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Today’s Literacy Headlines

Each weekday, Reading Rockets gathers interesting news headlines about reading and early education.

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Note: These links may expire after a week or so. Some websites require you to register first before seeing an article. Reading Rockets does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside websites.


What’s a book ban anyway? Depends on who you ask (opens in a new window)

National Public Radio

June 12, 2024

“Book ban” is one of those headline-ready terms often used by the news media, including NPR, for stories about the surge in book challenges across the U.S. The practice of censoring books has been around for centuries. But what does it actually mean to ban a book today? The answer depends on who you ask. Here are a handful of definitions from people entrenched in the issue.

It’s Showtime: There’s A Lot in Store at ALA Annual (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

June 12, 2024

The library and literary world will descend upon San Diego at the end of the month for ALA Annual. No matter the still unknown status of LibLearnX and the Youth Media Awards announcements, Annual remains the event where those honors are celebrated, issues and upcoming books are discussed, and ­librarians share ideas, interests, and sources of concern. SLJ asked attendees what they are looking forward to.

Teaching Kindergartners to Write Poetic Sentences (opens in a new window)

Edutopia

June 11, 2024

Teachers can inspire an interest in poetry by having young learners make observations about the world around them. “When my wife, Jill, asked me to work with her class, it was April and our high desert location was awakening into spring. This was an opportunity to take poetry out of the classroom and connect with the natural world. However, this was not the first time the students had been invited to respond poetically.”

School Library Investment ‘Crucial’ to Literacy Success (opens in a new window)

Language Magazine

June 11, 2024

According to a new report from the Center for American Progress, “libraries and librarians not only spark a love of learning; they are crucial to reversing low reading assessment scores across the country.” Policy recommendations include: Increase funding for school libraries; require the presence of school librarians; require federal school library data updates with appropriate definitions; and include school libraries as school-based indicators in state accountability plans.

Louisiana Pilot Program Tests New Kind of Reading Exam That Could Be a Model (opens in a new window)

The 74

June 11, 2024

In the midst of a national push to reshape how reading is taught, state leaders should take a closer look at how their tests can nudge schools to invest more effort into building students’ background knowledge and for children to spend more time immersed in reading and discussing reading whole books. A pilot program in Louisiana could present an alternative model for the country. The state has been experimenting with a new kind of exam that is closely aligned to a state-created curriculum called Guidebooks. 

Reasons to Love Libraries: 23 Notable Authors and Public Figures Share Their Joy (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

June 07, 2024

The library world came to know and love Mychal Threets through his social media posts centered on enthusiastically recounting library stories and celebrating library joy. Threets shared five reasons he loves libraries with SLJ. The common thread among them is library joy and the human connection he says libraries represent. Here, he is joined by 22 others — like Linda Sue Park, Lois Lowry, and Jacqueline Woodson — who are pretty fond of libraries, too.

Neurodivergent Kids Flourish When They’re Taught How Their Brains Work (opens in a new window)

Scientific American

June 07, 2024

When teachers and parents talk to kids about having ADHD, autism or learning disabilities, they set them up for success. When kids have a better understanding of the condition that affects their learning, they tend to have a better self-concept, and they are more likely to feel empowered and motivated to self-advocate. These keys unlock a child’s potential, resulting in better academic performance and better mental health.

Why focus is a superpower in the classroom: A Q&A with author Doug Lemov (opens in a new window)

Ed Source

June 06, 2024

Amid the worsening literacy and numeracy crises in our schools, Doug Lemov, former teacher, education expert and author of the bestseller “Teach Like a Champion,” believes that there should be far greater awareness of what the research says about how the brain works, that parents and teachers should know how kids learn best. Lemov says, “Attention is always the currency of learning. To learn something you first have to pay attention to it and sustain that attention. When attention is fractured, both learning and performance are lowered. And, of course, a habit of paying lesser attention reduces long-term learning. So, students both learn less and can produce poorer versions of what they do know when their focus is diminished.”

 

Want to Incorporate More Play in Learning? Try the Play Workshop Structure (opens in a new window)

KQED Mindshift

June 06, 2024

“Too often we refer to play as just play,” said Kristine Mraz, adding that the “just” implies that it has no purpose or value. As an early childhood educator, instructional coach and coauthor of Purposeful Play, Mraz advocates for incorporating guided play as a central aspect of the classroom rather than an activity reserved for recess. According to Mraz, guided play broadly refers to educational activities that are gently steered by an adult using open ended questions and prompts, while still giving children the freedom to explore a learning goal in their own way. 

