Professional Development: Blog

The Science of Learning

June 30, 2020
How to Master Mastery-Based Learning

What can educators do to help students recoup this year’s learning loss? One promising idea is mastery-based learning. What is mastery-based learning? Why is it more important than ever? Finally, and most excitingly, how does Elements I utilize this approach to meet secondary readers’ needs?

June 24, 2020
Stopping and Slowing the COVID Slide: Part 2

In part one of this blog series, I reviewed four principles from the science of learning that can boost academic gains through both conventional and remote instruction. Here, I will discuss four more brain-based educational guidelines that educators can implement while simultaneously fostering social-emotional learning support.

June 16, 2020
Sneak Preview: Elements I for Secondary Readers

Driven by our mission to help all students achieve their learning potential, we at Scientific Learning are excited to announce that Elements I, the newest addition to the Fast ForWord Literacy program for secondary readers, is launching August 6, 2020. Enjoy this sneak preview of the four brand-new Elements I exercises, side-by-side with the legacy exercises they will replace.

June 10, 2020
Let Them Play! Summer Learning When There's Nowhere to Go

With limitations on summer learning and activities due to closures of schools, summer camps, and recreational businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your children's summer might be less scheduled than usual. This opportunity for free, unstructured play can actually be beneficial! What is unstructured play, and what important skills does it build?

May 28, 2020
Slowing and Stopping the COVID Slide: Part 1

Educators are concerned that the current restrictions on in-person instruction necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic will significantly decrease academic gains among a large swath of children in the United States. Given that current U.S. government data indicate only one-third of fourth-graders have the reading skills considered proficient, the "COVID slide" could result in a further decline in literacy skills, especially among our most vulnerable students. Why will the COVID slide occur and what can educators do to combat it?

May 20, 2020
The Social-Emotional Impact of School Closures on Teachers and Students

COVID-19, without question, has left a permanent impact on the lives of many educators and students around the world. Millions of teachers have altered their traditional classroom routines through remote instruction to finish out the 2019-2020 school year. The lack of peer interaction, the absence of proper guidance and expectations, and the additional stress caused by the global pandemic itself have led to emotional distress among many students and teachers. Their social-emotional needs will need to be met when they return to the classroom. What are the major ways in which school closures have impacted students’ and teachers’ social-emotional well-being and quality of learning?

May 13, 2020
New Research Shows Accelerated Reading Growth in Boone County, KY

A “gold standard” research study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the Fast ForWord program on improving language and literacy skills. In the 2018-2019 school year, eighty-eight students in grades 3-8 from two Boone County Schools in KY participated in a randomized controlled trial. Students who used Fast ForWord jumped from the 37th percentile to the 54th percentile and made gains of 8 months in just 7.5 weeks.

May 7, 2020
You, Unplugged: Finding Balance with Extended Reading, Writing, and Thinking Time

After years of experts warning about excessive screen time, we find ourselves in front of screens all day during the coronavirus lockdown. We're not necessarily doing anything wrong—this is just life in the new COVID-19 world. But we should consciously unplug when and how we can. Read why unplugging is important for our brains and a key suggestion you can try today!

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