Sticky Note Collage

[Source: Brick by Brick]

Making a collage is a standard type of activity in preschool and kindergarten rooms. Assembling a lot of different materials to create a larger visual item is a time-honored art form. In fact it is so familiar that often we overlook it as a creative endeavor. But preschoolers still enjoy making collages and experimenting with this visual art form.

In our art camp last summer, we created a collage with sticky notes. These collages were group efforts with different colors, sizes, and shapes of self-stick notes. We got most of our notes from the dollar store.

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Literacy Corner: How to Teach Fluency So That It Takes

[Source: Reading Rockets]

by Timothy Shanahan

Teacher question

I have a question regarding my school’s reading program. My question today is about the reading portion of our literacy block and most specifically the partner reading and independent reading.

I’m finding that my homogenous group of fourth-grade students aren’t fluent readers. The routine expectation is that partners take turns reading a paragraph at a time. The partner who is following along and not reading aloud is to provide a brief summary of what was read by the partner before reading the next paragraph. I love this, except that my students aren’t fluent readers, so I feel that first the comprehension is low because of non-fluent reading, and second the time is a bit wasted because of the lack of fluency and therefore comprehension. After students do their partner reading, they read the next couple pages independently. Again they aren’t fluent, so it’s taking quite awhile. I feel that comprehension is low.  

Shanahan’s response

Fluency instruction can be valuable with fourth-graders (and with lots of other kids in grades 1-12)—it can help them to decode better, read more fluently, and improve reading comprehension.

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Book Review: Poetry For Kids Who Are ‘Just No Good At Rhyming’


Some people have an aversion to poetry. They think it’s got rules. You know, like, it’s got to rhyme. Moon, June, croon a tune to a raccoon and an old spittoon. Blah, blah, blah. Chris Harris, who’s never written a children’s book before, has produced a new book that children may enjoy so much, they may not realize that they’re actually reading – let me say this quietly – poetry. The book is called “I’m Just No Good At Rhyming: And Other Nonsense For Mischievous Kids And Immature Grown-Ups.” And Chris Harris, who was also a writer and executive producer for “How I Met Your Mother,” joins us from NPR West. Thanks so much for being with us.

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Head Start May Offer Next-Generation Benefits, Researchers Say

[Source:  Education Week]

new study now awaiting publication says the benefits of Head Start extend well beyond the children enrolled in the federal early-childhood program. The researchers say they have found a connection between students’ participation in Head Start and positive outcomes for their own children in the future.

The study, which is undergoing the formal peer-review process by a leading economic journal, found, for example, that the children of Head Start students were more likely to go to college and avoid teenage parenthood and crime than their low-income peers.

The study was co-written by researchers Andrew Barr, an assistant professor of economics at Texas A&M University, and Chloe R. Gibbs, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame. They were looking at data for some of the earliest Head Start students. The preschool program began in 1965 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.

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UK Study: Nearly 1 in 4 Girls Depressed at Age 14

[Source:  Psych Central]

A large study on more than 10,000 children born in 2000-01 reveals a significant rate of depression among teen girls and boys.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool and University College London analyzed responses from the Millennium Cohort Study and discovered a quarter of girls (24 percent) and one in 10 boys (nine percent) are depressed at age 14.

In the study, parents are asked to report on their children’s mental health at ages three, five, seven, 11 and 14. Then, when they reached 14, the children were themselves asked questions about their depressive symptoms. The research, published with the National Children’s Bureau, also investigated links between depressive symptoms and family income.

Generally, 14-year-olds from better-off families were less likely to have high levels of depressive symptoms compared to their peers from poorer homes.

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