Renascence School Education News - private school

Friday, January 16, 2015

‘Books from Birth’ plan aims to bridge word gap among District children

The Washington Post – Michael Alison Chandler

“D.C. Council member Charles Allen (Ward 6) plans to introduce a bill that would send a book each month to the home of every child under age 5 in the District. The early literacy initiative aims to address an achievement gap that begins at birth. “We have households in the District that have hundreds of books and households where the only book in the house may be the phone book,” he said. By the time students are in third grade, less than half of public school students in the District are on grade level in reading. Allen’s proposal aims to address the problem early on, by tackling a large word gap that’s been documented in research.”(more)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Meet the cute therapy pups helping kids learn to read

The New York Post – Mary Huhn

“Reading to dogs can help boost kids’ confidence and get them excited about reading. “Some children feel anxious about reading in front of other students. It can be daunting,” says Fine. “Dogs patiently listen as students practice their skills in a supportive environment with a non-judgmental, furry listener. [It] makes reading enjoyable and fun, instead of scary.” Willow, a 4-year-old white standard poodle with orange-painted nails, is particularly popular. One girl hugs and kisses her, as the owner, Alison Kelley, tells students that Willow has a skateboard. Across the room, Oscar looks up from “Harry the Dirty Dog” to ask Toffee, a 1 ½- year-old Yorkshire terrier, if he takes baths. His owner, Karen Osorio from Forest Hills, Queens, replies yes, and that he “wears a shower cap.'”(more)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own

The New York Times – Motoko Rich

“In a 2014 survey of just over 1,000 children ages 6 to 17, only 31 percent said they read a book for fun almost daily, down from 37 percent four years ago. There were some consistent patterns among the heavier readers: For the younger children — ages 6 to 11 — being read aloud to regularly and having restricted online time were correlated with frequent reading; for the older children — ages 12 to 17 — one of the largest predictors was whether they had time to read on their own during the school day.”(more)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own

The New York Times – Motoko Rich

“Cue the hand-wringing about digital distraction: Fewer children are reading books frequently for fun, according to a new report released Thursday by Scholastic, the children’s book publisher. In a 2014 survey of just over 1,000 children ages 6 to 17, only 31 percent said they read a book for fun almost daily, down from 37 percent four years ago…There were some consistent patterns among the heavier readers: For the younger children ages 6 to 11 being read aloud to regularly and having restricted online time were correlated with frequent reading…The finding about reading aloud to children long after toddlerhood may come as a surprise to some parents who read books to children at bedtime when they were very young but then tapered off…A lot of parents assume that once kids begin to read independently, that now that is the best thing for them to do…But reading aloud through elementary school seemed to be connected to a love of reading generally…some literacy experts said that when parents or teachers read aloud to children even after they can read themselves, the children can hear more complex words or stories than they might tackle themselves.”(more)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Focusing on Reading in Papua New Guinea

Global Partnership for Education – Jeff Ramin

“Papua New Guinea is making great strides in improving how students are being taught to read….The Pacific Island nation of 7.3 million people joined the GPE in 2010, with an ambitious Universal Basic Education Plan designed to ensure that “all children of school age must enroll in school, complete nine years of basic education and should have learnt skills, knowledge, and values covered in the basic education curriculum”…The 2011 PNG Read program, funded by the GPE grant and implemented by the Papua New Guinea Department of Education with the support of the World Bank, is an innovative program founded on the principle that reading is the fundamental skill all children must acquire to promote learning. The program promotes better teaching and learning of reading skills in elementary and primary education.”(more)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Five tips for students during winter break: Read, camp, build, go online, play

The Washington Post – Moriah Balingit

“For many young students, the toll of the bell on the last day of school before winter break means the beginning of holiday fun, presents and long, unstructured days. It can be a gleeful reprieve from hours in the classroom and daily homework assignments. But while the temptation for children might be to slump in front of a television or get lost in video games, some educators say it’s important to take steps to maintain what children learned in school while they’re taking a break from it. There have been studies that demonstrate children — particularly those who are disadvantaged — stand to lose a lot of academic ground over long summer breaks. It’s not clear that the same applies to winter break, but Brian Pick, chief of teaching and learning for D.C. Public Schools, pointed out that public schoolchildren in the District will be out 16 full days, including weekends, this year. “Certainly 16 days is a long amount of time when we would want students to do some work to maintain their academic progress,” he said…Here are some tips from educators and others who work with children about what families can do during winter break to prevent total educational atrophy:”(more)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Op-ed: The gift of literacy

The Deseret News – John Hoffmire

“The holiday season is the perfect time to be thankful for all the good in our lives. For those living in the United States or other wealthy countries, most of the necessities of life are accessible to us and even many of our wants are satisfied. Some opportunities are so available that we take them for granted. Perhaps one of the greatest overlooked gifts we enjoy — one you are using right now — is the gift of literacy.”(more)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Research: Summer School Yields Larger Math Gains

The U.S. News – The Hechinger Report

“Back in 2007 a team of Johns Hopkins researchers found that low-income children tended to improve in reading just as much as their wealthier peers did during the school year. The problem, at least for a group of Baltimore children these researchers studied for 18 years, was summertime. During those three idle months, the poorer children’s reading skills slipped a lot.”(more)

The Reading Paradox: How Standards Mislead Teachers

Education Next – Kathleen Porter-Magee

“Beyond the foundational reading skills, standards in this realm don’t articulate the content that students need to learn to become good readers. Instead, the standards describe the habits and skills of “good readers.” Good readers can, for instance, identify the main idea of a text. They can understand “shades of meaning” and can even use evidence to support comprehension and analysis.”(more)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Literacy group making inroads expanding students’ vocabulary skills

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel – Alan J. Borsuk

“One of the things that appeals to me about SHARP is the emphasis on vocabulary. There is a powerful body of research that shows that the “vocabulary gap” is one of the keys to understanding the success gap in education. In short, a child who starts kindergarten with a large vocabulary is much more likely to succeed than one with a small vocabulary.”(more)