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The Math Problem: Back to basics

The Hamilton Spectator – Joanna Frketich

“There are no signs of stopping the decade of decline in elementary school math scores. Despite years of alarm, the number of Ontario students in Grades 3 and 6 meeting the provincial standard continues to tumble — 10 percentage points and counting in the last four years alone at Hamilton public schools. “There are many reasons,” said Mary Reid, assistant professor specializing in math at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. “We can’t pinpoint one area.” Most agree the problem isn’t the kids.”(more)

Reading with children starting in infancy gives lasting literacy boost

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“New research at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting shows that reading books with a child beginning in early infancy can boost vocabulary and reading skills four years later, before the start of elementary school. The abstract, “Early Reading Matters: Long-term Impacts of Shared Bookreading with Infants and Toddlers on Language and Literacy Outcomes,” will be presented on Monday, May 8, at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco.”(more)

Closing The Cybersecurity Skills Gap With STEM

Dark Reading – Kyle Martin

“As a nation, we should be doing more to promote educational programs that prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs. The growing number of cybersecurity threats and attacks expose the importance of engaging students in hands-on learning. Not only are cybersecurity threats increasing, they’re also becoming significantly more complicated. Unfortunately, the number of skilled cybersecurity professionals isn’t keeping up. According to a report from Intel Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 209,000 U.S. cybersecurity jobs went unfilled in 2015.”(more)

Would You Be My Friend? How Buddy Benches Are Helping Lonely Kids Find Playmates at Recess

The 74 Million – Tim Newcomb

“Life at school can be tough. It can be a lot tougher without friends. But Star Hill Elementary School in Dover, Del., has a solution — a Buddy Bench in the playground. Mackenzie Reynolds, a second-grader at the school, told the Delaware State News, “If you don’t have a friend to play with, you can go sit on the Buddy Bench and someone will come to ask you if you want to play with them. After I sat on the bench, someone came over and asked me to play. We swung on the swing set and we walked and talked.'”(more)

Foreign language in elementary school: more talk, less grammar

The Chicago Tribune Kimberly Fornek

“In language classes in area elementary schools, students spend less time memorizing vocabulary lists and conjugating verbs and more time speaking and writing the language. “We may be learning fewer vocabulary words, but the words students learn they will remember and use on a daily basis,” said Kyle Schumacher, superintendent of La Grange Elementary District 102..”(more)

Teacher training is key to teaching

The Columbia Tribune – Esther Cepeda

“As sure as Earth rotates around the sun, college professors condemn high schools for freshmen who can’t write decent papers, high school teachers blame middle schools for passing barely literate students along, and middle school teachers tsk-tsk elementary school teachers for kids who aren’t comfortable with the basics of writing and arithmetic. Elementary school teachers would be forgiven for blaming their teacher preparation programs for not adequately equipping them to lay the foundations of academic achievement for their young charges. According to the latest National Council on Teacher Quality rating of 875 of the nation’s undergraduate programs that prepare elementary school teachers, only 5 percent require candidates to take sufficient courses in literature, science and history/social studies.”(more)