American Educator: Summer 2014

  • Where We Stand

  • Notebook

  • News in Brief

  • ShareMyLesson

  • Tools for Teachers and Resources

  • Giving Young Children the Curriculum They Deserve

    In recent years, a growing consensus has emerged about the importance of early childhood education. Educators, policymakers, and researchers recognize that because students come to school with large differences in their prior learning, early childhood classrooms can help level the playing field...

  • The Magic of Words

    Teaching Vocabulary in the Early Childhood Classroom Susan B. Neuman, Tanya S. Wright

    It seems almost intuitive that developing a large and rich vocabulary is central to learning to read. Logically, children must know the words that make up written texts in order to understand them, especially as the vocabulary demands of content-related materials increase in the upper grades....

  • Evidence of Student Learning

    Susan B. Neuman, Tanya S. Wright

    In the past six years, we have had opportunities to test our approach to vocabulary learning in many different settings, and with children who come from low-income communities, many of whom are English language learners. Here, we highlight some of what we've learned, and why it is so important...

  • Starting Off Strong

    The Importance of Early Learning Chrys Dougherty

    As our nation strives to have all students graduate from high school ready for college and other postsecondary learning opportunities, we have to confront the reality that we are far from achieving this goal. The problem is most severe with economically disadvantaged students. For example, in...

  • Taken for Granted

    Why Curriculum Content Is Like Oxygen Carolyn Gosse, Lisa Hansel

    When asked what matters most in life, it's easy to quickly answer family and friends. It's loved ones we care about most, so the answer is appropriate—but is it entirely accurate? Of course not. The precise answer, which no one wants to hear, begins with oxygen.

    Life is full of such...

  • Content on the Cutting-Room Floor

    A Brief History of the Elementary Curriculum Ruth Wattenberg

    The basic treatment of content in the elementary grades has not changed for decades. A Nation at Risk, the 1983 report of the National Commission on Excellence in Education,1 decried "disturbing inadequacies" in American education, including the wholly inadequate content...

  • Playful Immersion

    Centers and Activities Reinforce Emerging Knowledge and Skills Carolyn Gosse, Lisa Hansel

    CKLA Preschool kits come with an array of materials to infuse language-, vocabulary-, and knowledge-building opportunities throughout the various centers and activities typically found in a high-quality preschool setting. The materials include trade books, posters with nursery rhymes and songs,...

  • Preschoolers to Presidents

    CKLA Builds Knowledge Step by Step Carolyn Gosse, Lisa Hansel

    As described in the main article here, CKLA Preschool is carefully designed to build knowledge and vocabulary. Across the year, children participate in interactive read-alouds and enjoy activities grouped in five core...

  • Ask the Cognitive Scientist: Math Anxiety: Can Teachers Help Students Reduce It?

    Sian L. Beilock, Daniel T. Willingham

    Question: Some of my students seem to get really nervous about math. I can understand not liking the subject very much—to be honest, I don't love it myself—but their nervousness seems to get in the way of their understanding. How can I reassure them or otherwise make them less...

  • Writing about Writing

    The Challenge of Helping Students "Get It Down on Paper" Andy Waddell

    In the 1954 novel The Horse and His Boy, part of "The Chronicles of Narnia" series by C. S. Lewis, an aristocratic young lady from a country called Calormen is called upon to relate her tale. Lewis describes the lady's audience as listening avidly, "For in Calormen, story-telling (...