Education News » Blog Archives

Tag Archives: elementary school

Education

Millions Have Dyslexia, Few Understand It

Published by:

dyslexia-traps-you2_custom-4a09b8e9ca46b7d5a0578ec823b80fc30c7a2ba9-s800-c85

Part 1 of our series “Unlocking Dyslexia.”

“It’s frustrating that you can’t read the simplest word in the world.”

Thomas Lester grabs a book and opens to a random page. He points to a word: galloping.

“Goll—. G—. Gaa—. Gaa—. G—. ” He keeps trying. It is as if the rest ­­of the word is in him somewhere, but he can’t sound it out.

“I don’t … I quit.” He tosses the book and it skids along the table.

Despite stumbling over the simplest words, Thomas — a fourth-grader — is a bright kid. In fact, that’s an often-misunderstood part of dyslexia: It’s not about lacking comprehension, having a low IQ or being deprived of a good education.

It’s about having a really hard time reading.

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the United States. It touches the lives of millions of people, including me and Thomas. Just like Thomas, I spent much of my childhood sitting in a little chair across from a reading tutor.

Today, Thomas is working with his tutor in an office building in northwest Washington, D.C. The suite they’re in is an oasis of white couches and overstuffed pillows. In the waiting area, a kid is curled up sucking her thumb, and a mom reads a magazine quietly.

Continue reading

Education

Here’s How Schools Can Soften The Blow Of Sixth Grade

Published by:

student-stress3_custom-f075c08b5702057aa9d960e34161142abebc6b72-s800-c85

Middle school is tough. Bodies change. Hormones rage. Algebra becomes a reality. But there are things schools can do to make life easier for students — like this big study we wrote about showing that K-8 schools may be better for kids than traditional middle schools.

But aside from re-configuring an entire school system, are there other ways to make the sixth-grade experience better?

To answer that question, I called up Dru Tomlin, a director at the Association for Middle Level Education — an organization that’s been researching best practices for middle grade students for decades. Tomlin knows middle school: He’s been a middle school teacher, an administrator, and he’s the parent of a seventh-grade student.

Continue reading

Education

How Domestic Violence In One Home Affects Every Child In A Class

Published by:

bear-vs-girl1_slide-eec6137db10039983a91f4997472ca67ed44e0c6-s800-c85

Part of our NPR Ed series on mental health in schools.

Every Monday morning at Harvie Elementary School, in Henrico County, Va., Brett Welch stands outside her office door as kids file in.

“The first thing I’m looking for are the faces,” says Welch, a school counselor. She’s searching for hints of fear, pain or anger.

“Maybe there was a domestic incident at the house that weekend,” says Welch. “That’s reality for a lot of our kids.”

 

Continue reading

Education

When ‘The Talk’ Is In Sign Language, There Is Clarity And Confusion

Published by:

npr_aslsexed_3200x2100_001_custom-320836586d6a3d7f05d87ec1cd1bccb807c0df52-s800-c85

On a Saturday morning, a group of adults gather in a circle in an elementary school classroom on the campus of Gallaudet University. Each wears a name tag — and on that name tag is a common sexual term: “Ejaculation.” “Orgasm.” “Condom.”

One by one they introduce themselves by the name on their tag. Not in spoken words, but in American Sign Language (ASL).

These are parents and caregivers who have — or work with — children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The moms and dads are bashful at first, but after signing for a few minutes, they’re laughing at themselves.

Continue reading

Education

A History Lesson: When Math Was Taboo

Published by:

ed_museum_final-1-_wide-d3f3d4e32916d00685bfbfa05d5d8c155b2da57f-s800-c85

That’s not from a disgruntled student. It’s from a textbook.

The author, 16th century mathematician Robert Recorde, nestled the line just after his preface, table of contents and a biblical quote citing God’s command to measure and number all things.

Recorde didn’t believe in math’s awfulness — quite the opposite. He was simply reflecting popular opinion on his way to a spirited defense of math. Why?

Mathematics was associated with banking and trade and so “was shunned among the upper classes and the educated classes in Europe,” explains Houman Harouni of Harvard University.

Recorde’s math textbook — published in 1543 — is far from unique.

Continue reading

Education

Youngest Kids In Class At Higher Risk Of ADHD Diagnosis

Published by:

chalkboard-boy_custom-ac439d1de3179dc98df1bbbadd03583857c9ec08-s800-c85

Lack of focus at school might be ADHD. Or it might be a function of being young for that grade.

PeopleImages.com/Getty Images

By the time they’re in elementary school, some kids prove to be more troublesome than others. They can’t sit still or they’re not socializing or they can’t focus enough to complete tasks that the other kids are handling well. Sounds like ADHD. But it might be that they’re just a little young for their grade.

Studies done in several countries including Iceland, Canada, Israel, Sweden and Taiwan show children who are at the young end of their grade cohort are more likely to get an ADHD diagnosis than their older classmates.

Continue reading