The LD Source
Nov. 7, 2013

Common Core's promise collides with IEP realities
Education Week
One of the most promising elements of common academic standards for students with disabilities, say experts in special education, is that they offer explicit connections from one set of skills to another. That is particularly important for students served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. For years, the law has pushed schools and districts to provide students access to the same academic curriculum available to the general school population. One way to do that, the law says, is through "standards-based" individualized education programs, or IEPs, instead of educational plans that focus mostly on skills that do not connect to a cohesive academic goal.More

First-graders with attention problems lag for years afterward; second-graders, less so
Medical News Today
When it comes to children's attention problems, the difference between first and second grade is profound, says a new study from Duke University. The study, which was recently published online in the Journal of Attention Disorders, says the age at which attention problems emerge makes a critical difference in a child's later academic performance. More

Imagery: A key to understanding math
How can teachers help students find the beauty in math? There may be roadblocks already set up in math education — students' disposition toward math anxiety, and pressure to cover material quickly. Or maybe it has something to do with the curse of knowledge — the gap between what experts know and nonexperts don't. It's easy for math professors to see the beauty in math, said New York University neuroscientist Pascal Wallisch, because they already have an obvious connection with it. "They perhaps had the luck to enjoy a positive math experience in school," he said.More

Bullying interventions increase bullying (or do they?)
Psychology Today
November signaled the close of Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. And wouldn't you know, a study about bullying prevention programs went viral. The authors and some news outlets have taken the study to mean that, not only do bullying prevention programs not work, they make bullying WORSE by — their best guess — actually teaching children bullying tactics. If you read the original study, however, you will quickly find that it suggests no such thing.More

What will Common Core assessments cost states?
eSchool News
Many states that once adopted Common Core State Standards are now pressing the pause button on implementation, in light of the cost of CCSS-aligned assessments. State leaders and stakeholders wonder how assessments aligned to the Common Core compare to assessments currently in place, and are trying to decide to what extent cost factors into CCSS adoption. "Common Core has become a political hot potato, despite early broad acceptance," said Russ Whitehurst, the former director of the Institute of Education Sciences within the U.S. Department of Education, and current director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, during an Oct. 30 event.More

Ready to learn? The key is listening with intention
Listening and observing can be passive activities — in one ear and out the other, as our mothers used to say. Or they can be rich, active, intense experiences that lead to serious learning. The difference lies in our intention: the purpose and awareness with which we approach the occasion. Here's how to make sure your intentions are good. Research on how we learn a second language demonstrates that effective listening involves more than simply hearing the words that float past our ears. Rather, it's an active process of interpreting information and making meaning.More

The mind of a middle schooler: How brains learn
Heather Wolpert-Gawron, a middle school teacher, writes: "In my last post, I began a celebration of brains and made the argument as to why teachers need to brush up on their knowledge of brains in order to reach that all-too-allusive 'tween noggin. During this, my second of three posts in this series, I'll bring up a few key terms you should know in your own neurologic education. Then, we'll follow a history-related fact as it enters the brain of an average middle schooler, weaving its way towards the blessed long-term memory."More

What will Common Core assessments cost states?
eSchool News
Many states that once adopted Common Core State Standards are now pressing the pause button on implementation, in light of the cost of CCSS-aligned assessments. More

New strategy for more efficient learning
Psychology Today
In 1913, Ebbinghaus demonstrated that spacing learning out over time creates much more efficient learning than cramming a learning task into a single intense session.More

Kids yoga may help relieve ADHD
The Huffington Post
September ushers in autumn, back-to-school, and National Yoga Month. Designated by the Department of Health & Human Services, National Yoga Month features yoga's numerous health benefits.More

Students with disabilities and the Common Core: Challenges, opportunities
Education Week
Christina Samuels, a contributor for Education Week, writes: "Education Week published this week a special report on the Common Core State Standards, and how their implementation in all but four states are affecting special student populations — students with disabilities, gifted students, and English language learners. I encourage you to read (and comment on!) my stories on read-aloud accommodations and Common Core tests, how the Common Core test developers plan to allow assistive technology on the tests, and the challenges surrounding the development of standards-based individualized education programs aligned to the Common Core."More

Taking Common Core's temperature
EdTech Magazine
It's difficult to find anyone who works in K–12 education who hasn't heard of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. For months, schools have been working to ensure that their networks can handle the online student assessments that the standards require; that there are enough computers for all students to complete the test; that teachers and staff are trained to administer the test; and that their English language arts and mathematics curricula align to the standards.More

Attention regulates emotion: Focus and self-control
Psychology Today
Daniel Goleman, an author and contributor for Psychology Today, writes: "When my sons were just two or so and would get upset, I sometimes used distraction to calm them down: 'Look at that birdie,' or an all-service, enthusiastic 'What's that?' with my gaze or finger directing their focus toward something else. Attention regulates emotion. This little ploy uses selective attention to quiet the agitated amygdala. So long as a toddler stays tuned to some interesting object of focus, the distress calms; the moment that thing loses its fascination, the distress, if still held on to by networks in the amygdala, comes roaring back. The trick, of course, lies in keeping the baby intrigued long enough for the amygdala to calm."More

Children with poor motor performance have poor academic skills during first 3 years of school
Children with poor motor performance at the school entry were found to have poorer reading and arithmetic skills than their better performing peers during the first three years of school. However, no relationship was found between cardiovascular fitness and academic skills, according to a new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.More