Tag Archives: Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media report: Raising more ‘useful idiots,’ children don’t read enough and well

12 May

Moi wrote in High – low books: Custom reading texts may help challenged readers:
This is an absolutely jaw-dropping statistic. According the article, Opinion Brief: Detroit’s ‘shocking’ 47 percent illiteracy rate which was posted at The Week:

More than 200,000 Detroit residents — 47 percent of Motor City adults — are “functionally illiterate,” according to a new report released by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund. That means they can’t fill out basic forms, read a prescription, or handle other tasks most Americans take for granted, according to the fund’s director, Karen Tyler-Ruiz, as quoted by CBS Detroit. Her organization’s study also found that the education and training aimed at overcoming these problems “is inadequate at best,” says Jackie Headapohl at Michigan Live. http://theweek.com/article/index/215055/detroits-shocking-47-percent-illiteracy-rate

Illiteracy is a global problem, with some geographic areas and populations suffering more from illiteracy than others.

Education Portal defines illiteracy in the article, Illiteracy: The Downfall of American Society.

Most people think of literacy as a simple question of being able to read. But while a young child who can work her way through a basic picture book is considered to have age-appropriate literacy levels, an adult who can only read at the most fundamental level is still functionally illiterate.
The world requires that adults not only be able to read and understand basic texts, but also be able to function in the workplace, pay bills, understand legal and financial documents and navigate technology – not to mention the advanced reading comprehension skills required to pursue postsecondary education and the opportunities that come with it.
As a result, when we talk about the effects of illiteracy on society, we’re talking primarily about what happens when you have a large number of adults whose literacy skills are too low to perform normal, day-to-day tasks. However, it is worth keeping in mind that childhood illiteracy is, of course, directly correlated to adult illiteracy. http://education-portal.com/articles/Illiteracy_The_Downfall_of_American_Society.html

The key concept is the individual cannot adequately function in the society in which they live. That means that tasks necessary to provide a satisfactory life are difficult because they cannot read and/or comprehend what they read…. https://drwilda.com/2014/05/04/high-low-books-custom-reading-texts-may-help-challenged-readers/

Andrew M. Seaman of Reuters reported in the article, Reading Report Shows American Children Lack Proficiency, Interest:

Although American children still spend part of their days reading, they are spending less time doing it for pleasure than decades ago, with significant gaps in proficiency, according to a report released on Monday.

The San Francisco-based nonprofit Common Sense Media, which focuses on the effects of media and technology on children, published the report, which brings together information from several national studies and databases.

“It raises an alarm,” said Vicky Rideout, the lead author of the report. “We’re witnessing a really large drop in reading among teenagers and the pace of that drop is getting faster and faster.”

The report found that the percentage of nine-year-old children reading for pleasure once or more per week had dropped from 81 percent in 1984 to 76 percent in 2013, based on government studies. There were even larger decreases among older children.

A large portion rarely read for pleasure. About a third of 13-year-olds and almost half of 17-year-olds reported in one study that they read for pleasure less than twice a year.

Of those who read or are read to, children tend to spend on average between 30 minutes and an hour daily with that activity, the report found. Older children and teenagers tend to read for pleasure for an equally long time each day.

Rideout cautioned that there may be difference in how people encounter text and the included studies may not take into account stories read online or on social media.

The report also found that many young children are struggling with literacy. Only about one-third of fourth grade students are “proficient” in reading and another one-third scored below “basic” reading skills.

Despite the large percentage of children with below-basic reading skills, reading scores among young children have improved since the 1970s, according to one test that measures reading ability.

The reading scores among 17-year-olds, however, remained relatively unchanged since the 1970s.

About 46 percent of white children are considered “proficient” in reading, compared with 18 percent of black children and 20 percent of Hispanic kids.

Those gaps remained relatively unchanged over the past 20 years, according to the report.

“To go 20 years with no progress in that area is shameful,” Rideout said…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/12/reading-report-_n_5307509.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education

Citation:

Children, Teens, and Reading
A Common Sense Media Research Brief
May 12, 2014
Download the full report (1.02 MB)
This research review charts trends in reading rates and reading achievement over time among kids and teens in the U.S. We focus on national surveys and databases for data on children’s reading habits and reading scores, looking at differences across time, and between demographic groups. We also examine the growing literature on ereading among young people, which has largely studied attitudes toward ebooks and ereading. We conclude with a discussion of key future areas of research on reading and ereading. http://www.commonsensemedia.org/research/children-teens-and-reading

Here is the Common Sense Media press release:

Press room
New Report from Common Sense Media Reveals Dramatic Drop in Reading Among Teens
Report highlights how the nature of reading is changing; addresses a critical need for more research to understand new media platforms’ impact on reading
For immediate release
Monday, May 12, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Common Sense Media today announced the release of “Children, Teens, and Reading,” a research brief that offers a unique, big-picture perspective on children’s reading habits in the United States and how they may have changed during the technological revolution of recent decades. The report brings together many disparate studies on children’s reading rates and achievement for the first time, summarizing key findings and highlighting where research is scarce, incomplete, or outdated, as well as offering suggestions for new areas of study.
Society has reached a major transition point in the history of reading. From children’s earliest ages, “reading” used to mean sitting down with a book and turning pages as a story unfolded. Today it may mean sitting down with a device that offers multimedia experiences and blurs the line between books and toys. At the same time, for older children, much daily communication is now handled in short bursts of written text, such as text messages, emails, Facebook posts, and tweets. All of this has led to a major disruption in how, what, when, and where children and teens read, and there is much we don’t yet know.
Though the report finds that reading is still a big part of many children’s lives — and reading scores among young children have improved steadily — achievement among older teens has stagnated, and many children don’t read well or often.
Among the key findings:
o Reading rates have dropped precipitously among adolescents.
The proportion of children who are daily readers drops markedly from childhood to the tween and teenage years. One study documents a drop from 48% of 6- to 8-year-olds down to 24% of 15- to 17-year-olds who are daily readers; another shows a drop from 53% of 9-year-olds to 19% of 17-year-olds. According to government studies, since 1984, the percent of 13-year-olds who are weekly readers went down from 70% to 53%, and the percent of 17-year-olds who are weekly readers went from 64% to 40%. The percent of 17-year-olds who never or hardly ever read tripled during this period, from 9% to 27%.
o A significant reading achievement gap persists between white, black, and Hispanic children.
Government test scores indicate that white students continue to score 21 or more points higher, on average, than black or Hispanic students. Only 18% of black and 20% of Hispanic fourth graders are rated as “proficient” in reading, compared with 46% of whites. The size of this “proficiency gap” has been largely unchanged over the past two decades.
o There is also a gender gap in reading time and achievement.
Girls read for pleasure for an average of 10 minutes more per day than boys, a gap that starts with young children and persists in the teenage years. It’s also reflected in achievement scores, with a gap of 12 percentage points in the proportion of girls vs. boys scoring “proficient” in reading in the eighth grade in 1992 and 11 points in 2012.
“Technology is playing an increasingly significant role in kids’ lives, and it’s changing the nature of how kids read and our definition of what is considered reading,” said Jim Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media. “Used wisely, technology such as ereaders could help support ongoing efforts to reduce disparities, promote reading achievement, and fuel a passion for reading among all young people, but we need more research to better understand the impact of technology on kids’ reading.”
“Children, Teens, and Reading” is part of a research effort directed by Vicky Rideout, a senior advisor to Common Sense Media, head of VJR Consulting, and director of more than 30 previous studies on children, media, and health.
“This review brings together many different government, academic, and nonprofit data sets to reveal some very clear trends,” said Rideout. “There has been a huge drop in reading among teenagers over the past 30 years, and we’ve made virtually no progress reducing the achievement gaps between girls and boys or between whites and children of color. The bottom line is there are far too many young people in this country who don’t read well enough or often enough.”
This research brief reviews national surveys and databases for trends in children’s and teens’ reading and reading achievement. Studies covered include the National Assessment of Educational Progress by the National Center for Education Statistics, The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, Scholastic’s Kids and Family Reading Report (4th Edition), Northwestern University’s Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology, Common Sense Media’s Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013, and The Joan Ganz Cooney Center’s Learning at Home: Families’ Educational Media Use in America. For the full white paper with details on studies reviewed, the methodology of the review, and other findings, visit: http://www.commonsense.org/research
About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our kids are growing up in a culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, go to: http://www.commonsense.org.
Press Contact:
Amber Whiteside
awhiteside@commonsense.org
415-269-8127
Alexis Vanni
avanni@commonsense.org
415-553-6728
###
Topics
Research/Survey Kids & Teens Media

Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved. Parents are an important part because they enforce lessons learned at school by reading to their children and taking their children for regular library time.

Resources:

National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) http://nces.ed.gov/naal/lit_history.asp

Illiteracy: An Incurable Disease or Education Malpractice?
http://www.nrrf.org/essay_Illiteracy.html

Living in the Shadows: Illiteracy in America http://abcnews.go.com/WN/LegalCenter/story?id=4336421&page=1#.Tt8XMFbfW-c

US Department Of Education Helping Series which are a number of pamphlets to help parents and caregivers http://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/hyc.html

How Parents Can Help Their Child Prepare for School Assignments http://mathandreadinghelp.org/how_can_parents_help_their_child_prepare_for_school_assignments.html

Getting Young Children Ready to Learn http://www.classbrain.com/artread/publish/article_37.shtml

General Tips for Preparing for Kindergarten http://www.education.com/topic/preparing-for-kindergarten/

Classroom Strategies to Get Boys Reading http://gettingboystoread.com/content/classroom-strategies-get-boys-reading/

Me Read? A Practical Guide to Improving Boys Literacy Skills http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/brochure/meread/meread.pdf

Understanding Gender Differences: Strategies To Support Girls and Boys http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/PDFpubs/4423.pdf

Helping Underachieving Boys Read Well and Often http://www.ericdigests.org/2003-2/boys.html

Boys and Reading Strategies for Success http://www.k12reader.com/boys-and-reading/

Related:

More research about the importance of reading https://drwilda.wordpress.com/tag/reading-literacy-and-your-child/
The slow reading movement https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/the-slow-reading-movement/

The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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Common Sense Media report: Media choices at home affect school performance

1 Nov

Moi wrote in Study: Children subject to four hours background television daily:

Let’s make this short and sweet. Park your kid in front of the television and you will probably be raising an overweight idiot. Tara Parker-Pope has a great post at the New York Times blog. In the post, TV For Toddlers Linked With Later Problems Parker-Pope reports:

Toddlers who watch a lot of television were more likely to experience a range of problems by the fourth grade, including lower grades, poorer health and more problems with school bullies, a new study reports.

The study of more than 1,300 Canadian schoolchildren tracked the amount of television children were watching at the ages of about 2 and 5. The researchers then followed up on the children in fourth grade to assess academic performance, social issues and general health.

On average, the schoolchildren were watching about nine hours of television each week as toddlers. The total jumped to about 15 hours as they approached 5 years of age. The average level of television viewing shown in the study falls within recommended guidelines. However, 11 percent of the toddlers were exceeding two hours a day of television viewing.

For those children, each hour of extra TV exposure in early childhood was associated with a range of issues by the fourth grade, according to the report published in the May issue of The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Compared with children who watched less television, those with more TV exposure participated less in class and had lower math grades. They suffered about 10 percent more bullying by classmates and were less likely to be physically active on weekends. They consumed about 10 percent more soft drinks and snacks and had body mass index scores that were about 5 percent higher than their peers.

Well duh, people. You probably already knew this. Guess why you have feet attached to your legs? So, you and the kids can walk around the neighborhood and the park. Better yet, why don’t you encourage your children to play. https://drwilda.com/2012/09/16/play-is-as-important-for-children-as-technology/

https://drwilda.com/2012/10/02/study-children-subject-to-fours-background-television-daily/

Teachers were surveyed about how how home media choices affect a child’ ability to learn.

Here is the press release from Common Sense Media:

Entertainment Media Diets of Children and Adolescents May Impact Learning

Teachers cite negative effect on students’ attention spans, writing, and face-to-face communication

For immediate release

Thursday, November 1, 2012

San Francisco, CA — A new study on the role of media and technology in kids’ lives reveals that many teachers suspect the quantity and quality of kids’ at-home media choices may be negatively impacting their in-class performance.

The report, “Children, Teens, and Entertainment Media: The View from the Classroom,” is the latest research from Common Sense Media’s Program for the Study of Children and Media. Based on a nationally representative survey of 685 classroom teachers, the findings include:

  • 71% of teachers believe students’ entertainment media use — the TV shows, video games, texting, and social networking they do for fun at home — has hurt students’ attention spans “a lot” or “somewhat”;
  • 59% believe such media use has hurt students’ abilities to communicate face to face;
  • 58% say students’ writing skills have been negatively impacted by their use of entertainment media; and
  • Nearly half of teachers (48%) believe students’ media use has hurt the quality of their homework.

These concerns about the impact of entertainment media on students’ academic skills were consistent whether the teachers described themselves as “tech-savvy” or less comfortable with new media; whether they were new to the classroom or teaching veterans; and whether they taught at high- or low-income schools. Among teachers who say their students’ academic skills have mainly been hurt by entertainment media, more than two-thirds point the finger at video games (68%) and texting (66%).

At the same time, 63% of teachers say entertainment media has helped students hone their ability to find information quickly and efficiently, and 34% say it has helped students’ ability to multi-task effectively.  

“The social, emotional, and cognitive impact of media and technology on our kids is of paramount importance to Common Sense Media,” said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO, Common Sense Media. “We know that our children learn from the media they consume. This survey is yet another reminder of how critical it is to consistently guide our kids to make good media choices and balance the amount of time they spend with any media and all of their other activities.”

In terms of social development, more than two-thirds of teachers (67%) believe that entertainment media has a “very” or “somewhat” negative impact on students’ sexualization, and 61% say the same about students’ ideas about relationships between boys and girls. Among teachers who believe students’ social development has been negatively affected by entertainment media, the blame falls primarily on television (71%), movies (61%), music (56%), and social networking (55%). In comments throughout the online survey, several teachers noted a positive impact from entertainment media on students’ engagement with the world and their exposure to diverse viewpoints.  