The stress of recess: Here’s how schools are improving playtime (opens in a new window)

K-12 Dive

June 06, 2024

Pandemic-related school closures and social distancing, playtime replaced by screen time, and school schedules squeezed in favor of academics are all blamed for a demise in both natural play and recess time, experts said. At Marcy Arts Elementary School in Minneapolis, teachers and administrators noticed a few years ago — when the school reopened to in-person learning after COVID-19-related closures — that some students had significant gaps in how to interact in a play setting with other students, said Assistant Principal Jessica Driscoll. 

Teaching Young Children About Voting (opens in a new window)

Edutopia

June 05, 2024

Classroom voting can go beyond superficial sessions of “raise your hand if….” Designing election activities that encourage children to cast a vote and abide by the choice of their group can foster a greater understanding of citizenship, civics, and responsibility to their community.

Evidenced-Based Practices for Literacy Intervention in Middle School (opens in a new window)

Edutopia

June 05, 2024

What can middle-grades teachers do with students who may not have received the evidence-based structured literacy instruction most kids need to learn how to read fluently by third grade? The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has put together an educators’ practice guide with recommendations that can help. Here are three: teach kids to decode multisyllabic words, teach kids how to read fluently, and teach comprehension skills while building background knowledge. 

A Luminary Children’s Author You’ve Probably Never Heard Of (opens in a new window)

The New York Times

June 05, 2024

Amy Hest is a quiet giant of picture book writing whose name you may not know. The noisy giants, those with name recognition, tend to be author-illustrators: Sendak, Seuss, Steig, Carle, and more recently Blackall, Lin, Klassen, Morales. Less likely to be on your radar are authors who don’t illustrate, people whose books look different from one another because they’re illustrated by different artists. Over the course of 38 picture books, plus many chapter books and middle grade novels, Hest has paid the utmost attention to the emotional lives of her young characters.

Supporting Multilingual Learners in Developing Reading Fluency across the School Day (opens in a new window)

Language Magazine

June 04, 2024

Kate Kinsella offers evidence-aligned strategies to build reading fluency within dedicated ELD and content-area coursework. ELs require robust oral language and English language development in tandem with explicit reading and writing instruction. The Building Fluency Routines have a proven track record of improving student engagement and literacy in linguistically diverse classrooms while not requiring reading intervention certification to effectively execute. 

Writing researcher finds AI feedback ‘better than I thought’ (opens in a new window)

Hechinger Report

June 04, 2024

I wanted to understand how well ChatGPT handled a different aspect of writing: giving feedback. My curiosity was piqued by a new study, published in the June 2024 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Learning and Instruction, that evaluated the quality of ChatGPT’s feedback on students’ writing. A team of researchers compared AI with human feedback on 200 history essays written by students in grades 6 through 12 and they determined that human feedback was generally a bit better. Humans had a particular advantage in advising students on something to work on that would be appropriate for where they are in their development as a writer. But ChatGPT came close.

Pandemic Aid for Schools Is Ending Soon. Many After-school Programs May Go With It (opens in a new window)

KQED Mindshift

June 04, 2024

Fifth-grader Andreana Campbell and third-grader Kewon Wells are tending to a garden box after school at Eugene Field Elementary School in Tulsa, Okla. It’s one of countless after-school programs across the country that rely on federal pandemic-era relief dollars known as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, or ESSER, funds. But those federal dollars are starting to expire this fall, leaving the future of many after-school programs – including the one at Eugene Field – up in the air.

A 12-year-old from Florida has won this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee (opens in a new window)

National Public Radio

June 03, 2024

The winner of this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee has been crowned. Bruhat Soma, a 12-year-old from Florida, bested the competition Thursday with his spelling of “abseil,” a word used to describe descending a vertical surface area with a rope attached to one’s body. Soma spelled 29 out of 30 words correctly in Scripps’ second-ever spell-off, in which competitors have 90 seconds to spell as many words given to them as possible.

The campaign for knowledge-rich curricula is winning (opens in a new window)

Flypaper (Fordham Institute)

June 03, 2024

The drumbeat for a more nuanced treatment of the Science of Reading got louder last week with a hard-hitting new Fordham Institute monograph, Think Again: Should Elementary Schools Teach Reading Comprehension? In it, author Daniel Buck chronicles the recent history of efforts to teach reading comprehension, concluding—and here I’m using distinguished researcher Hugh Catts’ words, not Buck’s—“Reading comprehension is not a skill someone learns and can then apply in different reading contexts. It is one of the most complex activities that we engage in on a regular basis.”

