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The Minded Brain

An Educational Curriculum to Enhance Social, Emotional and Cultural Experiences

Dr. Cynthia P. Ford


Dr. Paul W. Baker

Copyright © 2015


The Minded Brain; An Educational Curriculum to Enhance Social, Emotional, and Cultural Experiences


All rights reserved. Permission is granted for teachers to photocopy the reproducible pages from this book for classroom use. Reproduction of material for an entire department, school, district, or other system is strictly forbidden. No other part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without permission of both publisher and author.


ISBN: 978-0-692-47821-9


At the time of this book’s publication, all website URLs are accurate and active, all websites and other resources exist as described in this book; and all have been verified as of June 2015.

Important note to Instructors: The Internet is a tool that makes additional information resources available, use caution and follow safety protocol when viewing website links. Educators are strongly urged to monitor children’s use of the Internet.




The Minded Brain is just what is needed in today’s classrooms!


In recent years, a tremendous amount of attention has been drawn to the importance of social emotional learning and its impact on academic success and positive social behavior (Durlak et al., 201; Dymnicki, 2007). The Minded Brain’s comprehensive curriculum uses targeted instructional techniques to support social emotional learning through: self-awareness, cultural relevance, self-management, social awareness, positive relational skills and responsible decision-making all within an easy-to-use NeuroRelational framework. 


Repair and Reimbursement


Since the 1990’s, neuroscientists have known that through experience, the brain is changeable and it benefits from continuous enrichment to help it feel safe, significant, respected and related. From the moment we are born, experiences play a central role in shaping the structure of our brain and, ultimately, who we become and how we interact within our various environments.


Many of today’s youth lack sufficient experiences that have prepared them to meet the challenges of day-to-day life, leaving them feeling vulnerable or “at-risk” for developing behaviors that will ultimately leave them in need of “repair” or “reimbursement”.  The Minded Brain curriculum provides specific instructional lessons to support six essential categories of “reimbursement”:









Students will benefit from these positive, strength-based approaches that focus on providing NEW experiences to help them reach their maximum potential!


                                                                        -Dr. Paul Baker



Aristotle says “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

The Minded Brain is an educational curriculum designed to provide educators with a tool to do both - educate the mind and the heart. The Minded Brain curriculum is academically driven and focuses on social and emotional learning, character development, and NeuroRelational reimbursements.


The Minded Brain curriculum incorporates literature based lessons that integrate academic concepts while promoting the development of social and emotional awareness and providing experiences that support NeuroRelational reimbursements. The core competencies of social and emotional learning consist of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

There are six types of NeuroRelational reimbursements: relational, biological, eco-cultural, academic, experiential, and regulatory. Of these six, relational reimbursement is the foundational reimbursement and is at the core of every lesson. We feel that providing students with positive relationships and experiences is critical for transformation across all other areas of reimbursement. The goal of each reimbursement is to provide specific activities for students to experience, or “re-experience”, essential life skill opportunities, within a structured and purposeful format, in order to develop to their fullest potential.


The Minded Brain curriculum consist of a variety of hands on activities that can be easily integrated into weekly lesson plans. The lessons are in an easy to follow format and each lesson consist of enough activities to complete one lesson a week. The activities are designed for a wide range of age and grade levels and vary in difficulty. Educators may need to adjust the activities to fit their students academic and/or social emotional levels. Each lesson consist of a section that provides educators with the suggested duration of the activities, the materials needed, and a list of the reimbursements and academic concepts covered in the lesson. Technology is integrated throughout the lessons as well as community service opportunities.


The Minded Brain curriculum provides fun learning opportunities while at the same time offers educators and students the opportunity to engage in learning experiences to enhance the development of the mind and heart.




"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement, nothing can be done without HOPE and confidence."


                                                                         -Helen Keller

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