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Learning a foreign language is more important than ever

The Dallas Morning News – Jacob-Ivan Eldt

“Despite our ubiquitous talk of globalization, cultural diversity, cultural awareness and multiculturalism in general, language learning in higher education is in steady decline. Early in 2019, the Modern Language Association reported the closing of 651 college foreign language programs in just three years. According to the MLA, this is an ongoing trend. Many point to the economic crisis in higher education as the culprit, but such cuts are clearly predicated on a mindset that deems languages expendable. Despite the promise to educate a more global citizenry, many university administrators promote what they consider to be more practical disciplines at the cost of the humanities, often specifically targeting language departments with cuts. This occurs with full knowledge that a true liberal arts education including languages yields not only a more adaptable workforce, but also a superior one.” (more)

Can Children Learn Science Through Dance?

Forbes – Eva Amsen

“How would you dance the ocean tides? That’s a question that several ten-year-old pupils at Portuguese schools have had to think about, as they took part in a pilot project that uses dance in geology education. Researchers at the Universidade do Algarve, in Faro, Portugal, recently published a paper outlining a lesson plan that integrates dance, storytelling and the geology of coastal science. The paper was published in the journal Geoscience Education before peer review, but is already available to read.” (more)

Class Size Matters: Understanding the Link Between Class Size and Student Achievement

E-School News – Staff Writer

“The discussion about the importance of class size has been ongoing for decades. While some still argue that class size doesn’t make a noticeable difference in the quality of education, research has shown that is not the case. Understanding the connection between class size and student achievement, as well as teacher retentions, is critical to the future of our educational system.” (more)

3 amazing findings about digital and mobile learning

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“In order to support digital and mobile learning, students in K-12 classrooms need access to sufficient bandwidth, scalable and affordable broadband infrastructure, and robust Wi-Fi. And for the most part, they have it. Educators and school IT leaders have worked tirelessly toward this end, and according to the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, 99 percent of school districts across the nation are now on scalable fiber connections with a “clear path” to supplying enough bandwidth for digital and mobile learning in every classroom.” (more)

Three Simple Tech Tools to Make Math Thinking Visible

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“Stacey Roshan has always loved math. It was her favorite subject in school and she went on to study applied economics in her postsecondary education. But despite her love of the subject, Roshan remembers being terrified of math class itself. As a student, she was smart, quiet, a slow processor and a perfectionist in a competitive academic environment. She rarely raised her hand in class because she was scared of being wrong. She needed time to let the question sink in, think about her answer, and work it out.” (more)

I’m a Peace Teacher. Here’s How Brain Science Helps My Kids Handle Conflict.

Ed Surge – Linda Ryden

“I don’t remember exactly when I heard about Dr. Daniel Siegel but it was a moment that changed my life. I watched a video in which he shows how the amygdala, which is the part of the brain responsible for watching out for danger and reacting, takes over when we get angry and how it in effect turns off the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for thinking and executive function. It blew my mind. I remembered those angry, red-faced students telling me that they didn’t use their conflict resolution skills when they were heated because they just couldn’t think. And now I knew why! Their amygdalas had hijacked their brains in order to protect them and had turned off all memory of my lessons. It all made sense now. But I was still left with the bigger question. How do you teach kids the skills to calm down? ” (more)

Tips And Tricks Parents Can Use To Nurture a Love of Reading in Kids

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“For many families, reading is a pleasurable activity when kids are young, but becomes a battle as kids get older. Parents are more aware than ever that strong reading skills are fundamental to academic success. Teachers also feel pressure to make sure students are reading on or above grade level, often with their evaluations and salaries hanging in the balance. On top of it all, parents are increasingly finding that it’s hard to tempt kids to read when there are more alluring entertainment options like video games, social media and TV to occupy their time. All of this has turned reading into a battleground, when it should be a joyful experience.” (more)

Reading Emergency in the U.S.

Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“According to the National Assessment of Education Progress, also known at NAEP or the Nation’s Report Card, students in the U.S. are getting worse at reading, and the achievement gap between the highest-performing students and lowest-performing students grew. The NAEP tests over 600,000 fourth- and eighth-graders in public and Catholic schools every two years in math and reading. “Over the past decade, there has been no progress in either mathematics or reading performance, and the lowest performing students are doing worse,” Peggy Carr, associate commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, said during a press call Tuesday.” (more)

Coleman: Kids Need Multiple Strategies to Succeed in Math Class. How the Number Bond Can Be a Powerful Alternative to ‘Just Adding’

The 74 Million – LauraMarie Coleman

“People want to know why students need to do so many extra steps and learn multiple strategies for solving problems. Some suggest that simply learning the standard algorithm for a math problem (2 + 2 = 4, 6 x 8 = 48, etc.) is enough; kids just need to arrive at the correct answer. Yes, students need to learn the rules and procedures for doing calculations. In some cases, that’s the best tool for the job. But students also need options — more tools in their toolbox and conceptual understanding that helps them pick the best tool. Just as a carpenter would never show up at a worksite with only a hammer, students need a range of tools and strategies for their classwork.” (more)

How to Help Your Students Navigate the News in a Presidential Election Year

Ed Surge – Emma Humphries

“For social studies educators, a presidential election year is a big deal. It’s a nationwide teachable moment in which the entire country is constantly discussing a hearty list of key standards that is supposed to inform our instruction. I’ve always relished these times because they’re part of what makes social studies special. Our English teacher colleagues, for example, can’t rely on moments when everyone’s talking about diagramming sentences, or Beowulf, or the past perfect continuous tense with the same consistency as they might discuss, say, the Olympics.” (more)