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Bad news, math-averse parents: It rubs off on your kids

The Chicago Tribune – Heidi Stevens

“With a new school year officially underway, experts in numeracy (like literacy, but with numbers) have an important message for math-averse parents: Your anxiety is contagious. Our anxiety, I should say, is contagious. (I count myself among the math-averse.) Research shows that our seemingly benign statements about math (“I never liked this stuff,” “This never made any sense to me”) rub off on our children and do lasting harm.”(more)

Early childhood education key for business growth, speakers say

The Richmond Times-Dispatch – John Reid Blackwell

“Early childhood education should be seen as an investment that will pay off in long-term business and economic growth, several speakers said Tuesday at a conference in Richmond. About 85 percent of brain development occurs in a child’s first three years, so quality day care and preschool programs can set children on a path toward success in later education and careers, according to the speakers, who included a pediatrician and an entrepreneur. Let’s make sure that early childhood development is a top priority in our companies” for employees’ families, said Shawn Boyer, a Richmond businessman who founded the hourly job search site Snagajob.com.”(more)

What Bill Gates Learned About U.S. Education in 17 Years—and Why He’s Investing $1.7B More

Ed Surge – Tony Wan

“Bill and Melinda Gates have poured billions of dollars into efforts to shape U.S. K-12 education over the past 17 years. So what’s $1.7 billion more? In his keynote address at the Council of the Great City Schools conference in Cleveland this week, the Microsoft co-founder reflected on some lessons learned about education reform, along with plans to “invest close to $1.7 billion in U.S. public education over the next five years.” Here’s what Gates says he has learned from efforts that will no longer be a focus of the foundation’s education strategy:.”(more)

High-Tech Personalized Learning Without All the Screentime? It’s Happening in Georgia

Ed Surge – Jenny Abamu

“At Paulding County High School in Dallas, Georgia, science classes are messy and alive. Each corner is full of something growing, stored or experimented on. Greenhouse lights keep vegetables growing in one corner while fruit flies for genetic experimentation squirm in another. Tables are covered with high-tech laboratory equipment such as atomic absorption spectrometers, autoclaves, and laboratory water baths. What makes the place truly unique, however, is the way Marc Pedersen and his wife Tricia Pedersen have set up their classes to offer students a differentiated, high-tech, personalized learning experience—all without relying heavily on screen time.”(more)

Building Resilience, Preventing Burnout

Edutopia – Elena Aguilar

“If you’re a new teacher, maybe you’ll feel affirmed to know that researchers have found that the hardest stretch of the school year, especially for novice teachers, is late October to Thanksgiving break. By that time of the year, the rush and excitement of the start has faded, you’re tired, and you’re not yet seeing the impact of all the hard work you’re putting in—you aren’t yet seeing leaps in student learning.”(more)

Mandarin is now rapidly becoming a global language

China Daily – Staff Writer

“A recent survey by the British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, shows Chinese has become the language that British parents want their children to learn most, and is considered “the most useful language for the future”. Statistics from the American Councils for International Education show the number of students learning Chinese at primary and middle schools in the US doubled between 2009 and 2015.”(more)

Switching To Middle School Can Be Hard On Kids, But There Are Ways To Make It Better

NPR – Anya Kamenetz

“A large body of research suggests that students who go to middle school or junior high do worse academically, socially and emotionally, compared to the young teenagers who get to be the oldest students at schools with grades K-8. A new paper in the Journal of Early Adolescence reinforces this message. The study found that starting a new school in either sixth or seventh grade hurts students’ perceptions of their own reading ability and motivation to work hard in English language arts.”(more)

Anxiety Is Taking A Toll On Teens, Their Families And Schools

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“Anxiety is increasingly becoming a serious issue for American teens. Sixty-two percent of incoming freshman surveyed by the American College Health Association said they’d experienced overwhelming anxiety the year before, up from 50-percent in 2011. High school counselors and parents are increasingly aware of the problem, especially when teens are so anxious they don’t want to go to school.”(more)

Thanks to Makerspaces, Rural Schools Can Teach STEM Skills Too

Ed Tech Magazine – Meghan Bogardus Cortez

“While rural schools are often struggling with digital equity issues — from Wi-Fi outside of school to adequate technology-related professional development for teachers — they can still embrace innovative technologies with a few tweaks. With 9 million students enrolled in rural school districts, organizations such as Future Ready Schools have stepped up to outline plans so those students don’t get left behind from trends like personalized learning.”(more)

A 7th Grade Teacher’s Shift to Flexible Seating

Edutopia – Brooke Markle

“According to the Association for Middle Level Education’s book This We Believe, education for young adolescents must be developmentally responsive, challenging, empowering, and equitable. In my 13 years of teaching seventh-grade English, I have updated curriculum, lessons goals, assessments, and instructional methods to best suit each group of students. While all of these changes have been, and continue to be, crucial in improving the education I provide to my students, the one piece I found to be missing was an update to my classroom environment. For over 100 years, classrooms have been organized around desks in rows.”(more)