“There have been several important surveys of teachers about the use of media and technology as a learning tool in the classroom, but few, if any, that explore what teachers think about the impact of media use by students at home,” said Vicky Rideout, president of VJR Consulting, who authored the study for Common Sense Media. “Teachers’ opinions are important because besides parents, teachers are the adults who spend the greatest amount of time with children and adolescents every day.”

While the survey offers educators’ unique and important perspective on entertainment media use and academic performance and social development, it does not quantify academic achievement and correlate results with children’s patterns of media use. For more information about the key findings of this survey, or for details about the Program for the Study of Children and Media, visit www.commonsense.org/research.

Methodology
The report is based on a survey of 685 public and private K-12 classroom teachers in the U.S. It was conducted for Common Sense Media by Knowledge Networks, now a part of GfK Group, from May 5-17, 2012. The survey was conducted online among a nationally representative sample of teachers who had been recruited to the online panel through probability-based sampling methods including address-based sampling and random-digit-dial telephone surveys. “Entertainment media” was defined as the TV shows, music, video games, texting, iPods, cell phone games, social networking sites, apps, computer programs, online videos, and websites students use for fun outside of school. The exact question wording is included in the full report, along with many verbatim comments from individual teachers.    

About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need in order to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, visit: www.commonsense.org.

Press Contacts
Crista Sumanik
csumanik@commonsense.org
415-553-6780

Julia Plonowski
jplonowski@commonsense.org
415-553-6728

Citation:

Children, Teens, and Entertainment Media: The View From The Classroom

A Common Sense Media Research Study – NEW REPORT

November 1, 2012

A national survey of teachers about the role of entertainment media in students’ academic and social development.

Read the summary

Download the full report

Some parents use television and technology as a substitute for appropriate childcare.

In Television cannot substitute for quality childcare, moi wrote:           Sarah D. Sparks reports in the Education Week article, Is Television the New Secondhand Smoke?

Prior research suggests background television can have a “chronic disruptive impact on very young children’s behavior.” Studies have linked background television to less focused play among toddlers, poorer parent-child interaction, and interference with older students’ ability to do homework.

For every minute of television to which children are directly exposed, there are an
additional 3 minutes of indirect exposure, making background exposure a much greater
proportion of time in a young child’s day,” the study noted.

Considering the accumulating evidence regarding the impact that background television exposure has on young children, we were rather floored about the sheer scale of children’s exposure with just under 4 hours of exposure each day,” Lapierre said in a statement on the study. Lapierre and his fellow researchers recommended that parents, teachers and early childcare providers turn off televisions when no one is watching a particular program and that parents prevent children from keeping a television in their rooms.

It’s easy to think about this as just one more alarm about how our modern media environment is ruining our kids. Yet the more interesting take-away from this field of research is how critical it is for children to learn actively and socially. Children learn from adults speaking to, with and around them, and from actively engaging with their world.

Anything that limits or distracts from that active interaction can be a problem, but not an insurmountable one. For example, researchers at the University of Washington’s Learning in Formal and Informal Environments, or LIFE, Center, is doing some fascinating work on the potential benefits of interactive media. There’s also been some interesting work on using video conferencing to read with children. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2012/04/is_television_the_new_secondha.html?intc=es

If watching television is not an appropriate activity for toddlers, then what are appropriate activities? The University of Illinois Extension has a good list of Age-Based Activities For Toddlers

See, How to Have a Happier, Healthier, Smarter Baby

Parents must interact with their children and read to them. Television is not a parental substitute. https://drwilda.com/2012/04/23/television-cannot-substitute-for-quality-childcare/

Related:

UK study: Overexposure to technology makes children miserable https://drwilda.com/2012/10/31/uk-study-overexposure-to-technology-makes-children-miserable/

Study: Teens who are ‘sexting’ more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior                                                                           https://drwilda.com/2012/09/17/study-teens-who-are-sexting-more-likely-to-engage-in-risky-sexual-behavior/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART © http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                        http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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The changing role of school libraries

31 Oct

Moi wrote about the importance of access to information in The digital divide in classrooms:

One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has agood bibliography, go to Poverty and Education, Overview As technology becomes more prevalent in society and increasingly is used in schools, there is talk of a “digital divide” between the haves and have-nots. Laurence Wolff and Soledad MacKinnon define the “digital divide” in their article, What is the Digital Divide?

The “digital divide,” inequalities in access to and utilization of information and communication technologies (ICT), is immense. http://info.worldbank.org/etools/docs/library/57449/digitaldivide.pdf

Access to information technology varies within societies and it varies between countries. The focus of this article is the digital divide in education.

Jim Jansen reports in the Pew Internet report, Use of the internet in higher-income households:

Those in higher-income households are different from other Americans in their tech ownership and use.

95% of those in households earning over $75,000 use the internet and cell phones

Those in higher-income households are more likely to use the internet on any given day, own multiple internet-ready devices, do things involving money online, and get news online.

Some 95% of Americans who live in households earning $75,000 or more a year use the internet at least occasionally, compared with 70% of those living in households earning less than $75,000.

Even among those who use the internet, the well off are more likely than those with less income to use technology. Of those 95% of higher-income internet users:

  • 99% use the internet at home, compared with 93% of the internet users in lower brackets.

  • 93% of higher-income home internet users have some type of broadband connection versus 85% of the internet users who live in households earning less than $75,000 per year. That translates into 87% of all those in live in those better-off households having broadband at home.

  • 95% of higher-income households own some type of cell phone compared with 83% in households with less income.

The differences among income cohorts apply to other technology as well

The relatively well-to-do are also more likely than those in lesser-income households to own a variety of information and communications gear.3

  • 79% of those living in households earning $75,000 or more own desktop computers, compared with 55% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 79% of those living in higher-income households own laptops, compared with 47% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 70% of those living in higher-income households own iPods or other MP3 players, compared with 42% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 54% of those living in higher-income households own game consoles, compared with 41% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 12% of those living in higher-income households own e-book readers such as Kindles, compared with 3% of those living in less well-off homes.

  • 9% of those living in higher-income households own tablet computers such as iPads, compared with 3% of those living in less well-off homes. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Better-off-households.aspx

Read Full Report

Explore Survey Questions

Unless school leadership is very innovative in seeking grants and/or outside assistance or the school has been adopted by a technology angel, poorer schools are likely to be far behind their more affluent peers in the acquisition of technology. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/the-digital-divide-in-classrooms/

A very important part of helping bridge the digital divide is the school library.

Laura Devaney wrote the article, School libraries changing with move to digital resources, which was posted at eSchool News.

As schools across the nation move from printed textbooks to digital materials and digital learning environments, school libraries are adapting to keep pace—and new advancements are changing the very definition of school libraries and library media specialists.

Many of today’s students do not know what a card catalog is, and challenges lie not in locating information about various topics, but in narrowing it down and determining whether resources are trustworthy or not…

“People often say that the library is going away,” McConnell said. “It’s really not—it’s a critical piece. It’s a place for community, collaboration, and it’s a place to find partners to help you in whatever literacy you’re trying to increase. That may be literacy in resources, media creation—those services are all there.”

And the stereotypical librarian is evolving into someone who knows how to locate reputable online resources and can help students learn how to use those resources in their research.

“I see librarians as media specialists,” McConnell said. “We still have literacy, whether it’s reading or research…the librarian is the perfect partner for the classroom. The role of the librarian has shifted” for the digital age, he said.

