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Mindfulness helps children as young as 3 manage their emotions during school

Medical X-Press – Ashley Jupin

“Mindfulness, a practice that’s growing in popularity, is widely praised as an antidote for the stresses of everyday life and a resource that can help many—from anxious dieters and harried employees to recovering addicts and hospital patients—decompress. Now mindfulness has found its way into a classroom in Watts, where children as young as 3 are using it to manage their emotions and stay calm. Using a strategy called Calm Classroom, students, ranging from transitional kindergartners to fifth graders at the Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School, are being guided by teachers three times during the school day through three-minute mindfulness exercises that call on students to refocus their attention on deep breathing, relaxation and body awareness.”(more)

Early math instruction: A predictor for academic success

Education Dive – Staff Writer

“Want your early learners to have long-term reading success? Teach them math. Recent research links high-quality math instruction at the earliest grade levels to improved academic success through high school—and not just in math‑related subjects. Effective early math instruction also leads to later success in reading skills and oral language abilities like: vocabulary, inference, independence and grammatical complexity. In fact, pre-K math scores are a better indicator of later reading success than pre-K reading scores, according to research by Dr. Douglas Clements, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning.”(more)

This one test could predict school success beginning in kindergarten

E-School News – Laura Devaney

“Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) College of Education have developed a one-item readiness test that can accurately predict kindergartners’ success in school. Researchers said they developed the test because kindergarten is an important developmental year for children–they will face many challenges and risk falling behind if they are not successful early in the year. Identifying students early in the year who may have problems can allow teachers and parents to provide special attention throughout the year to help them succeed, said Melissa Stormont, a professor of special education at MU.”(more)

Column: Early education is one of our most important investments

Central Maine – Ben Gilman, Robert Gregoire and Matthew Pouliot

“No more chasing after the ice cream truck or hanging around the pool. As the temperatures begin to get chillier and the days a little shorter, many children across the state of Maine are headed back to school — and for many it is their first time. That is why now is a good time to talk about how important early care and education of Maine kids is toward ensuring they are on a path to success — helping move Maine forward economically and keeping Maine’s communities safe. As representatives of Maine’s business community, the Maine State Legislature, and law enforcement, we strongly believe that reaching our state’s kids early in their lives, so they will learn the skills they need to be contributing members of society in the future, is the most important investment we as a state can make.”(more)

Math skills in preschool help kids succeed later on

WTOP – Kristi King

“A new study suggests preschoolers are more likely to do well with math when entering kindergarten if they grasp two basic concepts: words associated with numbers, and the quantities they represent. The word ‘two,’ for example, means a pair of things, such as your eyes. “It seems kind of mundane to us, but it’s actually a very difficult process for kids,” said psychologist Dave Geary, from the University of Missouri Department of Psychological Sciences and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience. Preschoolers are also more likely to have later success with math, Geary said, if they understand that addition and subtraction mean you get more or have less of something.”(more)

Early childhood education matters to Latinos and everyone else

The Hill – Maria Teresa Kumar

“This presidential election will likely see the highest level of Latino voter participation in history, with some estimates projecting millions more Latinos voting in 2016 compared to 2012. As president and CEO of Voto Latino, I know that Latino voters care deeply and passionately about issues that strengthen families. And while the Latino community views immigration reform that upholds the dignity and contributions of our community as a central political and moral imperative, we are not single-issue voters. Like voters of all backgrounds, we care about the issues that most closely affect us and our families. It should be no surprise then that Latino voters are demanding policies that will shape a better future for their children, with particular emphasis on increasing investments in early childhood education. According to a new poll from the First Five Years Fund, early childhood education is among the top priorities for voters, second only to improving the quality of public education and above increasing the number of good-paying jobs.”(more)