Scroll to view the complete collection of our teacher blog posts. You’ll find posts on a range of topics, from updates on the latest Boomerang products to Growth Mindset tips. Enjoy! Take a look at all of our blog posts here.

Promoting Opportunities for Young People

Here at Boomerang Education, we’ve noticed that, frustratingly, opportunities for young people haven’t been very obvious to the students themselves.

This is where Carpe Diem comes in.

promoting-opportunities-for-young-people-2

Carpe Diem homepage

What is Carpe Diem?

Carpe Diem is a youth initiative that showcases hundreds of nation-wide competitions, youth programmes and work experience opportunities to young people.

Students can simply head directly to the Carpe Diem online area.

Here, students will find categories, from English, to Higher Education, to Art & Design.

These are filled with opportunities to explore both in and out of school.

promoting-opportunities-for-young-people-3

Help us promote opportunities for young people

I’m a teacher, how can I get involved?

There are a number of ways you can get involved in this exciting new project:

  • Tell your students about Carpe Diem. This is the quickest and easiest way to spread the word in school. We want young people to get involved in as many exciting new opportunities as possible!
  • Incorporate aspects into your lesson plans. For example, you could sign your class up for the Big History Project here. Why not take a look at the ‘English’ category and set one of the creative writing competitions as a homework task?

Carpe Diem in school planners

promoting-opportunities-for-young-people-4

Carpe Diem in school planners

The great thing about Boomerang school planners is that they promote all of these fabulous Carpe Diem opportunities on every page.

This means that students can read about things like the St John Ambulance Cadet Program or the BBC Proms Inspire Scheme, as they look through their homework diary.

What next?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter by clicking here for regular tips and updates for educators.

Help us spread the word about Carpe Diem opportunities by sharing this article!

PS: If you have any ideas on how we could improve Carpe Diem, just leave a comment below or drop us  a tweet 🙂

 

The Wrong Kind of Praise: Growth Mindset

Adopting a growth mindset nearly always needs to be a conscious act. This is because, for most of us, it’s all too easy to slip into fixed mindset tendencies, especially when it comes to praising young minds.

Firstly, let’s (very broadly) define the terms ‘growth’ and ‘fixed’ in this context:

Growth mindset – Success is about learning and self-improvement. The more effort that needs to be put into a challenge, the better; we are all on a learning curve.

Fixed mindset – Individual intelligence is determined very early on and cannot be changed. It is better to stick to what you know and succeed, than to try something new and fail.

 How we often praise success:

“You’re so brilliant you got an A without even studying!”

“You learned that so quickly! You’re so smart!”

Notice anything unsupportive about these phrases? If you’re like most parents and teachers then you will probably hear these as positive, esteem-boosting messages. Well this is what the majority of children subconsciously hear:

I’d better stop studying or they won’t think I’m brilliant anymore.

If I don’t learn something quickly, I’m not smart. 

wrong-kind-of-praise

Image Source: William Clarence

But shouldn’t we praise children to help with their self-belief?

It’s true that praise can be incredibly beneficial (not just to children but adults too!) but we need to be careful about what we are praising.

Praising intelligence and talent gives a very short-lived boost which vanishes as soon as the child hits any sort of snag – a low test score for example. If we continue to tell them that success makes them smart, then unfortunately they will conclude that failure is a result of stupidity. This is a prime example of a fixed mindset.

So what is the right kind of praise?

wrong-kind-of-praise-2

Image Source – WikiMedia

Rather than praising intelligence and raw talent, we need to make a point of praising the growth-oriented process. This means taking an interest in accomplishment through things like revision, persistence and practice. Showing appreciation for effort is a great way of encouraging and reinforcing the growth mindset in our pupils and children.

Here are some examples of growth-oriented praise:

“That homework was so long and involved. I really admire the way you concentrated and finished it.”

“You put so much thought into this essay. It really makes me understand Shakespeare in a new way.”

Notice a difference?

 

For more on growth mindset, have a read of Do You Have A Growth Mindset?  It’s also worth heading to http://mindsetonline.com/whatisit/about/ or taking a look at Dr Carol Dweck’s fantastic book, Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential, which forms the basis of this article.

