ICYMI: Most read by educators

Survey finds disconnect with gifted classes

Students in gifted classes are more likely to spend time on critical thinking, creativity and so-called "extension activities" than on advanced material, according to a survey by the National Center for Research on Gifted Education at the University of Connecticut. Three-quarters of the schools surveyed said they did not use a separate curriculum for gifted courses.

Full Story: The Hechinger Report

Activities to help prepare students' brains to learn

Brain breaks and focused attention practices help to prepare students' brains to learn, suggests Lori Desautels, assistant professor in the College of Education at Butler University. Desautels shares several such activities, including having students simulate swimming, trace their hand and pour water between two cups.

Full Story: Edutopia online

Experts cite benefits of whole-child focus

Schools that incorporate whole-child educational competencies have greater success in teaching social and emotional literacy, which better prepares students to navigate the workforce, experts said at the Reagan Institute Summit on Education. A major challenge for schools lies in measuring their own success in teaching those skills, panelists said.

Full Story: Education Dive

Study demonstrates value of preschool programs

Expanded access to preschool programs can improve students' performance -- even among those who do not attend -- according to a study by researchers at the University of South Carolina. Researchers credit preschool attendance with helping to curb bad behavior and improve test scores in elementary school, which helped to boost the school environment for all students.

Full Story: Chalkbeat

School adopts hands-on approach to science

An alternative school in New York state uses hands-on, collaborative learning to engage middle-schoolers in science lessons. Rather than prepackaged experiments, students engage in challenges and experimentation largely driven by students' own questioning and knowledge.

Full Story: KQED-TV/FM (San Francisco)

Audrey Altmann is an editorial assistant at SmartBrief.

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This "most read" feature reflects the most read items in ASCD SmartBrief from the previous week. Sign up for ASCD SmartBrief to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s education newsletters, covering career and technical education, educational leadership, math education and more.