What I’ve Been Reading (and not reading)

black and white books education facts
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I admit, my reading schedule has been a bit off recently. I’m ridiculously behind on my reading goal for the year (36 of 150), and not sure when or how that number will get back in sync.

So, between everything else going on in life (work, doctoral classes, preparing for a new home, etc.) I’m going to get back on track.

Yes, I’m reading many articles for my doctoral studies, so I’m still reading. But my book tally is severely stagnant.


Knight’s Shadow is the second book in The Greatcoats series by Sebastian de Castell. The story of Falcio Val Mond and his band of Greatcoats continues, with just as much swashbuckling as in the first book. A highly enjoyable read.

I just completed Year 1 of my doctoral journey and am diving into crafting my literature review. As such, The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success is already proving to be an excellent guide along the way.

In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School was a very dense read but has brought me so many other items to look into as part of my research. If you’re interested in learning more about deeper learning, start here.

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Unleashing Potential: Understanding the Power of Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset in Education

grayscale photo of person in swimming pool
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When it comes to personal growth and learning, the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset is huge. In simplest terms, a growth mindset is when you believe that you can improve your skills with practice and hard work. A fixed mindset is when you think that your abilities are set in stone and can’t really be changed.

These two ways of thinking shape how you feel about your abilities, how you see challenges, and how you deal with setbacks. For instance, if you have a growth mindset, you might see a challenge as a way to learn and grow, but if you have a fixed mindset, you might see the same challenge as evidence of your limitations. And if you face a setback, someone with a growth mindset might use it as a chance to reflect and improve, while someone with a fixed mindset might see it as proof that they’re not good enough.

It’s important to know about these mindsets and how they affect our lives because they can impact how motivated we are, how we handle obstacles, and how successful we are. If we focus on having a growth mindset and believe that we can get better with practice, we can achieve more and overcome challenges more easily.

"When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world—the world of fixed traits—success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other—the world of changing qualities—it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself." (Carol S. Dweck, Mindset)

Exploring The Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset is grounded in the belief that our abilities are innate and unchangeable. This can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy where people with a fixed mindset believe that their talents and skills are predetermined, making them less likely to take risks and try new things. This can stifle personal growth and development, as individuals with a fixed mindset may avoid challenges for fear of failure. Instead of viewing setbacks as learning opportunities, they may perceive them as personal deficiencies. It’s important to recognize the limitations of a fixed mindset and how detrimental that mindset can be to your personal success.

The Growth Mindset Paradigm

Contrarily, a growth mindset propels the idea that abilities and intelligence can be developed with effort, learning, and persistence. Carol Dweck first popularized the idea of a growth mindset in her seminal work, Mindset. It’s about viewing challenges as opportunities to learn, grow, and improve. Instead of avoiding difficult tasks, individuals with a growth mindset embrace them, understanding that effort is a critical path to mastery.

The Underlying Neuroscience

The concept of neuroplasticity, which is the ability of our brains to reorganize and form new connections, supports the growth mindset theory. This has significant implications in various areas of our lives, such as education, personal growth, and professional development. In the context of education, understanding the potential of our brain’s neuroplasticity can lead to designing teaching practices that help students develop a growth mindset. Educators can encourage students to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, which can foster learning and innovation.

Teachers who adopt a growth mindset can empower their students by providing them with the tools and support they need to take charge of their own learning. By fostering student agency, teachers can help to create a more collaborative and dynamic learning environment, where students are encouraged to take risks and explore new ideas. The growth mindset can also influence personal growth through developing habits and mindsets that facilitate neuroplasticity, such as engaging in novel experiences or practicing mindfulness.

Finally, school leaders can create a culture of learning and development by promoting a growth mindset, which can lead to improved performance and innovation. By recognizing that the mindsets of students, teachers, and school leaders can be developed through dedication and hard work, we can tap into our limitless potential and foster personal and professional growth.

Comparing Fixed and Growth Mindsets

While a fixed mindset can lead to stagnation and a fear-based approach to life, a growth mindset promotes continuous improvement, resilience, and a love for learning. The comparison between these two mindsets can be seen in how they respond to challenges, deal with criticism, and approach success.

"“Becoming is better than being.” The fixed mindset does not allow people the luxury of becoming. They have to already be." (Carol S. Dweck, Mindset)

Examples of Fixed Mindset Students:

  • Elementary School: A student in third grade named Michael was hesitant to try new activities because he was afraid of making mistakes. His teacher noticed that he often gave up when things got difficult and encouraged him to keep trying. Michael responded, “I’m just not good at this. I don’t want to keep doing it.”
  • Middle School: A student in seventh grade named Emily struggled with math. She had always believed that she just wasn’t good at it and that she would never understand. Her teacher noticed that Emily often shut down during math class and rarely asked questions. When her teacher tried to encourage her and tell her that she was capable of understanding math, Emily responded, “I’m just not smart enough for this. It’s too hard.”
  • High School: A student in eleventh grade named John was interested in playing the guitar but was hesitant to join the school band. He believed that he wasn’t musically talented and that he would embarrass himself. When his music teacher suggested that he try out for the band, John responded, “I’m not good enough. I’ll just mess up and embarrass myself.”
Challenging Mindset: Why a Growth Mindset Makes a Difference in Learning – and What to Do When It Doesn’t (Corwin Teaching Essentials)
  • Nottingham, James A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages – 07/13/2018 (Publication Date) – Corwin (Publisher)

Examples of Growth Mindset Students:

  • Elementary School: A student in second grade named Sarah struggled with reading. Her teacher encouraged her to keep practicing, telling her, “It’s okay to make mistakes, that’s how we learn!” Sarah began to see reading as a challenge to overcome and eventually became an avid reader.
  • Middle School: A student in eighth grade named Alex was struggling in math class. His teacher noticed that he was becoming discouraged and decided to work with him one-on-one after class. She encouraged him to view mistakes as opportunities to learn and to keep trying. Alex’s hard work and persistence paid off, and he eventually became one of the top students in the class.
  • High School: A student in twelfth grade named Maria was nervous about taking the SATs. Her guidance counselor reminded her that the test was just one step in her college application process and that many resources were available to help her prepare. Maria embraced the challenge, seeking out study materials and practice tests. Maria scored higher than she had expected and was accepted into her top-choice university.
The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher’s Month-by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve
  • Brock, Annie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 248 Pages – 09/16/2022 (Publication Date) – Ulysses Press (Publisher)

Harnessing the Power of a Growth Mindset

Adopting a growth mindset is a valuable approach that can significantly improve student outcomes and teacher practice. It encourages students to embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, which is a vital aspect of developing problem-solving skills and promoting a healthy approach to failure. In addition to this, adopting a growth mindset also provides a framework for teachers to promote student agency and authentic learning experiences, which can help to create a more dynamic and engaging learning environment.

It is important to recognize that a growth mindset is not just about intelligence or natural talent. Instead, it is about understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. By adopting this approach, students and teachers alike can tap into their limitless potential and set the foundation for continuous personal and professional development.

Building Growth Mindset in the Classroom: Concrete Practices to Support Student Persistence

One of the key benefits of adopting a growth mindset is that it can promote a more positive attitude toward learning. When students are encouraged to view challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, they are more likely to take an active role in their own learning. This can lead to increased motivation, engagement, and a greater sense of ownership over the learning process.

Similarly, teachers who adopt a growth mindset can help to empower their students by providing them with the tools and support they need to take charge of their own learning. By fostering student agency, teachers can help to create a more collaborative and dynamic learning environment, where students are encouraged to take risks and explore new ideas.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
  • Hardcover Book
  • Dweck, Carol S. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages – 02/28/2006 (Publication Date) – Random House (Publisher)

Shifting from a Fixed to Growth Mindset

Adopting a growth mindset is not a destination, but a journey. It involves recognizing and challenging our fixed mindset beliefs, embracing challenges, persisting in the face of setbacks, and understanding that effort is the path to mastery. This shift fuels our potential, ignites our creativity, and empowers us to achieve our goals.

In conclusion, understanding and implementing the growth mindset in our lives can empower us to become better learners, innovative thinkers, and proactive individuals. By recognizing that our abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, we can truly tap into our limitless potential and foster personal and professional growth

The Best Summer Reads of 2023

best summer reads of 2023

Are you a teacher on summer break looking for the perfect book to read while lounging under a tree with a cold drink in your hand? Look no further! This guide has got you covered for the best summer reads of 2023. We’ve got heart-pumping thrillers, heart-warming romances, and everything in between. Take your pick and get ready for an adventure!

The Importance of Choosing the Right Book

When you’re picking a summer read, it’s super important to choose the right one. The perfect book can take you on a wild adventure, make you feel all the feels, and leave you wanting more. But if you pick the wrong one, it can be a total snoozefest. You’ll be bored out of your mind and regretting your choice. So, take your time and find a book that really speaks to you. Try out different genres and see what you like. Happy reading, folks!

Types of Summer Reads

When you’re trying to find the perfect summer read, there are plenty of genres to choose from. Maybe you’re into heart-pumping thrillers or maybe you prefer heart-warming romance. Whatever your fancy, I’ve got you covered. Let’s check out some of the popular genres for summer reading.

Fiction Novels


Are you someone who thrives on excitement and suspense in your reading? If so, you might want to consider picking up a thriller novel this summer. With their intricate plots and unpredictable turns, these books are sure to keep you engaged and entertained for hours on end. Not to mention the thrill of trying to solve the mystery before the protagonist does! So why not take a chance on a fast-paced, heart-pounding read that will leave you breathless and always wanting more?


