Renascence School Education News - private school

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hearing about math at the table can improve preschoolers’ skills

The Deseret News – Menachem Wecker

“Mothers who discuss simple arithmetic with their preschoolers at the dinner table can improve their children’s grasp of math. That’s according to a new study by researchers at Chile’s Pontifical Catholic University and at University of Michigan. The study is part of a broader effort to bring the kind of focus on early literacy to mathematics, says co-author Pamela Davis-Kean, associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan and director of its Center for the Analyses of Pathways from Childhood to Adulthood. “I think many researchers thought of math as ‘taught’ rather than something that is also based on early interactions, as we know occurs with literacy and reading,” she says. The study — of which Davis’ former student, María Inés Susperreguy, an assistant professor at the Chilean school, is lead author — tracked 40 families over a three-day period and recorded their conversations. The mothers filled out surveys about their education and household income, and then a year later they evaluated their children’s math skills.”(more)

Quality early education key to building strong future workforce

Fredericksburg.com – CATHY JETT

“The workforce pipeline begins as early as kindergarten. Yet one in seven children in the Fredericksburg area arrives there without the basic skills to succeed in school. Those who can’t read well by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out before graduating from high school. And high school dropouts are eight times more likely to go to jail, according to Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area. “The best way to impact a child is to give them great teachers,” Eric Fletcher, a Mary Washington Healthcare senior vice president, told about 75 business leaders attending a Smart Beginnings: Job One event Wednesday at the University of Mary Washington. Sponsored by Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area and the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, it was designed to show the role quality early learning plays in creating a foundation for workforce success—and a strong Virginia economy.”(more)

NIE researcher aims to shed light on art of writing science answers

The Strait Times – Amelia Teng

“THEY may know their science, but some young students have not mastered the art of providing the answers that teachers look for in exam scripts. They end up using the wrong words, even when they know the correct answer. This is because they may not have grasped the precise nature of scientific language. A National Institute of Education (NIE) researcher is trying to fix this problem, which has long been a challenge in learning primary school science. Dr Seah Lay Hoon, a research scientist, started two projects in 2013 and this year, to see how teachers view students’ language- related challenges in science.”(more)

Measurement Is Key To Accelerating Education Impact

Forbes – Staff Writer

“With fewer than 20% of Milwaukee’s third graders reading proficiently, cradle to career partnership Milwaukee Succeeds wanted to test the effectiveness of a promising strategy: literacy coaching for teachers. To test this strategy, Milwaukee Public Schools, Northwestern Mutual, and other local organizations came together to create a literacy coaching program for K-2 teachers in two schools. After just three months, many students working with the newly trained teachers doubled their reading progress. Next year, the school district is expanding the program to five schools. If similar results are achieved in these schools, coaching support for teachers will likely be expanded to reach more students. Milwaukee Succeeds is one of over 60 collective impact partnerships engaged in the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network. Partnership staff and leaders in these communities are passionate about measurement, aiming to constantly learn and adapt across all programs and services working to improve educational outcomes. They rigorously measure and continuously improve their work, making small tests of change and scaling interventions that data shows provide results for kids.”(more)

City schools out of shape in physical education, Stringer says

SI Live – Diane C. Lore

“When it comes to providing adequate physical education programs for every student in the city’s public school system, the Department of Education (DOE) is severely out of shape, the city comptroller says. The DOE is in violation of state physical education (PE) requirements and is failing to provide students with equal access to physical education resources, according to an interactive, school-by-school analysis released Tuesday by City Comptroller Scott Stringer. According to the report, nearly half of all Staten Island schools throughout the borough lacked a full-time PE teacher.”(more)

