Common Core Curriculum

What is Mind Lab?

Mind lab is a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Best Practices add-on curriculum that teaches imperative critical and strategic thinking processes.

We incorporate specially developed, multi-cultural board games and curriculum to teach the knowledge and skills of academic standards, facilitate social-emotional growth and, thereby, impart the essential 21st century thinking skills required for college and career readiness.

Our unique, Yale-endorsed thinking methods enable students to successfully raise their self-esteem, standardized test scores and, most importantly, meet the task-oriented Understanding by Design (UbD) applications of the Common Core. Over the past 16 years, Mind Lab has honed our customized and differentiated K-12 curriculum, which has successfully raised student achievement in multiple content areas (including English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies) and enhanced students’ Depth of Knowledge (DoK).

Our Mission

Mind Lab seeks to make strategic thinking accessible to students of all ages and backgrounds. Thus, we have created a series of core thinking methods: simple, memorable strategies used to identify meta-cognitive problems (skills required across content – Math, English and social skills) and solve them with confidence, regardless of past experience. In this way, we prepare the next generation for the complex obstacles of the 21st century by:

1.)  Strengthening a broad range of cognitive, emotional, and social skills

2.)  Teaching children how to think reflectively

3.)  Encouraging students to “learn how to learn”

 

Most importantly, Mind Lab helps our children become fulfilled, contributing and happy individuals. In order to accomplish this, we empower teachers and schools with innovative and educational tools that work.

Our Curriculum 

Mind Lab curriculum is rooted in the work of renowned educational theorists, aligned to the human brain’s own thinking process and differentiated to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of a broad range of learners.

Through specialized, multi-cultural games, we are able to make interdisciplinary education come alive through the use of informational texts, stories, analogies, metaphors and, most importantly, hands-on learning. The staying power of games has been proven throughout history and studied by pioneers like Aristotle and John Dewey. By transferring these thinking processes into project-based learning, we are able to make connections to students’ personal lives and foster applications to the real world.

Benefits of Mind Lab 

Mind Lab aims to support you in enabling, empowering, enriching and educating all students in personal and academic success. Using Mind Lab’s methodology can help students develop:

  • Self-awareness of individual strengths and weaknesses
  • Empathy for others’ emotions and knowledge/appreciation of individual differences
  • Proactive goal-setting and achievable long-term planning
  • Problem solving skills
  • Resiliency in the face of failure
  • Collaborative and teamwork skills
  • Motivation & optimism
  • Decision-making skills
  • Pride in their independent capacity to adhere to rules
  • Social, academic, and personal success

Why Games? 

Board games are timeless. In the United States, we recognize this through family favorites like Monopoly and Life, which have taught us the merits of real life responsibilities such as utilizing, managing and organizing our resources properly, in a fun interactive setting. The original concepts of learning how to balance income and debt have never been more pertinent then they are today. Even games that have been around for over millennium, like Chess, came to existence based on the need to teach young people complex, necessary and withstanding thinking skills. Young monarchs popularized and perfected the game of chess in order to learn how to manage their country and defend their nation. Such transferable skills have preserved games like Chess throughout history as the most self-evident means of imparting knowledge.

The only constant in life seems to be the perpetual need to adapt our thinking to an ever-changing environment. This is why such games have persevered. The skills these games depend of us are themselves timeless. Much in the way we exercise, our brains need constant challenges if we are to improve our thinking skills. At the very foundation of our ability to solve problems is the perception of how we reflect about our own thinking. We know that brain function and IQ can be built, improved, lost or gained depending on how our brain is tested on a daily basis. As Americans, we understand the need for daily exercise (even if just for a few minutes each day) because the long-term health benefits of such activity are immeasurable. Why don’t we regard the same from our brains as we do from our bodies?

Why Mind Lab? 

Mind Lab Florida has reinstated the strategy game to its rightful and natural place, transforming it once again into a powerful educational tool that both appeals to hearts and minds and creates a sense of camaraderie on a familial and community level. Through our careful selection process of all available strategic thinking games in the worldwide market, we have chosen the best and most effective games as thinking tools for all ages, academic subjects, and types of learners.

While planning such games over the course of weeks or years will undoubtedly improve brain function, Mind Lab sought to provide educators and parents with more comprehensive and direct transference of skills to real life situations. Through our detailed, Common Core-aligned program, educators can now fulfill their teaching obligations while imparting on their students the necessary state standards and the application of relevant lifelong skills.

Next Steps

Mind Lab welcomes the opportunity to serve you and your students. We are happy to provide sample curriculum, discuss our methodologies and explore the unique benefits that Mind Lab can provide for the social, emotional and cognitive growth of your students as they prepare for college and career readiness.

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