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How a growing number of states are hoping to improve kids’ brains: exercise

The Hechinger Report – Lillian Mongeau “Despite her stated disinterest, the level of physical activity Anna and her classmates experience during their school day is unusual and probably beneficial. In the U.S., where 31 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 are obese, most school children move far too little, experts say. Thirty years of focus on increasing academic minutes in the school day has resulted in reduced recess and physical education time at many schools. The lack of physical activity is taking a toll on student fitness and that’s bad for growing brains, research shows.”... read more

The Six Must-Have Elements Of High Quality Project-Based Learning

KQED news Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz “Elizabeth Vega teaches pre-kindergarten at Loma Verde Elementary in Novato, California. Her school and district leaders want to do more project-based learning and have invested in getting teachers like Vega some training. That means she took one workshop on project-based learning, got excited about the possibilities, and then was sent back to her classroom to try it out.”... read more

What is innovation in early education and why is it crucial?

Education Dive – Nonie Lesaux and Stephanie Jones “The term “innovation” can conjure images of Silicon Valley, product pitches, dramatically new ideas for solving problems, and, ultimately, disrupting the status quo. Today, it’s a buzzword used in meeting after meeting — and in strategic plans to inspire change and improvement. It’s exciting for many reasons. What can be more challenging, though, is to think about this notion of innovation in the context of fields where advancement largely depends upon building capacity among adults, to improve relationships and interactions among people. Take, for example, the field of early education, where improving teaching and care practices are a linchpin to improving quality.”... read more

Building a Metacognitive Classroom

Edutopia – Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers “Teaching students basic knowledge about the brain’s potential can have a positive impact on their motivation, grit, and achievement. In particular, explicitly teaching them that learning changes the structure and function of their brains can be transformational in building a stronger belief in the value of working hard to master new material. Teachers who explain these findings report that the knowledge has a positive effect on students’ perceptions of their abilities as well as on their expectations for success.”... read more

Progress in reading stalls at secondary school. It should be a priority

The Guardian – Keith Topping “We have a persistent problem encouraging secondary school pupils to read challenging and age-appropriate books. The tenth annual What Kids Are Reading Report, which analysed the reading habits of almost one million school pupils from 4,364 schools that use the Accelerated Reader assessment programme, found that this is true across Britain and Ireland. The report revealed that progress made by pupils in primary school halts when they transfer to secondary school and, from then on, the gap between students’ reading ability and their age grows wider each year. Worryingly, by the later years of secondary school many students are reading books that are no harder than those in primary school.”... read more

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