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Early childhood education can ensure success later in life

The Los Angeles Times – Rigo Rodríguez

“This is the Early Development Index, a valid population measure of school readiness for kindergarten students that drills down into five developmental areas known to impact school performance, such as language, communication and cognitive skills, communication skills and general knowledge, social competence, emotional maturity and physical health and well-being. EDI is a game-changer for those of us trying to mobilize our communities to improve school-readiness. For many years, researchers have shown that providing high-quality early childhood opportunities is the magic sauce to success. Put bluntly, if children experience high-quality early childhood opportunities in their first five years or so, it’s nearly impossible to stop them from being successful in life. The positive outcomes are astonishing.”(more)

Making Sure Your Praise Is Effective

Edutopia – Todd Finley

“All kids need praise, but they don’t all need the same kind. While results differ depending on the nationality of the child, a 2001 study by Paul C. Burnett showed that young students often appreciate being complimented publicly, while adolescents “prefer private praise.” Likewise, a 2016 survey conducted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst revealed that 73 percent of students ranked “quiet verbal praise” as a “top 3” instructor response. When combined with praise, rewards like treats and prizes are a stronger reinforcer of positive behavior for some students than praise alone, according to the Amherst researchers.”(more)

How Metacognition Boosts Learning

Edutopia – Youki Terada

“Strategies that target students’ metacognition—the ability to think about thinking—can close a gap that some students experience between how prepared they feel for a test and how prepared they actually are. In a new study, students in an introductory college statistics class who took a short online survey before each exam asking them to think about how they would prepare for it earned higher grades in the course than their peers—a third of a letter grade higher, on average. This low-cost intervention helped students gain insight into their study strategies, boosting their metacognitive skills and giving them tools to be more independent learners.”(more)

School redesigns accommodate today’s (and tomorrow’s) teachers and learners

Education Dive – Linda Jacobson

“Individual teacher desks have been replaced with a teacher collaboration space located within each “learning commons” and students are assigned to “huddle groups” that serve as a type of homeroom, giving parents a main point of contact even if instruction is provided by multiple teachers. In addition to large open rooms, meant to support group activities and project-based learning, there are also “cave-like” spaces for when students need to work alone, says Kiffany Lychock, BVSD’s director of educational innovations. “That’s the beauty of these buildings,” she says. “They’re flexible enough to change.” Such innovative layouts and uses of space in schools are being seen across the country as district leaders strive to find designs that support the way students learn today and are flexible enough to accommodate how educators may decide to use them in the future.”(more)

Strategies for Students With Scattered Minds

Edutopia – Dr. Donna Wilson and Dr. Marcus Conyers

“Imagine a team without a coach guiding players toward working together to execute a winning strategy. Imagine a company without a leader to make sure that employees across departments are equipped and organized to collaborate on continually improving products and increasing sales. Imagine a marching band without a drum major to lead musicians through their complicated maneuvers while staying on beat.”(more)

A Better Way to Study Through Self-Testing and Distributed Practice

KQED News Mind/Shift – Claudia Wallis

“As I prepared to write this column, I relied on some pretty typical study techniques. First, as I’ve done since my student days, I generously highlighted key information in my background reading. Along the way, I took notes, many of them verbatim, which is a snap with digital copying and pasting. (Gotta love that command-C, command-V.) Then I reread my notes and highlights. Sound familiar? Students everywhere embrace these techniques and yet, as it turns out, they are not particularly good ways to absorb new material. At least not if that’s all you do.”(more)