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Watch Your Language

Language is powerful. It can build up or tear down, lift up or discourage. What if we all sought to find ways to change the labels surrounding others?

Dec 05, 2019
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Donor Spotlight

Learn about our partnerships with Toyota and the National Center for Families Learning that will benefit the families of Momentous Institute!

Dec 05, 2019

2019 Changing the Odds recap

Recap 2019's Changing the Odds: Hidden Factors, which brought together internationally-renowned speakers to discuss key influences that affect children today.

Dec 05, 2019

Prioritizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

As Momentous Institute continues to prioritize social emotional health across every program, find out how its internal focus on diversity, equity and inclusion is aligning on a deeper level with its mission.

Jul 08, 2019

Momentous Institute Partners with Southern Dallas

How did Momentous Institute use the game of golf to increase partnerships with Southern Dallas organizations? Check out all Momentous Institute has learned from collaborating with organizations like Bonton Farms beyond tournament week.

Jul 08, 2019

Momentous Institute Goes to Austin

Momentous Institute is passionate about being a leading voice for equipping educators with trauma-informed practices and had the opportunity in May to take part in advocating for Texas House Bill 18, which just passed in the Senate! Learn more about House Bill 18, how Momentous Institute is working with legislators and how social emotional health is being showcased throughout political platforms.

Jul 08, 2019

Donor Spotlight

Learn more about our partnerships with The Meadows Foundation and the N.W. Harllee Early Childhood Center. 

Jul 08, 2019

Dear White Teachers

Dear White Teachers, Are you like me, a white teacher in a classroom with mostly students of color? Do you feel secretly uncomfortable at the idea of talking about race in the classroom? Keep reading...

Apr 02, 2019

Three Holiday Strategies for Stressed-Out Parents

Thanks to Norman Rockwell and other idealistic portrayals of the holiday season, expectations for blissed-out perfection run high at this time of year. Reality, however, rarely measures up. Schedules are off, sugar intake is high, and Aunt Thelma is in town… Yikes!

Here are three strategies to help navigate holiday stressors. 

Dec 05, 2018

Poverty and the Brain

Statistics show that poverty has negative outcomes on children. We explore why this is by looking at how poverty impacts brain development. 

Oct 08, 2018

Let's Talk About Poverty

This next series on our Momentous Institute blog will focus on poverty. Specifically, what impact does growing up in poverty have on children?

Sep 24, 2018

When Home is Not a Safe Place

Each year five million children witness domestic violence in the US. Our Associate Director of Development, Tania Loenneker, discusses how domestic violence affects children. 

Sep 17, 2018

Queen Bees and Wannabes: A Book Club Discussion

In preparation for our upcoming Changing the Odds conference, a group of us read Queen Bees and Wannabes by guest speaker Rosalind Wiseman. Here are some of our thoughts and a bit about why we love this book. 

Sep 10, 2018

Jacob's New Dress

Jacob's New Dress is a children's book that explore what happens when a young boy wants to wear a dress to school. Read our review to find out what we love about this book.

Aug 27, 2018

Disarming the Nuclear Family

The family unit is an important part of the gender discussion. This week we're sharing an article from Willow McCormick about the importance of recognizing that not all students come from a traditional nuclear family.

Aug 20, 2018

My Princess Boy

Discussing gender equity with children is an important part of Social Emotional Health. My Princess Boy is a children's book that discusses the challenges a gender non-conforming child faces. Read our review to learn more. 

Aug 13, 2018

Siblings of Gender Fluid Children

When we have conversations about a gender fluid child, we have to remember that the child is a member of a family. In this post we are looking at how a gender fluid child's experience can impact their siblings.

Aug 06, 2018

Movie Review: Gender Revolution

Our content specialist, Michelle, recently watched a documentary called “Gender Revolution”. Read her thoughts about how the documentary shines a light on how gender (and conversations about gender) affects everyone from young children to adults.

Jul 30, 2018

Let's Talk Terms

When we talk about sex, sexuality, and gender, there are a lot of terms to keep track of. Even those of us who work in this space are constantly learning new titles and terms. It can feel overwhelming to make sure we’re using the right language. Read more...

