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The Best Ways to Build Strong Early Reading Skills

The Huffington Post – Merete L. Kropp

“Filled with good intentions, some parents employ popular strategies with the goal of building strong readers from infancy in the years leading up to their child entering school. A number of adults mistakenly assume that drill and practice techniques or memorization are the most effective ways for their young child to learn to read. Alphabet puzzles, flashcards and leveled readers are introduced and rehearsed as though children are computers that can be fed bits of information that the brain will synthesize and spit out as reading ability. Research on reading acquisition tells a different story.”(more)

We must teach children about life online if they are to thrive in the real world

The Telegraph – Douglas Lloyd

“Last week the Children’s Commissioner issued a report, prepared by the Growing Up Digital Taskforce, which highlighted how childhoods are being dramatically affected because of what children access on the internet. Combined with a survey by Mumsnet, which found that 73 percent of parents are worried about their children accessing inappropriate content online, the Commissioner’s report states that children are not being educated or supported for their life online in the same way that they are prepared for life offline.”(more)

Five Compelling Reasons For Teaching Spatial Reasoning To Young Children

KQED News Mind/Shift – Staff Writer

“Our journey began when we conducted an extensive literature review at the outset of the project (Bruce, Flynn, & Moss, 2012) and learned about the crucial importance of spatial reasoning. This theme was consistent across many research disciplines, including biology, cognitive sciences, psychology, developmental sciences, education, as well as educational neuroscience—an emerging transdisciplinary field which sits at the intersection of these other disciplines and aims for a collaborative approach in which educational theory and practice are informed by new findings in the cognitive sciences, and vice versa (Fisher, 2009). We also learned—and have experienced in our careers as mathematics educators and researchers—that spatial reasoning is a curiously unacknowledged and neglected area of the curriculum. During our involvement with the M4YC project, we have become more and more convinced of reasons why we should pay attention to spatial reasoning in early years mathematics. Below we offer our Top Five reasons why, as educators, we should care about spatial thinking when we plan, observe, and assess mathematics in our classrooms.”(more)

Here’s How To Stand Up Straight If You Have Bad Posture, From Your Head To Your Toes

Medical Daily – Elana Glowatz

“Standing up straight can be a challenge. Some of us have orthopedic issues but others have just developed bad habits, like slouching when sitting in front of a computer or after a long day of work. No matter the reason for our bad posture, we should be standing up straight if we can. Experts say poor posture screws with our muscles, puts extra wear on our joints, makes our organs operate less efficiently and could make us more prone to injury. And in case you needed any more incentive, in many people’s eyes, the body language of bad posture says you are not confident.”(more)

First Signs Of Autism: How To Recognize Spectrum Disorder And Earliest Effective ASD Interventions

Medical Daily – Elana Glowatz

“For new or expecting parents, autism can be a worrying prospect. You are concerned about the health and welfare of your child, and the developmental disorder comes with hardships and unknowns. Although scientists have not yet found a way to prevent autism, early detection of the disorder could be helpful and perhaps make therapeutic interventions more successful. The autism advocacy group Autism Speaks hosts a checklist of symptoms in toddlers called an M-CHAT. It includes social signs like being uninterested in other children and not caring to show toys to a parent, as well as developmental signs. That latter group could include not sharing big smiles or other facial expressions; not babbling by 12 months or speaking by 16 months; not responding when you call their name; and not pointing or responding to your pointing.”(more)

Why we need to make math relevant to kids

Mother Nature Network – Joanna Nesbit

“In recent years, STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) has become a key focus in K-12 education. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, STEM jobs are projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022, and students prepared for these disciplines will benefit in related careers — which is why the National Science Foundation calls for all students to have a strong STEM foundation to be able to participate in the 21st-century economy.”(more)