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Implementing a Strong Phonics Program

Language Magazine – Lynn Hobratschk, Amy Jones, and Lisa Toole

“According to some recent research, phonics instruction is one of the most effective ways to teach children how to read, but a comprehensive phonics curriculum is hard to come by. Unless they develop foundational reading skills early, students will experience literacy deficits across all subjects. Here, three innovative curriculum leaders, Lynn Hobratschk, Dr. Amy Jones, and Lisa Toole, offer their insights into what makes a successful phonics program and how to implement it in schools.” (more)

Real-life learning the key to mastering a second language

The South China Morning Post – John Cremer

“Noting such concerns, Lai Chun, an associate professor in the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) faculty of education, points out that most second language curricula and textbooks used in international schools now pay more attention to developing learners’ “communicative functions”. However, there is still room to improve the relevance of topics to students’ daily life and interests, which is an important factor in increasing overall motivation. “The essentials for reaching near-native levels of fluency are sufficient exposure to the language and opportunities to use it in authentic contexts,” Lai says.” (more)

K–12 Schools Work to Incorporate Computer Science into Curriculums

Ed Tech Magazine – Eli Zimmerman

“Forecasts report that computer science skills will be essential for the future workforce, creating a need for K–12 experts to work harder to incorporate such lessons into the curriculum. According to the App Association, there will be approximately 1 million unfilled computing jobs in 2024. Research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that number could be reached by 2020. These findings have put a fire underneath educators and K–12 organizations to refocus efforts to teach computer science skills.” (more)

Women Are Superior Wordsmiths From an Early Age

The Pacific Standard – Tom Jacobs

“Much has been written about the fact boys tend to perform better than girls at math. But this focus has largely overshadowed a larger and more worrisome gender gap in an even more fundamental domain: reading and writing. A new study featuring data on more than three million American students reports girls outperform boys in reading and writing skills in fourth grade, and that gap increases over their next eight years of schooling.” (more)

New research helps to instill persistence in children

Medical X-Press – James Devitt

“Encouraging children “to help,” rather than asking them to “be helpers,” can instill persistence as they work to fulfill daily tasks that are difficult to complete, finds a new psychology study. Encouraging children “to help,” rather than asking them to “be helpers,” can instill persistence as they work to fulfill daily tasks that are difficult to complete, finds a new psychology study.” (more)

Can You Teach Good Writing? We Ask One of the Greats

Ed Surge – Jeffrey R. Young

“John McPhee, a master of telling nonfiction stories, became a teacher by accident 43 years ago when Princeton University needed a last-minute replacement. He has steered the course ever since, each spring when he takes breaks from writing books or pieces for The New Yorker, and it has become legendary in journalism circles.” (more)