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Literacy as a 21st- Century Survival Skill

Language Magazine – Brooke Foged and Jenny Hammock

“In today’s world, reading is an expected skill. Most of what we need to know to get by in life is written down, so for our current students to have future career success in nearly any field, they must have some degree of literacy. Even an entry-level job in a fast-food restaurant requires a person to read the application, and then eventually the employee handbook and the menu. Outside of a career, patients who cannot read their prescription bottles for dosage information may find themselves in real danger, and people signing binding contracts need to be able to read to know what they are agreeing to. In the 21st century, reading is a survival skill.” (more)

Reading Illustrated Story Books ‘Just Right’

Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“A new study, “Goldilocks Effect? Illustrated Story Format Seems ‘Just Right’ and Animation ‘Too Hot’ for Integration of Functional Brain Networks in Preschool-Age Children,” suggests a “Goldilocks effect,” where audio may be “too cold” at this age, requiring more cognitive strain to process the story, animation “too hot,” fast-moving media rendering imagination and network integration less necessary, and illustration “just right,” limited visual scaffolding assisting the child while still encouraging active imagery and reflection. The study is the first to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to explore the influence of story format (audio, illustrated, animated) on the engagement of brain networks supporting language, visual imagery, and learning in preschool-age children.” (more)

3 ways to promote grit via literacy instruction

E-School News – Staff Writer

“J.K. Rowling. Bill Gates. Oprah Winfrey. These are no doubt names that most students recognize as successful. But what often goes overlooked is the perseverance needed to achieve success, and that successful people—including these household names—often overcome great obstacles. To that end, the conversation in schools has shifted to resilience and grit, recognizing that people who demonstrate determination often end up being movers and shakers in today’s world.” (more)

NGSS in Elementary: Incorporating Science Into Your Literacy Instruction

Education World – Martha Moore

“Next Generation Science Standards are designed to give students a foundational science education that can serve them throughout their schooling and into their careers as adults. We’ve taken a dive into ways to incorporate science into literacy instruction with some fantastic book collections from Steps to Literacy.” (more)

How instruction changes brain circuitry with struggling readers

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“The early years are when the brain develops the most, forming neural connections that pave the way for how a child — and the eventual adult — will express feelings, embark on a task, and learn new skills and concepts. Scientists have even theorized that the anatomical structure of neural connections forms the basis for how children identify letters and recognize words. In other words, the brain’s architecture may predetermine who will have trouble with reading, including children with dyslexia.” (more)

Mu­sic play­school en­hances chil­dren’s lin­guistic skills

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“According to the research conducted at the University of Helsinki, weekly music playschool significantly improved the development of children’s vocabulary skills. Several studies have suggested that intensive musical training enhances children’s linguistic skills. Such training, however, is not available to all children.” (more)