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Teach word scrabble letters wooden

Photo Credit: WokandaPix from Pixabay

Just as each child has their own unique personality, so do they have a unique style of learning. However, many teachers due to their lack of education or funding in their school system, cannot facilitate the individual needs of each student. This creates fundamental learning gaps in many children and the need for help later in their education. Best Brains seeks to solve this issue.

Education

Our teachers are board-certified at state and national standards for professionalism and excellence with years of real classroom experience and the knowledge required to be just what your child needs. They have been trained to assess each student on their educational needs and to find the root of the problem, not just the symptoms.

Your child will work with the same teacher each week to ensure that their progress and problem areas are consistently being assessed. We also pride ourselves on our low student to teacher ratio, which helps to ensure that each child gets the attention and care they deserve and need.

Experience

These teachers have experience in creating a learning environment that is interactive and engaging. We don’t use passive teaching, where we simply tell the students about a topic and expect them to learn from it. Instead, we make sure they are actively participating in the learning process.

They are given examples, activities, and work that not only teach them but allow them to learn on their own. Teaching this way gives kids the opportunity to take ownership of their education and to rely on their strengths and not just the teacher’s knowledge.

Methodology for Success

Photo Credit: Geralt from Pixabay

Methodology for Success

Our teaching methodology is non-repetitive and focuses on presenting new skills and concepts each week. And while these lessons are fun-filled, they are also challenging so that the building blocks of their education can be constantly being added to.

Here at Best Brains, our teachers help prepare students for what is ahead by giving them a firm educational foundation and a connection to the material, enabling them to catch on to future lessons quickly and easily.

Variety and Continuation

This isn’t just tutoring like many after-school programs. This is a complete enrichment program with the sole purpose to improve your child’s overall academic success and development. Our teachers make use of real-time classroom instruction in multiple subjects. We don’t just teach English and Math. In fact, we are the only learning center that also structures lessons in Abacus and General Knowledge.

Most would say that once a child is up to speed or at the correct grade level in a subject, extra help should be forgotten. However, we disagree. Many students and parents alike have found that continuing the Best Brains program creates some of the best and brightest students around. Not only are these kids understanding and mastering what is being taught in their schools but they quickly rise to the top of their class. The extra help they receive at Best Brains teaches them that can do and achieve anything.

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Girl Student using Cell phone and studying

As technology rapidly changes, classrooms are changing too. It has become common for students to use laptops, iPads, and other technologies as part of the normal school day. In addition to new computing tools, students have all sorts of new cultural tools to help them process the world. For teachers, this presents exciting opportunities to incorporate new music, news, and events to support the standard classroom curriculum.

One of the broadest opportunities to use popular culture in the classroom is to incorporate internet trends and memes in everyday instruction. This can happen in a number of ways. One possibility is to allow students to find images and video online to use as part of a lesson. Students can search YouTube, Google Images, or other popular sites for easily accessible images to illustrate important points from the days’ lessons. Maybe there’s a funny clip about American History that someone can bring into a history class. Or perhaps there’s a comedic clip about grammar that a student can use to help introduce a writing lesson. By allowing students to select and contribute media that they enjoy, teachers can create an environment where students come into the classroom more invested in the day’s lesson.

Another way to use popular culture to enhance the educational mission is to incorporate students’ love of social media. This is an especially engaging form of incorporation because it requires students to engage with their lessons beyond the classroom. In some instances, teachers establish a class Instagram account and assign students a theme with an attached hashtag. Then, for the duration of the lesson, a few days or a week, students will post and tag things that they see that are related to that lesson. So if students are studying world geography, they can post pictures and video of commercials, billboards, magazine articles, t-shirt slogans, and other things that are relevant to that topic. In this scenario, students receive credit for the lesson by posting and participating in the social media exchange.

Finally, teachers can find ways to welcome students’ stories and interest in popular culture into the classroom by opening up time for students to share whatever is interesting to them that day. An instructor might use the first five minutes of class to let students make announcements or talk about stories they’ve heard in the news that week. Then other students can chime in. By allowing students to set just a small part of the itinerary for the day, we can teach them to feel at home in the classroom.

There are of course dozens of other ways to incorporate popular culture into an active and engaged classroom. By being open-minded and proactive, teachers can take advantage of these opportunities to create a classroom where all students energetically participate in the day’s lesson.

