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TEACHER VOICE: It’s tough to prepare children for kindergarten if parents and teachers don’t collaborate

The Hechinger Report – Nicole Spinks

“When parents and teachers and parents work together, children arrive at school ready for kindergarten. I have spent the past ten years teaching at in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, in Boyle, Mississippi, the most recent four of those years teaching kindergarten for 5-year-olds at Bell Academy. Nearly one-third of the population of Boyle lives below the poverty line, as do more than 40 percent of those who are under 18 years old. Bell Academy serves 326 children in grades pre-K through sixth grade.”(more)

Why a Colorado researcher believes preschool students should learn — and play — with math

Chalk Beat – Marissa Page

“What do preschoolers need math for? Doug Clements argues preschoolers use math everywhere from reading to play — and engaging early mathematics instruction can help better prepare young students for later learning. Clements, the executive director of the University of Denver’s Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy, has spent nearly his entire career studying and advocating for introducing math concepts in early childhood education. He and his wife Julie Sarama, Marsico’s co-executive director, developed preschool lessons and tests for teaching mathematics to early learners. Their hallmark program, Building Blocks, has taken hold in cities such as Boston and Buffalo, N.Y., where both Clements and Sarama have conducted research.”(more)

A Berkeley professor says preschoolers need the academic skills parents are rebelling against

Quartz – Jenny Anderson

“For parents with means, selecting a preschool can feel nearly as onerous as choosing a college. Elite and competitive preschools abound, especially in the US, with parents picking apart their pedagogies—Reggio Emilia or Montessori? Waldorf or YMCA?—to figure out which might later clinch their child’s academic success (and make them happy, well-rounded human beings). These parents don’t have much to go on, since most research about preschool learning has centered on disadvantaged children. There is a wide gap in knowledge—about a full school year—between low-income kids and their highest-income peers at the start of kindergarten, and we know that well-designed preschools with trained teachers help close that gap. But a new study from Bruce Fuller from the University of California-Berkeley looks specifically at how a focus on academic preschools—those where teachers use more language, pre-literacy activities and skills, and math concepts—can affect both low-income and middle-class children.”(more)

Shift From Pre-K to Kindergarten “Fraught With Stress and Uncertainty”; Report Points to 4 Model States Easing the Transition

The 74 Million – Kevin Mahnken

“The path between preschool and kindergarten can be rocky for both families and educators, argues a new paper from New America’s Education Policy program. In the wake of research suggesting that young students often struggle to adapt to a more structured classroom, the report examines efforts in four states to help better manage the transition through data collection and parental outreach.”(more)

What does early childhood have to do with America’s workforce problem? A lot, actually

The American Enterprise Institute – Katharine B. Stevens

“American business depends on a strong workforce, now and in the future, to compete and succeed globally. But America is facing an unprecedented workforce crisis: a large and growing shortage of skilled workers. From the banks on Wall Street to the shops on Main Street, the world of work is changing — and our strategies for developing tomorrow’s workforce must change with it.”(more)

Eye On Education: Harvard Study Aims To Strengthen Preschool Learning

CBS Boston – Paula Ebben

“When it comes to preschool, by now we know early learning can make a big difference but not all preschools are the same. Harvard researchers are conducting a first-of-its kind study that could change and strengthen the quality of early childhood education across the country. It is all thanks to the generosity of an Oscar Award-winning Hollywood film producer, the late Saul Zaentz.”(more)