Bored? Yes, it’s a problem

There’s a running joke in my family about a niece who, as a young child, complained that she was “bored” whenever she was tired, hungry, angry, or dissatisfied for any reason. On one memorable car ride, when she forgot to wear her hat and wasn’t allowed to go back and get it, she whined loudly…

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‘Just challenging enough’

One of the great mysteries of teaching is how to find the right level of challenge for your students. Ask too little, and they are bored senseless. Ask too much, and they will give up. Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky became famous for identifying the “zone of proximal development,” which is education-speak for “teach them something…

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Her math problem? Chronic boredom

Here is how Clara, a 7th grader in Rhode Island, says she spends each day in math class: 50% Doodling, working ahead, doing homework for my other classes, or reading 25% Doing pointless work (that’s the “math”) 15% Spacing out 5% Talking 5% Listening “Sometimes I just watch the clock or think about the book…

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