Jun 25, 2018

Movie Review: The Mask You Live In

Our office manager, Ashley, recently watched a documentary  called “The Mask You Live In.” Read her thoughts about how the documentary affected her as a parent to a six-year-old boy. 

Jun 18, 2018

How Girls Learn and Lead

For today’s blog post, I spoke with Jennifer Bartkowski, the CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. Keep reading to learn more about how the Girls Scouts are working to empower young women.

Jun 04, 2018

How Boys and Girls are Doing in School

As we continue with our blog series on gender, we take a moment to assess how both boys and girls are currently doing in school. We've talked about the STEM gender gap, but what other gaps need attention?

May 28, 2018

Are Girls More Empathetic Than Boys?

Research shows that females tend to have higher levels of empathy than males. Our research team was interested in whether the same was true for elementary school students and whether there was anything we could do to change this trajectory by intervening at a young age. Read more...

Apr 23, 2018

Seven Ways to Get Girls Interested in STEM

It is widely accepted that careers in STEM fields are dominated by men, and that women and girls do not pursue these fields at the same level as their male peers. Through my research and practices, I want to share seven ways to help girls gain interest in STEM. Read more...

Apr 16, 2018

Gender Microaggressions - We're All Guilty of Them

Gender microaggressions are small, seemingly innocuous comments that can pile up over time and affect a person’s sense of self and identity. These microaggressions can become so commonplace that we don’t even notice them. Here are a few examples of common gender-related microaggressions... Read more.

Mar 26, 2018

Good Morning, Boys and Girls!

It’s common to walk into an elementary school classroom and hear a teacher say, “Good morning, boys and girls!”  Is there any harm in this approach? Let's take a look at the research. 

Mar 19, 2018

Let's Talk about Gender

In this next series on our blog, we will be exploring the topic of gender. We want to know what makes boys and girls different. How do they learn? How are they treated by adults? Join us as we explore a new series.

Mar 12, 2018

Teaching Young People How to Dream

"When I work with young Latinos from at-risk backgrounds, one of the themes that eventually arises are long-term goals. They are often asked to dream big – to consider options outside of their current environment or circumstances. This can be very challenging." Keep reading...

Mar 05, 2018

Working with Undocumented Families

As adults, one of our first instincts is to protect and comfort children who are afraid. But that instinct can be challenging when a child’s fear is real, and there’s nothing we can do to protect them from it. One big area where we see this fear is around the topic of immigration. Keep reading...

Feb 19, 2018

Make Space for Race

"Many educators, including myself, have failed to make the children we work with feel seen—because for many years, we have not acknowledged race as a fundamental element of identity.  We need to make space for race.  But how?" Read more...

Jan 15, 2018

Talking to Teens about Race

Parents have the opportunity to help teens explore these racial differences. It may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep reading...

Jan 08, 2018

Authentic Diversity

Read our four considerations for creating meaningful diversity opportunities for children.

Dec 11, 2017

Language Matters

We make many assumptions about the race and ethnicity of others. Let's talk about some commonly misused and misunderstood identifiers. Keep reading...

Dec 04, 2017

Talking about Race and Ethnicity in the Classroom

Misconceptions and misinformation can quickly become the norm if educators do not address differences within a classroom. Here are some tips for how teachers can be proactive in the process of talking about race and ethnicity in the classroom. 

Nov 20, 2017

#Me Too: In Our Classrooms

"We were on a seventh grade class field trip. I don’t remember where. I do however, remember being in the elevator. He stood behind me and touched my body, without my consent." Read on...

Nov 06, 2017

If Not Colorblindness... Then What?

We’ve talked about how the “colorblindness” approach is not the most helpful way to interact with people of different races and cultures. Now you may be wondering… but what is the best approach? 

Oct 16, 2017

I Don't Think of You as Black

A published letter from Naomi Tutu, daughter of South African president Desmond Tutu, further explains why her friend's comment, “I don’t think of you as black” was offensive to her. Read the excerpt and reflect.

