Increasing academic rigor in kindergarten may benefit students, according to an American Educational Research Journal study. The study of about 20,000 kindergartners nationwide found that greater focus on academics in language arts and math led to higher test scores, and learning more advanced math content helped students develop stronger interpersonal and attention skills.
Full Story: Chalkbeat
There are several ways teachers can boost student curiosity and engagement, writes Cheryl Abla, an education consultant. Abla suggests using mysteries and puzzles, asking deeper-level questions and introducing debate topics, among other methods.
Full Story: Edutopia online
A high school in Chicago uses the Freshman On-Track program, aimed at tracking ninth-graders' progress throughout the year. The program is based on University of Chicago research that points to outcomes from the ninth grade being better predictors of graduation success than family income, test scores and race, writes columnist Jay Mathews.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)
More schools are introducing engineering lessons in early grades to help nurture interest in science, technology, engineering and math, Lillian Mongeau writes. Camille Jones, an elementary-school teacher, says shortly after introducing the Engineering is Elementary curriculum, she discovered that a student who struggled in other subjects excelled in STEM and worked to enroll him in advanced classes in these areas.
Full Story: The Hechinger Report
Being likable to students is key to connect with them and creating a smooth classroom environment, writes Michelle Russell, a high-school math teacher. Russell shares three ways to improve relationships in the classroom, including pacing curriculum to make sure students are grasping the content and not getting frustrated.
Full Story: MiddleWeb
Audrey Altmann is an editorial assistant at SmartBrief.
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