McConnell said thinking about physical learning space is critical even as school districts and higher education migrate to digital resources and virtual workspaces…

“We think about different ways of doing business, and it’s not all about economics—it’s also about quality,” Suddreth said. “There are quality resources, and there are not-so-quality resources, and going with the cheapest model is not always the best. Tech directors are the perfect people to make it really clear to people that purchasing the least expensive model is not always going to support teaching and learning.”

Other challenges include:

Content expertise—Nearly every subject area has people who are proponents of that subject area being taught in a particular way, and other people who are against a particular method.
Hardware—Not every school has computers or tablets for every single student, even though 90 percent of all homes have a computer at home and 70 percent of the population has internet access. “Having hardware in the schools is something we see as our responsibility for students who don’t have it at home, but it’s also a challenge,” Suddreth said.
Security—Often of great concern to parents is what student access. Also, issues arise regarding protecting student information. Online assessments lead to security concerns.
Parent reactions—While student are very excited about working with the technology, where they can really be immersed in learning games or web research, parents are not always familiar with that and have concerns over what their students might be able to access. Parents sometimes have a fear of letting go of a more traditional way of learning.
Accessibility—This includes non-native English speakers and students with disabilities, as well as students’ ability to access the internet at home. “In Utah, because we have large families, when a family has five or six children and one computer, this does pose a problem after school,” Suddreth said.

McConnell said that as technology changes learning, libraries are evolving and will partner with students and faculty to help everyone understand how to research topics and filter information.

http://www.eschoolnews.com
http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/10/30/school-libraries-changing-with-move-to-digital-resources/

For many children a library is where the are introduced to reading and learning.

In Reading is a key component of learning, moi said:

As more schools use “Common Core” standards, parents must also work at home to prepare their children.

Regan Mc Mahon of Common Sense Media has written the article, How to Raise a Reader which gives the following advice:

Read aloud: This comes naturally to lots of new parents, but it’s important to keep it up. Kids will enjoy it longer than you think. For babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kids in early grade school, it’s wonderful to have a kid on your lap, snuggled next to you on the couch, or drifting off to sleep in bed as you enjoy picture books together. You may have to read your kid’s favorite a hundred times, but just go with it. Your kid will remember the closeness as well as the story. And try nonfiction for those who are curious about pirates, Vikings, robots, castles, history, sports, biography, animals, whatever. For second through fifth graders, read those rich and meaty books that might be missed otherwise, maybe classics like Treasure Island or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Many parents think that as soon as their kids learn to read on their own, they no longer need to be read to. But kids still love it and benefit from it as they hear the rhythm of the language, learn correct pronunciation, and get to relax and just take it all in. Kids will get the idea that there’s something worthwhile in books and that there’s something special about time spent with a parent.

Savor the series: It’s common for kids to become book lovers for life after getting hooked on a series. And there are lots of good ones that keep kids hungry for the next installment. Some reliable prospects: Ivy and Bean, Judy Moodyfor beginning readers; Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the Percy Jackson series for middle graders; and Hunger Games, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and Twilight (unless you think vampires are too creepy) for older kids.

Grab onto a genre: Kids go through phases of genres they’re passionate about, from girl detectives to science fiction and fantasy. Don’t get hung up on whether it’s considered great literature (although some genre books are). Be happy that your kid is devouring books one after the other. 

Feed the favorite-author addiction: Once your kids finds a writer they love, they may want to read all of his or her books — a great excuse for a trip to the library or an opportunity for book swapping among friends and classmates. Here are some good bets for favorites. Younger kids: Dav Pilkey (The Adventures of Captain Underpants), Beverly Cleary (Beezus and Ramona). Middle grade: Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn-Dixie), Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book). Tweens and teens: Judy Blume (Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret) and Sarah Dessen (Just Listen). 

Count on the Classics: Books are called classics because they continue to engage readers generation after generation. There are no guarantees, but you could try introducing your kids to books you loved as a kid and see which ones click. Some good ones to try are the Dr. Seuss and Narnia books, Charlotte’s Web, and The Secret Garden. Check out our Classic Books for Kids list to find more. 

Find Books About the Things Your Kid Loves: If your kid adores horses, try Black Beauty or any of the titles on our list of best Horse Books. If he’s wild about cars, trucks and trains, check out our list of Vehicle Books. Librarians, booksellers, and Internet searches will help you find books on any favorite topic.

Funny Is Fine: Some parents wrestle with letting their kids read Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and other edgy humor books about kids getting in trouble. Talk to your kids about the content, but keep in mind that kids like these books not because they want to imitate the characters’ actions but because they can live vicariously through their bad behavior. Humor is a great pathway to book loving.

Comics Are OK: Graphic novels are among the hottest trends in children’s publishing, and they can get kids hooked on reading. Kids may start with Squish and Babymouse and move on to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But these series can also lead to more sophisticated fare such as Marzi andAmerican Born Chinese. Find other titles in our list of best Graphic Novels.  

Make Reading a Family Value: Actions speak louder than words. Take your kids to the library once a week or once a month to get new books, make regular outings to your local bookstore, hunt for low-cost books at used bookstores or second-hand shops, and show kids that finding a good book is like a treasure hunt.

Fit reading into your family lifestyle. Set aside time for reading only — turning off the TV, computer, and cell phone. Encourage focused reading time, either for independent reading or reading aloud. Take preschoolers to story time hours at libraries and bookstores. For older kids, a parent-kid book club can be fun. Read to kids at bedtime. Provide time and space for your kids to read for pleasure in the car (if they don’t get car sick!), on vacation, after homework is done, on their own before bed. Warning: It could be habit-forming! http://www.commonsensemedia.org/new/how-raise-reader?utm_source=newsletter01.12.12&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=feature1

Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved. Parents are an important part because they enforce lessons learned at school by reading to their children and taking their children for regular library time. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/18/reading-is-a-key-component-of-learning/

Resources:

US Department Of Education Helping Series which are a number of pamphlets to help parents and caregivers

How Parents Can Help Their Child Prepare for School Assignments

The ABCs of Ready to Learn

Getting Young Children Ready to Learn

Ebony Magazine’s How to Prepare Your Child for Success

General Tips for Preparing for Kindergarten

Louise Hajjar Diamond in an article for the American School Counselor Association writes about preparing a child for middle school

Getting Your Child Ready to Learn

Classroom Strategies to Get Boys Reading

Me Read? A Practical Guide to Improving Boys Literacy Skills

Understanding Gender Differences: Strategies To Support Girls and Boys

Helping Underachieving Boys Read Well and Often

Boys and Reading Strategies for Success

Related:

Helping at-risk children start a home library                       https://drwilda.com/2012/06/13/helping-at-risk-children-start-a-home-library/

Cultural literacy: Is there necessary core knowledge to be academically successful?                                                              https://drwilda.com/2012/03/12/cultural-literacy-is-there-necessary-core-knowledge-to-be-academically-successful/

The slow reading movement                                                https://drwilda.com/2012/01/31/the-slow-reading-movement/

The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum                                                                       https://drwilda.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART © http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                      http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                   https://drwilda.com/

Sexting’ during school hours

5 Aug

In Teaching children about ‘sexting’ Moi said:

We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Laura Hibbard has an eye opening post at Huffington Post about a teacher who was “sexting” one of her students. In the article, Cynthia Stewart, School Counselor, Jailed For Sexting Boy Hibbard reports:

After allegedly texting naked photos of herself to a 15-year-old boy, 43-year-old school counselor Cynthia Stewart faces possible jail time, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

According to the report, Stewart, a counselor at Olympia Elementary School, has been charged with with solicitation of a minor as well as receipt of child pornography.

