Often when I am reading on-line I will come across an article that I think may be interesting to the parents of my students. I bookmark it and save it until it comes up in conversation but rarely do I get a chance to share it at large, so today I am posting links to a few articles I think might interest you. Anytime words below are coloured, they will lead to an article.
The first was shared with the students already. You should have seen the shock on the kids' faces! It is hard to imagine, but research shows that a student who reads 20 minutes every day will read about 1 800 000 words by the end of sixth grade, while a student who reads ten minutes once a week (or 1 minute a day) will read only 8 000 words in the same time-span. This article on Edudemic has an interesting infographic on the effects of skipping reading homework.
The ideas in this article from TIME magazine were also shared with the students, to help dispel the idea that only 'smart' kids can do math. Motivation, not IQ, determines how much someone learns, showing that a positive attitude and perseverance are the key to achievement.
Sleep is also a big concern when I speak with parents, and it should be. Sleepiness can cause learning, behaviour, and attention problems, all of which can negatively affect students' academic achievement and their ability to form healthy relationships. It is recommended that children in grade six get ten to eleven hours of sleep a night, particulalry as their rapid growth at this age can leave them feeling tired more easily. This article lists reasons why today's children sleep less than previous generations, and tells us what we can do about it.
The last two sites I have to share I found after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, when I wanted to prepare myself to face students' questions and concerns about safety and violence against children. One is from the University of Minnesota, "Talking to Your Children About Violence Against Kids," and the second is more general, and deals with talking to kids about death. Neither is a conversation we want to have, but when we as adults don't give kids a chance to discuss hard topics, we risk having them get all their information from peers and from the media.
Please feel free to share additional helpful sites and articles in the comments below.