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30 Dec

Food For Thought - There's No Such Thing as An Incorrect Emotion

This week's Food For Thought comes from Tamra Excell, co-founder of CMASAS. There’s no such thing as an incorrect emotion. Sure, it might be based on incorrect information, or you might make a bad decision based on emotions, but the emotion itself is not in question. If you feel it, it is real.

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28 Dec

5 Tips for Teaching Children the Value of Goal Setting and New Year's Resolutions

The new year is quickly approaching and we are offered once again, at least in part, a fresh start. Many people love this time of year as it provides an excuse and incentive to intentionally reflect on the past and become excited about the future. As you plan for 2019 and all that the year holds for yourself and your family, perhaps consider using this time as an opportunity to teach your children the value of setting goals and taking advantage of the new beginning. Setting goals and new year’s resolutions with your children can be a fun opportunity for growth and change as well as a unique bonding experience for the family.

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This week's Food For Thought comes from Tamra Excell as she visits the 2015 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium. Tamra is the co-founder of CMASAS and Personalized Education Group. I attended the welcoming reception at the education conference I am at this week – an opportunity for vendors to entice people to their booths with free food. Obviously this works on me because I was there. I enjoy looking for new tools or strategies for our students, so the exhibit hall is a favorite part for me. However, as I went from one booth to another, there was one that I hesitated approaching. The booth was huge, dominating a large portion of the room, but I passed by it several times. I was struggling with the first bullet point on their sign: “deficiency diagnostics.”

18 Nov

Food For Thought - Detoxing from Negative Framing


Using digital tools like laptops, tablets and smartphones allow online school students to engage in learning in three-dimensional, creative, collaborative and unique ways. Unfortunately technology has also become a distraction for many online school students, causing them to lose their focus and passion for learning. In this age of an abundance of digital distractions, it’s more important now than ever for children to learn how to concentrate and practice self-control.

15 Nov

Teaching Children to Concentrate in an Age of Distraction


When is the last time you and your child took a “mental health day,” a day to rest, unplug and recharge? We live in a society today where the well-rested professional loses respect and the calm and relaxed teenager is looked down on. We hear stories and marvel at the success of famous people like Bill Clinton and Martha Stewart who only need four hours of sleep a night. We esteem the high school Valedictorian who graduated with a 4.5 GPA, an All-America athletics award, and a book contract. We make the kid who participates in only one extra-curricular activity look lazy, and we make the mom who takes a spa day feel guilty for her time off.

08 Nov

It's OK To Skip a Day — Prioritizing Rest


This week's Food For Thought comes from Tamra Excell. She is the co-founder of CMASAS and Personalized Education Group. “What is the top advice you would give to younger generations?” I asked Joanne, a retired teacher who did her own share of shaking the system over the years. She was now facing end-of-life type decisions, and while a recent injury had her down, she wasn’t out, and the spark in her eyes in response to my question reminded me of this.

04 Nov

Food For Thought - Lead With Your Heart


So many students, and even adults, communicate virtually with others in ways that they never would face-to-face. The anonymity that the Internet can provide causes some people to be cruel, spiteful and humiliating to others. In different situations, online and virtual communication causes people to be sloppy, informal, and simply poor communicators. Here are 5 rule for online etiquette that will help us all to be kind, clear and successful virtual communicators.

01 Nov

5 Guidelines for Online Etiquette


This week's Food For Thought comes from CMASAS online school co-founder Tamra Excell. My daughter Cass is traveling the country with a cat named Juan and a chicken named Vanna. I could blame Neil Gaiman, brilliantly creative English author, but it’s probably my fault.

14 Oct

Food For Thought - Teaching Children to be Lifelong Learners


From the youngest age, children of this generation are presented with more modes of technology than ever before, as most American households have multiple tablets, computers, cell phones and televisions at their disposal. Though each family and child is different, a San Francisco based nonprofit Common Sense Media, which studies screen time of children from birth, found that children under eight years old were spending about two hours a day in front of a screen.

01 Oct

10 Apps That Make Screen-Time Educational & Fun


This week's Food For Thought comes from online school co-founder and designer behind the Personalized Education Group, Tamra Excell. “She sure seems angry,” I heard somebody say behind me while in attendance at a recent conference. The presenter was passionate about her topic. She and another were taking turns explaining how “all students are a gift, but not all students are gifted,” and to say otherwise could undermine gifted education.

23 Sep

Is Everybody Gifted?