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Welcome to Mentoring Minds!

Thought Leadership

We consider ourselves your partner in education. What exactly does that mean? Essentially, it means that although we may not physically be in the classroom with you, we’re with you every other step of the way.

Our partnership begins from the moment we start creating the tools you need to reach every student. Our writers value the feedback we receive from our customers, and we use your comments to help design products that anticipate your needs and meet ever-changing standards. Educators just like you help us during the development process, testing our materials and giving us real-world evaluation before they reach the classroom.

Our support doesn’t stop once you’ve got our material in your hands. In addition to the user guide that accompanies each product, we develop seminars and training sessions so you have confidence using new instructional techniques. Finally, our staff of educators welcomes your calls. We will answer your questions, help you devise new strategies, and listen to your challenges and triumphs.

As a partner, we share the same goals. We want you to succeed in the classroom, because that means your students will, too.

We want to share our experiences and ideas for success in the classroom. In each of our catalogs and throughout the year, we publish articles about education topics. Here are some of our latest:


Think Critically

Asking questions requires skill and practice. By increasing intellectually challenging tasks and asking questions that delve deep into learning, teachers provide students with opportunities to move beyond surface thinking and to think critically as they acquire and evaluate new knowledge. Students develop skills that help them critically process and assess information rather than accept all that they read, hear, or see.

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The Hidden Curriculum

Communication, thinking, problem solving, interpersonal skills, and collaboration are all 21st-century skills students must practice in school to be ready for college and careers. Effective instruction covers different types of curriculum: the one mandated by the state, the one the teacher is passionate about, the tested curriculum, and the hidden curriculum.

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Thinking About Thinking Improves Learning 

Think effectively! Monitor thinking! Reflect on the quality of your thinking! These are all metacognitive actions that can develop lifelong learners capable of participating thoughtfully in society. Metacognition is “thinking about thinking.” Teachers must guide students to value the importance of what goes on in their heads when they are thinking.

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Thinking to Learn the Socratic Way

Strengthening thinking to learn behaviors is non-negotiable for educators. Not all students come to school equally prepared to learn academically, so a culture of thinking must be developed. One method in which students can engage in learning and thinking is through Socratic conversation. Teachers engage students by asking questions that create or produce new understanding. Conversations are collaborative and void of judgment.

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Fostering Academic Classroom Conversations

Schools are continually asked to integrate the development of skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration into teaching and learning. When grouped together, these skills are often referred to as 21st-century skills. The engagement of students in academic classroom conversations is required if educators are to develop deeper learning. Academic talk creates opportunities for students to practice skills, including the ability to express and defend positions, consider different points of view, and gather and evaluate evidence.

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Connect with Students: Embrace Blended Learning

In many schools across the nation, a relatively new approach to instruction for K-12 is emerging. Blended learning is found in many educational settings and its implementation is varied. Horn and Staker (2012) define blended learning as “a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace and at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home.”

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Formative Assessment for Learning...5 Activities for Assessing Learning

In today’s classrooms, students must learn and demonstrate understanding of concepts at a deeper level, develop greater critical thinking skills, and derive personal meaning about how content area concepts affect their lives and the world in which they live. Educators cannot predict what students will learn, which is why formative assessment is essential to quality instruction.

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The Four Cs - Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Collaboration, and Communication

In 21st century learning, students have almost unlimited access to information. On the other hand, many students lack the skills to benefit from this abundance of information. Students gather and read information from libraries, textbooks, and digital materials. To be prepared for global learning opportunities, teachers must teach for these challenging times. Students must learn how to develop and apply four competencies within core content areas and beyond – critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, and communication.

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Cognitive Rigor in Today’s Classroom | Using a Cognitive Rigor Matrix to Advance Complexity of Thoughts

Cognitive rigor encompasses the complexity of content, the cognitive engagement with that content, and the scope of the planned learning activities. The Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrix (CRM) is a tool that has significant potential to enhance instructional and assessment planning and practices at the classroom level (Hess, Carlock, Jones, & Walkup, 2009). The CRM superimposes two different cognitive complexity measures – Bloom’s Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge – to produce a means of analyzing the emphasis placed on curricular materials, instructional focus, and classroom assessment.

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