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News from FABBS

More than Words: The Cornerstone of Reading Comprehension

Learning to read is one of the most fundamental, and yet most complex, tasks for young students. Despite many national initiatives to boost reading instruction, an alarming number of children still struggle: on a test sometimes called “the Nation’s Report Card,” (the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP), almost half of fourth and eighth graders were rated as below proficient in reading in 2015. Part of the reason it’s so challenging to become proficient is that reading

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To Make Every Child a Reader, Teach Them All Differently

It’s hard to believe that questions about how children learn to read could cause a war, but in the 1970’s and 80’s, that’s exactly what happened. During the “reading wars,” proponents of the phonics approach believed beginning readers needed to focus on sounding out letters and words, while whole language advocates argued for immersing children in interesting texts and focusing on meaning, with the faith that reading specific words would follow. That debate has long been settled

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For Teaching Math, Two Ways Are Better Than One

If you think you’re bad at math, you’re not alone. Large percentages of adults lack confidence in their math skills; even teachers have surprisingly low ratings of their ability in the subject. But it might be possible to reverse that trend for our children. Research suggests that one straightforward approach can help students develop a clearer understanding of math: teaching multiple strategies to perform the same skill. When teachers demonstrate two ways to do subtraction or multiply

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Believing is Seeing

Most of us can think of a time we engaged in wishful thinking, and it probably didn’t work out as we hoped. But the situation was likely out of our conscious control, because we are predisposed to see what we want to see – literally. Through a combination of social and cognitive psychology, Emily Balcetis of New York University has found that our desires influence our visual and cognitive attention, biasing us to see things in a certain way, even when we think we are being impartial. That

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