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Learning a language can boost mental agility in just one week

CTV News – Staff Writer

” A new study has found that just one-week of an intensive language learning course is enough to boost students’ attention spans. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh compared a group of 33 students aged 18 and 78, who were taking part in a one-week Scottish Gaelic course, with 16 other students who were taking part in a comparable course, but not learning a language. Their attention levels were measured using listening tests, which assessed each participant’s ability to concentrate on certain sounds and switch their attention to focus on relevant information.”(more)

The art of teaching teachers how to teach reading

CNN – Kelly Wallace

“A lifelong educator and advocate for children, Principal Diane Daprocida of P.S. 94, an elementary school in the Bronx, says she has been waiting for one thing since she started running the school 10 years ago. You might guess it’s more money or resources, or smaller class sizes, but something else topped her wish list: a way to teach her teachers, many of whom have four years or less of teaching experience, how to teach reading. “Our universities do not teach teachers how to (teach reading) at the undergraduate level,” Daprocida said. “It’s philosophy of education, sociology of education, classroom management. I mean, I can’t even remember. It’s been so long since I’ve been to school, but they are coming through a traditional track not knowing how to teach reading, just the overall basic components of it.”.”(more)

When Kids are Bullied, What Can Parents Do?

KQED News Mind/Shift – Linda Flanagan

“It’s no mystery that being bullied hurts. Whatever form the abuse takes—whether it’s being tripped, teased, excluded, mocked, insulted, gossiped about, or ridiculed, in-person or via social media—the target suffers. Beyond the short-term pain, such mistreatment can have lasting mental and physical health effects as well, reports the American Academy of Pediatrics. Parents also struggle. Though desperate to help their ailing child, parents can’t lurk in hallways and lunchrooms waiting to protect their off-spring from social harm.”(more)

When Celebrating Learning Differences Is At the Heart of School Culture

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“Teachers and parents have long known that every child learns differently, excelling in some areas and struggling in others. And yet many schools still struggle to help students learn a set of standards, while allowing who they are as learners to determine how they do so. While some educators hope technology will make personalization cheaper and easier, so far many of the solutions involve keeping kids on the same path, but varying the pace. The rigid system and its requirements have made it difficult to truly celebrate neurodiversity.”(more)

Sesame Street to Continue Influence in Early Education With IBM Partnership

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“Sesame Workshop, the non-profit that produces Sesame Street and IBM are partnering to produce new personalized learning material for children in preschool grades. Sesame Workshop and IBM employees are currently working in classrooms and labs to develop “the next generation of learning tools.” Such learning tools will include products like “super-smart” toys that can adapt to a child’s developmental skills, learn-to-read apps, and classrooms tools for teachers to focus on individual student needs, said Variety Magazine.”(more)

Reluctant writers? 10 top tips to help primary pupils write poetry

The Guardian – Kate Williams

“Poetry is a mysterious concept to many children and when you ask students to pen a poem, less confident writers can freeze up. So start with a big dollop of reassurance. Tell them there’s no right or wrong in poetry, as long as it makes you go “Wow!” List all the fun things you can do with a poem – such as sing it, set it to a beat, put it in a picture, inside a card, round the walls in giant letters, on the stage in a performance – to sweep away the mystery. Inspire students by showing some crazy shape poems and suggesting they re-write theirs in shapes afterwards, or read a funny or spooky verse.”(more)