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Bunch of Pencils

Photo Credit: Ben Chun from Flickr

Every spring in Texas, STAAR (State of Texas Assessments for Academic Readiness) tests are given to all students enrolled in public school for grades 3-12. The number of STAAR tests your child takes will depend on their current grade. In preparation for Spring and the season of standardized testing, we want to make sure you and your children are as prepared as possible for what is to come.

A Little Bit About STAAR…

The purpose of these standardized assessments is to measure how well each student has learned state curriculum standards in their grade and to determine if they are ready for the next grade. Assessments are taken in the core subjects of mathematics, reading, writing, social studies, and science.

By giving these tests, schools can see if each individual student is getting their educational needs met. Schools, parents, and the community can then come together to ensure that each child is given the best chance at academic success.

Test Preparation Tips…

OMR sheet marking

Photo Credit: Alberto G. from Flickr

Here are some great tips to ensure that your child is ready for STAAR this year:

Know what to expect. Most teachers send home some sort of info about the format, length, and types of questions on each test. Go through this with your child so neither of you are surprised on test day.

Get a good night’s sleep. It is recommended that children get, at the very least, eight hours of sleep. For younger students, 3-6 graders, 10-12 hours of sleep each night is needed for healthy brain function.

Eat a good, healthy breakfast. This is not the morning for sugary cereals or Pop-tarts. Instead, eat yogurt with fruit or granola and toast. Something light that will fill your child up and ensure they are able to focus and not crash after a sugar high.

Be positive and encouraging. These tests cover topics your child has already been taught and should know. If she has a tendency to get nervous, teach her to count to ten slowly or give her deep breathing tips to relax during the test. This simple acronym created by our Texas staff has also been a great help to many students:

I know, I need to know: Read and reread the question for important information.

Try to think of my answer before looking at the choices.

Examine all the choices.

X-out answers I know are wrong.

A  Analyze all answers: Take a closer look at the leftover choices and pick the best one.

Satisfied? No Silly Mistakes: Am I satisfied with my work? Go back and look for silly mistakes.

Be physically prepared. Have pencils, erasers, calculators, paper, etc. all laid out the night before, ready to go when the time is right. If he wakes up feeling poorly that morning, let him stay home. He will be able to retake it at a later date when he is at his best.

Encourage good study habits. If you have helped your child consistently with homework and daily activities, these tests should simply be a review for her. Encourage reading whenever possible and ask him to talk about it often to develop healthy thought processes.

Here at Best Brains, academic success is our passion for each and every child. That is why our Texas learning centers hold classes each year in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics specifically for STAAR test preparation. If you are interested in a little extra test help, please contact us today.

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Ice Skaters

Photo Credit: Henry Hemming from Flickr

Winter can be a trying time for school-age children and parents alike. The weather is colder and there just doesn’t seem to be as many fun options for time or energy to be spent. We often find ourselves stuck in the same routines, and to be honest, they are boring. The winter blues are knocking on the door and so is cold and flu season. But don’t despair. There are ways to keep both away with these fun and healthy tips for your home and family besides just remembering to wash your hands.

Healthy breakfast

Breakfast has long been known as the most important meal of the day. And for kids in school, it's even more essential. However, just as important as eating is what they are eating. Sugar filled pop-tarts and cocoa puffs will not sustain them until lunchtime and are sure to create the wrong kind of energy need for their demanding day.

Instead, whip up some eggs or, for days when you are running a little late, make sure to have some hardboiled ones in the fridge already. Yogurt topped with fruit, or on the side, is another great source of vitamins and proteins. Add some whole grains or cottage cheese and they are good to go for a full day of learning.

Exercise

Just because its colder outside doesn’t mean your child has an excuse to sit in front of a screen for long hours. Exercise is still a crucial part of their health and well-being. Not only does it keep them physically healthy but, according to many studies, has a very positive outlook on their emotional well-being and brain development.

Don’t be afraid to let your little ones enjoy the cold air outdoors. Spending time in nature, as long as they are bundled up, helps to prevent sleep deprivation, allows them to de-stress, and keeps up their immune system. A quick pre-dinner walk, ice skating, sledding, or a short trip to the park are all fun and safe outdoor activities for kiddos who need a little natural daylight and exercise.