Oct 09, 2017

"I Don't See Color"

One pervasive approach to working in communities of color is the so-called “colorblind” approach. We’ve all heard the line, “I don’t see color.” 

But there’s a fatal flaw in this approach. 

Oct 02, 2017

What is White Privilege?

The term “white privilege” has entered the common vocabulary when discussing issues related to race. We hear it all the time, but today we want to take a minute to really explore the topic. What is “white privilege” and what can we do about it? 

Sep 25, 2017

Think about the Kids

In the coming weeks, we will share strategies about how to have these difficult conversations with kids. But before any conversations take place, let’s do some reflecting about race and the children in our lives.

Sep 18, 2017

It Starts Here

Before we go any further on discussions about race, we have to talk about the starting line. 

Sep 11, 2017

Let's Talk About Race

Like with all things, silence speaks loudly. When we don’t talk about subjects that matter, we’re explicitly making a choice to be silent.

So, let’s talk about race.

Sep 04, 2017

Building Excitement for the School Year

It’s back to school season, which means teachers everywhere are setting up classrooms and getting ready for the new year. At Momentous School, August means home visits: a week-long excursion visiting every student in his/her home. Keep reading...

Aug 14, 2017

Summer Reading Goes Digital

The students at Momentous School are hard at work on their summer reading. And we know they're enjoying it, because we can see their progress! Read more about how we went digital with summer reading...

Jul 31, 2017

Tantrums!

You're wandering the aisles at the grocery store. Then, it happens. The tantrum. 

Mar 16, 2017

Have Fun

Let’s be honest – kids don’t need another boring adult telling them what to do.

Mar 13, 2017

Blended Families

In this post, we discuss how to manage romantic relationships when children are involved. Keep reading...

Mar 11, 2017

What is Attunement?

There's one very important concept we want everyone to know: attunement. What is attunement, and what do you need to know about it?

Feb 27, 2017

The YES Challenge

Take the YES challenge with your teenager. Let us know your results!

Feb 06, 2017

Love Lens

There are really two ways to navigate the world. We can move away from things we fear, or we can move towards things we love.

Jan 30, 2017

Flash Forward

It's so easy to get caught up in the daily work of raising teenagers that we forget to look forward. Keep reading...

Jan 23, 2017

Flashback

Inside your teenager is the sweet little girl she once was. Take a moment to remember that. 

Jan 16, 2017

Avoid Catastrophizing

"If your teenager fails a test, that doesn’t mean she will never go to college. If your teenager gets in a fight, that doesn’t mean he’ll end up in prison." Keep reading...

Jan 09, 2017

It's Not Personal

If teenagers have a superpower, it’s the ability to shoot a dagger right where it hurts. Say it with us now. It's not personal. 

Jan 02, 2017

Posture of Curiosity

This one tiny step can completely change an interaction with a teenager. 

Dec 26, 2016

Mischievous Moose

Our second grade teachers share about their new classroom visitor.

Dec 19, 2016

The Consultant

So you're trying to connect with a teenager and getting nowhere. Try putting her in the role of consultant! 

Nov 21, 2016

I Wonder

Got a teenager who won't talk? Try this simple strategy!

Nov 14, 2016

Besties with the Bumps

The teenager years are a time to reframe our thinking on failure and struggle...

Oct 24, 2016

Making Sense of the Terrible Teens

The idea of dealing with adolescents can often be daunting for parents and educators. We'd like to reframe how we think about teenagers. Read on...

Oct 10, 2016

Toxic Stress and Sensory Processing Disorder

Most of us experience stress on a daily basis, and our bodies are designed to handle small amounts of stress. But what happens when our bodies and brains experience stress on a frequent, ongoing basis, or when stress is severe? Read this guest post from Dr. Jamie Chaves to learn more. 

Sep 26, 2016

When Parents and Kids are Separated

Some children need extra support when they're facing a separation from their parents, even if it's just a brief time away. Read on for strategies on how to ease the separation. 

Aug 01, 2016

What is Attachment?

Learn more about the single greatest predictor of success for children in this deep dive into attachment. 