Mo Willems Talks About His YouTube Channel, Summer Memories, and Stumbling Through the Creative Life (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

June 03, 2024

Mo Willems gives us the 30-second elevator pitch for the Mo Willems Workshop YouTube channel. “Up until now, my characters have worked in books, but what do they do when they’re not being read? These shows are a chance to see my characters at play and, hopefully, encourage play at the same time. Each show goes to the core personality traits of the characters. There’s a wide, funny gap between The Pigeon’s deep assurance and shallow expertise. Knuffle Bunny is about real kids’ real stories. I like to doodle.”

A New Plan to Raise the Lowest Literacy Rates in the Nation (opens in a new window)

Education Week (subscription)

May 31, 2024

Amid a nationwide literacy crisis, New Mexico stands out for its dead last ranking in reading performance on the federally administered nation’s report card. Arsenio Romero has been New Mexico’s secretary of education only since last year. But he has ambitious plans to work on turning around his state’s literacy reputation, and he wants to do it fast—including a big push this summer. As part of an ambitious $30 million statewide initiative to boost literacy rates, New Mexico has planned a free four- to six-week summer reading program open to all public school students entering kindergarten through 9th grade.

Students need content-rich curricula to improve reading comprehension skills (opens in a new window)

K-12 Dive

May 31, 2024

The traditional approach to teaching reading comprehension in elementary schools may not be fully helping young readers learn the essential themes of a text. Rather, students need broader cross-disciplinary knowledge to better understand what they are reading, according to a new brief by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. To maximize instruction in reading comprehension, Fordham recommends schools expose students to knowledge-rich curricula, and that teacher preparation programs should emphasize the importance of knowledge building.

What All Teachers Should Know About WIDA’s Test for English Learners (opens in a new window)

Education Week (subscription)

May 30, 2024

Schools are required to test the progress of their English learners each year to determine whether they still need language instruction services or can exit out of such programs. In close to 40 states, that test is known as the WIDA ACCESS test. Offered both online and in a paper format, ACCESS tests students’ proficiency in four domains: speaking, reading, listening, and writing in English. The questions are modeled along academic content they would see in regular classes. For instance, reading questions might be about a science topic. The test is checking for language use in academic contexts, not content knowledge nor social language. Teachers who specialize in English-language instruction say their general education peers play a key role in prepping students to succeed on the ACCESS test. 

To Hold Back Struggling Readers or Not: Indiana & Ohio Take Different Paths (opens in a new window)

The 74

May 30, 2024

Indiana and Ohio joined the growing number of states last year mandating teachers use the   science of reading, but the neighboring states have gone in opposite directions with another  reading strategy — holding back struggling third graders. In Ohio, where students who scored poorly on state reading tests had to repeat third grade for the last decade, the state legislature ended the requirement last summer in a bill that also adopted the science of reading. In Indiana, state officials just restored mandatory retention of low-scoring third graders after a seven year absence.

When Baby Sloth tumbles out of a tree, Mama Sloth comes for him — s l o w l y (opens in a new window)

National Public Radio

May 30, 2024

Children’s book creators Doreen and Brian Cronin admit they were at first a touch apprehensive about working together as a new couple. Brian had never collaborated with an author before. But they couldn’t really help it, says Doreen. Their first picture book together was last year’s Lawrence and Sophia. They quickly followed up with Mama in the Moon, about a baby sloth who falls out of a tree at night and has to wait for his mom to s l o w l y come get him. Brian Cronin says he hopes the book helps kids fall asleep. Doreen Cronin agrees. “I think it’s comfort, safety, and I think it puts us in kind of a quiet space,” she says, “and I hope it does, out in the world. Give us some quiet space. Give kids a quiet space.”

A 4-Step Process for Writing and Storytelling in Kindergarten (opens in a new window)

Edutopia

May 29, 2024

I have always set up storytelling cultures in my own classrooms, and I‘ve helped teachers do the same in theirs. When I speak to colleagues about the concept, they accept the many benefits but pose a valid question: How do you maintain a culture of writing and storytelling? That’s something I’ve been exploring recently as I continue to visit my wife’s class daily, and the students continue to write stories and enjoy telling them to their peers. Here, I have some tips about how to achieve this, based on what I find works for this age group. 