Romance novels are the perfect way to spend a lazy summer day. They take you on emotional rollercoasters and tug at your heartstrings. You can get lost in a tale of love and passion and root for the swoon-worthy hero or captivating heroine as they navigate the ups and downs of their relationship. With so many options to choose from, you can go for sweet and wholesome or steamy and seductive. So, why not just kick back, relax, and indulge in a world of love and romance this summer?

Science Fiction and Fantasy

If you’re looking to escape the boring monotony of everyday life, science fiction and fantasy books are where it’s at! You can dive into immersive and fantastical worlds, complete with magic, technology, and adventure. You’ll get to go on epic quests, unravel political intrigues, and meet all sorts of amazing creatures. The characters are usually super complex, with all sorts of different motivations. Basically, science fiction and fantasy books offer endless possibilities for anyone who wants to get lost in a great story.

The Best Fiction Summer Reads for 2023

Fourth Wing

Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, 1)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Yarros, Rebecca (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 528 Pages – 05/02/2023 (Publication Date) – Entangled: Red Tower Books (Publisher)

Violet Sorrengail, a twenty-year-old, was supposed to live a quiet life in the Scribe Quadrant. However, her mother, the commanding general, orders her to become a dragon rider. This is a problem for Violet because she is smaller and more fragile than everyone else. Dragons don’t bond with fragile humans, they incinerate them. With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. Violet suspects leadership is hiding a terrible secret. At Basgiath War College, everyone has an agenda and only two ways to leave: graduate or die.


Identity: A Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Roberts, Nora (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages – 05/23/2023 (Publication Date) – St. Martin’s Press (Publisher)

Morgan Albright is settled in a nice neighborhood near Baltimore, with help from her friend and roommate Nina and her job as a bartender. But when she hosts a dinner party and a man named Luke shows up, her life is turned upside down. Luke is actually a con artist named Gavin who steals from women and then kills them. After Nina is killed, Morgan learns that she was Gavin’s target all along. She flees to her mother’s home in Vermont and meets a new man named Miles, but Gavin is still out there hunting for her.

The Collector

The Collector: A Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Silva, Daniel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages – 07/18/2023 (Publication Date) – Harper (Publisher)

Art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon teams up with a master thief to find the world’s most valuable painting. Their mission takes a dangerous turn as they race to prevent a conflict between Russia and the West. Silva’s novel is a must-read for his fans and newcomers alike.

Flash Point

Tom Clancy Flash Point (A Jack Ryan Jr. Novel)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Bentley, Don (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages – 05/23/2023 (Publication Date) – G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Publisher)

Jack Ryan Jr. is in trouble after a routine surveillance mission goes wrong. He finds himself fighting against an unknown enemy who wants to destroy the Campus. Jack follows the trail to the South China Sea, where a midair collision between rival nations threatens the region. Back at the Campus, a devastating attack leaves Jack as the only operator left standing. As tensions grow and China prepares to invade Taiwan, Jack and his team must prevent a war between the world’s superpowers. But their enemy is still at large, and the Campus is in danger. The cost of their mission is high, and the bill may be too much to pay.

Only the Dead

Only the Dead: A Thriller (6) (Terminal List)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Carr, Jack (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 576 Pages – 05/16/2023 (Publication Date) – Atria/Emily Bestler Books (Publisher)

In 1980, a congressman was killed in Rhode Island, causing shock in Washington that still resonates today. Now, a group of global elites wants to take control during a time of war, inflation, division, and assassinations. They believe they’ve eliminated the final obstacle to domination, but they’re wrong. Secrets from the past are coming to light, and former SEAL James Reece is on a mission to stop them. He’s on a warpath, and no one is safe when he’s armed with his tomahawk and sniper rifle.


Yellowface: A Novel: A Chilling Novel of Racism and Cultural Appropriation
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kuang, R. F (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 05/16/2023 (Publication Date) – William Morrow (Publisher)

June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. After Athena’s death, June steals her just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I, and sends it to her agent as her own work. She becomes a bestseller under the pseudonym “Juniper Song”. But emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s success down around her, forcing her to protect her secret at all costs.

The Five-Star Weekend

The Five-Star Weekend
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hilderbrand, Elin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages – 06/13/2023 (Publication Date) – Little, Brown and Company (Publisher)

Hollis Shaw has a seemingly perfect life as the creator of a popular food blog and the wife of a heart surgeon. But after a heated argument with her husband, he dies in a car accident, revealing the cracks in their marriage and her complicated relationship with her daughter. Hollis decides to host her own “Five-Star Weekend” on Nantucket, similar to a trip organized by a friend. However, the weekend is far from joyful. Hollis’s childhood friend’s husband arranges for Hollis’s first love to attend, stirring up old feelings. Meanwhile, another friend, Dru-Ann, is struggling to save her career after making online comments about a client’s mental health issues. Brooke is dealing with her husband’s inappropriate relationship with a colleague, and a stranger, Gigi, with many secrets, has reached out to Hollis through her blog.

Meet Me at the Lake

Meet Me at the Lake
  • Fortune, Carley (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 05/02/2023 (Publication Date) – Berkley (Publisher)

Fern Brookbanks has spent a lot of time in her adulthood thinking about Will Baxter. They met for just one day in their early twenties but connected deeply over shared secrets and dreams. They promised to meet again in a year, but Will never showed up. Now, at thirty-two, Fern’s life is not what she imagined: she’s back home running her mother’s resort and doesn’t know where to start to fix it. Will arrives nine years late, offering to help, but Fern doesn’t know if she can trust him. He seems like a different person and is hiding something. Can Fern return the favor of the help Will gave her ten years ago?

The Ferryman

The Ferryman: A Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Cronin, Justin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 560 Pages – 05/02/2023 (Publication Date) – Ballantine Books (Publisher)

Prospera, an archipelago hidden from the horrors of a deteriorating world, is home to lucky citizens who enjoy fulfilling lives until their physical and psychological monitors fall below 10%. They retire themselves to the Nursery, where their bodies are renewed, memories wiped clean, and they restart life afresh. Proctor Bennett, a ferryman, shepherds people through the retirement process and enforces it if necessary. But Proctor’s monitor percentage has begun to drop alarmingly fast, and he’s been dreaming – impossible in Prospera. When he’s summoned to retire his own father, who gives him a cryptic message, he questions everything he once believed. Meanwhile, the Support Staff, who keep Prospera running, are questioning their role. Unrest is building, and a resistance group, the Arrivalists, may be fomenting revolution. Proctor finds himself on a desperate mission to uncover the truth.

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece: A novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hanks, Tom (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages – 05/09/2023 (Publication Date) – Knopf (Publisher)

In 1947, a troubled soldier meets his five-year-old nephew and disappears for twenty-three years. In 1970, the nephew reconnects with his uncle, draws a new version of a comic book they saw together, and becomes an underground comic book artist in Oakland. In the present day, a director discovers the 1970 comic book and turns it into a contemporary superhero movie, with a cast that includes a difficult male star, a wonderful leading lady, an eccentric writer/director, a producer, and a production assistant.

Fairy Tale

Fairy Tale
  • Hardcover Book
  • King, Stephen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 608 Pages – 09/06/2022 (Publication Date) – Scribner (Publisher)

Charlie Reade is a high school kid who excels at baseball and football and is a decent student. But he has been through a lot. His mom died in a hit-and-run accident when he was seven, and his dad turned to alcohol to cope with the grief. Charlie learned to take care of himself and his dad. When he is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her owner, Howard Bowditch, who lives in a big house on a hill with a locked shed in the backyard. Strange sounds sometimes come from the shed. Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and falls in love with Radar. When Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape with a story that no one would believe. Bowditch had kept a secret his whole life: inside the shed is a portal to another world.

Non-fiction Books

Biographies and Memoirs

Biographies and memoirs let us peek into the lives of people who have made significant contributions to the world. We can learn from their experiences, decision-making skills, and leadership styles. These books can inspire us to achieve our goals and make a positive change in the world. By reading biographies and memoirs, we can learn about the challenges and triumphs that shaped the lives of remarkable people, and we can be encouraged to follow our dreams with passion and perseverance.

Self-Help Books

Summer is a great time to work on yourself, and self-help books can help you do just that! They can give you awesome tips on how to be more productive, develop better habits, and improve your relationships with others. By taking time to read and think about the advice in these books, you can learn more about yourself and the world. So why not use the warm months to invest in your own growth and happiness?

Travel and Adventure

Summer is the perfect time for travel and adventure, but not everyone can go on a trip. Luckily, books can take you on a journey from the comfort of your own home. Travel and adventure books can give you a unique perspective on different cultures and customs, and let you broaden your horizons. Whether you want to escape the monotony of daily life or get inspired for your next adventure, there are tons of exciting books out there to take you to far-off lands. So, kick back, relax, and let your imagination run wild with the captivating world of travel literature.

The Best Non-Fiction Summer Reads for 2023

The Bathysphere Book: Effects of the Luminous Ocean Depths

The Bathysphere Book: Effects of the Luminous Ocean Depths
  • Hardcover Book
  • Fox, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages – 05/16/2023 (Publication Date) – Astra House (Publisher)

This interesting story starts in 1930 when two men entered a tiny steel ball and were lowered 1,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. From that point on, the experiences of naturalist William Beebe, engineer Otis Barton, and biologist Gloria Hollister, who transmitted Beebe’s observations via telephone line, become even more surreal and awe-inspiring.