Jun 27, 2016

Meditation for the Rest of Us

"I used to have a picture in my mind of what a meditator looked like. I am not that woman. Not by a long shot. But I do meditate every day and here’s why."

May 09, 2016

Self-Care

If you’re operating out of stress, frustration, and anxiety, you’re not going to be able to be that calm, collected and caring adult that the children need from you. Join us as we dive into the topic of self-care.

Apr 18, 2016

Our ADHD

There are many ways to think about ADHD, but here's another one. 

Apr 13, 2016

My Kids Aren't Following Directions

Wouldn’t it be nice if we gave directions and our kids followed them… the first time…every time? Now come back to reality. Let's chat about kids who aren't following directions. 

Apr 08, 2016

A Reminder

Sometimes I need this reminder, so I wanted to share it in case others needed reminding, too.

Mar 30, 2016

Technology and Parenting

Technology isn't going away, but childhood is. This post is a friendly reminder to put away your phone and be present with your children. 

Mar 28, 2016

Is It Snooping?

When a child is old enough to access technology, gets a cell phone of her own and starts signing up for social media accounts, many parents wonder how to monitor. Read her text messages? Know her Facebook password? Here's our advice.

Mar 23, 2016

When Kids Want to Talk

We know that trying to fix our children's problems for them doesn't usually work. So what should we do when they want to talk?

Mar 21, 2016

Inspire for Contribution

We want kids to understand that the goal of learning is to use what they know to help others and make the world a better place.

Mar 18, 2016

How to Un-Spoil a Child

Let's talk about how to raise a child to be un-spoiled, and how to un-spoil a child who we accidentally let go down the wrong path a little too long. 

Mar 04, 2016

How to Help Kids with Anxiety

When working with kids with anxiety, our goal shouldn't be to get rid of it altogether, but we definitely want to give kids tools to help them channel it. Keep reading...

Feb 22, 2016

When Bad Things Happen in the News

What do I tell my kid when bad things happen in the news? How much is too much? Should I not say anything? Answers to your pressing questions about talking to kids about current events.

Feb 19, 2016

Hug the Monkey

Our dear friend, Dr. Rick Hanson, shares this wonderful guest blog post. Read on!

Jan 27, 2016

Change of Scenery

This is a very, very simple trick for helping kids when they get stuck. 

Jan 25, 2016

Try Try Again

On the first week of school, we did something a little crazy. We set up an activity that we knew the kids would fail.

Jan 04, 2016

The Tooth

Read our book review of The Tooth by Avi Slovdovnick, and check out the video!

Nov 30, 2015

Mask

Kids have different parts of themselves that they show to others. Use this strategy to help learn more about a child's complex self.

Oct 21, 2015

What's in Your Bag?

Have a child fill a bag with a special item from home. Read more...

Oct 12, 2015

Quitting vs. Failure

What do you do when your 8-year old decides she no longer likes soccer halfway through the season? Do you ask her to stick it out so that she’s not a quitter? Do you teach her to follow through with her commitments? Do you let her walk away?

Sep 30, 2015

Stuck

There are plenty of books about persisting with something and thinking outside the box, but few as funny and creative as Stuck. Read our review!

Sep 23, 2015

Praise the Process

Perhaps the simplest way to build resilience in kids is to just switch our language. Try this!

Sep 18, 2015

A Perfectly Messed Up Story

Kids will love this funny read-aloud book about a kid named Louie whose story just keeps getting ruined. Poor Louie! He can’t tell his story because it keeps getting messed up. Keep reading...

Sep 16, 2015

Take in the Good

We've all done it: focused all of our energy on that one negative comment rather than the 100 positive comments. Dr. Rick Hanson explains why.

Sep 14, 2015

Time Capsule

We all want our children to be kind and successful, and yet we often don’t fully articulate those visions. Try this!

Sep 11, 2015

Ish

Do you know a kid who gives up when things aren't working out for him? Read "Ish" and remind him that just because we didn't get it right the first time, we definitely shouldn't give up.

Sep 09, 2015

Why I Banned the Word Easy

I know "easy" isn't a bad word in the traditional sense. But here's why I banned it in my classroom.