Strategies for Bringing ‘Desirable Difficulty’ Into Learning (opens in a new window)

KQED Mindshift

May 29, 2024

Some of the most effective learning strategies are those known as desirable difficulties. Desirable difficulties increase challenge in a way that is useful and pedagogically appropriate. Examples of strategies that fall into this category include retrieval or self-testing, spacing out practice, variation in practice, self-explanation when reading notes, and interleaving. However, could it be the case that for some learners, there are already enough difficulties in the classroom, without adding more?

Can Reading About Trauma Help Kids Cope? (opens in a new window)

The New York Times (gift article)

May 29, 2024

Do children’s books about frightening events make the very young more afraid, or do they comfort them? Two new picture books dive into refugee childhoods. Both “The Mango Tree” and “Simone” in gentle, moving ways [show] young children that yes, there is sadness and suffering in the world, but we have family and friends and other helpers to see us through.

For Stronger Readers in Third Grade, Start Building Knowledge in Preschool (opens in a new window)

The 74

May 28, 2024

Early-learning experiences have exponential power: they can shape lifelong learning habits and accelerate literacy, particularly for English-language learners. To unlock that potential, educators and providers must ensure that students acquire a critical mass of vocabulary and related content knowledge from engaging social studies and science texts and activities.Knowledge-rich preschool curriculum is the key. To assist states and preschool providers as they revisit their literacy lessons, the Knowledge Matter Campaign recently updated its K–8 English Language Arts curriculum review tool to include “Early Childhood Essentials.”

19 Audiobooks for Listeners of All Ages Featuring Asian and Asian American Characters (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

May 28, 2024

No doubt, books and empathy go hand-in-hand or, in this case, ear-to-ear. In a climate of contagious divisiveness, acknowledging and accepting all manner of differences is paramount to being good citizens and, most importantly, good people. For both May’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and beyond, consider lining shelves and adding to TBR piles with some of these edifying, entertaining 2024 choices.

Principals Have a Lead Role in the ‘Science of Reading.’ Are They Ready? (opens in a new window)

Education Week (subscription)

May 28, 2024

Nathaniel Messick thought he’d learned a lot about reading. The biology teacher-turned-principal of the Fertile-Beltrami school in northwest Minnesota had little knowledge about “evidence-based” literacy instruction when he first took on the role in 2014, so he taught himself the basics by reading the teacher guides that were part of the school’s curriculum. Hoping to become more valuable as an instruction leader, he even put himself through the LETRS for Leaders training program, which took him deep into the research about how children learn to read. But Messick has had no time to rest on his laurels. In 2023, Minnesota became one of the 38 states to pass legislation overhauling how reading is taught. Like those others, the state is trying to shift towards a vast body of theoretical knowledge and practice called the “science of reading.”

Ohio House Higher Education begins hosting science of reading testimony as rollout begins (opens in a new window)

Ohio Capital Journal

May 24, 2024

As Ohio public school districts are starting to implement the science of reading, colleges and universities across the state will be examining their teacher preparation programs. Ohio’s two-year, $191 billion budget included science of reading provisions — $86 million for educator professional development, $64 million for curriculum and instructional materials, and $18 million for literacy coaches.

How To Help Older Students Who Struggle To Read (opens in a new window)

Forbes

May 21, 2024

Reading Reimagined, is a research-and-development initiative aimed at improving reading outcomes for students above second grade, especially those from historically disadvantaged and low-income communities. The project aims not only to fund research in that area but also to bridge the gap between research and practice, coming up with evidence-based solutions.

Critics Call ‘Consumer Reports’ of School Curriculum Slow to Adapt to Science of Reading (opens in a new window)

The 74

May 20, 2024

Starting in June, EdReports reviews of early reading materials will reflect a fuller embrace of the science of reading. “Phonics and fluency are now non-negotiables” for a green rating, said Janna Chan, EdReports’ chief external affairs officer. Reviewers will also verify that materials no longer use “three-cueing” — a practice associated with balanced literacy that encourages students to identify unfamiliar words by picking up clues from text or pictures. Since 2021, at least 10 states have banned the practice.

Want To Protect Your Kids’ Eyes from Myopia? Get Them To Play Outside (opens in a new window)

KQED Mindshift

May 20, 2024

If you’re a parent struggling to get your kids’ off their devices and outdoors to play, here’s another reason to keep trying: Spending at least two hours outside each day is one of the most important things your kids can do to protect their eyesight. And that’s important, because the number of kids with nearsightedness — or myopia — has been growing rapidly in the U.S., and in many other parts of the world.

