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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)

Early Language Key to School Success

Language Magazine – Kim Echart

“Language, in other words, supports academic and social success, says Amy Pace, an assistant professor in the University of Washington Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, which led the study, published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly. The study was the first to look at a comprehensive set of school readiness skills and to try to determine which, of all of them, is the most solid predictor of a child’s later success. Language—the ability to fluidly learn words and to string them together into sentences—was the hands-down winner, said co-author Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, director of the Infant Language Laboratory at Temple University.” (more)

Beyond the ‘Reading Wars’: How the science of reading can improve literacy

Medical X-Press – Anna Mikulak

“A new scientific report from an international team of psychological researchers aims to resolve the so-called “reading wars,” emphasizing the importance of teaching phonics in establishing fundamental reading skills in early childhood. The report, published in in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, shows how early phonics skills are advanced with a rich reading curriculum throughout the school years.” (more)

For Young Brains, a Storytelling Sweet Spot

Edutopia – Youki Terada

“As a parent, one of my favorite activities with my toddler is storytime. These days I have plenty of good options: I can tell my son a story, we can read a picture book together, or I can turn on the TV or break out the iPad and watch a cartoon with him. At least that’s what I thought. A new study suggests that only one these experiences hits the “Goldilocks Zone”—that sweet spot where my son’s brain is highly active, his imagination is fully engaged, and he can spare a few moments to think about the story.” (more)

Stamina in Silent Reading

Language Magazine – Elfrieda H. Hiebert

“In all likelihood, you are reading these words silently. Silent reading is the mode in which adults typically read. In the primary grades especially, and sometimes even beyond in school, oral reading dominates. Oral reading is a fairly good predictor of automaticity in recognizing words in silent reading, but the transfer between oral and silent reading is not a perfect one by any means. In oral-reading contexts, a teacher typically keeps tabs on whether students are reading. In silent reading, students need to monitor themselves.” (more)