Aug 31, 2015

Home Visits

Momentous School teachers visit each student in his/her home at the start of the school year. Watch this video to learn more about the impact that home visits make on the kids, parents, and teachers all year long.

Aug 10, 2015

Kids Talk: Empathy

What is empathy? Delilah, an 8-year old and second grade student at Momentous School can tell you!

Jul 13, 2015

Perspective Lens

Get yourself a large magnifying glass and use it as your "perspective lens" to help kids see another person's perspective.

Jul 03, 2015

Seven Blind Mice

Like the seven blind mice, kids need to learn the important lesson that we don't always see things in the same ways as others, but that another person's perspective is just as important as our own.

Jun 26, 2015

The Magic Sunglasses

Perspective taking is all about looking at things in a different way. Sometimes that can be really, really difficult for kids. The magic sunglasses are a concrete way to get the idea through to them, and it makes a huge difference.

Jun 15, 2015

Ripple's Effect

"A kid who reads this book can think about how happiness can help him overcome whatever shark he’s facing – whether it’s a bully, a negative person, or a toxic relationship. Happiness is contagious!" Read more in this book review of "Ripple's Effect."

Jun 05, 2015

A Terrible Thing Happened

It would be wonderful if we lived in a world where we didn’t need this book. But because terrible things do happen, "A Terrible Thing Happened" is incredibly helpful. Read our review of this book for children who have witnessed violence or trauma.

Jun 03, 2015

Home Away from Home

Our students spend more time in our classroom than they do even with their own families. How can we make this home away from home a comfortable place? Try this simple idea from our fourth grade teacher, Kim Robinson.

Jun 01, 2015

Yes ... D'Oh! ... YET

"As I’m sure you can guess, many of the teenagers don’t mind talking about what they did well, but they often shut down when asked about the frustrations. Although we honor their resistance to sharing, we also invite them to learn grit." Read more...

May 06, 2015

Emotions Melt Away

Sometimes children get stuck in a feeling and have a hard time moving on. It’s important to teach kids that feelings can melt away. Here’s a really visual way to drive that lesson home for kids.

Jan 09, 2015

Rubber Band Brain

Our brains are like a rubber band. The more we practice, the more it can stretch and grow. Use actual rubber bands to help kids understand this important concept. Read on.

Nov 21, 2014

Mindful Analogies

Momentous Institute Psychologist Dr. Matt Leahy discusses using mindful analogies to answer the question, "Why am I in therapy?"

Nov 05, 2014

Brain City

Just like cities are made up of small and large buildings, so are our brains! Read how one Momentous School teacher got creative with this idea and created Brain City.

Oct 29, 2014

Empathy and Optimism Research

At Momentous Institute, we talk all the time about social emotional health. We say, “This stuff matters” and “This stuff works!” As a researcher, I wanted to substantiate these claims with data. So I began a research study about the effects of our social emotional curriculum on academic outcomes.

Sep 21, 2014

Mindset

Imagine this: a child gets an A on her spelling test. You tell her, “Great job! You are really smart.” Nothing wrong with that, right?

Sep 21, 2014

Videos

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Cup and Saucer

Next time your child or student is having a hard time handling their emotions, remember that their cup is still growing!

Oct 04, 2019

Harllee Partner Project - Amber Shields

Harllee's new principal, Amber Shields, talks about her excitement in starting her first year as Principal for Harllee Early Childhood Center and working with Momentous!

Oct 03, 2019

Flipped Classroom Agreements

We're all familiar with classroom agreements, but have you considered adding agreements for what students can expect from their teacher? Learn more in this quick video. 

Oct 03, 2019

Flip the Clip

Most teachers are familiar with the classic clip chart, a behavior management technique designed to help students control their behavior and make good choices. Flip the Clip turns this concept into a method that is positive, respectful and results in a classroom culture with strong social emotional health.

Oct 03, 2019

Safe Relationships: Consistency and Predictability

Creating safe relationships in the classroom can be your number one priority as a teacher, but it can be daunting. Each student is different, so how can you connect with them in a safe and meaningful way? Our very own, Keisha Wright, opens up the conversation!

