MindShift

Children Learn Best From Storybooks When Characters Are Realistic

A few years ago, my daughter requested that her nightly lullaby be replaced with a bedtime story.
I was happy to comply, and promptly invented stories full of imaginary creatures in elaborate plots intended to convey some important lesson about patience or hard work or being kind to others.

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How Ethnic Studies Connects Learning With Students’ Identities

In Jr Arimboanga’s ninth-grade classroom, students learn about critical consciousness: how to read the word, but also the world. It’s a concept popularized by a Brazilian educational theorist named Paulo Freire in his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
The class is ethnic studies. It’s part of an effort by San Francisco educators like Arimboanga to teach courses centered on the perspectives of historically marginalized groups. Just last year, California passed a law mandating a model ethnic studies curriculum.

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Language and Communication Skills That Make all the Difference for Kindergarten

Devin Walsh is a kindergarten to first-grade “looping” teacher at Oak Grove Primary School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Promoting good oral language and communication skills is perhaps the most important thing parents, caregivers and educators can do to prepare children to enter kindergarten.
Having just completed my 17th year of teaching at Oak Grove Primary School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with over 800 students in kindergarten and first grade, I see children daily who have been exposed to models of good oral language.

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What Can Japan’s Education System Teach The U.S. About Equity?

It’s no secret that the socioeconomic background of students in the United States plays a big role in the quality of education they receive. Too often students from poor families attend underfunded schools staffed by the least experienced teachers. This trend has led to inequity throughout the education system and countless reform efforts.

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Can Minecraft Camp Help Open Up The Tech World To Low-Income Kids?

The cubist revolution, now in its eighth year, is thriving.
That’s Minecraft cubes, of course.
The game where you build virtual Lego-like worlds and populate them with people, animals and just about everything in between is one of the most popular games ever made; it’s second only to Tetris as the best-selling video game of all time. There’s gold in them thar cubes: More than 120 million copies have sold since Minecraft launched in 2009.*
So what’s behind the game’s enduring appeal?

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Autism Symptoms are Less Obvious in Girls and May Lead to Underdiagnosis

Many more boys are diagnosed with autism every year than girls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disorder is 4.5 times more common among boys than girls. Boys appear to be more vulnerable to the disorder, but there is some evidence that the gender gap may not be as wide as it appears.

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Guess What? We’re All Born With Mathematical Abilities

As an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, Kristy vanMarle knew she wanted to go to grad school for psychology, but wasn’t sure what lab to join. Then, she saw a flyer: Did you know that babies can count?

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What Works For Getting Kids to Enjoy Reading?

Excerpted from “The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads” by Daniel T. Willingham. 
Getting Kids to Read

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How Making Mistakes Primes Kids To Learn Better

Once a month, this column will examine the insights that science offers about the way people learn, and how such findings could influence schools.
Most of us can remember a moment like this from our school years: the teacher poses a question – maybe it’s math, maybe history. You raise your hand, you give your answer with full assurance. And then? You’re shot down. You got it wrong.

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