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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)

Elementary students report higher engagement, more pride in schoolwork than older peers

Education Dive – Linda Jacobson

“Most students report feeling engaged in school and taking pride in their work — but engagement drops as students get older, and less than half of middle and high school students feel like what they are learning in school is relevant to their lives outside of school, according to YouthTruth Student Survey results released Thursday.”(more)

A Vision for the Future of K-3 Reading Policy – Personalized and Mastery-Based

Education Next – Karla Esparza-Phillips and Cari Miller

Envision a future where students’ unique strengths and interests are both respected and harnessed—where each child reaches his or her greatest potential. The education systems that will achieve this are characterized by individualized pathways, timely support, flexible pacing and data-based decision making. As our friend Martin West recently pointed out, the opportunity to move to Personalized Learning 2.0 is here and momentum is building across the country.”(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)

Visualization Embodied: Art Students Explore Metaphor Through Kinesthetic Learning

Education World – Danielle Dravenstadt

“Thirty-five first-grade students stand beside bright yellow chairs in a tightly packed art classroom, stretching their limbs high, low, wide, and winding to represent the growing branches of their own distinctive trees. Instead of sitting with their hands folded on the tables with their eyes on their teacher as they often do in other classrooms, today they are free to stand, sway, and move their bodies to act out their rapidly progressing thoughts. Ooohs, ahhs, and giggles mix with hushed thoughts and deliberate movements as each student visualizes and performs a growing tree that tells the story of their life. This is a glimpse into a visualization exercise that empowers early childhood students to respond kinesthetically to deepen their thinking and inspire personally meaningful artmaking.”(more)

Kindergarteners’ mathematics success hinges on preschool skills

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“While many studies have been conducted on infants’ and preschoolers’ math competencies, few have evaluated how toddlers’ basic mathematics knowledge relates to early elementary school success. Now, in a study funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that preschoolers who better process words associated with numbers, such as “three” or “four,” and understand the quantities associated with these words are more likely to have success with math when they enter kindergarten. Findings also reveal that children who have a basic understanding that addition increases quantity and subtraction decreases it are much better prepared for math in school. Scientists contend that emphasis on these two skillsets could lead to greater success in school.”(more)