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How best to introduce your child to playing music

The Irish Times – Sheila Wayman

“The most important thing is to develop a culture of music at home, before you even think about lessons, says Andrew Jordan, director of the Newpark Music Centre in south Co Dublin. “Sometimes, people see learning an instrument as something very separate and it’s a kind of ‘tick the box exercise’. Whereas it needs to be in the context of fostering a child’s appreciation of music, playing it at home and going to see live performances.”.” (more)

‘It’s given the children a love of wildlife’: the schools letting nature in

The Guardian – Emma Sheppard

“The number of schools using gardens and the natural world to teach students continues to increase. The campaign for school gardening, a programme run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), now has 20,000 school members, with 81% growing plants specifically to attract wildlife and pollinators. “Biodiversity underpins everything,” says campaign manager Alana Cama.” (more)

Highlighting the ‘E’ in STEM education

The Hill – C.D. Mote Jr.

“If you’ve ever searched the internet, shopped online, gotten a medical image, used a smart phone, or played a video game, among many other things, you’ve benefited from the C++ programming language. Most people have never heard of the C++ programming they interact with everyday. Most don’t know the engineering behind how our increasingly technologically-dependent world works. When creating something is the question, engineering is the answer. We all enjoy the handiwork of those we celebrate during National Engineers Week (February 18-24 this year).” (more)

Financial education stalls, threatening kids’ future economic health

USA Today – Annie Nova

“Financial education in schools has come to a halt in recent years. Only 17 states require high school students to take a class in personal finance — a number that hasn’t budged in the past four years, according to the newly released 2018 Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools.” (more)

Why it’s great to learn a second language

Health 24 – Staff Writer

“Is learning a second language on your bucket list? Here’s compelling evidence to get started right away. Numerous studies at institutions, including Penn State, have found that learning a new language is great for brain health. It can strengthen your brain just as exercise strengthens your muscles. And like muscles, the more you work at it, the stronger your brain gets.” (more)

3 ways to help students think and act as scientists

E-School News – Ryan Reardon

“I enjoy challenging students to engage in hands-on scientific inquiry. In fact, I’m always telling my students and colleagues that I don’t want our students to think and act like scientists. I want them to think and act as scientists. Here are three things we can do to make that happen.” (more)

15 Black History Month Activities for February and Beyond

We Are Teachers – Tanya Merriman

“First, let it be said: black history is American history. But observing Black History Month in the month of February gives us a chance to focus on a part of our shared history that the founder, Carter G. Woodson, observed was at risk of disappearing. Of course it is wonderful to recognize the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. But there are lots of ways to go beyond the typical inventors and sports heroes so that every child can connect to and learn from the amazing contributions of the African-American community. Here are just some of our favorite Black History Month activities for the classroom.” (more)

“Why Do I Have To Do This?”

Education World – Keith Lambert

“Whether you’re a new teacher or a seasoned veteran, it’s a question you know you’re going to hear time and time again: “Why do I have to do this?” It has the tendency to come at very inconvenient times: in the middle of a mini-lesson, during a complicated transition, or moments before, during, or after a detailed presentation. But have you ever really thought about how important—or how complex—that one question really is? The truth is, it’s one you should be able to answer, and answer well. Today, Education World deconstructs “why do I have to do this?” in hopes of revealing what it truly is: an earnest and reasonable call for meaning.” (more)

The Need for More Parent Involvement in Schools

Education World – Les Potter

“My message is not necessarily that parents are important (we know this) but you must do what you can to get parents involved in your school. I would make phone calls, emails, hand out invitation to meet with me when I was a principal to parents as they dropped off and picked up their children, used message boards, etc. I would not stop “hounding parents” to get them involved with the school.” (more)

How to put mass shooting tragedies in perspective for kids

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“In the wake of yet another deadly school shooting in the United States, one health specialist offers advice on how to ease children’s fears about acts of terror and violence. Consider the child’s age and emotional maturity when weighing the right time to discuss such tragedies, recommends Dr. Hannah Chow, a pediatrician at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill. “The older they are, the quicker you should tell them. You want to get in front of any misinformation, as they may have already heard the news from another source,” she said in a Loyola news release.” (more)