One of the greatest pleasures in life is a great read. Books are a window to places we can often only dream of. A well-written book can open perspective about nearly everything, which in turn can dramatically change not only a viewpoint, but also a person's "way of being".
In the early childhood classroom, some of the best lessons are born of fun and fanciful, or true and touching, children's literature. There are several ways to approach literature-based teaching, and this series of articles will attempt to describe three of these: author based, thematic based and repetitious (or predictable) literature.
Whether in the early childhood classroom or working with your child at home, a comfortable space for reading and either an adjacent, or an incorporated, space for writing is important when considering environment setup. When reading/writing areas are accessible to block and imaginative play spaces, a thread of continuity becomes present in the learning process and math (spatial concepts, quantitative reasoning), language development (reading and writing) run right into imaginative play.
Cross-curricular activities result in print rich environments and children often learn at an extremely accelerated rate. Old adages become old for a reason, and certainly "Reading is the magic key that takes you where you want to be." How to make the most of early childhood literature will be explored in this series of articles and there is certainly a vast wealth of resources.
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10 Colleges Where Graduates Have a Low Average Debt Load
10 Dec 2013 | 9:28 am
The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. More college students are graduating with student loan debt, and the amount of debt is increasing, according to new research from The Institute for College Access and Success. While many students are graduating with a hefty bill, some are graduating with relatively small debt. Princeton University students who borrow money graduate with the least average amount of debt, according to data submitted to U.S. News by 1,006 ranked schools.
Insight: Sweden rethinks pioneering school reforms, private equity under fire
10 Dec 2013 | 3:53 am
By Niklas Pollard STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - When one of the biggest private education firms in Sweden went bankrupt earlier this year, it left 11,000 students in the lurch and made Stockholm rethink its pioneering market reform of the state schools system. "I think we have had too much blind faith in that more private schools would guarantee greater educational quality," said Tomas Tobé, head of the parliament's education committee and spokesman on education for the ruling Moderate party. In a country with the fastest growing economic inequality of any OECD nation, basic aspects of the deregulated school market are now being re-considered, raising questions over private sector involvement in other areas like health. Two-decades into its free-market experiment, about a quarter of once staunchly Socialist Sweden's secondary school students now attend publically-funded but privately run schools, almost twice the global average.
Will These Gun-Toting Teachers Prevent Another Newtown?
9 Dec 2013 | 4:30 am
It wasn’t quite cold enough to need a vest on a mid-November Texas morning, but Matt Dossey was wearing one anyway. Dossey is the superintendent at Jonesboro Independent School District, a compound of three low, pale-brick buildings sandwiched between broad oak trees in the back and a horse pasture across the road up front. Jonesboro is a tiny community nestled in the rolling Texas scrubland 110 miles north of Austin, but aside from the schools, a post office, and two churches, there’s little to suggest a town. Jonesboro straddles the border between Coryell and Hamilton counties, and it’s more than 15 miles to the nearest sheriff’s department.
Culture wars: Holiday struggle over public spaces still very much alive
8 Dec 2013 | 9:09 am
"If people say, 'Oh, I like your Christmas tree,' I say, 'It's a chemist-tree – nondenominational," says Mr. Rosenthal, who himself is Jewish and is also a multimedia artist with a studio in Manhattan. But his use of wit and an irresistible pun to replace the word "Christmas" show the lengths that some people have gone to navigate the culture war over Christmas – and indicate that this struggle is very much alive today, especially in so-called red states. When it comes to displays in public schools or other civic spaces, such arguments have almost become a holiday tradition themselves. Then "Merry Christmas" enjoyed a resurgence.
After Moore, Okla., tornado, five women stepped up to help community's teachers
6 Dec 2013 | 12:49 pm
Jennifer Epps inspires inner-city students and teachers in Los Angeles to excel
6 Dec 2013 | 8:09 am
As she takes a visiting journalist for a tour of the Quincy Jones Elementary School, Jennifer Epps is interrupted by a beaming fifth-grader, Janiyah Williams. Although academics and educational pedagogues might come up with a more complex answer, it's just this kind of utter simplicity that is behind the phenomenal success of Jennifer Epps, the founding teacher, and now principal, of Synergy Charter Academy. SCA shares this elementary school campus with Quincy Jones School but operates with its own funding and budget. Ms. Epps helped lead SCA to a national blue ribbon in 2010 – the highest honor a school can receive in the United States – from the US Department of Education.
New Type of Boredom Discovered, and It's Rampant
6 Dec 2013 | 6:36 am
"Of particular concern is the relative frequency of apathetic boredom observed in the present research," lead psychologist Thomas Goetz of the University of Konstanz in Germany and his colleagues wrote. Among high-school students studied, they found, apathetic boredom made up 36 percent of their boredom experiences.
Why Nelson Mandela Was So Beloved
5 Dec 2013 | 4:48 pm
Nelson Mandela will be remembered as a beloved leader, a moral authority and an extraordinary human being. Imprisoned for 27 years for opposing the racist institution of apartheid, Mandela later became the first black president of South Africa, where he brought about a peaceful transition from the white-dominated government to a multiracial democracy. "He stood for something very simple, which was for equality and fairness," said David James Smith, author of the biography "Young Mandela: The Revolutionary Years" (Little, Brown and Company, 2010). Mandela became a symbol of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, Smith told LiveScience.
Remembering Nelson Mandela: A tribute in photos and prose
5 Dec 2013 | 10:58 am
Nelson Mandela, the one-time revolutionary who ushered South Africa out of Apartheid, died on Thursday at the age of 95. The beloved leader and freedom fighter will doubtless inspire pages of eulogies even with just part of his resume — South Africa's first democratically elected president, Nobel Peace Prize winner, philanthropist. And it was this thoughtful and mature Mandela who would lead South Africa into democracy, after the abolition of Apartheid in the early 1990s. At the end of his term in 1999, instead of launching a political personality cult from his popular presidency, Mandela opted to step down, thereby signaling that South Africa should be a government of the people rather than of a single leader.
Montana teachers take pension argument to court
5 Dec 2013 | 9:16 am
A judge told teachers in Montana Wednesday that he hopes to make a decision before the start of the year on their request to maintain pension inflationary increases until their challenge to pending cuts ...
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