Our Kids and Communities Need to Make Music to Succeed

The Huffington Post – Welz Kauffman

“Take note: Thomas Edison played the piano; Albert Einstein studied piano and violin; PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi played in an all-girl rock band in high school; and Steve Jobs riffed Bob Dylan songs on the guitar. Seventy-five percent of Silicon Valley CEOs learned a musical instrument when young. And in the book Everything We Needed to Know about Business, We Learned Playing Music, 32 CEOs and business leaders say their career success reflected key parallels of musicianship and business, including confidence, self-esteem, teamwork, innovation and taking risks. In the past two years, city and Chicago Public School leadership have made strides toward richer arts education in our city’s schools. And following a robust Music in our Schools Month, there are questions we must ask. Do our school children truly benefit from this legacy? Do they grasp this city’s musical — and overall arts — heritage? Do they — all of them — get the chance to develop their own creative and expressive skills through exploring and performing music? More importantly, are we cultivating Chicago’s future creative thinkers and leaders? Kids’ creativity, as measured by the most recent Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking scores, has been sliding since 1990, most noticeably among our younger students. Reduced music and arts education is cited as a key factor. Meanwhile, more and more research underscores the transformative power of music education and the arts in enhancing children’s cognitive skills. According to Americans for the Arts, students with four years of music or arts in high school, on average, score 100 points higher on the verbal and math portions of the SAT than those with just one-half year of music or other arts.”(more)

School Reform for Rural America

Education Next – Dan Fishman

“It would be impossible to consider strategies for improving rural education without examining the pressing challenges of rural life. These vary widely by community, yet important trends emerge. Texas, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Louisiana, and Alabama include 66 of the nation’s 100 poorest counties. The historically poor regions of Appalachia and the Deep South remain so, with few catalysts to stimulate meaningful economic growth. Meanwhile, areas in the Mountain West have proven adept at leveraging high-speed Internet access and lifestyle perks to lure well-educated families and late-career professionals into permanent settlement. Yet even within the comparatively wealthy state of Colorado, the condition of rural life varies. Colorado’s Hinsdale County, population 843, and Costilla County, population 3,524, have per capita incomes of $43,293 and $16,525, respectively, despite their proximity to one another. Most of America’s landmass is to some degree rural (see Figure 1), and about one-fifth of American students live in rural regions.”(more)

Partially deaf children ‘overlooked’ at school

BBC – Staff Writer

“The National Deaf Children’s Society is calling on the next government to “provide the vital support” needed for partially deaf children in the UK. Nearly half of children with limited hearing fall behind at school, a survey of parents and professionals found. It suggested children who are hard of hearing struggle in classrooms with poor acoustics and a lack of understanding by staff. Parents said their child’s deafness “had a major impact” in the school day.”(more)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Survey: STEM Professionals Cite Real World Experience as Career Catalyst for Students

The Business Wire – Staff Writer

“A new national survey of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals carried out by the MdBio Foundation, Inc. (MdBio) in collaboration with The Science Advisory Board® finds that the majority of STEM professionals credit real-world, hands-on experience as the most critical factor in landing a STEM job. A majority of the 523 STEM professionals surveyed said they chose to pursue a scientific career before they entered college, shedding new light on the need to develop stronger partnerships between K-12 educators and STEM employers.”(more)

Why English spelling makes learning especially difficult

The News Miner – Greg Hill

“The Atlantic Monthly is such a good magazine I subscribe to it, even though I can read it, and even check it out, at our public library. The reason is Atlantic has such well-written, informative and in-depth articles that really grab my attention. A case in point is “How Spelling Keeps Kids From Learning” by Luba Vangelova. Published last February, this article points out “written English is great for puns but terrible for learning to read and write” because of its innumerable inconsistencies. “Adults who have already mastered written English tend to forget about its many quirks,” Vangelova wrote. “But consider this: English has 205 ways to spell 44 sounds. And not only can the same sounds be represented in different ways, but the same letter or letter combinations can also correspond to different sounds.” A study by the English Spelling Society found of the 7,000 most common English words, 60 percent had one or more unpredictable letters. Finnish, by comparison, has few exceptions to its straightforward spelling rules.”(more)