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How To Talk With Kids About Terrible Things

NPR – Cory Turner

“For the more than 3,000 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Wednesday’s mass shooting was terrifying and life-changing. But what of the tens of millions of other children, in schools across the country, who have since heard about what happened and now struggle with their own feelings of fear, confusion and uncertainty? For their parents and teachers, we’ve put together a quick primer with help from the National Association of School Psychologists and Melissa Reeves, a former NASP president and co-author of its PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention curriculum.” (more)

How best to introduce your child to playing music

The Irish Times – Sheila Wayman

“The most important thing is to develop a culture of music at home, before you even think about lessons, says Andrew Jordan, director of the Newpark Music Centre in south Co Dublin. “Sometimes, people see learning an instrument as something very separate and it’s a kind of ‘tick the box exercise’. Whereas it needs to be in the context of fostering a child’s appreciation of music, playing it at home and going to see live performances.”.” (more)

“Why Do I Have To Do This?”

Education World – Keith Lambert

“Whether you’re a new teacher or a seasoned veteran, it’s a question you know you’re going to hear time and time again: “Why do I have to do this?” It has the tendency to come at very inconvenient times: in the middle of a mini-lesson, during a complicated transition, or moments before, during, or after a detailed presentation. But have you ever really thought about how important—or how complex—that one question really is? The truth is, it’s one you should be able to answer, and answer well. Today, Education World deconstructs “why do I have to do this?” in hopes of revealing what it truly is: an earnest and reasonable call for meaning.” (more)

The Need for More Parent Involvement in Schools

Education World – Les Potter

“My message is not necessarily that parents are important (we know this) but you must do what you can to get parents involved in your school. I would make phone calls, emails, hand out invitation to meet with me when I was a principal to parents as they dropped off and picked up their children, used message boards, etc. I would not stop “hounding parents” to get them involved with the school.” (more)

Back-and-forth exchanges boost children’s brain response to language

Medical X-Press – Anne Trafton

“A landmark 1995 study found that children from higher-income families hear about 30 million more words during their first three years of life than children from lower-income families. This “30-million-word gap” correlates with significant differences in tests of vocabulary, language development, and reading comprehension. MIT cognitive scientists have now found that conversation between an adult and a child appears to change the child’s brain, and that this back-and-forth conversation is actually more critical to language development than the word gap.” (more)

The Key To Raising A Happy Child

NPR – Cory Turner

“For much of the past half-century, children, adolescents and young adults in the U.S. have been saying they feel as though their lives are increasingly out of their control. At the same time, rates of anxiety and depression have risen steadily. What’s the fix? Feeling in control of your own destiny. Let’s call it “agency.” “Agency may be the one most important factor in human happiness and well-being.” So write William Stixrud and Ned Johnson in their new book, The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. Feeling out of control can cause debilitating stress and destroy self-motivation.” (more)