Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Education, K-12, Websites

Smart Girls Summer Camp Online

Smart Girls Summer Camp

In May, I posted about the awesome Smart Girls at the Party website, which has entertainer Amy Poehler as part of its creative team.  They offered a summer camp in Austin for girls, and it apparently went well.  I noticed that they have decided to expand the camp so more girls can participate.  They plan to make it available online in July.  There isn’t a lot of information yet, but the description does mention that the materials are being created to appeal to a broad range of ages (from 5 to over 21!).  Click here to read the information they have so far!

3-12, Education, Motivation, Parenting, Teaching Tools, Videos, Websites

Smart Girls at the Party

Smart Girls Pledge
Smart Girls Pledge

In one of my recent posts, #Bring Back Our Girls, I referred to a site called, “Smart Girls at the Party.”  This site is part of a movement whose “aim is to help young women and the young at heart with the process of cultivating their authentic selves.”  One of the members of the team spearheading this cause is Amy Poehler – yes that Amy Poehler.

Smart Girls Team
Smart Girls Team

There are all sorts of resources on this site that encourage the empowerment of young women.  You can find inspirational videos, downloadables, interviews with notable women, and even a collection of Pinterest Boards (my favorite board is “They Changed the World“).

The site isn’t just for girls.  The other day I showed one of the “Ask Amy” videos on “Courage” to my students as I felt that it really tied in with a discussion we were having.

Smart Girls offers contests, and is even hosting a summer camp in Austin, TX this year for girls ages 14-18.

If you have a moment, explore Smart Girls at the Party.  It’s a great site for bringing together anyone who is interested in making the world a better place.


Behavior, Education, K-12, Parenting, Philosophy, Science, Teaching Tools, Videos

The Advantages of Being a Poser


On Monday’s post, I told the story of my year as a “poser” – pretending that I was a mathematical genius during my 9th grade year in Algebra 1.  Miraculously, this inadvertent deception resulted in inspiring great confidence in my abilities on the part of my teacher.  Subsequently, her faith made me see myself in a different light. Basically, I developed a growth mindset about math, that led to 3 more years of success in that subject.

I recently heard a TED Talk on NPR’s TED Radio Hour that supported this “Fake it ’til you make it” philosophy.  Amy Cuddy, who is a social psychologist, explains how standing in certain “High Power Poses” for 2 minutes has been scientifically proven to improve your confidence levels.  You can listen to Amy’s interview on TED Radio Hour here. She describes how, after sustaining a severe head injury in a car accident, Amy found herself in the position of “poser” when attending college – and succeeded in making everyone believe that she belonged there. This experience ultimately led to her research discussed during her TED talk.

You can find a great graphic of Power Poses as well as a link to her original TED talk on the TED blog.  Amy pleads for you to share this information with people, as she deeply feels that it can significantly effect the outcomes of many lives.

Even though this story does not specifically refer to the Growth Mindset, I feel that it is certainly a good example that demonstrates how your attitude and hard work can directly impact your future.

Update:  I just added a 2nd video to this post, “Courage: Ask Amy,” in which Amy Poehler gives advice that makes a lot of sense when you take into account the conclusions Amy Cuddy has derived from her research.

Here is another post that I recently did on mindsets that includes videos and other resources.

Education, K-12, Parenting


Malala Yousafzai participates in the #bringbackourgirls social media campaign
Malala Yousafzai participates in the #bringbackourgirls social media campaign

I’m taking a break from my regularly scheduled programming to ask all of you to get involved.  That over 200 girls could be kidnapped from their school in Nigeria, and the entire world calvary hasn’t been sent out to rescue them is unconscionable. We would never allow this to go on for so long without appropriate action in the United States.  However, it has been over two weeks, and either the Nigerian government is unable or unwilling to do its job adequately and aid from other countries is needed.  The Boko Haram terrorist group who has taken responsibility for this horrific crime has threatened to sell the girls into slavery and/or as under-age brides.

This violent campaign against “Western education” (particularly for females) must stop.  I can’t think of anything that makes me angrier than committing heinous attacks against women who are trying become educated.  The assault of Malala Yousafzai and her classmates in Pakistan brought the world’s attention to these horrible crimes, and we cannot allow them to continue.

What can we do?