Authorities arrested Stewart after the boy’s parents found the correspondance, which included more than 20 naked photos of the counselor, My San Antonio reported.

After the two became friends on Facebook two years ago, their messages turned sexual in nature, the report said. Investigators are still unsure whether or not any sexual exchanges ever took place offline, but are continuing to look into the matter.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/cynthia-stewart-school-counselor-sexting-student_n_1098301.html?ref=education

Unfortunately, “sexting” incidents involving children and adults with authority over them are not that uncommon.

Children are not mature and adults cannot expect the same level of maturity that most adults are presumed to have. Immature people, like kids, will take even harmless interactions and embellish and broadcast them to the world at large. The safest course of action for for teachers who want to be viewed as teacher professionals is to use common sense when using all social media and never put yourself in a situation with a student which can be viewed as compromising.

Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents about teaching children how to use media responsibly. Their information  Talking About “Sexting”  is excellent.

Maureen Feighan reports in the Detroit News article, Schools in Troy seek to curb sexting:

Sexting — texting or emailing sexually explicit pictures or texts — is surging among teens, legal experts say, and one local school district is stepping up the fight against it.

The Troy School District Board of Education adopted a sexting policy this month that puts students on notice that their cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices may be searched starting in September if there’s “reasonable suspicion” of sexting, and local authorities may be contacted.

While school officials say the policy wasn’t prompted by a specific incident, it may be one of the first of its kind to specifically address sexting in a Metro Detroit school district.

“It was just a matter of being proactive and recognizing that unfortunately across the United States with the proliferation of communication devices and social media, it’s … only a matter of time before this may occur,” said Rich Machesky, Troy’s assistant superintendent for secondary instruction.

Still, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has concerns about Troy’s policy, including how broadly it defines materials of a sexual nature and the handing over of a student’s private cellphone to police. They say under the current definition, biology books would be off-limits.

“Usually, this is kids being irresponsible and careless and certainly not criminals, and they shouldn’t be treated that way,” said Michael J. Steinberg, legal director for ACLU Michigan.

One infive teenage girls say they have electronically sent or posted online nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves, according to a national survey, “Sex and Tech,” by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com.

Andone inthree teenage boys say they have had nude or semi-nude images, originally meant to be private, shared with them.

A study by researchers at the University of Michigan found sexting is also common among college-age people. The U-M SexLab and Prevention Research Center of Michigan surveyed 3,500 young adults, ages 18-24, and found 43 percent had received or sent sex-related messages on their phones.

As common as it may be, the consequences are serious. In Michigan, youngsters who sext can be prosecuted under child pornography laws and face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Just possessing sexually explicit material is a four-year felony. A juvenile conviction for a sexual offense could land someone on the state’s sex offender registry….

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls from parents that their kids are facing these serious charges and they’re flabbergasted,” Service said.

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools uses its student code of conduct to make it clear to students that sexting is forbidden.

“If we even suspect it, we get the police involved,” said district spokesman Frank Ruggirello.

But where does student privacy end and a district’s right to know begin? The ACLU’s Steinberg said standards are different for schools; a district has to have reasonable suspicion of possible illegal activity to conduct a search of someone’s belongings. Police, on the other hand, have to have probable cause that a crime has been committed.

“It’s a much higher standard than school officials,” said Steinberg, who has problems with Troy officials potentially acting as agents of the police.

The district’s policy states “all evidence and electronic devices shall be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency.”

Machesky said students could say no to a request to search their cellphone or laptop if a school official suspects sexting; the district would then contact the parents, he said.

If a student is found in violation of the policy, discipline could range from a minor infraction to up to a 10-day suspension.

“The real challenge to policing this whole issue of social media is behavior that happens outside of school versus behavior that happens inside school,” Machesky said. “Where it becomes a gray area is when incidents happen outside of school and may have an impact on school.”
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120731/SCHOOLS/207310359#ixzz22cUJCAvR

See, School district acts to stop ‘sexting’                                           http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/school-district-acts-to-stop-sexting/2012/08/04/fe2e2552-db29-11e1-b829-cab78633af7c_blog.html

Common Sense Media has other great resources including including Caroline Knorr ‘s excellent article, How Rude! manners For the Digital Age

Parent must monitor their child’s use of technology.

Resources:

Sexting Information: What every parent should know about sexting.

http://www.noslang.com/sexting.php

Social Networking and Internet Safety Information for Parents: Sexting

http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/sexting/

Teen Sexting Tips

http://www.safeteens.com/teen-sexting-tips/

Related:

New study about ‘sexting’ and teens                                                                               https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/new-study-about-sexting-and-teens/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Personal learning networks (PLNs) and education

15 Jul

Peter DeWitt has written an interesting Education Week piece about personal learning networks (PLNs), Do Our Students Have PLN’s?

Teachers need to make sure that they are fostering strong PLN’s in the classroom because as much as it is important to learn from a teacher, we also understand that the conversations students have with one another can be invaluable as well.

Through social media and other venues there is a lot of talk about personal learning networks (PLN). A PLN consists of all of the places where you get your information and its how educators tap into educational conversations with colleagues near and far. It’s a fantastic way to stay current in our practice as educators. As a principal, I believe it’s highly important to be connected so I can bring the most current and best resources to staff and in return they share their best resources with me…

Students do have personal learning networks and they have to decide, much like we do, whether that PLN is a good one or a bad one. Their PLN begins with their parents. We have all learned a great deal from our parents and at a very young age they helped shape our thinking before we ever stepped foot into a school building. Our parents taught us how to talk, read (in some cases), walk and how to ride a bike. If you haven’t thanked your parents lately for being the first member of your PLN, perhaps you should.

Secondly, our students learn from their teachers. In some cases it may be a self-contained teacher that they spend their days with in the classroom. Other times they may switch classes and learn from a variety of teachers. Some teachers and the ones they truly connect with and others they just learn from.

Thirdly, students learn from one another. In some cases their peer groups are their strongest PLN. They may work in groups or by just listening to answers that other students give when teachers ask questions. Teachers need to make sure that they are fostering strong PLN’s in the classroom because as much as it is important to learn from a teacher, we also understand that the conversations students have with one another can be invaluable as well.

