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Fiction has significant role in social emotional learning

Education Dive – Tara García Mathewson

“Researchers describe “theory of mind” as the ability to recognize mental states in others and understand that others have perspectives and desires that are different from one’s own. When classroom assignments develop students’ social emotional skills, they include fostering an ability to regulate one’s own emotions, often in an attempt to communicate or otherwise form relationships with others. The term theory of mind, from cognitive science, and the concept of social-emotional skill-building, now very much in vogue in U.S. classrooms, are connected. And ongoing research indicates students might be able to improve their theory of mind abilities by reading fiction.”(more)

Authors and teachers pick a children’s book for Christmas

The Guardian – Rebecca Ratcliffe

“Education Guardian’s Christmas gift ideas from teachers and authors, with Anne Fine, Holly Smale, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Michael Morpurgo and Julia Donaldson.
The Frog and Toad books are perfect gifts. Children of three to five adore these wry, intelligent and gentle stories about two very different friends. Frog is patient and modest. Toad is not. But together they face the problems any child will recognise: ice‑creams that melt too fast, an overpowering inability to get out of bed, lost buttons, failure of will power, and all the myriad misunderstandings, anxieties and triumphs of small busy lives.”(more)

Reading with your children—books vs tablets

Medical X-Press – Nicola Yuill

“Most of us have an opinion about whether we prefer reading on screen or paper: but what difference does it make for children? The truth is that technology is now encountered from babyhood. Anecdotes abound of toddlers swiping their fingers across paper rather than turning the page, while parents and teachers express their fear of screen addiction as tablets introduce new distractions as well as new attractions for young readers.”(more)

Quality pre-K helps low-income students score better on reading tests

The Star-Telegram – Diane Smith

“Participating in full-day, high-quality pre-kindergarten helps low-income students perform better on reading tests in third grade, according to a study released Thursday by the nonprofit Children At Risk. The study, a collaboration among several nonprofits, is called “Pre-K in Texas: A Critical Component for Academic Success.” The Meadows Foundation in Dallas and the the Miles Foundation in Fort Worth helped produce the report, which is described as the biggest study of its kind since 2012.”(more)

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)