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Sep. 26-Oct. 3 is National Teach Spanish Week

Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“September 26 marks the beginning of National Teach Spanish Week (NTSW). NTSW, which coincides with Hispanic American Heritage Month, was first launched by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) in 2019 as “National Teach Spanish Day.” This year, the one-day celebration has been extended to one week due to popular demand.” (more)

Improving science education: It’s not rocket science—it’s harder!

Physics Today – Stephen Pompea and Pedro Russo

“Our subtitle paraphrases a frequent statement from George “Pinky” Nelson, an astronomy researcher who spent 11 years as a NASA astronaut and flew on three space missions, including the first one after the Challenger accident. In the decades after his stint at NASA, he expanded his career and straddled the fields of science research, engineering, and science education—he served, among other roles, as a professor of physics at Western Washington University and as director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Project 2061, a long-term R&D initiative focused on improving science education. Nelson’s informed perspective highlights the difficulty of enhancing the science education system.” (more)

COVID’s Literacy Fallout

Language Magazine – Lauren Page

“The metaphor “summer slide” has been used for decades to describe the essential skills that children lose over the summer when they’re out of school. Though this term was popular before 2020, unfortunately it is now the least of many parents’ concerns. Over the past year and a half, everyone has experienced twists and turns like no others through a pandemic that exposed the world’s strengths and weaknesses. One of the biggest transitions that occurred within the COVID-19 pandemic while everyone was finding their “new normal” was the shift to remote/distance learning.” (more)

When it comes to communication skills—maybe we’re born with it?

Medical X-Press – Jessica Colarossi

“From inside the womb and as soon as they enter the world, babies absorb information from their environment and the adults around them, quickly learning after birth how to start communicating through cries, sounds, giggles, and other kinds of baby talk. But are a child’s long-term language skills shaped by how their brain develops during infancy, and how much of their language development is influenced by their environment and upbringing?” (more)

California Commits to Literacy Target and Bets on Biliteracy

Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has announced an initiative to ensure that not only will every student learn to read by third grade by the year 2026, but that the effort will also include a biliteracy milestone for dual-language learners.” (more)

School year off to a rocky start? 4 ways parents can help kids get back on track

The Conversation – Christopher A. Kearney

“Sending a child to school in the morning is a daily ritual for millions of families worldwide. Unfortunately, the attendance process has become highly disrupted due to COVID-19. The fact that many kids have been away from a physical school building for a year or more presents a number of challenges for them and for their family members as schools reopen and resume in-person classes.” (more)

Coding is an essential skill for students: Vivek Varshney

The Hindustan Times – Staff Writer

“Coding, the tech language of the future, is used for writing instructions for computers and devices to perform tasks. In the 21st century, coding is considered to be an important skill for school children and so it has been incorporated in their curriculum as well.” (more)

11 lessons from schools that kept Covid cases low

The Hechinger Reports – Betsy Ladyzhets

“In the COVID-19 Data Dispatch’s “Opening” series, we profiled five school communities that successfully reopened during the 2020-2021 school year. In each one, the majority of the district’s or school’s students returned to in-person learning by the end of the spring semester — and officials identified Covid-19 cases in under 5 percent of the student population.” (more)

Math Is Personal

The Atlantic – Jessica Nordell

“The mathematician Federico Ardila-Mantilla grew up in Colombia, an indifferent student but gifted in math. He was failing most of his classes at his high school in Bogotá when someone suggested he apply to MIT. He had not heard of the school. To his surprise, he got in, and he went on scholarship. Mathematically, he did well. One of his professors—an acid-tongued theoretician known to compare his audience to a herd of cows—routinely tucked “open” math problems into homework assignments, without telling the students. These had never been solved by anyone. Ardila solved one. He went on to receive his bachelor’s and Ph.D. in math from MIT.” (more)