Lastly, in my opinion (you may have more) students have PLN’s that are on-line. These PLN’s, depending on the age of the student, need to be monitored because they can have positive or negative impacts and consequences. However, connected teachers and principals know that students can learn from the likes of Twitter. There have been countless conversations between classes of students and other educators. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2012/07/do_our_students_have_plns.html?int

For an excellent example of how to create a PLN, see 10 simple steps to creating a free online Personal English Learning Network:

So, how do you find your English speaking friends and create your own Personal English Out There Learning Network? Just follow the process below and you will soon have unlimited English speaking opportunities for free whenever you want them:

  1. Join an international social network like Facebook and a free online web phone like Skype, then make some online friends by joining groups that promote friendship, use the search tool to find groups under ‘meet new people’ or ‘make friends’
  2. Contact people using the words “Hi, I am using a new system called English Out There can I practise English with you, it will only take a few minutes each time”, in the text chat system and using the special pre-written EOT message in our ‘Social Media Tool Kit
  3. Make as many English speaking friends as you can, preferably in different time zones and with different accents, 15 to 20 should be enough
  4. The more practice partners you have the more likely you will be able to practice 24/7 and be able to hear global English
  5. Do the lesson and prepare the Out There Task questions
  6. See who is online and text them to see if they can talk
  7. Call those who say ‘yes’ and use the language from the lesson to break the ice and get going
  8. Talk for about five or six minutes and then say “Goodbye”.
  9. Text another friend in your network and ask the same questions again.
  10. Repeat four or five times with different people in your network.

REMEMBER:  Ask your questions, have a quick chat and then GO! You will be amazed with the results.
http://englishoutthere.com/10-simple-steps-to-creating-a-free-online-personal-english-learning-network

In Children’s sensory overload from technology, moi said:

Like it or not, technology is a part of life. The key is to use technology for YOUR advantage and to not let technology control you. Parents must monitor their children’s use of technology. Caroline Knorr has an excellent article at Common Sense Media, How Rude! Manners For the Digital Age Parents must talk with their children about the responsible use of social media and the Internet. Common Sense Media has some great discussion points in the article, Rules of the Road for Kids https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/childrens-sensory-overload-from-technology/

Resources:

5 Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network                                                                  http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2008/04/5-things-you-can-do-to-begin-developing.html

Personal Learning Networks for Educators: 10 Tips                                                      http://gettingsmart.com/news/personal-learning-networks-for-educators-10-tips/

Building a Learning Network for Students                                                                            http://classroom-aid.com/2011/11/20/building-a-learning-network-for-students/

23 Resources about Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)                                           http://teacherbootcamp.edublogs.org/2010/05/09/16-resources-about-personal-learning-networks-plns/

Related:

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’ https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

What is a creativity index and why are states incorporating the index into education?                                                https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/what-is-a-creativity-index-and-why-are-states-incorporating-the-index-into-education/

The digital divide in classrooms                             https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/the-digital-divide-in-classrooms/

Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/critical-thinking-is-an-essential-trait-of-an-educated-person/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Teaching kids that babies are not delivered by UPS

22 Jan

It is time for some speak the truth, get down discussion. An acquaintance who practices family law told me this story about paternity. A young man left Seattle one summer to fish in Alaska. He worked on a processing boat with 30 or40 others. He had sex with this young woman. He returned to Seattle and then got a call from her saying she was pregnant. He had been raised in a responsible home and wanted to do the right thing for this child. His mother intervened and demanded a paternity test. To make a long story, short. He wasn’t the father. In the process of looking out for this kid’s interests, my acquaintance had all the men on the boat tested and none of the other “partners” was the father. Any man that doesn’t have a paternity test is a fool.

If you are a slut, doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female you probably shouldn’t be a parent.

How to tell if you are a slut?

  1. If you are a woman and your sex life is like the Jack in the Box 24-hour drive through, always open and available. Girlfriend, you’re a slut.
  1. If you are a guy and you have more hoes than Swiss cheese has holes. Dude, you need to get tested for just about everything and you are a slut. 

Humans have free will and are allowed to choose how they want to live. What you do not have the right to do is to inflict your lifestyle on a child. So, the responsible thing for you to do is go to Planned Parenthood or some other outlet and get birth control for yourself and the society which will have to live with your poor choices. Many religious folks are shocked because I am mentioning birth control, but most sluts have few religious inklings or they wouldn’t be sluts. A better option for both sexes, if this lifestyle is a permanent option, is permanent birth control to lessen a contraception failure. People absolutely have the right to choose their particular lifestyle. You simply have no right to bring a child into your mess of a life. I observe people all the time and I have yet to observe a really happy slut. Seems that the lifestyle is devoid of true emotional connection and is empty. If you do find yourself pregnant, please consider adoption.

Let’s continue the discussion. Some folks may be great friends, homies, girlfriends, and dudes, but they make lousy parents. Could be they are at a point in their life where they are too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves, they could be busy with school, work, or whatever. No matter the reason, they are not ready and should not be parents. Birth control methods are not 100% effective, but the available options are 100% ineffective in people who are sexually active and not using birth control. So, if you are sexually active and you have not paid a visit to Planned Parenthood or some other agency, then you are not only irresponsible, you are Eeeevil. Why do I say that, you are playing Russian Roulette with the life of another human being, the child. You should not ever put yourself in the position of bringing a child into the world that you are unprepared to parent, emotionally, financially, and with a commitment of time. So, if you find yourself in a what do I do moment and are pregnant, you should consider adoption.

Why the rant? Live Science reports in the article, 1 in 6 Teen Moms Say They Didn’t Believe They Could Get Pregnant:

Half of teen mothers say they were not using birth control when they got pregnant, and a new report outlines the reasons teens give for not doing so.

Of teen moms who reported not using birth control, 31 percent said they did not believe they could get pregnant at the time. To decrease teen birth rates, teens need factual information about the conditions under which pregnancy can occur, along with public health efforts aimed at reducing or delaying teens’ sexual activities, according to the report released today by researchers for the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Others gave various reasons for not using birth control — 24 percent said their partner did not want to use contraception, 13 percent said they had trouble getting birth control, 9 percent said they experienced side effects from using contraception and 8 percent said they thought their sex partner was sterile. Twenty-two percent of the teens said they did not mind getting pregnant.

Health care providers and parents can work to prevent teen pregnancy by increasing teens’ motivation to avoid pregnancy; providing access to contraception and encouraging the use of more effective methods, and strengthening the skills of teens to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners….

Research has shown that teens who report using birth control do not use it consistently, the report noted. One survey found that among sexually active teens who reported using condoms, only 52 percent said they used a condom every time they had sex.

The rates of not using birth control did not vary among teens of different racial groups — whether white, black or Hispanic, about half the teens reported not using birth control when they became pregnant.

There were some differences among the groups in terms of the reasons teens gave for not using birth control. Forty-two percent of Hispanic teens reported not using contraception because they did not think they could get pregnant at the time, whereas 32 percent of black teens gave that reason and 27 percent of white teens did.

Previous research has shown that 17 percent of all sexually active teens report not using birth control when they last had sex….

About 400,000 U.S. teens ages 15 to 19 give birth each year, which gives the United States the highest teen birth rate in the developed world, according to the report.

Teen mothers are more likely than others to drop out of school, and infants born to teens are more likely to have low birth weight, putting them at risk for a number of health conditions, and lower academic achievement, according to the report.
http://news.yahoo.com/1-6-teen-moms-didnt-believe-could-pregnant-202403188.html

Parents and guardians must have age-appropriate conversations with their children and communicate not only their values, but information about sex and the risks of sexual activity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a plethora of information about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

19 Million

STDs are one of the most critical health challenges facing the nation today. CDC estimates that there are 19 million new infections every year in the United States.