Oct 03, 2019

Safe Relationships: Common Interests

If you're looking to create safe relationships with students in the classroom, one easy way is to connect with them through shared, common interests. Our own Matthew Leahy, Ph.D. explains!

Oct 03, 2019

Safe Relationships: Praise

As teachers, we tend to focus on the negative of what students are outputting, but when building safe relationships, it's important to not be afraid to praise students on their efforts! Lauren Mann, Ph. D. tells us more about it!

Oct 03, 2019

Safe Relationships: Posture of Curiosity

Here are two postures to consider while teaching: a posture of Curiosity and a posture of Playfulness. The most important thing with utilizing these postures in the classroom - do what feels the most comfortable and genuine for yourself!

Oct 03, 2019

The Hand Model of the Brain

Try this quick way to explain the brain with your hand. We love this concept from Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. 

Oct 03, 2019

Safe Relationships: The Pressure of Building Relationships

Building Safe Relationships with your students is not an easy task, especially when you're working under academic pressure. We all want our kids to do well, so Kelly Richmond gives us 3 easy steps to remember when working towards safe relationships (chances are you might be doing them without realizing!).

Oct 03, 2019

My Brain Music Video

My brain is the most important part of me! Allow these Perea Elementary Students in Memphis, Tennessee to teach you about their brain in this catchy song writted by LaChelle Walker.

Oct 03, 2019

Flash Focus on Relationships

Flash Focus on Relationships, a presentation from staff at Momentous Institute. Jennifer Hartmann shares about Relationships: The Difference that Makes a Difference.

Dec 08, 2015

Vision Statements

We believe that all parents truly want the best for their children and have high hopes and dreams for their futures. At Momentous School, we ask all parents to complete a vision statement for their child. We use these to help guide our students and to refocus on the big picture if things go off-track. We encourage every school to add vision statements to their beginning of the year routine!

Aug 09, 2015

Kids Talk: The Brain

Momentous School Kindergarten student Taryn shares about the brain in the Kids Talk series

Jun 02, 2015

Got Stress? Stress and the Brain

Got Stress? Frankie Perez and Fred Lines of Momentous Institute explain stress in a way that is easy to understand. Make sure to check out our Got Stress? strategies!

Mar 23, 2015

Got Stress?

Got Stress? Watch Momentous Institute experts explain toxic stress and four simple strategies to combat it.

Mar 23, 2015

Home Visits

Before the start of each new academic year, Momentous School teachers visit students at their homes.  This helps build a great relationship between home and school.

Jan 26, 2015

Home Visits 101

Learn more about how Momentous School visits each of our Pre-K families in their home throughout their first year. Home visits help strengthen the parent-school connection and set students up for success both at school and at home.

Jan 26, 2015

Positive Discipline

Momentous Institute's Director of Education shares how she approaches discipline with social emotional health in mind. 

Jun 13, 2014

Podcasts

Episode 8: Effective School Communication

Every parent who sends a child to school deals with appropriate ways to communicate effectively with the school. We talk about parent conferences, how to respond when things aren't going well, and other tips for getting started on the right foot.

Dec 09, 2019
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Episode 4: Making Sense of The Teen Years

Teenagers! There's so much to love, and also… a few things to be curious, worried or just confused about. In this episode, we dive into what's happening in the brain of teenagers, and how parents can respond.

Oct 14, 2019

Episode 3: What is Attachment?

The amazing Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, co-author of New York Times best-sellers The Whole-Brain Child and No Drama Discipline gives us the run down on attachment. What is it, and why should parents know about it? 

Sep 27, 2019

Episode 2: Positive Discipline

We've never met a child who has never misbehaved, so every parent needs to know how to effectively use discipline. In this episode, we learn discipline strategies that help build children's capacity to make good choices. 

Sep 13, 2019

Episode 1: The Growing Brain and How it Works

In this episode, we talk all about the brain. How are children's brains wired and developed over time? What should parents know about the growing brain? Learn this and more in the first episode of The Growing Brain.

Sep 06, 2019