Beautiful Trauma: An Explosion, an Obsession, and a New Lease on Life

Beautiful Trauma: An Explosion, an Obsession, and a New Lease on Life
  • Hardcover Book
  • Fogg, Rebecca (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages – 04/04/2023 (Publication Date) – Avery (Publisher)

This memoir is about Rebecca Fogg’s struggle to recover after a freak accident left her with a partially amputated hand in 2006. Her fascination with the science of recovery led her to write a book that details her emotional journey and explores topics such as nerve regeneration and pain processing. The memoir is both educational and engaging, making it a must-read for anyone interested in the science of recovery and personal growth.

Don’t Call Me Home

Don’t Call Me Home: A Memoir
  • Hardcover Book
  • Auder, Alexandra (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 05/02/2023 (Publication Date) – Viking (Publisher)

Alexandra Auder was born at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City, where her mother, Viva, one of Andy Warhol’s superstars, lived. Her father, filmmaker Michel Auder, captured the moments on film. Alexandra had a whirlwind childhood and teenage years, mostly spent on the road with her mother, who had mercurial moods. They lived in Connecticut and Tribeca before moving back to the Chelsea Hotel. Alexandra’s teenage years were spent with her mother’s conservative family. In her book, “Don’t Call Me Home,” Alexandra reflects on being raised by two counterculture icons. She shares stories of walking a pet goat around Chelsea, joining the Squat Theatre Company, co-parenting her younger sister, Gaby, and partying in East Village nightclubs. Alongside her current life as a yoga instructor, actress, mother, wife, and Instagram provocateur, Alexandra weaves a moving and hilarious portrait of her family. She describes the journey from being her mother’s daughter to becoming her own person.

Edison’s Ghosts: The Untold Weirdness of History’s Greatest Geniuses

Edison’s Ghosts: The Untold Weirdness of History’s Greatest Geniuses
  • Hardcover Book
  • Spalding, Katie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages – 05/16/2023 (Publication Date) – Little, Brown and Company (Publisher)

In her book, Edison’s Ghosts, Katie Spalding argues that genius is not always what it seems. While we may never become an Einstein, there are likely things we can do that he couldn’t. Spalding explores famous prodigies who were quite strange, including Thomas Edison, who believed he could communicate with the undead and created a Spirit Phone; Marie and Pierre Curie, who slept next to radioactive material and strapped it to their arms; Lord Byron, who brought a bear to university; Isaac Newton, who looked at the sun without eye protection and was blinded for three days; and Tesla, who fell in love with a pigeon. The book is filled with examples of humanity’s best doing some really dumb things.

The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality

The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality
  • Hardcover Book
  • Clark, Andy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages – 05/02/2023 (Publication Date) – Pantheon (Publisher)

The traditional view that our senses provide direct access to reality has been challenged by new discoveries in neuroscience and psychology. A new theory suggests that the brain actively predicts reality instead of passively perceiving it. Philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark explores this theory, which suggests that reality is a synthesis of sensory information and expectation. Clark illustrates how the predictive brain shapes all human experiences, and how chronic pain and mental illness can result from malfunctioning predictions. The boundary between ourselves and the outside world dissolves, revealing our entanglement with our environments and our perceptions as controlled hallucinations. The Experience Machine offers insight into this significant development in our understanding of the mind.

Flight Paths: How a Passionate and Quirky Group of Pioneering Scientists Solved the Mystery of Bird Migration

Flight Paths: How a Passionate and Quirky Group of Pioneering Scientists Solved the Mystery of Bird Migration
  • Hardcover Book
  • Heisman, Rebecca (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 03/14/2023 (Publication Date) – Harper (Publisher)

For the past century, scientists have been studying bird migration. Birds travel thousands of miles across the earth each fall and spring, fascinating humans with their navigational abilities. Recently, scientists have made significant breakthroughs in understanding these migrations. Flight Paths tells the story of how scientists from across generations, continents, and disciplines came together to study bird migration. The book traces the development of techniques used for tracking migratory birds, from marking individual birds to using DNA markers. Through their work, scientists have made significant discoveries about the flight paths and behaviors of migratory birds. Flight Paths is a fascinating look into the exciting moments of discovery and the power of science when people work together towards a common goal.

The Power of Language: How the Codes We Use to Think, Speak, and Live Transform Our Minds

The Power of Language: How the Codes We Use to Think, Speak, and Live Transform Our Minds
  • Hardcover Book
  • Marian, Viorica (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 04/04/2023 (Publication Date) – Dutton (Publisher)

This groundbreaking book delves into the workings of language in our minds and how we can utilize its vast potential. Dr. Marian explains that our brains can accommodate multiple codes of communication beyond just one language. Learning new languages can improve brain health, creativity, and cognitive control.

Each new language we learn shapes our perception of the world, and how we remember, feel, think, and make decisions. Language is a powerful tool for organizing, processing, and structuring information, leading to remarkable progress.

Research shows that learning a new language can enhance executive function, boost creative thinking, develop critical reasoning skills, delay Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, improve decision-making under stress, and alter our attention and memory.

Under the Eye of Power: How Fear of Secret Societies Shapes American Democracy

Under the Eye of Power: How Fear of Secret Societies Shapes American Democracy
  • Hardcover Book
  • Dickey, Colin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages – 07/11/2023 (Publication Date) – Viking (Publisher)

The United States has a long history of paranoia, from the American Revolution to modern-day conspiracy theories like the Illuminati and QAnon. These beliefs are not just on the fringes of society but are woven into the fabric of American democracy. Cultural historian Colin Dickey explores this history in his book, Under the Eye of Power, and explains why people, even those in positions of power, continue to subscribe to conspiracy theories. Dickey argues that belief in conspiracies can be comforting in the face of the chaos and unpredictability of history and democracy. By understanding this cycle of paranoia, we can work to break it.

Unlikable Female Characters: The Women Pop Culture Wants You to Hate

Unlikeable Female Characters: The Women Pop Culture Wants You to Hate
  • Bogutskaya, Anna (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages – 05/09/2023 (Publication Date) – Sourcebooks (Publisher)

Female characters have historically been expected to be likable, leading to cautionary tales for those who show their messy side. Today, unlikeable female characters are becoming more popular in film, TV, and pop culture, being accepted by audiences and receiving industry awards. This shift shows that we are finally acknowledging women as fully-fledged human beings. Unlikeable Female Characters explores the evolution of these memorable characters, examining their popularity and audience reactions, as well as how pop culture is allowing us to celebrate the complexities of womanhood. Film programmer and broadcaster Anna Bogutskaya takes us on a journey through popular media to explore whether society is ready to embrace complicated women.

Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World

Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World
  • Hardcover Book
  • Harris, Malcolm (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 720 Pages – 02/14/2023 (Publication Date) – Little, Brown and Company (Publisher)

The history of Silicon Valley, from railroads to microchips, is an extraordinary story of disruption and destruction, told comprehensively in this narrative. Palo Alto is a city with temperate weather, educated and enterprising people, and ambitious corporations that have changed the world. However, it was built on stolen Indian burial grounds and is a haunted toxic waste dump. PALO ALTO, the first comprehensive, global history of Silicon Valley, explains how and why Northern California evolved in its particular way, tracing the ideologies, technologies, and policies that have been engineered over the course of 150 years of Anglo settler colonialism. It tells the story of how a small American suburb became a powerful engine for economic growth and war, leading the world into a surprisingly disastrous 21st century. Palo Alto is a visionary history of how we live now, ending with a clear-eyed, radical proposition for how we might begin to change course.

Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Summer Read

Know Your Reading Preference

When it comes to finding the perfect summer read, it’s important to know what you like. Are you all about fast-paced thrillers, or do you prefer heartwarming romance? Maybe you’re into inspiring biographies. Whatever it is, understanding your preferences can help you pick books that you’ll love. If you’re into thrillers, you might like books with intricate plots and suspenseful twists. If romance is your thing, stories that tug at your heartstrings might be more up your alley. And if you love biographies, stories of people overcoming adversity might be right up your alley. So, figure out what you like and get ready for some awesome summer reading!

Consider the Book Reviews

Book reviews are super helpful when you’re trying to decide what to read. They tell you what the book is about and what the author’s writing style is like. Plus, they can give you an idea of whether the book is any good or not. Basically, if you want to find awesome new books to read, you gotta check out some reviews.

Choose Books from Different Genres

Don’t be afraid to branch out when it comes to reading! Trying different genres can add some variety to your reading list and give you new perspectives. It’s especially helpful if you’re feeling stuck in a reading rut or not getting as much out of your reading as you used to. Plus, exploring different genres can help you discover new authors and books you might not have found otherwise. So go ahead and take a chance on something new – you might be surprised at how much you end up liking it!


Choosing the perfect summer read is a deeply personal and enjoyable process. It involves understanding your preferences, exploring different genres, and considering others’ reviews. In the end, the best summer read is one that captures your interest, matches your mood, and takes you on a memorable journey. Happy reading!


1. How can I find the best summer reads? Knowing your reading preferences, considering book reviews, and exploring different genres can help you find the perfect summer read.

2. Can non-fiction books be good summer reads? Absolutely! Biographies, memoirs, self-help books, and travel books can all be engaging summer reads.

3. Should I stick to one genre for my summer reading? Not necessarily. Exploring different genres can add variety to your reading list and expose you to new perspectives.

4. What if I don’t enjoy a book I’ve chosen for my summer reading? That’s okay! Not every book will resonate with you. If a book doesn’t hold your interest, feel free to switch to another.