The World’s Largest Lesson: Global Goals in Schools

We need your help.

If you’ve used Boomerang school planners before, you’ll know that we promoted the Global Goals with the World’s Largest Lesson last year. Well this time we want to reach even more people! The World’s Largest Lesson 2016 will deliver an even bigger impact and we need teachers and schools to get involved.

Global Goalsglobal-goals

We care so much about the Global Goals that we’ve dedicated an entire double-page spread to them in our 2017/18 school planners. So what are the Global Goals all about?

Well, the United Nations adopted the 17 Global Goals as part of a new sustainable development agenda, in the hope of building a better Earth.

These goals serve as the world’s to-do list, aiming to achieve three extraordinary things by 2030 – end poverty, combat climate change and fight injustice & inequality.

If you want to know more about each individual goal, just click here to visit the official Global Goals website.

It’s easy to think that goals of such a huge scale are impossible to even attempt to achieve. But by working together and starting close to home, we can make an impact. It’s especially important that we reach out to young people and ensure that we promote these goals in as engaging a way as possible. This is where the World’s Largest Lesson comes in…

What is the World’s Largest Lesson?largest-lesson

A groundbreaking movement, teaching young people about the Goals and encouraging them to become the generation that changed the world.

Take part during the week of 18th September 2016 – don’t forget!

You can use your role as an educator to show students that they aren’t powerless by any means and that their actions really can make a difference.

What Next?

Join the World’s Largest Lesson by clicking here for access to exclusive content and regular updates.

Download and print these useful, tailored resources, from motivational posters to lesson plans, to help you to promote the Goals to students.

Make sure that you take a look at the Global Goals full library of resources here.

Feeling inspired? Head to http://worldslargestlesson.globalgoals.org/  for all the information you need!

Art in Education: Is There Still a Place For It?

The presence of art in education is a topic that’s been debated for as long as we can remember.

However in recent years, there’s certainly been a shift in focus towards more ’employable’ subjects in the education sector. We often push subjects such as maths and science to the forefront due to their undeniable importance for our future.

But where does this leave art?

Well when it comes to child development, we need to address all the core areas, meaning that the stimulation of creative thinking is still vital, particularly for:

Social & Emotional Development

  • Art in education can improve children’s communication skills and vocabulary.
  • It can increase their ability to form and maintain relationships with adults and other children.
  • Learning artistic techniques also helps children with the recognition and expression of feelings and emotion.

Cognitive Development

  • Creativity helps with problem solving and abstract thinking skills.
  • It can also improve the ability to approach new tasks and challenges with confidence.
  • Art helps with the processing of visual information.
  • It can heighten curiosity and interest, especially through experimentation.
  • Studying art helps with critical thinking skills. In particular, the making and execution of mental plans and pictures.
  • Innovation. Imagination is a necessity when it comes to thinking outside of the box.

Art in Boomerang School Planners

Each year here at Boomerang, we’re proud to say that we take design inspiration for our school planners from different artistic concepts. Our theme this year is Ancient and Traditional Art (see pg. 4 of the virtual planner).

We’re featuring 12 different ancient, traditional and tribal art styles from all over the world, from Aboriginal to Inca to Norse.

Children’s creativity is something to be valued.

Do You Have a Growth Mindset?

The new Boomerang 2016/17 school planners showcase psychologist Carol Dweck’s groundbreaking ‘growth mindset’ concept, designed to help students thrive both in and out of school.

So What’s ‘Growth Mindset’ All About?

The theory goes, that as human beings, we have 2 principal mindsets: FIXED and GROWTH:

FIXED MINDSET TRAITS:

  • heavily self-critical
  • likely to avoid challenges
  • ignores constructive criticism
  • gives up easily
  • believes that intelligence is fixed and so can’t be changed

GROWTH MINDSET TRAITS:

  • thrives on challenges
  • capable of growth and doesn’t expect to achieve goals immediately
  • willing to put in effort
  • strategic and focused approach to learning

Explore our Carpe Diem page for exciting opportunities if you’re looking to embrace a new, more positive mindset.

You can also take this speedy quiz to help you determine your mindset. Just click here

– Find out more in Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential, by Dr Carol S. Dweck –