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How early should kids begin STEM education?

The Dayton Daily News – Sarah Cavender

“Developing strong STEM skills early is key to closing the skills gap that young adults are facing in the workforce business and military leaders said. “The first five years of life are absolutely critical for brain development,” said Chris Burns, marketing and education manager at Encore Technologies. “If we wait till kindergarten we have waited too late” he said as he and other leaders talked about the report at a press conference at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery on Thursday.”(more)

Back-to-school worries for parents? 1 in 3 very concerned bullying, cyberbullying

Medical News – Staff Writer

“Parents may also experience some nerves as their children prepare to head back to school. Bullying and cyberbullying top parents’ list of worries when it comes to their children’s health, according to a new report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan. Close behind are internet safety and stress, motor vehicle accidents, and school violence. But worries differed among racial groups, with African-American parents saying they were most concerned about racial inequities and school violence affecting their children.”(more)

Choosing a Curriculum: A Critical Act

Education Next – David Steiner

“An education system without an effective instructional core is like a car without a working engine: It can’t fulfill its function. No matter how much energy and money we spend working on systemic issues – school choice, funding, assessments, accountability, and the like – not one of these policies educates children. That is done only through curriculum and teachers: the material we teach and how effectively we teach it.”(more)

What If Students Have More Confidence in Growth Mindsets Than Their Teachers?

Ed Surge – Jack McDermott

“Today, schools and districts are making social-emotional development a priority, and with good reason. Research shows that educators play a profound role in promoting students’ social-emotional skills and beliefs. But what if students have greater confidence that they can improve than their teachers? That’s one of the surprises we found in our recent survey of more than 2,400 teachers and 36,000 students.”(more)

Dyslexia, once the reading disability that shall not be named, comes into its own in California

Ed Source – Jane Meredith Adams

“The hope is for districts across the state to follow Knightsen’s example, according to legislation that last week produced its goal: the release of the California Department of Education’s California Dyslexia Guidelines, a long-awaited document meant to let schools know what exactly dyslexia is and what interventions have been proven effective. Estimates of the prevalence of dyslexia range from 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population — which would mean between 300,000 and 1.2 million children in California public schools. Brain imagery has shown that people with dyslexia process word identification differently, and children do not outgrow dyslexia. The goal is to learn how to compensate for it. The disability is unrelated to intelligence, but students have long floundered without the correct help.”(more)

VR is great, but here’s why hands-on learning can’t disappear

E-School News – Ladislas de Toldi

“With 80 percent of teachers reporting that they support the use of technology in the classroom, it is important to integrate tools that best fit with a child’s learning abilities, as well as school curriculum. Just this spring, a tech trend spun through the nation and it seemed as though almost every elementary school child was holding a fidget spinner. It was reported that the momentum of these small, ball-bearing devices provide a pleasing sensory experience, and therefore help hold the attention of those with ADHD or Autism.”(more)

Is classroom technology good for learning or wasting time?

The Dallas Morning News – Joan E. Hughes

“Can tablets teach children basic math and reading skills? As a professor who studies technology integration in K-12 schools, I can say the answer is yes, but there are some critical caveats. Computers running instructional software have been used to teach basic mathematics and reading since the 1960s. This software shows the student content on a certain topic. The student practices by answering one or more questions, and the computer evaluates the answer and provides feedback. Then the process is repeated with a new topic. Present-day instructional software uses more sophisticated data analytics and algorithms to adapt the instructional content to each student.”(more)

Math is amazing and we have to start treating it that way

PBS – Staff Writer

“Numbers and algorithms aren’t just useful to mathematician Eugenia Cheng — they’re exhilarating. That’s why she’s on a mission to help transform math’s notoriously boring reputation in education into one of thrilling wonder and creativity. Cheng gives her humble opinion on how to make math really matter to students.”(more)

Steps parents can take to raise kind kids

Moms Everyday – Liz Hayes

” Bullying is now one of the top concerns parents have about their kids’ health, according to a recent survey published in US News and World Report, just behind obesity and right before drug use. Less than ten years ago, bullying didn’t even show up in the top ten. From the school yard to the classroom and certainly online, bullying is tough to avoid. Developmental psychologist Selma Caal says children can show aggressive behavior as young as 17 months, which is often normal. But there are things parents can do to help children assert themselves without hurting others.”(more)

Education Reform Isn’t in Retreat

The U.S. News and World Report – Andy Smarick

“Is big, bold education reform in retreat? The Every Student Succeeds Act ended the Bush-Obama era of sweeping federal action embodied by the No Child Left Behind Act, Race to the Top and the School Improvement Grant program. It also severely limited the U.S. Department of Education’s ability to unilaterally exert its will on states and districts. Moreover, the Trump administration’s budget proposed significant cuts across federal programs. And all of this is on top of the public backlash to Common Core, teacher-evaluation reform, testing and similar initiatives associated with Uncle Sam.”(more)