5. What are some popular genres for summer reading? Thrillers, romance, science fiction, fantasy, biographies, and travel books are all popular choices for summer reading.

The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

The Ultimate Summer Self-Care Guide for Teachers: 15 Invaluable Tips

The Ultimate Summer Self-Care Guide for Teachers: 15 Invaluable Tips

Teaching is both a demanding and rewarding profession. Even before the onslaught of COVID-19, teaching was incredibly demanding. Now that we’re in the post-COVID world, teaching is even more difficult.

Face it; you need a break.

As the school year comes to an end, it’s important to recognize the hard work and dedication that all teachers put into their jobs. You all spend countless hours preparing lesson plans, grading assignments, and supporting students. Despite facing many challenges, teachers persevere and continue to make a difference in the lives of their students. Taking a well-deserved break to recharge and prepare for the next school year is crucial.

Here are a few ideas to help you get the most out of your summer break, resting and recharging before the new school year:

1. Set Boundaries

Just as you set boundaries in the classroom, it’s essential to establish boundaries between your professional and personal life. Turn off email notifications after work hours, and use your free time to focus on your interests.

180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators (A 36-Week Plan of Low-Cost Self-Care for Teachers and Educators)
  • Tina H. Boogren (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages – 09/20/2019 (Publication Date) – Solution Tree Press (Publisher)

2. Unwind with a Book

Summer is the perfect time to delve into that book you’ve been meaning to read. Reading is an excellent way to exercise your mind, expand your vocabulary, and gain new knowledge. Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, there is a book out there for everyone. If you’re not sure where to start, consider exploring different genres such as mystery, science fiction, or romance. Reading also has the added benefit of reducing stress, as it allows you to escape into a different world and forget about your worries for a while. So, take advantage of the warm weather and find a cozy spot to curl up with a good book this summer.

3. Prioritize Physical Health

Taking care of your physical health is an essential part of self-care. Engaging in regular physical activity not only helps to maintain a healthy body but also promotes mental wellness. Consider incorporating activities such as yoga, jogging, swimming, or cycling into your routine. Additionally, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet can provide the necessary fuel to keep you energized throughout the day. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other healthy fluids. In summary, prioritizing physical health can have positive impacts on both your physical and mental well-being.

4. Nurture Your Mental Health

It’s important to remember that teachers’ mental health is just as important as their physical health. To perform their best, teachers should do things that help them relax and reflect, like meditation, yoga, or just spending some alone time. It’s also important to create a supportive environment where teachers can talk about any challenges they’re facing. By taking care of their mental health, teachers will not only be happier and healthier, but they’ll also be better at teaching their students.

5. Invest in Learning

Professional development is an ongoing process that requires effort and dedication. One way to continue growing your skills and knowledge is to take advantage of the summer break. This time can be used to attend workshops, webinars, or online courses that focus on specific areas of interest. You can also use this time to immerse yourself in industry-related reading material, such as journals, magazines, or books. Another great way to develop professionally during the summer is to network with other professionals in your field. Attend conferences, meetups, or connect with colleagues on social media platforms. By doing so, you will expand your knowledge, gain new perspectives, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. Remember, investing in your professional development is an investment in your career success!

6. Foster Creativity

Being creative has been shown to have a positive impact on our mental health. By engaging in creative activities, we can reduce stress and anxiety and enhance our overall sense of well-being. In addition to painting, gardening, and cooking, there are many other ways to be creative, such as writing, playing music, or dancing. These activities can provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, which can boost our self-esteem and confidence. Furthermore, being creative can help us to develop new skills, learn new things, and expand our horizons. It allows us to express ourselves in unique and meaningful ways, which can be incredibly fulfilling. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your mental health and boost your happiness, why not give creativity a try?

7. Build a Self-Care Routine

Establishing a routine can help you stick to your self-care goals. It has been shown that those who have a regular self-care routine are more likely to maintain good physical and mental health. Dedicate specific time slots for your self-care activities, such as practicing mindfulness, going for a walk, or taking a relaxing bath. You can also try incorporating self-care into your daily routine by taking breaks throughout the day to stretch or meditate. Remember that taking care of yourself is important and can lead to a happier and healthier life overall.

8. Embrace Nature

Nature is a fantastic healer that can help you relax and rejuvenate both your mind and body. Spending time in nature has been proven to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and improve overall well-being. So why not plan a hiking trip to explore a nearby trail, pack a picnic to enjoy with your loved ones, or simply start your day with a cup of coffee in your backyard? You’ll not only get a great dose of fresh air and exercise, but you’ll also have the opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.

9. Indulge in Guilty Pleasures

Whether it’s binge-watching your favorite TV series, having a luxurious spa day, or eating your favorite dessert, indulging every once in a while is important for maintaining a healthy balance in life. Taking some time to decompress and pamper yourself can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase overall well-being. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, but it’s important to prioritize self-care and make time for activities that bring joy and relaxation. So go ahead, treat yourself to that extra slice of cake, or take a day off to lounge in bed and catch up on your favorite shows – you deserve it!

10. Nurture Relationships

Spending time with loved ones and friends is an important aspect of self-care. It helps us to relax, recharge, and connect with those who matter most to us. You can also consider reconnecting with old friends or making new ones. Sometimes, spending time alone can also be rejuvenating. This could mean indulging in activities like reading, taking a walk, or simply relaxing in a quiet place. Whatever it is that brings you peace and happiness, make sure to carve out some time in your busy schedule to do it.

11. Limit Screen Time

Summer break is a fantastic opportunity to disconnect from digital devices and immerse yourself in the world around you. As you spend less time in front of screens, you can spend more time exploring and experiencing the world in new ways. Take a hike in nature, go for a swim in a nearby lake, or simply take a walk around your town or city and discover new things you may have never noticed before. With so much to see and do, there’s no reason to miss out on the beauty and excitement of the real world during your summer break!

12. Embrace New Experiences

There are many ways to broaden your horizons and gain a fresh perspective on life. One way is to try something new, such as learning a new skill or exploring a new hobby. For example, you could try learning a new language, which can help you better understand and connect with people from different cultures. Likewise, trying a new sport can help you stay fit and healthy while also providing a fun and exciting challenge. Finally, exploring a new city can be a great way to learn about different cultures and history, while also satisfying your sense of adventure. By trying new things, you can expand your knowledge and experiences, which can ultimately lead to a more fulfilling life.

13. Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is an essential aspect of our mental and emotional well-being. It is the practice of recognizing and appreciating the positive aspects of our life, no matter how small they may seem. By doing this, we can cultivate positive feelings and improve our overall quality of life.

One way to incorporate gratitude into our daily routine is to keep a gratitude journal. This involves writing down things that we are thankful for, such as the people in our lives, the experiences we have had, or the opportunities that have come our way. By doing this, we can train our minds to focus on the positive aspects of our lives and develop a greater sense of appreciation for what we have.

In addition to keeping a gratitude journal, there are other ways to cultivate gratitude in our lives. We can make a conscious effort to express our gratitude to others, whether it be through a kind word or a thoughtful gesture. We can also take time to appreciate the beauty of nature or the simple pleasures in life, such as a good meal or a warm hug.

Ultimately, gratitude is a powerful tool for improving our mental health and well-being. By incorporating this practice into our daily lives, we can cultivate a greater sense of happiness, contentment, and fulfillment.

14. Volunteer

Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience that not only helps others but also has numerous positive impacts on your own life. When you volunteer, you have the opportunity to connect with others and develop meaningful relationships, which can increase your sense of belonging and social support. Additionally, volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment, as you are contributing to a cause that you are passionate about. This can boost your mood and self-worth, and even improve physical health by reducing stress levels. So take some time to research local charities or causes that align with your interests and values, and consider giving back to your community through volunteering.

15. Plan for the Upcoming School Year

As summer comes to an end and the new school year approaches, it’s a good idea to start getting ready. While it’s tempting to kick back and relax, taking some time to plan and organize for the upcoming term can really pay off in the long run. Check out your class schedule, textbooks, and syllabus to see what you’ll be learning and what you need to do to succeed. There are tons of online resources available to help you get ahead, too. Consider making a study plan and setting achievable goals for each week leading up to the start of school. That way, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running and crush it when classes begin.

Teachers, take this summer to refresh and rejuvenate. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish. It’s a necessity. Here’s to a happy, healthy summer!

The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

10 Things Teachers Shouldn’t Do Over the Summer Break

10 Things Teachers Shouldn’t Do Over the Summer Break

Summer break is a time when the school hallways empty and the classrooms quiet down. As a teacher, you’ve probably been eagerly anticipating this time, haven’t you? But remember, this period is not just about taking a breather; it’s also about preparing for the upcoming year in an effective, balanced way. It’s crucial to use this time wisely and avoid some common pitfalls.

Mistake 1: Overplanning for the Next Year

One of the most common mistakes that teachers make is overplanning for the next academic year. While it’s crucial to prepare for the upcoming school year, it’s also important to take breaks and enjoy your summer vacation. Engrossing yourself in textbooks and lesson plans throughout the summer may lead to burnout even before the school year begins. So, how about striking a balance between planning and relaxation? You could use your summer break to explore new hobbies or take a trip to recharge your batteries. Additionally, you could use the time to reflect on your teaching methods and make any necessary improvements. All in all, remember that a well-rested teacher is a better teacher, so don’t forget to take care of yourself!

Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving
  • Headlee, Celeste (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 06/01/2021 (Publication Date) – Harmony (Publisher)

Mistake 2: Bringing Work Home

Another common mistake is bringing work home, which can lead to a lack of work-life balance. Sure, there might be some work to do during summer break, but don’t get carried away with it! It’s important to find a balance and not let work take over your whole break. When you bring work home, make sure to have a designated area for it and set a schedule for yourself. This way, you can keep a healthy balance between your work and personal life, and your home can remain a relaxing space for you to recharge.

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Schulte, Brigid (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 369 Pages – 03/11/2014 (Publication Date) – Sarah Crichton Books (Publisher)

Mistake 3: Ignoring Self-Care

One important mistake to avoid during the summer is neglecting self-care. Teachers give a lot of themselves, so it’s super important to take care of yourself! Don’t forget to prioritize your own well-being. While this can take many forms, there are a few ideas to consider. For example, starting a fitness routine can be a great way to take care of your physical health and relieve stress. Additionally, practicing mindfulness through meditation can help you stay centered and focused. Finally, picking up a new book that isn’t related to work can be a wonderful way to recharge your mind and prevent burnout.

Read More: The Ultimate Summer Self-Care Guide for Teachers: 15 Invaluable Tips

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Mistake 4: Not Setting Personal Goals

Setting personal goals over the summer is a great way to make the most of your time. Not only do goals give you direction and a sense of accomplishment when achieved, they can also help you grow as a person. In fact, there are countless goals you can set for yourself this summer, depending on your interests and aspirations.

For instance, why not consider learning a new language or instrument? Not only can this be a fun and engaging way to spend your time, but it can also enhance your cognitive abilities and open up new avenues of communication. Alternatively, you could set a goal to hike a particular trail or visit a new city. Both of these activities can be great ways to explore the world around you and broaden your horizons.

Of course, setting goals isn’t always easy. It can be difficult to know where to start or how to stay motivated over the long term. However, by breaking your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps, and by tracking your progress along the way, you can make it easier to stay on track and achieve success. So why not take some time to set some personal goals for yourself this summer? You never know where they might take you!

Discipline is Destiny
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ryan Holiday (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages – 09/06/2022 (Publication Date) – Profile Books (Publisher)

Mistake 5: Not Taking Time for Professional Development

One mistake to avoid is not investing enough time in professional development. While it may seem like a daunting task, dedicating time to enhancing your skills and keeping up with the latest teaching methods is crucial for success in the field of education. There are many ways to do this – for example, you could consider taking a short course or attending a workshop to learn new techniques. Another option is to engage with educational podcasts or blogs to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. Additionally, you could consider joining a professional organization or networking group to connect with other educators and learn from their experiences. By investing time in your own professional development, you’ll be better equipped to meet the challenges of the ever-changing world of education and provide your students with the best possible learning experience.

Don’t Just Survive, Thrive: A Teacher’s Guide to Fostering Resilience, Preventing Burnout, and Nurturing Your Love for Teaching (Books for Teachers)
  • Herrboldt, SaraJane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 216 Pages – 07/25/2023 (Publication Date) – Ulysses Press (Publisher)

Mistake 6: Neglecting Family and Friends

It is important to keep in mind that relationships with family and friends are a key component of our lives, and should not be neglected during the summer months. While it can be tempting to immerse oneself in various activities, it is essential to make time for loved ones and nurture these connections. One way to do this is to plan a family vacation, which can be a great opportunity to create lasting memories and strengthen bonds. Alternatively, visiting friends or even just enjoying a meal together can be a rewarding experience. By taking the time to bond with those closest to us, we can enrich our lives and create meaningful relationships that last a lifetime.

Mistake 7: Not Exploring New Hobbies

Failing to explore new hobbies can be a missed opportunity for personal growth and relaxation. It’s important to remember that trying something new doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Instead, it can be a chance to broaden your horizons and discover new passions. For example, if you’re interested in gardening, you might want to start by learning about different plants and their specific needs. Or, if you’re drawn to painting, you could start by experimenting with different mediums and techniques until you find the style that suits you best. Similarly, if writing sparks your interest, you could start with short stories or poems, and gradually work your way up to longer pieces. Whatever hobby you choose, the key is to approach it with an open mind and a willingness to learn. By doing so, you may find that exploring a new hobby is not only refreshing and fulfilling, but can also lead to new friendships, new experiences, and a deeper sense of self-discovery.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative (Austin Kleon)
  • By artist and writer Austin Kleon
  • A collection of positive messages and exercises to realize your artistic side
  • A New York Times Best-seller
  • 10 Things nobody told you about being creative!
  • ERROR:#N/A

Mistake 8: Avoiding Travel

Avoiding travel is another common mistake. While it is important to take precautions during the pandemic, we should not let fear stop us from experiencing new places and cultures. Traveling broadens our horizons and rejuvenates our minds, allowing us to gain a new perspective on the world around us. Even a short road trip to a nearby city or a hike in a local nature reserve can do wonders for our mental health and overall well-being. Not to mention, supporting local businesses and tourism is more important now than ever before. By taking the necessary safety measures, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing, we can still enjoy the benefits of travel while keeping ourselves and others safe.

Mistake 9: Skipping Reflection

Failing to take the time to reflect on the past academic year is not only a missed opportunity but also a disservice. Reflection is an essential tool that helps us identify areas of improvement and growth. There are many ways to reflect, such as keeping a journal, meditating, or simply pondering while taking a walk in the park. It is by reflecting on our victories and challenges that we are able to gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Through reflection, we are able to see how far we have come, what we need to do to continue growing, and what we need to avoid. Therefore, it is crucial that we make time for reflection and not let the hustle and bustle of daily life take over. So, take a moment to reflect, and you may be surprised at what you discover.

The Art of Talking to Yourself: Self-Awareness Meets the Inner Conversation
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Vironika Tugaleva (Author) – Vironika Tugaleva (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 07/31/2018 (Publication Date) – Soulux Press (Publisher)

Mistake 10: Failing to Recharge

One of the most common mistakes that teachers make is failing to recharge. Being a teacher is tough, both mentally and physically. Don’t forget that during summer break! In order to maintain a high level of productivity and enthusiasm, it is essential to take the time to recharge your batteries. There are plenty of ways to recharge over summer break! You can watch your favorite movies, spend time in nature, or catch up on your sleep. Just make sure you take the time to do things that relax you and fill you with energy, so you’re ready to tackle the new academic year ahead. By taking the time to do things that relax you and fill you with energy, you will be able to approach your work with renewed focus and vigor.

  • Pang, Alex Soojung-Kim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 06/12/2018 (Publication Date) – Basic Books (Publisher)


In conclusion, the summer break is a valuable period that should be utilized wisely. Avoid these common mistakes and ensure a healthy, productive, and rejuvenating break. Remember, you owe it to yourself and your students to come back recharged and ready for the new academic year.

The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

Essential Chromebook Tips and Tricks: A Comprehensive Guide

acer chromebook on the white desk
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Chromebooks have taken the market by storm with their simplicity and affordability. Not only that, their integration with Google services and other apps, as well as their high customization potential, make them ideal devices for users of all experience levels. In this guide, we’ll explore a variety of key Chromebook tips and tricks aimed at helping you optimize your use and increase your productivity.

Accessing Microsoft Office on Chromebook

A common question among new Chromebook users, particularly those switching from Windows, revolves around accessing Microsoft Office on their Chromebook. While Chromebooks, designed by Google, don’t natively support Microsoft Office due to the competition with Google’s own suite (Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides), users can still access Microsoft 365 online. This solution offers the familiarity of Microsoft Suite via the web browser on your Chromebook.

Customizing Your Chromebook

One of Chromebook’s key advantages is its high customizability. You can personalize your wallpaper with pre-built options or images downloaded from the internet. Screen savers and various other aspects of the Chromebook interface can also be modified to your liking.

Connecting Your Android Phone to Your Chromebook

Thanks to Google’s tight integration between Android and Chrome, you can effortlessly connect your Android phone to your Chromebook. This connection allows you to view recent photos, browser tabs, and app notifications on your Chromebook. It also enables features like locating your phone, turning on your mobile hotspot, and sharing your phone’s internet with your Chromebook.

Accessing Linux on Your Chromebook

Chromebooks have supported Linux since 2017, meaning you can bring full desktop applications based on Linux to your Chromebook. This includes applications like Visual Studio, VLC, Libre Office, and Firefox, among others. To enable Linux, navigate to Settings, then to Advanced, and finally to Developers.

Running Android Apps on Your Chromebook

Accessing over a million Android apps from the Google Play Store on your Chromebook offers a wealth of possibilities. While not all apps scale perfectly to the larger Chromebook screen, having the option to use your favorite Android apps like WhatsApp, Spotify, and Twitter can greatly enhance your productivity and entertainment.

Utilizing Google Assistant on Your Chromebook

The Google Assistant, an AI-driven smart assistant by Google, is also integrated into Chromebooks. By clicking on the launcher icon or the search button on your keyboard, you can send emails, open files, control your smart home, and much more.

Exploring Dark Mode on Chromebook

Just like smartphones and PCs, Chromebooks also support dark mode. This mode is particularly useful at nighttime as it’s easier on the eyes. To enable it, right-click on your desktop, go to ‘Set wallpaper and style’, and select ‘Dark’ or ‘Auto’ under themes.

Using VPN on Chromebook

While Chromebooks do offer built-in VPN support, users often find it easier to download Android app versions of their preferred VPN providers from the Google Play Store, such as ExpressVPN or Surfshark.

