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Math education needs to start early

The Virgin Islands Daily-News – John Green

“Educators and parents alike are alarmed over the persistent gaps between 15-year-olds in the United States and their international peers on science and math outcomes. According to the latest results of the Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA, released on Dec. 6, American adolescents rank a paltry 31st out of the 35 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries in math, and math scores have significantly declined since the last PISA in 2012. To combat this trend, forces have mobilized around STEM education — stressing the experiences needed to build a foundation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Fostering strong STEM education will safeguard our place in the world and ensure our children a place in tomorrow’s workforce.”(more)

The Best Ways to Build Strong Early Reading Skills

The Huffington Post – Merete L. Kropp

“Filled with good intentions, some parents employ popular strategies with the goal of building strong readers from infancy in the years leading up to their child entering school. A number of adults mistakenly assume that drill and practice techniques or memorization are the most effective ways for their young child to learn to read. Alphabet puzzles, flashcards and leveled readers are introduced and rehearsed as though children are computers that can be fed bits of information that the brain will synthesize and spit out as reading ability. Research on reading acquisition tells a different story.”(more)

Here’s How To Stand Up Straight If You Have Bad Posture, From Your Head To Your Toes

Medical Daily – Elana Glowatz

“Standing up straight can be a challenge. Some of us have orthopedic issues but others have just developed bad habits, like slouching when sitting in front of a computer or after a long day of work. No matter the reason for our bad posture, we should be standing up straight if we can. Experts say poor posture screws with our muscles, puts extra wear on our joints, makes our organs operate less efficiently and could make us more prone to injury. And in case you needed any more incentive, in many people’s eyes, the body language of bad posture says you are not confident.”(more)

Why we need to make math relevant to kids

Mother Nature Network – Joanna Nesbit

“In recent years, STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) has become a key focus in K-12 education. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, STEM jobs are projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022, and students prepared for these disciplines will benefit in related careers — which is why the National Science Foundation calls for all students to have a strong STEM foundation to be able to participate in the 21st-century economy.”(more)

Viewpoints: Improving students’ STEM scores begins at home

The Herald Net – Melissa E. Libertus and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff

“Educators and parents alike are alarmed over the persistent gaps between 15-year-olds in the United States and their international peers on science and math outcomes. According to the latest results of the Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA, released on Dec. 6, American adolescents rank a paltry 31st out of the 35 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries in math, and math scores have significantly declined since the last PISA in 2012. To combat this trend, forces have mobilized around STEM education — stressing the experiences needed to build a foundation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Fostering strong STEM education will safeguard our place in the world and ensure our children a place in tomorrow’s workforce.”(more)

How To Make Financial Literacy A Family Affair

The Huffington Post – Staff Writer

“At the Gilson household, Sunday isn’t just an opportunity for a family dinner, it’s also payday. Robyn Gilson — a financial planning coach — and her husband, Graham, give their two sons, ages 8 and 12, a weekly stipend that’s one part allowance, one part lesson and one part conversation. “Throughout the week, the kids keep track of their chores on a clipboard — it’s like a fun scorecard,” Robyn Gilson explains. “We evaluate the week as a family and give them feedback on what was ‘good,’ ‘great,’ and ‘so-so.’ We then share how much ‘pay’ they receive for the week [for] helping support the household. We pay them cash, which they then keep in mason jars in our family room.” The system is more sophisticated than simply getting paid for chores, though; the Gilsons’ sons can also choose to skip out on certain household responsibilities, although in return they’re docked money from their savings.”(more)