Change up the lunches

School Children Lunch Box

Photo Credit: Melissa from Flickr

At this point in the school year, it's common to find that your child is only eating about half of their lunches each day at school. This is most likely just because they are bored with their choices. If this is the case in your home, it may be time to switch some things up a bit. Instead of the normal PB&J, try some crackers with ham and cheese. Add in some healthy fruits and veggies and maybe a small treat for a well-rounded meal.

Kids also seem to love compartmentalized meals. This allows them to create their own sandwiches from choices you send or instead of being overwhelmed by one or two large objects, they are presented with five or six smaller items such as carrots, celery, yogurt, and even a cookie.

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Girl Writing photo

Photo Credit : pan xiaozhen on Unsplash

When a student comes home with poor grades, it can be an especially stressful challenge for parents. We all have high expectations for our children’s education, and we want to see them perform well. This is even more true when a student who previously performed well starts to struggle academically. While it can be easy to panic or overreact, there are many simple reasons that a child may struggle academically. By identifying the cause and responding appropriately, you can help your child get back on track to academic success.

Learning New Material

One of the simplest reasons a child may suddenly get lower marks is that they’re encountering new material. When students learn complex concepts for the first time, they may struggle to keep up with their peers or their teacher’s expectations. Many times, this just means that a student needs more practice. For instance, if your child was good at elementary math, but struggles to learn algebra, don’t panic. Complex math involves new forms of reasoning that can take a while to learn. The important thing is to provide opportunities for students to work on the skills they need to improve. You should ask about extra practice work that the teacher may be able to provide. Also take advantage of any after-school tutoring opportunities that may exist. Another great option is to seek outside help that can be personalized for your student’s particular needs. A good tutor can identify and address your child’s challenges and design a program to get them back on track.

Distractions

When young people are at school, there are lots of forces competing for their attention. They have friends who want to talk to them and hang out with them. They have sports teams and other activities they have to plan and practice for. And they have dozens of relationships with teachers, staff, and other students to manage throughout the day. Sometimes this gets to be too much, and a student’s attention to their schoolwork can suffer. If you notice your child’s grades are falling a bit, spend some time assessing their schedule. How much time do they have to devote to schoolwork? Are they getting enough sleep? Ask them about the atmosphere in their classes. Do they feel like it’s easy to learn there? Once a distraction is identified, you can work to address or remove it.

Social Issues

A school environment is a dynamic learning space where lots of different personalities have to work together to make learning possible. Sometimes, if these social and professional relationships break down, students can suffer. This can happen where there are tensions between students in a classroom. For instance, a student may suddenly be uncomfortable speaking up or participating in front of other students. In other cases, poor relationships between student and teachers can negatively impact the learning environment. Have a talk with your child about their teachers. Ask them if they’re comfortable in their classes. Do they like their teachers’ styles? Are there any teachers they have a hard time learning from? If a student is uncomfortable working with a particular teacher, consider scheduling a parent-teacher conference to address any issues. If you need help preparing for such a meeting, have a look at some of our tips for successful conferences.

Ultimately, your student’s success depends on managing a number of complex factors. By asking the right questions, you can identify any problems that may be negatively affecting their performance, and get them back on the path to an effective education.

If you are interested in speaking to someone about educational support services for your child, you can contact Best Brains at (847) 485-0000 to speak with a representative.

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galaxy's-smallest-star

The astronomers recently faltered upon a teeny star called 2MASS J0523-1403, and it was located just 40 light years away. As per them, it is not only the smallest star discovered so far, but it also represents the smallest possible star. By studying the stars; scientists are starting to be able to answer the questions — on where do the stars end and the brown dwarfs begin?

While the stars are the burning balls of gas held together by gravity that is powered by the fusion of hydrogen atoms to helium in their cores. They come in a variety of sizes; the smallest stars, are known as red dwarfs. These can possess as little as t% of the mass of our Sun, whereas the biggest stars or the hyper giants can be over 100 times as massive as the Sun. However, just how small can an object be and still be defined as a star? This has puzzled the astronomers for years. All that was formerly known is that objects below this limit don’t have sufficient mass to burn the fusion of hydrogen in their cores, and these objects are known as brown dwarfs. Brown dwarfs are intangible objects that are supposed to be the missing link between gas giants and low-mass stars such as red dwarfs. They’re usually around the size of Jupiter, but they don’t have enough mass to become a star. Unlike stars, brown dwarfs have no inner energy source.

