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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)

Early-life language stimulation, skills may prevent childhood depression

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Childhood depression can lead to social, emotional and academic setbacks during childhood and later in life. However, little is known about what contributes to children’s developing depressive symptoms. Researchers from University of Missouri have determined that the level of language skills young children possess early in life can predict the likelihood they may experience depression. Keith Herman, a professor in MU’s College of Education, found that children who experience low levels of language learning stimulation beginning at three years of age are more likely to experience language delays by first grade and are three times more likely to develop depression by third grade.”(more)

These 7 keys are helping one district better prepare its students

E-School News – Chris Marczak

“In any given third-grade classroom, you can find a student who is reading at a level far beyond their age, and another who is still working on letter recognition. How does a traditional classroom teacher with 25-30 kids manage such a wide range of students? As a district leader, how do I support our teachers and ensure that they are challenging students who are at a higher level while providing struggling students with proper support? These are the tough questions I asked myself when taking over as superintendent of Maury County Schools in Tennessee in August 2015. Within the first few months, we ditched the old literacy model to adopt a project-based focus; deployed instructional coaches (without hiring anyone); and launched a top-down, district-level approach that quickly gained bottom-up buy-in through school and community support. We also implemented a differentiated literacy program and digital library that measures reading with reading—not quiz scores and points.”(more)