Saturday, March 26, 2016
1. Preparing Children to Start School Ready to Learn and Thrive - Marshall Memo Update
In this article in The Bay State Banner, Ron Ferguson (Harvard Achievement Gap Initiative), Jeff Howard (The Efficacy Institute and the Black Philanthropy Fund), and Martin Walsh (Mayor of Boston) describe the Boston Basics Campaign. “Our goal,” they say, “is to help parents and caregivers adopt five easy practices that research has proven are essential to brain development from birth to age three.” Here they are:
• Maximize love and manage stress. “Showing affection and patience at every opportunity helps children build confidence to explore the world on their own,” say the authors.
• Talk, sing, and point. “Talking and singing to infants and toddlers stimulates their brains and develops their skills,” say Ferguson, Howard, and Walsh. “Pointing helps them connect words to the associated objects.”
• Teach counting, grouping, and comparing with everyday objects. “Having fun with numbers, names, shapes, and patterns is how children learn to understand their world,” they say. “And it prepares them to learn and love math.”
• Let children explore through free movement and play. “Curiosity is a child’s built-in engine for learning,” say the authors. “It’s our job to encourage it and provide safe outlets. At home or in the playground, help kids dive into their environment and develop their ‘mind’s eye.’”
• Read and discuss stories. “Whether made-up or factual, the people, places and events of stories are the building blocks for our children’s imagination and much of their learning later in life,” say Ferguson, Howard, and Walsh.
“We know that raising kids is hard,” they conclude, “and it’s only made harder by the stresses of work, money, illness, violence, and more. So we want to make our entire city a relentlessly supportive place for all those who care for young children.” Introductory videos can be viewed at www.bostonbasics.org.
Mission and focus:
This weekly memo is designed to keep principals, teachers, superintendents, and others very well-informed on current research and effective practices in K-12 education. Kim Marshall, drawing on 44 years’ experience as a teacher, principal, central office administrator, and writer, lightens the load of busy educators by serving as their “designated reader.”
To produce the Marshall Memo, Kim subscribes to 64 carefully-chosen publications (see list to the right), sifts through more than a hundred articles each week, and selects 5-10 that have the greatest potential to improve teaching, leadership, and learning. He then writes a brief summary of each article, pulls out several striking quotes, provides e-links to full articles when available, and e-mails the Memo to subscribers every Monday evening (with occasional breaks; there are 50 issues a year).
Individual subscriptions are $50 for a year. Rates decline steeply for multiple readers within the same organization. See the website for these rates and how to pay by check, credit card, or purchase order.
If you go to http://www.marshallmemo.com you will find detailed information on:
• How to subscribe or renew
• A detailed rationale for the Marshall Memo
• Publications (with a count of articles from each)
• Article selection criteria
• Topics (with a count of articles from each)
• Headlines for all issues
• Reader opinions (with results of an annual survey)
• About Kim Marshall (including links to articles)
• A free sample issue
Subscribers have access to the Members’ Area of the website, which has:
• The current issue (in Word or PDF)
• All back issues (also in Word and PDF)
• A database of all articles to date, searchable
by topic, title, author, source, level, etc.
• A collection of “classic” articles from all 11 years