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Preschool program preps kids for academic success through elementary school

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A program that helps low-income parents prepare their children for school has benefits that extend beyond kindergarten and into into third grade, according to Penn State researchers. The researchers found that the preschoolers of parents who participated in the program performed better academically, acquired better social emotional skills and needed fewer additional school services when they were in third grade.” (more)

Early-Grades Science: The First Key STEM Opportunity

Education Week – Madeline Will

“Indeed, research shows that students who are engaged in STEM by the time they are adolescents are more likely to pursue the field as adults. But elementary teachers are generalists, and few are trained to specifically teach STEM. Just 3 percent of undergraduate elementary programs require relevant coursework—or ask candidates to pass an admissions test—in biology, chemistry, and physics or physical science, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality. Sixty-six percent of the 810 programs studied don’t require coursework in any of those core subjects.” (more)

STEAM approach increases elementary students’ scores in science

E-School News – Linda Jacobson

“​The purpose of blending the arts with STEM is not just to make sure the arts are not left behind as schools focus on improving test scores in core subject areas. The arts give students creative ways to tackle tough concepts, help them ask better questions, and use multiple methods to solve problems, according to a blog post from Concordia University-Portland.” (more)

Elementary school teachers sometimes follow a class of students from year to year. New research suggests that’s a good idea.

Chalk Beat – Matt Barnum

“When Kim Van Duzer, an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn, had a chance to follow her students from third to fourth grade the next school year, she jumped at the opportunity. “It was such a positive experience,” she said. “One of the big advantages is starting in September hitting the ground running — you already know the kids and the things they did the previous year and the things they need to work on.” Now, a new study seems to confirm Van Duzer’s experience. Students improve more on tests in their second year with the same teacher, it finds, and the benefits are largest for students of color.” (more)

These strategies are driving K-3 literacy efforts

Education Dive – Jessica Leigh Brown

“Literacy has always been a primary focus of elementary education, but recent research has prompted greater urgency to ensure students are proficient by 3rd grade. According to a 2011 study, kids who aren’t reading by the end of 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.” (more)