Maximizing Productivity with Split Screen and Virtual Desks

Chromebook supports split screen functionality, perfect for multitasking with two applications side by side. For a more organized workspace, consider using virtual desks to segment your tasks, such as work or entertainment.

Casting Your Chromebook Screen to Your TV

Want to watch a movie on a bigger screen or share a presentation with others? You can cast your Chromebook screen to your smart TV with ease.

Google Chromecast with Google TV (4K)- Streaming Stick Entertainment with Voice Search – Watch Movies, Shows, and Live TV in 4K HDR – Snow
  • Get fast streaming and enjoy a crystal clear picture up to 4K and brighter colors with HDR. **
  • Ask to search for specific shows, or by mood, genre, actress, and more. Talk to Google and say, “What should I watch?” And use the remote to control the volume switch inputs, play music, and get answers on-screen.
  • Get personal suggestions based on your subscriptions, viewing habits and content you own.
  • Because Chromecast breathes life into existing TVs and is designed with recycled materials, it helps keep waste out of landfills.
  • Create a kids profile to set up an area for your children to access a fun collection of family-friendly movies and shows. Pick from a selection of playful themes, and set parental controls to restrict what content can be seen, limit watching time, and set a bedtime.

Using Your Chromebook Offline

Although Chromebooks are designed as cloud-centric devices, they still offer offline support for certain applications, primarily Google’s productivity tools such as Docs, Slides, and Sheets.

Restarting Your Chromebook

Unlike traditional laptops, Chromebooks require less frequent reboots. They operate with a lightweight operating system and therefore consume fewer system resources. However, if you need to refresh your device, the power button or the “Ctrl + Shift + Q (twice)” keyboard shortcut will allow you to restart or log out, respectively.

Backup and Sync

To safeguard your data, Google Drive is integrated directly into the Files app on your Chromebook. This feature allows automatic synchronization of your data, meaning you can access your documents, photos, and other files across devices. If you ever need to factory reset your Chromebook or switch to a new device, your data remains safely stored in Google Drive.

Guest Browsing

If you’re sharing your Chromebook with someone or need to use a public device, the guest browsing mode allows you to use the Chromebook without leaving any personal data behind. Once you sign out of the guest account, all your browsing history, files, and other data are completely removed from the device.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Chromebook features a host of unique keyboard shortcuts that can boost your productivity significantly. By pressing “Ctrl + Alt + /”, a keyboard overlay will pop up, showing you all the shortcuts available. These can help you navigate your Chromebook more efficiently, allowing for tasks such as opening a new tab, switching between windows, taking screenshots, and more.

Screen Magnifier and High Contrast Mode

For visually impaired users, Chromebook offers a screen magnifier and high contrast mode. You can enable these in the Accessibility section of the settings. These features allow users to more comfortably navigate their device and reduce eye strain.

These are just some of the many tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of your Chromebook. By familiarizing yourself with these features and functionalities, you can truly optimize your Chromebook experience, whether for work, study, or entertainment.

The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

How Teachers Can Identify and Support Grieving Students

woman in green trench coat covering her face with her hands
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Understanding the Concept of Grief

Before teachers can identify and support grieving students, they must first understand what grief is. Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering one feels when something or someone the individual loves is taken away. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. For children, especially, navigating through these emotions can be confusing and isolating.

Signs That a Student May Be Grieving

Emotional Signs

Children may not express their grief in the same way as adults. They might seem disinterested, upset, or unusually quiet. They might have bouts of crying, display anger, or show unusual fear or anxiety.

Behavioral Signs

Behavioral signs may include a decline in academic performance, changes in social interactions, increased absences, or even disruptive behavior in class.

The Grieving Student: A Guide for Schools
  • Schonfeld M.D., David J. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages – 04/29/2021 (Publication Date) – Brookes Publishing (Publisher)

The Role of Teachers in Identifying Grieving Students

Active Observation

Teachers, being on the frontline, can play a significant role in identifying grieving students. Through active observation, you can spot changes in a student’s behavior, academic performance, or social interactions that may indicate they are dealing with grief.

Engaging in Conversations

Teachers can also engage students in conversations to help identify grief. Let them know you’re there to listen if they ever need to talk.

How to Support Grieving Students

Provide a Safe Space

Emotional Support

Providing emotional support is crucial. Create a safe, non-judgmental space where students feel comfortable expressing their feelings. Empathy goes a long way in helping students cope.

Academic Support

Academic support is equally important. Make accommodations for grieving students to ensure their academic performance doesn’t suffer during this difficult time.

Involving Professionals

Don’t hesitate to involve school counselors or psychologists if a student’s grief seems to be overwhelming or lasts a long time. They are equipped with the necessary skills to provide professional support.

Teaching the Class About Grief

Consider age-appropriate lessons about grief. Teaching students about grief can foster a supportive environment, helping grieving students feel less isolated.

Keeping Communication Open with Parents

Finally, ensure to keep an open line of communication with the parents. They can provide insight into what the student is experiencing and how best you can support them.


In conclusion, teachers play a pivotal role in identifying and supporting grieving students. By understanding grief, observing, engaging, and providing the necessary support, teachers can help students navigate through this challenging time.


  1. What is grief? Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering one feels when something or someone the individual loves is taken away.
  2. How can teachers identify grieving students? Teachers can identify grieving students through active observation and engaging in conversations.
  3. How can teachers support grieving students? Teachers can support grieving students by providing a safe space for emotional expression, academic support, involving professionals when necessary, teaching the class about grief, and keeping communication open with parents.
  4. Why is it important to teach the class about grief? Teaching students about grief can foster a supportive environment, helping grieving students feel less isolated.
  5. What role do parents play in supporting grieving students? Parents can provide insight into what the student is experiencing and how best the teacher can support them.

The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

IDEA: A Guide for Educators and Parents

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Education plays a crucial role in every child’s life, but not all students have the same needs or abilities. Inclusion and equal opportunities for students with disabilities are paramount to ensure their success. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that protects the rights of children with disabilities and guarantees them access to free appropriate public education (FAPE). In this guide, we will explore what IDEA is, its key components, rights and protections, and how educators and parents can collaborate to support children’s educational journey.

Education is a fundamental right, and IDEA ensures that children with disabilities receive the necessary support and accommodations to access quality education. IDEA was first enacted in 1975 and has since undergone revisions to strengthen its provisions and protect the rights of students with disabilities. This comprehensive law aims to ensure that all children, regardless of their disabilities, have equal access to education and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Understanding IDEA: What is IDEA and its purpose

Definition of IDEA

IDEA stands for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It is a federal law in the United States that governs special education services for children with disabilities. IDEA provides guidelines and regulations for identifying, evaluating, and providing appropriate educational services to eligible children.

A Practical Approach to Special Education Administration: Creating Positive Outcomes for Students With Different Abilities
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Earley, James B. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 214 Pages – 06/28/2022 (Publication Date) – Corwin (Publisher)

History and background

IDEA was originally known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) and was signed into law in 1975. The primary purpose of this legislation was to ensure that children with disabilities have equal access to education. Over the years, IDEA has evolved to enhance the rights and protections for students with disabilities and their families.

The purpose of IDEA

The main purpose of IDEA is to ensure that children with disabilities have access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that meets their unique needs. IDEA emphasizes the importance of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE) possible.

Does Compliance Matter in Special Education?: IDEA and the Hidden Inequities of Practice (Disability, Culture, and Equity Series)
  • Voulgarides, Catherine Kramarczuk (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages – 04/20/2018 (Publication Date) – Teachers College Press (Publisher)

Importance for educators and parents

IDEA has a significant impact on both educators and parents. For educators, IDEA sets forth guidelines for identifying and serving students with disabilities, ensuring they receive the necessary accommodations and support to succeed academically. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of educators, including the development of individualized education programs (IEPs) and collaboration with parents and related service providers.

For parents, IDEA provides a framework to advocate for their child’s rights, access appropriate educational services, and actively participate in the decision-making process. It safeguards parental involvement, ensuring parents have a say in their child’s education, including the development of the IEP, placement decisions, and access to procedural safeguards.

Key Components of IDEA

IDEA consists of several key components that work together to support students with disabilities in their educational journey. Understanding these components is crucial for educators and parents to effectively navigate the special education process and provide the best possible support for children.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

FAPE is a cornerstone of IDEA. It guarantees that all eligible children with disabilities, regardless of the nature or severity of their disabilities, have the right to receive a free appropriate public education. This means that schools must provide special education and related services at no cost to the parents to meet the unique needs of each child.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

The IEP is a written document developed for every child who qualifies for special education services under IDEA. It is a collaborative effort between educators, parents, and other professionals involved in the child’s education. The IEP outlines the child’s present levels of performance, annual goals, specific services, accommodations, and modifications required to support the child’s educational progress.

The IEP from A to Z: How to Create Meaningful and Measurable Goals and Objectives
  • Twachtman-Cullen, Diane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages – 04/26/2011 (Publication Date) – Jossey-Bass (Publisher)

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

The LRE provision emphasizes the importance of placing students with disabilities in inclusive settings to the maximum extent appropriate. IDEA mandates that children with disabilities should be educated alongside their non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible, while still ensuring they receive the necessary specialized instruction and support.

Parental Involvement and Rights

IDEA recognizes the critical role of parents in their child’s education. It guarantees parental involvement and provides certain rights to parents throughout the special education process. Parents have the right to participate in the development of their child’s IEP, request evaluations, receive progress reports, and engage in dispute-resolution procedures.