However, there is another strange difference between brown dwarfs and stars; both of them have opposite relationships between mass and size. Though the more material you add to a star, in the form of hydrogen, the bigger the radius of the star. I.e. they increase their size as mass increases. Whereas, the brown dwarfs, on the other hand, actually shrink in size with increasing mass because of something called electron degeneracy pressure.

How do we find the limit that commands whether an object is a star or a brown dwarf?

To find this difference the astronomers scanned the skies and located objects that were supposed to lie around the stellar or the brown dwarf border. They then intended the light, temperatures, and radius of all of these objects and strategized them. The temperature is dependent on mass but it’s easier to measure; so they found that as temperature decreased, so did radius; this is the expected trend for stellar objects. But, they found that after temperatures of around 2100K there was a break till radius starts to increase with decreasing temperature; and this is the trend that would be expected for brown dwarfs.

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Finally, the scientists can now pinpoint the specific temperature, light, and radius at which the main classification ends. However, the main classification is a relationship between luminosity and temperature and luminosity and radius; which need to be obeyed by stars throughout the majority of their lives. 2MASS J0523-1403 is located around this boundary but towards the stellar side. This star actually has a temperature of 2074K, which is the lowest described temperature so far for a main sequence of the star. It’s also the smallest and the least massive; if it had less mass then it can be a brown dwarf. This star has therefore been identified as a representative of the smallest possible star. However, it is theoretically possible that a star with a slightly smaller mass than 2MASS J0523-1403 could exist, but they still need to discover one.

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World Pasta Day is celebrated every year on October 25. This day is specially created for the people who love to eat carbs daily. Every age of people loves to have pasta, yeah… but selecting their favorite sauce is up to them.

Pasta is a very versatile food and it comes in many shapes and sizes. It can be served cold or hot, as the main dish, side dish or accompanied with a salad.  Pasta is also a universal food that is served worldwide.

Let it be warm steaming spaghetti in a rich red sauce, black olives, and mushrooms, or a rich Chicken Fettuccine in a creamy garlic white sauce that will just blow your mind to go and grab it. Did you know that there are over 600 shapes of pasta and their names are descriptive of their shapes? Yes, that’s true every shape has a name and makes a lot of difference in look and taste. Spaghetti -‘cord’, vermicelli-like little worms, rotini - spirals, fusili like of spindles, tortellini -little cakes, linguini as in - little tongues, conchiglie shaped as shells, fettucine turned to be small ribbons, penne - quills and capellini as fine hairs. These are the savory little goodies which are essential to any pantry.

However, the Italian food made it famous, and it was only a gateway drug of pasta. While the Chinese Chow Mein and German Spaetzle are just a couple of other ways the world has taken pasta and fallen in love with this delicious dish.

History

The World Pasta Day came into existence as part of the World Pasta Congress on the 25th of October in the year 1995. Experts from all over the world came together to discuss the glories of the noodle, with specific emphasis on the importance of spreading knowledge of the world’s prospect of pasta. While this organization uses World Pasta Day to promote the eating of pasta, along with its cultural and cookery significance.

Everything from making the consumers try the new pasta and providing important information to institutions and people has increasingly raised its popularity and made it one of the popular foods in today’s global cuisine. Every country is encouraged to celebrate the day in their own way, and sharing the logo of the official organization.

How to celebrate the day

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One of the best ways to celebrate this day is to prepare your favorite dish with your favorite topping and sauce and enjoy it with your family or peers. The delicious flavors and textures that come along with this noodle favorite will definitely make your day yummy. Or you all can go out, and host a World Pasta day party, where everyone comes together to share their favorite dish. You can also collect the best recipes from the net and try to prepare it on your own and surprise your family. But, just don’t forget to make it rich, creamy, and overloaded with some great toppings.