$17 Billion

STDs cost the U.S. health care system $17 billion every year—and cost individuals even more in immediate and life-long health consequences.

CDC’s surveillance report includes data on the three STDs that physicians are required to report to local or state public health authorities—gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis—which represent only a fraction of the true burden of STDs. Some common STDs, like human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital herpes, are not required to be reported.

The latest CDC data show troubling trends in three treatable STDs:

  • Gonorrhea: While reported rates are at historically low levels, cases increased slightly from last year and more than 300,000 cases were reported in 2010. There are also signs from other CDC surveillance systems that the disease may become resistant to the only available treatment option.
  • Chlamydia: Case reports have been increasing steadily over the past 20 years, and in 2010, 1.3 million chlamydia cases were reported. While the increase is due to expanded screening efforts, and not to an actual increase in the number of people with chlamydia, a majority of infections still go undiagnosed. Less than half of sexually active young women are screened annually as recommended by CDC.
  • Syphilis: The overall syphilis rate decreased for the first time in a decade, and is down 1.6 percent since 2009. However, the rate among young black men has increased dramatically over the past five years (134 percent). Other CDC data also show a significant increase in syphilis among young black men who have sex with men (MSM), suggesting that new infections among MSM are driving the increase in young black men. The finding is particularly concerning as there has also been a sharp increase in HIV infections among this population.

For more detailed data on each disease, see the Snapshot and Table.

Less than half of people who should be screened receive recommended STD screening services

Undetected and untreated STDs can increase a person’s risk for HIV and cause other serious health consequences, such as infertility. STD screening can help detect disease early and, when combined with treatment, is one of the most effective tools available to protect one’s health and prevent the spread of STDs to others.

STDs in the United States: A Look Beyond the Data

STDs primarily affect young people, but the health consequences can last a lifetime

Young people represent 25 percent of the sexually experienced population in the United States, but account for nearly half of new STDs. The long-lasting health effects are particularly serious for young people:

  • Untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia can silently steal a young woman’s chance to have her own children later in life. Each year, untreated STDs cause at least 24,000 women in the U.S. to become infertile.
  • Untreated syphilis can lead to serious long-term complications, including brain, cardiovascular, and organ damage. Syphilis in pregnant women can also result in congenital syphilis (syphilis among infants), which can cause stillbirth, death soon after birth, and physical deformity and neurological complications in children who survive. Untreated syphilis in pregnant women results in infant death in up to 40 percent of cases.
  • Studies suggest that people with gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis are at increased risk for HIV. Given the increase in both syphilis and HIV among young black gay and bisexual men, it is particularly urgent to diagnose and treat both diseases.

A range of factors place some populations at greater risk for STDs

STDs affect people of all races, ages, and sexual orientations, though some individuals experience greater challenges in protecting their health. When individual risk behaviors are combined with barriers to quality health information and STD prevention services, the risk of infection increases. While everyone should have the opportunity to make choices that allow them to live healthy lives regardless of their income, education, or racial/ethnic background, the reality is that if an individual lacks resources or has difficult living conditions, the journey to health and wellness can be harder. Even with similar levels of individual risk, African Americans and Latinos sometimes face barriers that contribute to increased rates of STDs and are more affected by these diseases than whites.                                   http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats10/trends.htm                                                                                                 See, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) http://www.emedicinehealth.com/sexually_transmitted_diseases/article_em.htm

Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex, Drugs & Alcohol which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

1. Talk early and talk often about sex. “Teens are thinking about sex from early adolescence and they’re very nervous about it,” explains Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW, Executive Director, Answer, a national sexuality education organization based at Rutgers University.  “They get a lot of misinformation about sex and what it’s supposed to be like. And as a result they think that if they take drugs, if they drink, that’s going to make them feel less nervous.”

Take this quiz to sharpen your talking skills.

2. Take a moment. What if your teen asks a question that shocks you? Dr. Schroeder suggests saying, “‘You know, that’s a great question.‘ or ‘I gotta tell you, I’m not sure if you’re being serious right now but I need a minute.‘” Then regain your composure and return to the conversation.

Learn how to handle personal questions from your teen like: “How old were you when you first had sex?” and “Have you ever used drugs?”

3. Be the source of accurate information. Beyond many school health classes, teens have lots of questions about drugs, pregnancy, condoms, abstinence and oral sex.

Find out what one mom discovered when she sat in on her daughter’s sex ed class.

4. Explain the consequences. Since teen brains aren’t wired yet for consequential thinking and impulse control, it’s important to have frank discussions with your teens about the ramifications of unprotected sex and the importance of using condoms to prevent the spread of STDs, HIV and unwanted pregnancy.

Find out how to guide your child toward healthy risks instead of dangerous ones.

5. Help your child figure out what’s right and wrong. Teens need — and want– limits.  When it comes to things like sexuality, drugs and alcohol, they want to know what the rules and consequences are.

6. Use teachable moments. Watch TV shows (like “16 and Pregnant,”  “Teen Mom,” “Jersey Shore” and “Greek”), movies, commercials, magazine ads and the news with your teen and ask “What did you think about that?” “What did you notice about how these characters interacted?”  “What did you think about the decisions they made?” For us, one of the best ways to talk about a number of heavy topics was to take a drive — that way we weren’t face-to-face.

7.  Explain yourself. Teens need to hear your rationale and why you feel the way you do. One approach is to talk about sex, drugs and alcohol in the context of your family’s values and beliefs.

One of the most challenging moments for me was when my daughters brought up the subject of intercourse.  I explained that my hope was they would not do it until they were in a committed, mutually caring relationship and that it would be a choice, not an attempt to hold onto a relationship and that it would be mutually satisfying.

8. Talk about “sexting.” Texting sexual images and messages is more prevalent than you may think. Read more.

9. Remember how you felt. I know when I started puberty I had many thoughts, feelings and questions that weren’t discussed in my family. Things like body changes, feelings of attraction, acne, weight gain, emotional confusion and the desire to push your parents away.  I wanted to help my daughters avoid that confusion.  I wanted them to understand early on that puberty is a hardwired, biological change that happens to all humans so they become interested in sex for the purposes of procreation. It’s natural to have impulses and feelings that are part and parcel to puberty. Teens don’t have control over these feelings and impulses, but they do have control over whether they act on them.

10. Persevere. Dr. Schroeder warns that your teenager may not want to talk — he or she may shrug and walk away. “Adolescents are supposed to behave in that way when inside what they’re really saying is ‘Keep talking to me about this. I need to know what you think. I’m trying to figure this out for myself as a teenager and if I don’t get messages from you, then I’m not going to know how to do this,’” she explains.

Parents not only have the right, but the duty to communicate their values to their children.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Reading is a key component of learning

18 Jan

The goal of parents, teachers, students, and society should be that all children succeed in obtaining a good basic education. In order to achieve this goal, children must come to school ready to learn. See, Illiteracy in America https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/illiteracy-in-america/

The University of Michigan Health Center explains why reading is important in the article, Reading, Literacy and Your Child:

What is literacy?

Literacy means being able to read and write.

Why is reading important?

A child’s reading skills are important to their success in school and work. In addition, reading can be a fun and imaginative activity for children, which opens doors to all kinds of new worlds for them.  Reading and writing are important ways we use language to communicate.

