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American Educator
Summer 2014


Table of Contents

Giving Young Children the Curriculum They Deserve (PDF) (HTML)

The Magic of Words (PDF) (HTML)
Teaching Vocabulary in the Early Childhood Classroom
By Susan B. Neuman and Tanya S. Wright

From the beginning of schooling, children from various socioeconomic groups differ greatly in their vocabulary knowledge; those from high-income families tend to know many more words than those from low-income ones. Research shows that certain practices for teaching vocabulary—an important building block for learning—such as making connections among words and repeatedly exposing students to content-related words, can accelerate young children's oral vocabulary development, regardless of family income.

Evidence of Student Learning (PDF) (HTML)

Starting Off Strong (PDF) (HTML)
The Importance of Early Learning
By Chrys Dougherty

Our nation is far from ensuring that all students, especially economically disadvantaged ones, graduate from high school ready for college and other postsecondary education. Because learning gaps appear early, it's important to strengthen early childhood education by building a rigorous curriculum across subjects to develop students' knowledge and vocabulary.

Taken for Granted (PDF) (HTML)
Why Curriculum Content Is Like Oxygen
By Carolyn Gosse and Lisa Hansel

A rich curriculum is the necessary precondition for improving schools—and it's essential that students receive it early. Core Knowledge Language Arts is one child-friendly, content-rich program for preschool through third grade that can help teachers begin to build the broad academic knowledge and vocabulary that all children need.

Content on the Cutting-Room Floor (PDF) (HTML)
A Brief History of the Elementary Curriculum
By Ruth Wattenberg

Playful Immersion (PDF) (HTML)

Preschoolers to Presidents (PDF) (HTML)

Ask the Cognitive Scientist (PDF) (HTML)
Math Anxiety: Can Teachers Help Students Reduce It?
By Sian L. Beilock and Daniel T. Willingham

Although math makes some students anxious, research shows that teachers can rely on a few techniques to assist those whose nervousness impedes understanding.

Writing about Writing (PDF) (HTML)
The Challenge of Helping Students "Get It Down on Paper"
By Andy Waddell

An English teacher reflects on various aspects of student writing, such as correcting common mistakes and supporting students in facing the blank page.

Where We Stand (PDF)
A Strong Start for All Young Learners
By Randi Weingarten

Notebook (PDF)

News in Brief (PDF)

ShareMyLesson (PDF)

Tools for Teachers and Resources (PDF)

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Spring 2014


About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 775,000.

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