Evaluation and identification process

IDEA ensures that children with disabilities are identified and evaluated promptly to determine their eligibility for special education services. The evaluation process involves various assessments and tests to gather information about the child’s strengths, weaknesses, and specific needs. The evaluation results help determine if the child qualifies for an IEP.

Related services and supports

IDEA recognizes that some children with disabilities require additional support services to benefit from their education fully. These services, known as related services, can include speech therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, transportation, and more. IDEA mandates that related services necessary for a child to receive a FAPE must be provided at no cost to parents.

Rights and Protections under IDEA

IDEA establishes rights and protections to ensure that children with disabilities and their families are treated fairly and have access to appropriate educational services. These rights and protections help safeguard the educational rights of students with disabilities and provide mechanisms for resolving disputes.

Procedural safeguards

IDEA outlines a set of procedural safeguards that protect the rights of children with disabilities and their parents. These safeguards ensure that parents are actively involved in decision-making processes and have access to necessary information and safeguards. Some of the procedural safeguards include written prior notice, consent requirements, the right to an independent educational evaluation (IEE), and the right to resolve disputes through mediation or due process.

Due process

Due process is a mechanism provided by IDEA to resolve disputes between parents and schools. It ensures that parents have the right to challenge decisions made by the school district regarding their child’s identification, evaluation, placement, or provision of services. Due process hearings provide an impartial forum for resolving disagreements and reaching a resolution.


IDEA protects the privacy and confidentiality of students’ educational records. Schools must obtain written consent from parents before disclosing personally identifiable information about a child, except in specific circumstances outlined by the law. This provision ensures that the child’s educational information remains secure and confidential.

Dispute resolution options

IDEA offers multiple dispute resolution options for parents and schools to address conflicts and disagreements. These options include mediation, due process hearings, and complaint procedures. Mediation is a voluntary process where a neutral third party facilitates a resolution between the parties involved. Due process hearings involve a more formal procedure, and complaint procedures allow parents to file complaints with the appropriate education agency.

Collaborating between Educators and Parents

Effective collaboration between educators and parents is crucial for supporting the educational journey of students with disabilities. By working together, educators and parents can create a supportive and inclusive environment that meets the unique needs of each child.

Importance of Collaboration

Collaboration between educators and parents ensures a comprehensive understanding of the child’s strengths, challenges, and goals. It promotes a holistic approach to education, where the expertise and insights of both educators and parents are valued and integrated into the child’s educational plan.

Building effective partnerships

Building an effective partnership requires open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making. Educators and parents should establish regular channels of communication, such as meetings, emails, or phone calls, to discuss the child’s progress, concerns, and any necessary adjustments to the educational plan.

Communication strategies

Effective communication is essential to maintain a strong partnership. Educators should communicate with parents in a clear and timely manner, providing updates on the child’s progress, any changes in the IEP, and opportunities for parental involvement. Parents, on the other hand, should openly communicate their concerns, observations, and aspirations for their child’s education.

Sharing information and feedback

Both educators and parents bring valuable insights and knowledge about the child’s strengths, interests, and learning preferences. Sharing this information helps create a more individualized and tailored educational experience for the child. Educators should seek input from parents and involve them in decision-making processes, while parents should share relevant information about the child’s home life, hobbies, and personal goals.

Implementing IDEA in Schools

Implementing IDEA effectively in schools requires a collective effort from educators, administrators, and support staff. It involves creating inclusive classrooms, differentiating instruction, and continually monitoring the child’s progress.

Roles and responsibilities of educators

Educators play a critical role in implementing IDEA by providing quality instruction, accommodations, and support to students with disabilities. They should be knowledgeable about the child’s specific needs, the IEP goals, and the necessary instructional strategies and modifications. Educators should collaborate with colleagues, special education coordinators, and related service providers to ensure the child’s needs are met effectively.

A Teacher’s Guide to Special Education: A Teacher’s Guide to Special Education
  • Bateman, David F. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 190 Pages – 06/27/2016 (Publication Date) – ASCD (Publisher)

Creating inclusive classrooms

Inclusion is a core principle of IDEA. Educators should strive to create inclusive classrooms where students with disabilities learn alongside their peers without disabilities. This inclusive environment promotes social interaction, fosters empathy and understanding, and encourages the development of friendships and positive relationships.

The Inclusive Classroom
  • MCKENZIE (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 138 Pages – 04/14/2021 (Publication Date) – Rowman & Littlefield (Publisher)

Differentiating instruction

Every student has unique strengths and challenges, and differentiating instruction is essential to meet their individual needs. Educators should adapt and modify instructional methods, materials, and assessments to accommodate diverse learners. This may involve providing additional support, using assistive technology, or implementing alternative teaching strategies.

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction
  • Roberts, Julia Link (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 294 Pages – 01/31/2023 (Publication Date) – Routledge (Publisher)

Monitoring progress and making adjustments

Regularly monitoring the child’s progress is vital to ensure that the educational plan remains effective and aligned with their goals. Educators should use ongoing assessments and progress monitoring tools to track the child’s academic and social-emotional development. If necessary, adjustments should be made to the IEP to address any emerging needs or challenges.

Resources and Support for Educators and Parents

Numerous resources and support systems are available to assist educators and parents in navigating IDEA and supporting students with disabilities.

National and local organizations

National and local organizations, such as the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), and Parent Teacher Association (PTA), offer valuable resources, information, and support for educators and parents. These organizations provide access to research-based practices, professional development opportunities, and networks of professionals and families.

Professional development opportunities

Continual professional development is essential for educators to stay updated with best practices in special education. School districts, educational agencies, and organizations offer professional development opportunities, workshops, and conferences focused on IDEA implementation, instructional strategies, behavior management, and other relevant topics.

Online resources and tools

The internet provides a wealth of resources for educators and parents. Websites such as the U.S. Department of Education’s IDEA website and Understood.org, offer guides, articles, videos, and downloadable materials that can assist in understanding IDEA, developing effective IEPs, and implementing research-based instructional strategies.

Challenges and Considerations

Implementing IDEA and supporting students with disabilities can present challenges and considerations that educators and parents should be aware of.

Funding limitations

A common challenge in implementing IDEA is the availability of resources and funding. Providing appropriate accommodations, specialized services, and support can strain school budgets. Advocating for adequate funding and seeking grants and community partnerships can help address this challenge.

Inclusion and diversity

Creating inclusive classrooms requires addressing the unique needs of a diverse student population. Educators should be mindful of cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic factors that can influence the educational experiences of students with disabilities. Creating a culturally responsive and inclusive environment is crucial for meeting the needs of all learners.

Meeting individual needs

Each student with disabilities has unique strengths, challenges, and learning profiles. Educators must develop differentiated instructional plans that meet individual needs effectively. This requires ongoing professional development, collaboration, and access to appropriate resources and support.

Navigating the special education process

The special education process can be complex and overwhelming for both educators and parents. Understanding the legal requirements, timelines, and procedural steps can be challenging. Schools should provide guidance and support to parents, ensuring they understand their rights, options, and available resources.


IDEA is vital legislation that ensures the rights and access to education for students with disabilities. By understanding the key components of IDEA, the rights and protections it provides, and fostering effective collaboration between educators and parents, we can create inclusive learning environments that meet the unique needs of every child. While challenges exist, the resources and support available can help overcome these obstacles and ensure that all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential.


1. How can parents get involved in the development of their child’s IEP?

Parents have the right to actively participate in the development of their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). They can attend IEP meetings, provide input regarding their child’s strengths and needs, and collaborate with educators and other professionals to set appropriate goals and accommodations.

2. What are some alternative dispute resolution options available under IDEA?

Under IDEA, alternative dispute resolution options include mediation, facilitated IEP meetings, and resolution sessions. These processes provide opportunities for open communication, negotiation, and resolution without the need for a formal due process hearing.

3. How can educators differentiate instruction for students with disabilities?

Educators can differentiate instruction by adapting teaching methods, providing additional support, modifying assignments and assessments, and incorporating assistive technology. They should consider individual needs, learning styles, and preferences when planning and delivering instruction.

4. What are some strategies for building effective partnerships between educators and parents?

Building effective partnerships requires open and ongoing communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making. Regular meetings, emails, and phone calls can facilitate communication. Educators should actively seek input from parents and involve them in decision-making processes.

5. Where can educators and parents find additional resources on implementing IDEA?

Educators and parents can find additional resources on implementing IDEA from national and local organizations, professional development opportunities, and online platforms. Websites such as the U.S. Department of Education’s IDEA website, professional organizations, and educational agencies offer guides, articles, videos, and downloadable materials.

The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

The Power of Computational Thinking: Unlocking Innovation and Problem-Solving Skills

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At [OurCompany], we believe in the transformative power of computational thinking. In an increasingly digital world, this structured approach to problem-solving and logical reasoning has become an essential skill set for individuals and organizations alike. In this article, we will explore the concept of computational thinking, its benefits, and how it can empower you to unlock innovation and solve complex problems effectively.

Understanding Computational Thinking

Computational thinking is a problem-solving methodology inspired by the processes involved in computer science and programming. It encompasses a set of skills and strategies that enable individuals to break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts. By applying logical reasoning and algorithmic thinking, computational thinking helps us develop innovative solutions and make informed decisions.

The Core Components of Computational Thinking

1. Decomposition

Decomposition involves breaking down a complex problem into smaller, more manageable sub-problems. By doing so, we gain a better understanding of the problem’s structure and can tackle each component individually. This process allows us to focus on specific aspects, identify patterns, and develop targeted solutions.