How do reading and language skills develop?

For an answer to this question, check out the following link:

Research has identified five early reading skills that are all essential.  They are [1]:

  • Phonemic awareness—Being able to hear, identify, and play with individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words.
  • Phonics—Being able to connect the letters of written language with the sounds of spoken language.
  • Vocabulary—The words kids need to know to communicate effectively.
  • Reading comprehension—Being able to understand and get meaning from what has been read.
  • Fluency (oral reading)—Being able to read text accurately and quickly.

How can we make reading part of our family’s lifestyle?
Parents play a critical role in helping their children develop not only the ability to read, but also an enjoyment of reading.

  • Turn off the tube.  Start by limiting your family’s television viewing time. 
  • Teach by example.  If you have books, newspapers and magazines around your house, and your child sees you reading, then your child will learn that you value reading.  You can’t over-estimate the value of modeling. 
  • Read together.  Reading with your child is a great activity.  It not only teaches your child that reading is important to you, but it also offers a chance to talk about the book, and often other issues will come up.  Books can really open the lines of communication between parent and child. 
  • Hit the library.  Try finding library books about current issues or interests in your family’s or child’s life, and then reading them together.  For example, read a book about going to the dentist prior to your child’s next dental exam, or get some books about seashore life after a trip to the coast.  If your child is obsessed with dragons, ask your librarian to recommend a good dragon novel for your child.

There are many ways to include reading in your child’s life, starting in babyhood, and continuing through the teen years.  Focus on literacy activities that your child enjoys, so that reading is a treat, not a chore. http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/reading.htm

Reading skills are particularly important in academic success because of “Common Core Standards Initiative.” The “Common Core State Standards Initiative” is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards/english-language-arts-standards

Reading “Common Core Standards” are described as follows:

English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Foundational Skills » Introduction

These standards are directed toward fostering students’ understanding and working knowledge of concepts of print, the alphabetic principle, and other basic conventions of the English writing system. These foundational skills are not an end in and of themselves; rather, they are necessary and important components of an effective, comprehensive reading program designed to develop proficient readers with the capacity to comprehend texts across a range of types and disciplines. Instruction should be differentiated: good readers will need much less practice with these concepts than struggling readers will. The point is to teach students what they need to learn and not what they already know—to discern when particular children or activities warrant more or less attention. http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards/english-language-arts-standards/reading-foundational-skills/introduction/

As more schools use “Common Core” standards, parents must also work at home to prepare their children.

Regan Mc Mahon of Common Sense Media has written the article, How to Raise a Reader which gives the following advice:

Read aloud: This comes naturally to lots of new parents, but it’s important to keep it up. Kids will enjoy it longer than you think. For babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kids in early grade school, it’s wonderful to have a kid on your lap, snuggled next to you on the couch, or drifting off to sleep in bed as you enjoy picture books together. You may have to read your kid’s favorite a hundred times, but just go with it. Your kid will remember the closeness as well as the story. And try nonfiction for those who are curious about pirates, Vikings, robots, castles, history, sports, biography, animals, whatever. For second through fifth graders, read those rich and meaty books that might be missed otherwise, maybe classics like Treasure Island or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Many parents think that as soon as their kids learn to read on their own, they no longer need to be read to. But kids still love it and benefit from it as they hear the rhythm of the language, learn correct pronunciation, and get to relax and just take it all in. Kids will get the idea that there’s something worthwhile in books and that there’s something special about time spent with a parent.

Savor the series: It’s common for kids to become book lovers for life after getting hooked on a series. And there are lots of good ones that keep kids hungry for the next installment. Some reliable prospects: Ivy and Bean, Judy Moodyfor beginning readers; Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the Percy Jackson series for middle graders; and Hunger Games, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and Twilight (unless you think vampires are too creepy) for older kids.

Grab onto a genre: Kids go through phases of genres they’re passionate about, from girl detectives to science fiction and fantasy. Don’t get hung up on whether it’s considered great literature (although some genre books are). Be happy that your kid is devouring books one after the other. 

Feed the favorite-author addiction: Once your kids finds a writer they love, they may want to read all of his or her books — a great excuse for a trip to the library or an opportunity for book swapping among friends and classmates. Here are some good bets for favorites. Younger kids: Dav Pilkey (The Adventures of Captain Underpants), Beverly Cleary (Beezus and Ramona). Middle grade: Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn-Dixie), Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book). Tweens and teens: Judy Blume (Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret) and Sarah Dessen (Just Listen). 

Count on the Classics: Books are called classics because they continue to engage readers generation after generation. There are no guarantees, but you could try introducing your kids to books you loved as a kid and see which ones click. Some good ones to try are the Dr. Seuss and Narnia books, Charlotte’s Web, and The Secret Garden. Check out our Classic Books for Kids list to find more. 

Find Books About the Things Your Kid Loves: If your kid adores horses, try Black Beauty or any of the titles on our list of best Horse Books. If he’s wild about cars, trucks and trains, check out our list of Vehicle Books. Librarians, booksellers, and Internet searches will help you find books on any favorite topic.

Funny Is Fine: Some parents wrestle with letting their kids read Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and other edgy humor books about kids getting in trouble. Talk to your kids about the content, but keep in mind that kids like these books not because they want to imitate the characters’ actions but because they can live vicariously through their bad behavior. Humor is a great pathway to book loving.

Comics Are OK: Graphic novels are among the hottest trends in children’s publishing, and they can get kids hooked on reading. Kids may start with Squish and Babymouse and move on to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But these series can also lead to more sophisticated fare such as Marzi and American Born Chinese. Find other titles in our list of best Graphic Novels.  

Make Reading a Family Value: Actions speak louder than words. Take your kids to the library once a week or once a month to get new books, make regular outings to your local bookstore, hunt for low-cost books at used bookstores or second-hand shops, and show kids that finding a good book is like a treasure hunt.

Fit reading into your family lifestyle. Set aside time for reading only — turning off the TV, computer, and cell phone. Encourage focused reading time, either for independent reading or reading aloud. Take preschoolers to story time hours at libraries and bookstores. For older kids, a parent-kid book club can be fun. Read to kids at bedtime. Provide time and space for your kids to read for pleasure in the car (if they don’t get car sick!), on vacation, after homework is done, on their own before bed. Warning: It could be habit-forming!

http://www.commonsensemedia.org/new/how-raise-reader?utm_source=newsletter01.12.12&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=feature1

Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved. Parents are an important part because they enforce lessons learned at school by reading to their children and taking their children for regular library time.

Resources:

US Department Of Education Helping Series which are a number of pamphlets to help parents and caregivers

How Parents Can Help Their Child Prepare for School Assignments

The ABCs of Ready to Learn

Getting Young Children Ready to Learn

Ebony Magazine’s How to Prepare Your Child for Success

General Tips for Preparing for Kindergarten

Louise Hajjar Diamond in an article for the American School Counselor Association writes about preparing a child for middle school

Getting Your Child Ready to Learn

Classroom Strategies to Get Boys Reading

Me Read? A Practical Guide to Improving Boys Literacy Skills

Understanding Gender Differences: Strategies To Support Girls and Boys

Helping Underachieving Boys Read Well and Often

Boys and Reading Strategies for Success

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©