Dr. Avi Sadeh of Tel Aviv University is one of the authorities in the field. A couple of years ago, Sadeh sent 77 fourth-graders and sixth-graders home with randomly drawn instructions to either go to bed earlier or stay up later for three nights. Each child was given an actigraph (a wristwatchlike device that’s equivalent to a seismograph for sleep activity), which enabled Sadeh’s team to learn that the first group managed to get 30 minutes more sleep per night. The latter got 31 minutes less sleep.
After the third night’s sleep, a researcher went to the school in the morning to test the children’s neurobiological functioning. The test they used is highly predictive of both achievement-test scores and how teachers will rate a child’s ability to maintain attention in class.
As teachers, our plates are perpetually and impossibly full. The idea of adding one more component – such as incorporating technology into instruction – can seem daunting to say the least. In my own attempts to incorporate technology into my practice, Google has been the most valuable tool I have found thus far. Not only does it increase my ability to organize my instructional tools, but it also allows me to incorporate more technology when I feel ready to do so.
A recent news item cut me to the nib. Many public schools no longer teach cursive writing; 46 states no longer mandate that districts must teach cursive in their language arts core curriculum. This comes from the mistaken logic that our keyboard-happy society has made cursive a relic of the past that students no longer need. Numerous public schools now teach only printing, and some don’t even bother with lower and upper case – just block letters. Roman Catholic schools still demand cursive, and good for them. For the foreseeable future, kids who don’t have cursive will be at a competitive disadvantage. I’m surprised parents aren’t on the pitchfork-and-torch brigade over this, but I’d like to suggest that college professors should be (especially if they have kids).
Most toddlers walk around with their little blankets. Of course, they call them binkies, blankies and a whole list of other cute names. Just like Linus, toddlers feel unsafe without their blankets because it offers them a level of safety. To young children, it feels unnatural to sit in their carriage or on their bed without their favorite comfort item clutched in their hand.
KALAMAZOO, MI — In fall 2008, 29 percent of fourth-graders in Kalamazoo Public Schools scored in the bottom tier on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program reading test.
Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto, co-author of Let’s Go, shares five principles for teaching reading effectively in the classroom.
I’ve tried quite a few different approaches to teaching literacy over the years, initially with students learning to read in their first language, and now with students learning to read English as a foreign language. Like most teachers, I’ve settled on a fairly eclectic approach that seems to work well for me, and my young learners. Here are five principles that work for me.
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.