Studies: Math skills can be predicted, improved early on

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/25/math-skills-predicted-early/2018461/

WASHINGTON (AP) — We know a lot about how babies learn to talk, and youngsters learn to read. Now scientists are unraveling the earliest building blocks of math — and what children know about numbers as they begin first grade seems to play a big role in how well they do everyday calculations later on.

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Modeling Healthy Choices: Three Habits for Optimal Brain Health

Optimal brain health is influenced by the small choices we make every day. Follow these 3 easy steps to help your brain stay healthy.

via Modeling Healthy Choices: Three Habits for Optimal Brain Health.

Suicidal Thoughts More Common in Kids With Autism: Study

Health News / Tips & Trends / Celebrity Health

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) — Children with autism may have a higher-than-average risk of contemplating or attempting suicide, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that mothers of children with autism were much more likely than other moms to say their child had talked about or attempted suicide: 14 percent did, versus 0.5 percent of mothers whose kids didn’t have the disorder.

The behavior was more common in older kids (aged 10 and up) and those whose mothers thought they were depressed, as well as kids whose moms said they were teased.

An autism expert not involved in the research, however, said the study had limitations, and that the findings “should be interpreted cautiously.”

One reason is that the information was based on mothers’ reports, and that’s a limitation in any study, said Cynthia Johnson, director of the Autism Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

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Building a Sense of Urgency in the Classroom

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/building-sense-of-urgency-classroom-ben-johnson

I am certain you feel the pressure of the testing season soon to be upon us. We want our students to do their very best and we see and feel the urgency (hopefully not panic) that we want them to feel. True learning, which is more than answers on a standardized test, is a naturally urgent process if students are engaged and have a real reason to learn.

Games to Teach Financial Literacy

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/games-to-teach-financial-literacy-andrew-miller

Financial Literacy Month is April — just around the corner — and it’s never too early to prepare. Personally, I believe this is a great opportunity to use games in an intentional way to teach students financial literacy skills. Games can be used as a “hook” or anchor activity, as well an instructional activity that is revisited throughout a unit of instruction. A game can help scaffold the learning of important content as well as providing context for application of content. If you really trust the design of the game, it can also be an excellent assessment tool!