The Blood, Sweat and Tears of Middle School Math

By Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS • 2 min read

Many middle school students struggle with math, often for the first time.

Math becomes harder in middle school, and teacher expectations are higher. These changes are appropriate as kids mature; the achievement bar must be raised so that students’ intellects are challenged to grow. The teacher who waters down instruction so that it’s always easy and “fun” isn’t doing students any favors.



Perfect for a Snow Day: ACT/SAT/ Math Review

By Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS • 1 min read

cats in the snow  Jan 27 2011 012Many students will be taking the ACT or the make-up SAT this coming Saturday, February 7, and today’s snow day is a wonderful opportunity for kids to do some prep work.

There’s lots of test prep material online; here are some of my favorites:



ADHD Types I and II?

By Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS • 1 min read

IMG_0110One of my students included this very interesting 9-minute TED talk in a psychology class project.

The speaker proposes that, as with diabetes, there are now arguably two forms of ADHD. We could call the inborn variety ADHD Type I; Type II would be what one doctor calls “Acquired Attention Deficit Disorder”, developed through excessive Internet use.



The Wisdom to Know the Difference (Day Twelve: Twelve Days of Wisdom)

By Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS • 1 min read

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.PC250048

-The Serenity Prayer

I like Victorian-era cemeteries, and whenever I visit one the Serenity Prayer enters my mind.

In those days there was no cure for tuberculosis, which was romantically called “consumption” and which along with other infectious diseases filled the churchyards and necessitated the creation of vast new burying grounds.

Victorian cemeteries were intended as parks where families could picnic and visit their departed loved ones on Sunday afternoons.



The Key to Happiness is Becoming a Lower Maintenance Person (Day Eleven: Twelve Days of Wisdom)

By Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS • Less than a min read

P7170168Because attention, time, and energy are all limited resources, scaling down and living a high-quality yet low-maintenance life is really the way to maximize contentment and minimize stress.



It’s Best to Face Your Fears and Let Your Kids Face Their Fears, Too (Day Ten: Twelve Days of Wisdom)

By Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS • Less than a min read

P6300072To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. -Pema Chodron

Is there anything more painful than watching your child suffer? But when we shield our kids from the lumps Life dishes out, we rob them of the critical growing-up experiences that will make them into strong, brave, confident adults later.



The Basic Physical Stuff is Amazingly Important (Day Nine: Twelve Days of Wisdom)

By Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS • Less than a min read

P9160337Sleep is the best meditation. -Dalai Lama

These are the simplest pieces of wisdom in this whole collection, and they are amazingly powerful.

Oh, how I wish I could relive those days in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s (days?…actually years) of chronic weariness, when I was heroically trying to “do it all” and muddling through on way too little sleep.



Relationships Are Not Mysterious or Impossible; They’re Just Really Complicated (Day Eight: Twelve Days of Wisdom)

By Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS • Less than a min read

P8010076If you love her, support her.

-Randy Pausch

Love may seem magical, whimsical, steered by the forces of fate, timing and chemistry…but, in fact, love thrives when people behave well towards one another and withers when they treat one another badly. (Duh!!)



You Can Become a Better Person (Day Seven: Twelve Days of Wisdom)

By Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS • 1 min read

P6290016It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you. -Randy Pausch

I make my living working with kids, and it’s my impression that most of them have little clue as to what they want to do with their lives, and that they find the very question terrifying.



It’s Great to NOT Be Special (Day Six: Twelve Days of Wisdom)

By Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS • 1 min read

P6290031As you get older, you may find that enabling the dreams of others is even more fun. -Randy Pausch

I’m part of that generation of women who were told we could have it all and actually believed it.



 
 

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Recent Comments
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  • MsJustice: what about kids/young adults that have a mental illness? Does this apply to them too? I have a son who is...
  • Joe: Is there perfect empathy? No, but this is not a binary, all-or-nothing thing. I agree it’s a definition...
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