Schools Successfully Fighting Chronic Absenteeism Have This in Common (opens in a new window)

Education Week (subscription)

May 17, 2024

A surge in students’ chronic absenteeism since the return to in-person classes hasn’t discriminated, threatening academic recovery in schools of all sizes and demographic makeups across the country. But schools that are finding success in combating the problem tend to have at least one thing in common: They’ve leveraged help from outside of school, including community groups, families, and political leaders.

Hiding In Plain Sight: How Complex Decoding Challenges Can Block Comprehension for Older Readers (opens in a new window)

Education Trust

May 16, 2024

People often blame smartphones and other digital distractions as the reason why so many kids today aren’t good readers. But the low reading proficiency rates of middle school students predate the advent of the smartphone, so the answer must lie elsewhere. An often-overlooked culprit may be the increasing demands placed on older students’ foundational literacy skills once they must independently read and comprehend complicated, discipline-specific texts.

Rethinking how dyslexia is diagnosed (opens in a new window)

WBUR Boston

May 16, 2024

Dyslexia affects one in every 5 Americans. But only 2 million are diagnosed and receive the help they need. Why? On Point interviews experts Tim Odegard, Murfree Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies at Middle Tennessee State University; and Clarice Jackson, founder of Black Literacy Matters, Voice Advocacy Center, and Decoding Dyslexia Nebraska, a nationwide parent support group created to raise awareness about dyslexia.

Why writing by hand beats typing for thinking and learning (opens in a new window)

National Public Radio

May 15, 2024

In kids, studies show that tracing out ABCs, as opposed to typing them, leads to better and longer-lasting recognition and understanding of letters. Writing by hand also improves memory and recall of words, laying down the foundations of literacy and learning. In adults, taking notes by hand during a lecture, instead of typing, can lead to better conceptual understanding of material.

Retention Is the Missing Ingredient in Special Education Staffing (opens in a new window)

Education Week (subscription)

May 15, 2024

Special education staffing strategies often focus on recruiting and training new teachers in the specialty, but those efforts alone aren’t enough to address shortages in the high-demand field. That’s why states and districts have adopted workforce strategies that target the stress points special educators face: incentive payments to motivate them to stay in the specialty, professional development practices to help them feel less isolated in their school communities, and approaches to teacher preparation designed with retention in mind.

Leveraging Teacher Apprenticeship to Grow the ESL and Bilingual Teacher Workforce (opens in a new window)

New America

May 15, 2024

Tennessee prioritized the need for ESL teachers within their apprenticeship programs, offering dual endorsement in elementary education and ESL that can help general education teachers receive specialized training and learn the right skills to support ELs’ language development. As it stands, many teachers report a lack of preparation and limited professional development related to teaching students identified as ELs. By integrating ESL endorsements into teacher apprenticeship programs, there is an opportunity to offer more robust clinical training in classrooms and schools that serve these students and to apply coursework to a real-life context.

Supporting Students’ Meaning-Making in Reading Instruction (opens in a new window)

Edutopia

May 14, 2024

Teachers can guide students to connect their interests to class texts and to share their ideas in collaborative discussions. Meaning-making  is especially important in reading experiences, as reading is a dynamic process. Provide learners time to think deeply about topics, share their unique understandings with each other, and build community. Here are several ways to begin — start with “why.”

Outdoor Learning: The Ultimate Student Engagement Hack? (opens in a new window)

Education Week (subscription)

May 14, 2024

On any given day, you might find students from Centreville Elementary attending class at one of the school’s 17 outdoor learning spaces, taking a nature walk, checking on the trout they’ve grown from eggs in a classroom tank, or working with classmates on how they can apply the most recent United Nations’ sustainability goals to their own school community. Centreville Elementary is not an alternative school; nor is it set in a remote corner of the country. Situated in suburban Fairfax County in Virginia, it’s simply a public elementary school whose long-standing commitment to outdoor learning predates the pandemic—when many schools adopted outdoor learning as a way to return safely to in-person learning.

The State Pre-School Gap Continues To Grow (opens in a new window)

Forbes

May 14, 2024

A new study finds that the percentage of preschoolers enrolled in state-funded programs is at a record high, but the actual number of enrolled students is below pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, the gap between states when it comes to access to quality early childhood education has become wider than ever.

5 Ways to Create a Literacy-Rich Preschool Classroom (opens in a new window)

Edutopia

May 13, 2024

Preschool classrooms can be filled with literacy-rich materials and opportunities for teachers to facilitate meaningful, contextualized learning throughout children’s day. Here are five ways that preschool teachers can create a literacy-rich environment that encourages children’s natural curiosity and meaningfully promotes emergent reading and writing skills.

