I am a self-admitted edu-geek, and I love to read all things education. I have scanned the education news to find articles that I think could be helpful for parents. Here is my attempt at a curated education news round-up, with an opinion from the teacher, of course.
ADHD and Movement
Vindication For Fidgeters: Movement May Help Students With ADHD Concentrate. Anya Kamenetz writes for NPR about a study by Dustin Sarver that found students with ADHD do better on performance tasks when moving. The study's author offers some analysis. And while the study was small, the article garnered a lot of attention.
Kamenetz wrote a follow up article, What Do You Do With A Student Who Fidgets?, that compiled some of the responses and suggestions for fidgeters. My favorites were the bike inner tubes around chairs for kids to kick and the Hokki stool for "active sitting", which was new to me.
Edweek's Liana Heiten wrote a comprehensive piece on reading fluency, Reading Fluency Viewed as Neglected Skill. The article covered the topic completely, and also addressed some issues with fluency in schools, and the current research, or lack thereof.
Two take-aways for parents
1. Remember that fluency is more than just speed. It is important that your child can read at an appropriate speed, but we don't want readers to sound like robots. Reading aloud should sound like talking, and it's normal to pause for comprehension.
2. Repeated readings of the same text is still the standard best practice in building fluency, but it doesn't have to be boring. Have your child read the same passage or poem to different family members, or "perform" reading for company.
Teachers and "Grit"
Researcher Angela Duckworth is known for identifying a key to student success: grit. Duckworth's Ted Talk describes grit in detail, but it is basically a character trait- how much someone believes that with effort they will be able to achieve long-term goals. Duckworth has found that grit has more to do with success than IQ. In Emma Brown's recent Washington Post Article, Should teachers be evaluated on how "gritty" their kids are?, Brown addresses a recent push to evaluate teachers based on their students' "grittiness".
I had a big "WHAT?", wide open mouth moment reading this. I think the Grit research is interesting, but it seems like a HUGE jump to start evaluating teachers based on a child's character traits and self-beliefs. And in the article, the researchers themselves agree. Even as the research evolves, I find it hard to believe we will ever be able to quantify grit down to a number or amount a teacher is required to impart on a child annually.
So that's a bit of what I have been reading this week, but what about you? Any education news to add to the list? Let me know in the comments, or ask for my take.