2. Pattern Recognition

Pattern recognition refers to the ability to identify similarities, trends, or regularities within a given problem or data set. Recognizing patterns enables us to make connections, extract meaningful insights, and apply them to other contexts. It forms the basis for developing generalized solutions and finding efficiencies.

3. Abstraction

Abstraction involves filtering out unnecessary details and focusing on the essential aspects of a problem. It allows us to create simplified models and representations that capture the core elements and relationships. By abstracting away complexities, we gain a clearer perspective, facilitating the development of scalable and adaptable solutions.

4. Algorithmic Thinking

Algorithmic thinking involves designing step-by-step procedures or algorithms to solve problems systematically. It requires logical reasoning and the ability to devise efficient strategies for accomplishing specific tasks. By breaking down a problem into a series of well-defined steps, algorithmic thinking provides a roadmap to problem-solving success.

Benefits of Computational Thinking

Computational thinking offers numerous benefits to individuals and organizations, transcending the boundaries of computer science. Let’s explore how adopting this approach can positively impact various domains:

1. Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills

By applying computational thinking techniques, individuals become more adept at breaking down complex problems into manageable components. This enables them to analyze and solve problems with a systematic and structured approach, fostering critical thinking and creativity.

2. Promotes Innovation and Creativity

Computational thinking encourages individuals to think outside the box and explore novel approaches to problem-solving. By leveraging patterns, abstractions, and algorithmic thinking, new solutions and ideas can emerge. This mindset fuels innovation and drives continuous improvement across diverse fields.

3. Empowers Effective Decision Making

The ability to analyze data, recognize patterns, and abstract key information plays a vital role in making informed decisions. Computational thinking equips individuals with the skills to interpret and draw meaningful insights from complex data sets, leading to more accurate and informed decision-making processes.

4. Transdisciplinary Applications

Computational thinking is not limited to computer science alone. Its principles and techniques can be applied across various domains, including education, healthcare, engineering, finance, and many more. By embracing computational thinking, professionals from different backgrounds can leverage its power to solve domain-specific challenges effectively.

Computational Thinking Meets Student Learning: Extending the ISTE Standards
  • Prottsman, Kiki (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 24 Pages – 01/28/2019 (Publication Date) – International Society for Technology in Education (Publisher)

Incorporating Computational Thinking into Education

Recognizing the significance of computational thinking, educational institutions worldwide are integrating it into their curriculum. By introducing computational thinking from an early age, students develop a solid foundation in problem-solving and logical reasoning, preparing them for the demands of the digital era.

1. Computational Thinking in Mathematics

Computational thinking aligns naturally with mathematical concepts, enhancing students’ ability to approach mathematical problems systematically. It enables them to identify patterns, devise algorithms, and make connections between mathematical concepts, fostering a deeper understanding of the subject.

2. Computational Thinking in Science

In the scientific realm, computational thinking enables students to analyze complex phenomena, formulate hypotheses, and design experiments. By applying computational thinking, students gain a structured framework for conducting scientific investigations and exploring the intricacies of the natural world.

3. Computational Thinking in Language Arts

Incorporating computational thinking in language arts education fosters critical thinking and communication skills. Students can analyze literature, identify patterns in writing styles, and develop algorithms to express ideas effectively. Computational thinking enhances their ability to comprehend and articulate complex ideas.

4. Computational Thinking in Social Sciences

Computational thinking can also be leveraged in social sciences to analyze large datasets, identify trends, and draw insights. By integrating computational thinking methodologies, students can explore social phenomena, conduct data-driven research, and make evidence-based conclusions.


Computational thinking is a powerful problem-solving approach that empowers individuals to tackle complex challenges with confidence. By embracing the core components of computational thinking—decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, and algorithmic thinking—you can unlock innovation, enhance problem-solving skills, and make informed decisions in various domains.

Remember, computational thinking is not limited to computer science alone. It is a mindset and skill set that can be developed and applied by individuals from diverse backgrounds. Embrace the power of computational thinking and embark on a journey of limitless possibilities.

The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!

Lessons for High School Graduates from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations

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Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is a timeless collection of philosophical reflections from one of history’s greatest thinkers. As high school graduates embark on their journey into adulthood, they can glean valuable lessons from Aurelius’ wisdom. This article explores the teachings of Marcus Aurelius and how they can benefit young individuals transitioning into the next phase of their lives.

Understanding Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, born in 121 AD, was a Roman emperor renowned for his intellectual pursuits and leadership skills. His reign was characterized by political challenges and military conflicts. Amidst these responsibilities, Aurelius turned to philosophy and introspection as a means to find solace and guide his actions. Meditations, written as a personal diary, encapsulates his thoughts on a wide range of topics.

"Alexander the Great and his mule driver both died and the same thing happened to both. They were absorbed alike into the life force of the world, or dissolved alike into atoms." (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

Lesson 1: Stoic Philosophy and Virtue Ethics

Stoic philosophy, a central theme in Meditations, advocates for the cultivation of inner virtue and the pursuit of moral character. As high school graduates face an array of choices and uncertainties, adopting stoic principles can provide them with a robust framework for decision-making. By focusing on personal virtue, individuals can align their actions with their values, fostering a sense of integrity and purpose.

Meditations: A New Translation (Modern Library)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Aurelius, Marcus (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 05/14/2002 (Publication Date) – Modern Library (Publisher)

Lesson 2: Finding Inner Peace and Resilience

One of the key lessons from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is the importance of finding inner peace and developing resilience. High school graduates often encounter challenging situations, and cultivating resilience can help them navigate through setbacks and hardships. Meditative practices, inspired by Aurelius’ reflections, can aid in managing stress and fostering emotional well-being.

"To do harm is to do yourself harm. To do an injustice is to do yourself an injustice—it degrades you.  5. And you can also commit injustice by doing nothing." (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

Lesson 3: The Pursuit of Self-Improvement

In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius emphasizes the importance of continuous self-improvement. High school graduates can embrace a growth mindset and seek opportunities for personal and intellectual development. By adopting a proactive approach to learning, graduates can enhance their skills, broaden their knowledge, and adapt to the evolving world around them.

Lesson 4: Embracing the Present Moment

Marcus Aurelius encourages individuals to embrace the present moment fully. In today’s fast-paced world, high school graduates often find themselves preoccupied with the past or future. Practicing mindfulness, as inspired by Aurelius’ teachings, can help graduates appreciate the beauty of the present moment, enhance their focus, and reduce anxiety.

Lesson 5: Facing Challenges and Overcoming Obstacles

Meditations offers profound insights into facing challenges and overcoming obstacles. Marcus Aurelius acknowledges that life is filled with hardships and encourages individuals to develop resilience and perseverance. By adopting a positive mindset and employing practical strategies, high school graduates can tackle obstacles head-on and emerge stronger from adversity.

"To bear in mind constantly that all of this has happened before. And will happen again—the same plot from beginning to end, the identical staging. Produce them in your mind, as you know them from experience or from history: the court of Hadrian, of Antoninus. The courts of Philip, Alexander, Croesus. All just the same. Only the people different." (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

Lesson 6: Cultivating Gratitude and Perspective

Gratitude plays a significant role in Marcus Aurelius’ philosophy. High school graduates can benefit from cultivating a grateful mindset, which promotes well-being and perspective. Aurelius’ teachings remind us to appreciate the simple joys of life, recognize the interconnectedness of all things, and maintain a balanced perspective even in the face of difficulties.

Lesson 7: Building Meaningful Relationships

Marcus Aurelius emphasizes the importance of building meaningful relationships based on mutual respect and genuine connection. High school graduates can learn valuable lessons on fostering healthy relationships, nurturing friendships, and leveraging the power of social networks. Balancing online interactions with face-to-face connections is crucial in the digital age.


Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations offer timeless wisdom that resonates with high school graduates as they embark on their adult lives. The lessons derived from Aurelius’ philosophy encompass stoic principles, resilience, self-improvement, mindfulness, gratitude, and building meaningful relationships. By applying these teachings, graduates can navigate the challenges of adulthood with wisdom and grace, finding fulfillment and personal growth along the way.

Meditations: A New Translation (Modern Library)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Aurelius, Marcus (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 05/14/2002 (Publication Date) – Modern Library (Publisher)


1. What is the significance of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations? The significance of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations lies in its timeless wisdom and practical teachings. It offers guidance on various aspects of life, including personal virtue, resilience, mindfulness, and building meaningful relationships.

2. How can high school graduates apply stoic philosophy in their lives? High school graduates can apply stoic philosophy by focusing on personal virtue, aligning their actions with their values, developing resilience, embracing the present moment, and seeking continuous self-improvement.

3. What are some practical techniques for practicing mindfulness? Practical techniques for practicing mindfulness include deep breathing exercises, meditation, mindful observation of surroundings, journaling, and engaging in activities that promote focused attention and relaxation.

4. How can high school graduates overcome challenges using Marcus Aurelius’ teachings? High school graduates can overcome challenges by adopting a positive mindset, developing resilience, seeking perspective, focusing on inner virtue, and utilizing practical strategies for problem-solving and adaptation.

5. How can gratitude enhance the well-being of high school graduates? Gratitude enhances the well-being of high school graduates by promoting a positive outlook, fostering contentment, reducing stress, strengthening relationships, and cultivating a sense of appreciation for life’s blessings.

The Eclectic Educator is a free resource for all who are passionate about education and creativity. If you enjoy the content and want to support the newsletter, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your support helps keep the insights and inspiration coming!