Tracing Black-White Achievement Gaps Since the Brown v. Board Decision (opens in a new window)

KQED Mindshift

May 13, 2024

It’s been 70 years since the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision that declared racial segregation in schools unconstitutional. That data showed considerable progress in integrating schools but also some steps backward, especially since the 1990s in the nation’s biggest cities. More detailed analysis of Black achievement explains how intertwined it is with poverty. So many Black students are concentrated in high-poverty schools, where teacher turnover is high and students are less likely to be taught by excellent, veteran teachers. 

Not Lost in a Book (opens in a new window)

Slate

May 09, 2024

Why the “decline by 9” in kids pleasure reading is getting more pronounced, year after year. And everyone I talked to agreed that the sudden drop-off in reading for fun is happening at a crucial age—the very age when, according to publishing lore, lifetime readers are made. “If you can keep them interested in books at that age, it will foster an interest in books the rest of their life,” said Brenna Connor, an industry analyst at Circana, the market research company that runs Bookscan. “If you don’t, they don’t want to read books as an adult.”

The Key Parts of a ‘Science of Reading’ Transformation, According to One State Chief (opens in a new window)

Education Week

May 09, 2024

The first step to boosting reading scores statewide is believing that students can and will make great strides if educators are committed to seeing it happen. That was a key message from Carey Wright, who oversaw Mississippi’s education department during what many have called the “Mississippi Miracle”—a period of historic reading gains for the state that traditionally ranked among the lowest in the nation—in an on-stage interview at Education Week’s Leadership Symposium in Arlington, Va. Wright is now the state superintendent in Maryland

Showing Appreciation for Teachers by Making Their Jobs Even More Rewarding (opens in a new window)

New America

May 09, 2024

There are smart ways to provide teachers with better support, collaboration, compensation, advancement, and job flexibility opportunities to address the source of their discontent with teaching and put the job back on par with other college-educated professions. One of the best ways states and districts can do this is to rethink how we staff schools. Here are six synergistic approaches to doing this.

Here’s What the Science of Reading Looks Like in My High School Classroom (opens in a new window)

Edutopia

May 08, 2024

When literacy instruction aligns with reading science, adolescents routinely engage with rich, knowledge-building text sets about compelling topics. Teachers lean into text complexity through modeling and carefully crafted questions, lifting students to the text and guiding them toward deep comprehension. Evidence-based discussions and reasoning create a social, collaborative learning environment. Relevant culminating tasks motivate students to think critically and creatively and invest in discovery.

The power of touch is vital for both reading and writing (opens in a new window)

The Conversation

May 08, 2024

I’m a linguist who investigates the differences between print and digital reading and how writing supports thinking. My colleague Anne Mangen and I asked more than 500 secondary students at an international school in Amsterdam about their experiences when reading print versus digital texts. Separately, I surveyed 100 university students and young adults in the U.S. and Europe on their likes and dislikes about handwriting versus typing. Together, their responses demonstrate that adolescents and young adults continue to value touch in their encounters with the written word. The research offers important lessons for educators and parents.

A Crash Course on the ‘Science of Reading’ (opens in a new window)

Voice of San Diego

May 07, 2024

The science of reading isn’t so much a curriculum as it is an interconnected body of research that spans fields from neuroscience to developmental psychology to linguistics and everything in between. Through that work, researchers have been able to better understand not only how kids learn to read, but how best to teach them. One key thing to keep in mind is that learning to speak and learning to read are very different processes.

Why Kids Should Nature Journal at All Grade Levels (opens in a new window)

Edutopia

May 07, 2024

A 2023 review makes a strong case that hands-on observation of natural phenomena has both academic and psychological benefits. Nature journaling—sketching and annotating observations about natural phenomena—also builds crucial cognitive and processing skills like close observation, technical illustration, attention to detail, critical thinking, and the ability to organize and categorize information.

Autism Accounts for Growing Percentage of Students in Special Ed (opens in a new window)

Disability Scoop

May 07, 2024

Special education students across the nation are increasingly likely to have autism, with new data showing that the percentage has more than doubled in recent years. Nearly 13% of students with disabilities had autism during the 2022-2023 school year. By comparison, just shy of 5% had such a diagnosis in 2008-2009. About 40% of those with autism spent at least 80% of their day in regular classrooms and roughly 72% ended their time in school by earning a regular high school diploma. The upward trend in the percentage of special education students with autism comes as overall prevalence has grown.

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