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Literacy and Reading

Tech in Toyland: A New America Conversation

December 9, 2011

Let’s admit it, education policy can be a bit dry. But when the holidays roll around, discussions about what’s best for children shift to the glittering spectacle of toyland, with animated discussions about whether to actually give our tots what they’ve asked for.

Children's E-Picture Books: Can They Help Children Learn to Read?

November 10, 2011

On November 3, 2011, Lisa Guernsey gave a talk about e-books at Libraries 2.011, a virtual international conference that attracted thousands of educators, librarians and instructional technology specialists from around the world.

Podcast: Mining 'The Nation's Report Card'

November 29, 2011
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The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” is a nationally administered math and reading test that we discuss frequently on Early Ed Watch. The 2011 NAEP scores, which were released earlier this month, showed small improvement in 4th grade math, but no statistical improvement in reading.

Early Ed: Mining 'The Nation's Report Card'

November 29, 2011

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” is a nationally administered math and reading test that we discuss frequently on Early Ed Watch. The 2011 NAEP scores, which were released earlier this month, showed small improvement in 4th grade math, but no statistical improvement in reading.

Round Up: Talks on Race to the Top, ESEA, Screen Time, Teacher Evaluation and More

November 28, 2011

Whether it's predicting winners of the Race to the Top or reflecting on the impact of digital media on childhood, the Early Education Initiative has been doing a lot of presentations this fall. Here's a roundup of what we talked about, with links to slides and archived video or audio where possible:

Going Beyond 'Computer Time'

November 18, 2011

When technology is part of pre-K or early elementary classrooms, what does it look like? Are most teachers holding "computer time" in the corner, with kids putting on headphones to play games or click through books by themselves? Are children having chances to take photos or capture video of their marine field trips or block towers? Is someone helping them to scan books and conduct online searches for more information on whales or skyscapers?

Watching Teachers Work: New Paper Argues for the Use of Observation in Early Ed

November 10, 2011
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Though good teaching is considered essential to children's achievement, much of education policy remains disturbingly silent on how to identify, promote and reward it. Studies consistently remind us of what children could achieve if they attended high-quality early learning programs and received high-quality instruction throughout their early grades of school. But the reality is that too many children experience teaching that is inconsistent from year to year and sometimes quite poor.

On BAM! Radio: When is it Time to Type?

November 10, 2011

Reports of children learning keyboarding as early as kindergarten have sprung up, begging the question: What age is physically and developmentally appropriate for children to learn to type? Last week on BAM! Radio, I joined host Rae Pica and two other guests to discuss the in’s and out’s of teaching young children how to type on a computer.

Kudos and Qu’s on New Federal Office for Early Learning

November 7, 2011

Two years ago, when Jacqueline Jones was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as his senior advisor for early learning – a first-of-its-kind position –  the early childhood community celebrated. Recognition of the early years as educational years was long overdue, and Jones was an excellent choice given her work in New Jersey to create a high-quality system of early learning, beginning at age 3 and continuing up through 3rd grade.

Then, of course, reality set in.

Two-Thirds of 4th Graders Continue to Struggle in Reading

November 2, 2011

Once again we get a reminder of the poor state of American students’ abilities in reading and math: Only 34 percent of 4th grade students scored at or above “proficient” (i.e. grade level) and 33 percent of students didn’t even meet the mark for having “basic” reading skills, according to data released yesterday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as “The Nation’s Report Card.”

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