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U.S. math scores decline on international test of 15-year-olds

Ed Source – Theresa Harrington

“U.S. students declined in average math scores in the latest round of international testing, ranking below 36 countries or educational systems out of more than 70 that participated. U.S. students showed no signs of improvement in science and reading. According to results released Tuesday, the top-performing country in all three subjects was Singapore.”(more)

Can a child who starts kindergarten with few reading or math skills catch up?

The Los Angeles Times – Teresa Watanabe

“Giuliana is not atypical of Latino children, who have the lowest rates of preschool attendance among all racial and ethnic groups. A 2015 UC Berkeley study of 4,550 children nationwide found that although Latino children showed roughly the same level of language comprehension as their white peers at 9 months old, four-fifths had fallen up to 5 months behind by the time they were 2. The study found that only 28% of the Mexican American mothers who spoke English at home, as Giuliana’s mother does, read to their children daily, compared with 59% of white mothers. No preschool. No daily stories read out loud. Could Giuliana catch up?.”(more)

Boys Who Sit Still Have a Harder Time Learning to Read

Time – Belinda Luscomb

“Anybody who has watched little boys for even five seconds knows that they are exhausting. At school, they tear around the playground, bolt through corridors and ricochet off classroom walls. According to a new Finnish study, this is all helping them to be better at reading. The study, released Nov. 30 in the Journal of Medicine and Sport, found that the more time kids in Grade 1 spent sitting and the less time they spent being physically active, the fewer gains they made in reading in the two following years. In first grade, a lot of sedentary time and no running around also had a negative impact on their ability to do math.”(more)

Seven ways to boost your child’s literacy without spending a cent

Stuff – Rachel Browne

“Parents wanting to polish their preschooler’s literacy and numeracy skills are better off asking them to try writing out a Christmas wish list rather than buying every item on it. That’s the verdict from new research from Sydney’s Macquarie University, which found an improvement in the skills of young children who used writing and counting in practical ways such as making lists or composing letters. Lead study author and lecturer at Macquarie University’s Institute of Early Childhood Dr Yeshe Colliver said parents often felt pressured to buy pricey apps and educational toys in the belief they would boost brain power.”(more)

How Science Is Rewiring The Dyslexic Brain

NPR – Gabrielle Emanuel

“Learning to read requires co-opting parts of the brain and training them to recognize letters, clump those letters together into small units, relate those units to sounds and, eventually, blend those sounds together into a word. For millions of people with dyslexia — the most common learning disability in the U.S. — that process doesn’t come easily.”(more)

World’s largest K-12 reading survey identifies trends, highlights best practices

E-School News – Staff Writer

“Tapping into data collected from nearly 10 million K-12 students who read 346 million books and nonfiction articles last school year, Renaissance® releases its ninth annual What Kids Are Reading report. Researchers at the K-12 learning analytics company produce the report, which provides the comprehensive review of students’ reading habits and achievement. What Kids Are Reading: And How They Grow, 2017 includes most read fiction and nonfiction books by grade level, nonfiction selections by gender, and a sampling of popular reading across the curriculum. The report is an important annual reflection on reading trends in U.S. schools.”(more)