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Will the reading wars never end? Part II

Will the reading wars never end? Part II

Finding the balance in balanced literacy An uneasy peace has settled over the land regarding phonics instruction and its critical contribution to reading competency. Since the heyday of whole language, phonics has returned to classrooms as part of a “balanced literacy” approach to reading. Shouldn’t this put an end to the reading wars? Not so…

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Reading aloud instills kids’ love of books

Reading aloud instills kids’ love of books

Reading aloud at home is a great learning activity that will help keep your child learning and be a critical thinker! When I first taught kindergarten, I read aloud The Very Hungry Caterpillar every day for two weeks: It was my first time teaching. . The kids in my class loved it and we spent hours discussing…

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Examining the Coronavirus through the S.I.R. model

Examining the Coronavirus through the S.I.R. model

When they asked the editors to write something for this blog, I thought, “Wasn’t that a sci-fi movie with Steve McQueen?” But we are going to look at a different menace called the coronavirus, and in particular an S.I.R. model, which relates three variables that describe the three groups that a population is divided into…

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Will the reading wars never end?

Will the reading wars never end?

According to a preponderance of scientific evidence, phonics instruction — early and systematic — is critical to teaching most children to read. This beachhead, secured after decades of resistance from proponents of the whole-language approach to reading, should signal an end to the reading wars. But the path from settled science to practice in schools…

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Understanding and Interpreting Data_1

Understanding and Interpreting Data

  Two California physicians recently used data they collected in their private urgent-care facilities to extrapolate COVID-19 illness and mortality rates for the state. A number of news outlets reported these new “findings” as fact, simply because they didn’t understand the data or how to interpret them. This is problematic for a number of reasons,…

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At-Home Distance Learning

At-Home Distance Learning: Preserving Core Tenets and Best Practices

  At-home distance schooling and a rethinking of how learning takes place are key outcomes of the global pandemic. What is learning? How does it happen? From a Piagetian perspective, learning is the assimilation and accomodation of new information into an existing framework. From a neurobiological perspective, learning shows up as changes in the structure…

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Teaching Science Remotely During COVID-19- Forces Science Labs Online and in Homes

Teaching Science Remotely During COVID-19

  COVID-19 has completely changed the way most people work. Under the constraints of social distancing, which include bans on groups of more than 10 people, shelter-in-place requirements, and self-quarantines, many places of business are having employees work remotely. Some of these businesses are already seeing the benefits of a remote workforce, including increased productivity…

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NGSS, COVID-19, and the Trolley Problem

NGSS, COVID-19, and the Trolley Problem

For the past few weeks, politicians and the media around the world have been arguing over whether or not the civil liberties of the many should be infringed upon to save the lives of the few, which people should be saved when supplies are limited, and at what cost. The Guardian, The Harvard Crimson, The…

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The Science of the Australian Wildfires

The Science of the Australian Wildfires

Although wildfires in Australia have been burning for six months, there are still another three months before the fire season is over. And so far, this fire season has been particularly bad. By some estimates the fires have consumed an area of almost 100,000 square km; to put this in perspective, this is an area…

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From STEM to STEAM to STREAM: Should We Be Adding More Subjects to STEM?

From STEM to STEAM to STREAM: Should We Be Adding More Subjects to STEM?

STEM In the late ’90s and early 2000s, multiple studies showed that students in the United States were falling behind in the sciences and math, while students in other countries excelled. A 2006 study by PISA (the Programme for International Student Assessment) ranked U.S. student performance in math and science 21st out of the 30…

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