cognitive (thinking) processes.  I wanted to know not only the effects on learning, but “What was the learner’s experience” ofContinue reading “How Do Kids Want To Learn? My Doctoral Research Pt. 1”

There Is No Such Thing As “Free Play”

If you ever get a chance, I hope you will read the work of Clark Moustakas.  He was one of my greatest teachers.  He wasn’t the energetic self-promoter like other pioneers , but his wisdom and clarity of thought seems obvious.  He is a pioneer in play therapy a founder of Humanistic Psychology.  He isContinue reading “There Is No Such Thing As “Free Play””

Does Drill Really Kill?

“It’s not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; it’s what you put into the practice.” Eric Lindros (Canadian professional ice hockey legend) “I know a lot of people think it’s monotonous, down the black lines over and over, but it’s not if   you’re enjoying what you’re doing. I love toContinue reading “Does Drill Really Kill?”

Basketball, Broken Hearts and Video Games

It’s 10PM on a Saturday night.  Griffin was invited to play in a 3 on 3 tournament and we  just had a very profound discussion on our drive home.  His team made it to the championship but lost 8 to 10.  He feels tired and hungry  after running sprints for most of the day.  GriffinContinue reading “Basketball, Broken Hearts and Video Games”

Fat and Stupid is No Way to Go Through Life

Okay, I paraphrased a quote from animal house for the title of this blog. But Dean Wormer had a point.  I think we need to ask, ” Are video games harmful to kids?”  If our kids play them, will they become addicted, obese, violent, and grow old in seclusion?  While I’m hearing less and lessContinue reading “Fat and Stupid is No Way to Go Through Life”