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Oct 22, 2017, is not just a regular Sunday, but it’s a nutritious Sunday. This Sunday is observed as “National Nut Day” every year. We know that nuts have been a primary source of nutritious food from primitive man to modern man. Nuts can be consumed in various forms, they can be cooked, roasted, eaten raw or sprouted, and can be used as ingredients in the breakfast cereal. Nuts contain mostly unsaturated and mono saturated fats which are good for your health.

Nuts not only give you good health but also add nutritious values as are rich sources of protein, and they contain vitamins like B2 and E, high valued minerals like phosphorus, selenium, magnesium, copper, and potassium. Nuts are very important to everyone, especially during snowfall season. They store nuts during autumn and use them during peak winter and spring which keeps them away from starving.

While there are many studies indicated that a person who consumes nuts on a daily basis will less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. This was first discovered in 1993 and researchers encourage people to include nuts in their daily diet. Further studies said that consumption of nuts like walnut, almonds can reduce cholesterol concentration.

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One study reported that people who consumed nuts with their regular diet lived to live two to three years longer than the people who did not consume nuts regularly. So it is advised to replace junk food with nuts so for longer life.

Eat these nuts regularly:

Almonds: There are lots of nutritious benefit in almonds, almonds can improve healthy cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol which is dangerous to your heart. Almonds can be included in your weight loss diet program and it may lower blood pressure in people who are suffering from obesity.

Pistachios: These are high fiber nuts. Consuming two to three ounces of pistachios can decrease bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Pistachios keep your heart healthy and control the blood sugar levels after a meal.

Walnuts: Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your health and walnuts are excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid. Walnuts are good for the healthy heart, and control blood pressure and increase good cholesterol in your body.

Peanuts: Though peanuts belong to legume family they are often considered as nuts. They have a lot of nutritious values and health benefits. The study found that peanuts can reduce the death rates. They may reduce the occurrence of heart deceases, and they are very good notorious food for the people who are suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Hazelnuts:  Like all nuts, Hazelnuts are for heart and blood pressure, and improve blood vessel functionality reduces bad cholesterol, produces vitamin E in the body.

So don’t ignore to add these highly nutritious nuts in your daily diet. You can include nuts in your breakfast, and you can replace your bag of chips with nuts during your snack time.

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The recent research suggests that the attacks of forgetfulness could cause a safety mechanism in the brain designed to make sure we're not loaded with information. In other words, the specialists say that it's a healthy part of the brain's operation. In their words, they say that it might come as a relief if we are always forgetting where we left our belongings like house keys and some other stuff, but this could also possibly teach us more about how our brain operates.

According to two well-known researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada, the memory isn't envisioned to help communicate the most accurate information, but it would be rather the most useful information that can help us make smart decisions in the future. However, it is always very important that the brain forgets immaterial details and instead focuses on the stuff that's going to help us to make decisions in the real world.

While some researchers took this in a different approach and to the idea of memory and looked at the neurobiology of remembering, or perseverance, while others looked at the neurobiology of forgetting, or transience.

However, researchers found evidence of the thoughtful weakening of the synaptic connections between neurons that help to encrypt memories, as well as the signs in which the new neurons overwriting existing memories exit, to make them harder to access. So why is the brain spending time trying to make us forget?

Primarily, forgetting helps us adjust to new circumstances by letting go of our old memories we don't need. So, in this way if your favorite coffee shop has moved to the other side of the town, and you find a new one closer to you, your brain will let you forget the old location and thus, help you remember the new one.

In another way, forgetting allows us to generalize our past events and help us to make decisions about new ones. There is a concept known in artificial intelligence as regularization. Which means when you just tend to remember the main gist of your previous visits to that coffee shop; rather than every little detail, it will then be less work for your brain to figure out how to behave the next time you go in there.

Now – when you try to navigate the world your brain will constantly bring up the multiple conflicting memories, such things make it harder for you to make knowledgeable decisions.

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In this way, the researchers also think the amount of forgetting we do could be contingent on the environment, and with a faster pace of change would definitely require a faster pace of forgetting too.

In one of the recent experiments, it was proved that forgetting information we need to remember too often is a frustrating practice and this can be a sign of more serious problems. But new research suggests that at a certain level of forgetfulness is actually a built-in mechanism which is designed to make us smarter.

The point of memory is to make you a smart person; who can make wise decisions given the circumstances, and the important aspect in helping you do that is being able to forget some information which is not important to remember.

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