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Should 3rd grade be the pivot point for early reading?
Education Week
It's become a truism in education policy that reading is the gatekeeper to later academic success. In hopes of ensuring that success, a rising number of states bar promotion for students who do not read proficiently by 3rd grade. In 2004, only Florida and Ohio used third grade reading as a gatekeeper to promotion. Today, 16 states and the District of Columbia require — and three others allow — schools to retain 3rd graders based on reading performance. Yet even as retention gains traction among state policymakers, new research questions both the effectiveness of holding back students and the timing of reading development itself.
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Let the kids learn through play
The New York Times
Twenty years ago, kids in preschool, kindergarten and even first and second grade spent much of their time playing: building with blocks, drawing or creating imaginary worlds, in their own heads or with classmates. But increasingly, these activities are being abandoned for the teacher-led, didactic instruction typically used in higher grades. In many schools, formal education now starts at age 4 or 5. Without this early start, the thinking goes, kids risk falling behind in crucial subjects such as reading and math, and may never catch up.
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Setting summer goals: Linking school years together
By: Pamela Hill
For many, just a few days remain in the current school year. Some educators are making final lesson plans for the school year, others are developing summer school lesson plans, and parents are making plans to fill the months of summer with activities. Just as students with Individual Educational Plans should be involved in meeting their school year goals, they should also be involved in setting their summer goals. Many research articles have been published that explain the importance of educational activities for the purpose of avoiding the "summer slide."
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  Student-Paced, Mastery-Based Math
Since 2004, Math-U-See has worked with intervention and special education teachers to reach struggling special needs math students. Math-U-See corresponds to math ability rather than traditional grade levels, so it can be used with students of any age. We provide tools and training for an explicit, structured, systematic, cumulative program using multi-sensory teaching techniques. MORE

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In an effort to enhance the overall content of THE LD SOURCE, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of LDA and/or reader of THE LD SOURCE, your knowledge of learning disabilities and related issues lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.

 In the News

3 challenges facing parents of teens with learning disabilities
U.S. News & World Report
School hasn't been easy for one Colorado teenager with severe dyslexia. "You can see a little bit of the pain that it's caused him over the years," says Lissa True, as she reflects on her 18-year-old son Anthony's upcoming high school graduation. "He's got a few scars, but the bigger emotion is just being incredibly proud of his accomplishment and looking forward to the future and to life where he is going to be exceptionally successful, even though in school some people may look at him and say he wasn't as successful. Not an honor roll student, but you know what, that's OK with us."
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Friends or frenemies? Understanding bullying in schools
Psychology Today
In our culture of 24/7 news cycles and social media connectedness, we have a better opportunity than ever before to bring attention to important issues. In the last few years, Americans have collectively paid attention to the issue of bullying like never before; millions of school children have been given a voice, all 50 states in the U.S. have passed anti-bullying legislation, and thousands of adults have been trained in important strategies to keep kids both physically and emotionally safe in their classrooms and schools. These are significant achievements.
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Do kids today have too much homework?
The Christian Science Monitor
To Samson Boyd, a father in Nashville, Tenn., simple addition used to be a straightforward proposition: Four plus four equals eight. But in today's era of newfangled math, kids are taught various ways to arrive at the right answer. So when Boyd was helping his 10-year-old son with arithmetic one night recently, he needed help and called the Homework Hotline, a Nashville program that provides free tutoring for students and parents. His was one of about 12,000 such calls the hotline has fielded this school year alone. It's a reminder of how demanding the workload can become for kids and raises an enduring question: Is too much late-night calculus and chemistry overloading young people today?
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword STUDENTS.

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CDC: 1 in 10 children diagnosed with ADHD
HealthDay News via WebMd
One in 10 children and teens has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a new government report. That number has remained relatively steady since 2007, according to government estimates. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report offers a snapshot of how many children and teens currently have ADHD. However, it's tough to draw conclusions from this data about the reasons for the findings, said lead author Patricia Pastor, a researcher in the CDC's Office of Analysis and Epidemiology.
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Some schools embrace demands for education data
The New York Times
In this small suburb outside Milwaukee, no one in the Menomonee Falls School District escapes the rigorous demands of data. Custodians monitor dirt under bathroom sinks, while the high school cafeteria supervisor tracks parent and student surveys of lunchroom food preferences. Administrators record monthly tallies of student disciplinary actions, and teachers post scatter plot diagrams of quiz scores on classroom walls. Even kindergartners use brightly colored dots on charts to show how many letters or short words they can recognize.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    What reading really looks like when you're dyslexic (GOOD Magazine)
New read-aloud strategies transform story time (Education Week)
Avoiding 'learned helplessness' (Edutopia)
Memorizers are the lowest achievers and other Common Core math surprises (The Hechinger Report)
For the love of reading: Using technology to draw students to literacy (By: Pamela Hill)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Is it nature or nurture that makes kids love school?
Yahoo Parenting
What makes an individual kid like school and want to do well in the classroom? Is it the fact that their parents instilled in them a love of learning? A high-energy, engaging teacher? Or other, less easily observed factors? According to a new study in Personality and Individual Differences, genetics play a pretty large role — and environmental factors may matter less than people think.
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School bullying, cyberbullying continue to drop
U.S. News & World Report
The percentage of students who reported being bullied or cyberbullied reached a record low in 2013, but female students are still victimized at higher rates, according to new data from the Department of Education. The department released the results of the latest School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which showed that in 2013, the percentage of students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied dropped to 21.5 percent. That's down from 27.8 percent in 2011, and a high of 31.7 percent in 2007. The percentage of students who reported being cyberbullied also fell to 6.9 percent in 2013, down from 9 percent in 2011.
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6 memory tricks for ADHD students
Children with ADHD and learning disabilities often have trouble remembering and retaining information taught in class. To improve their memory skills, help them create links and visual, auditory and conceptual associations between bits of information.
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LDA does not recommend or endorse any one specific diagnostic or therapeutic regime, whether it is educational, psychological or medical. The viewpoints expressed in THE LD SOURCE are those of the authors and advertisers.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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