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  • Digital Games: Learning through Gameplay – A Prequel
    Have you ever observed a person playing a video game? Have you ever witnessed the intense range of emotions, extreme task commitment, engagement, and focus players experience as they smash buttons and hold on to their game controllers for dear life? My ten-year-old son, Connor, amazes me with his proficiency in playing games on the family game console or his tablet. I was guilty of sta...
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  • Tracks in the mud
    What’s your brain doing as you read these words? How did it learn to read in the first place? The remarkable journey of just one letter reveals the surprising answers. Chase a beam of light as it bounces off this page and into an eye, through a three-millimeter aperture in an iris, making a splotchy pattern of dark and light on a retina. Where it lands, a cell fires. Millions more fir...
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  • Your Brain on Words
    Discover the remarkable neurological changes that take place in the brain as students learn to read. 
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  • Rewiring the brain for reading: Q&A with Bruce McCandliss, Ph.D.
    Neuroscientific research is now yielding advanced insights into the connections between brain science and learning success, especially literacy. At the leading edge of this research is Bruce McCandliss, Ph.D., head of the Educational Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Stanford University. We asked Dr. McCandliss to tell us about the impact of brain activity on literacy—and the potent...
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  • How to bring joy into the classroom
    As a third-grader in Ithaca, New York, I picked up a book by the great American poet A.R. Ammons. I opened it, not because I was interested in great American poetry, but because the poet’s son, John Ammons, a towering fifth-grader, was the school’s best basketball player. I wanted to be more like John, and thought that maybe his father’s poetry could help.
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  • 6 Ways to Help Students Enjoy School
    Introduction by Amplify staff...How can we inspire joy in learning? Another more concrete, actionable way to answer that question is: how can we get students to enjoy school? Let’s face it: a concrete, actionable—and provocative—question that will help unlock the answer is: Why don’t students enjoy school?
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  • How teachers find joy—for themselves
    Teachers strive to bring joy into their classrooms. That’s easiest, of course, when they’ve got reserves to share. Here’s what teachers told us about how they bring joy into their own lives.
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  • Not all literacy intervention is created equal.
    What makes for effective literacy intervention? What makes for ineffective literacy intervention? When considering intervention options, these questions matter. Yet wading through the research, the different pedagogical theories behind intervention products and the specifics of how a tool works can be confusing and take enormous amounts of time. As you spend time trying to understand w...
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  • The 10 knowledge domains that will give your students an advantage on PARCC/SBAC tests.
    We analyzed 100 reading passages from grades 3 through 5 state literacy tests to determine which knowledge domains appear most commonly in questions. We also found that students who had studied our K-5 Core Knowledge Language Arts® (CKLA™) curriculum would have prior knowledge relevant to more than 75% of passages reviewed on summative tests like PARCC and SBAC.
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  • When Kids Collide with Content
    When I was a teacher, his name was Jacob. He was the kid teachers remember. He knew stuff. He’d been places. And he wanted to know more. Not more about any topic, but one particular topic—the Ancient Romans.
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