Is Magna RX Effective: What You Should Know About Magna RX

WENDY LOCKER: NOTHING ABSTRACT ABOUT THE LESSONS OF PLAY

6/10/2017

Read Wendy Locker’s insightful article, as published in the Stamford Advocate, at http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Wendy-Lecker-Nothing-abstract-about-the-lessons-11208722.php

WHY PLAY IS VITAL IN PRESCHOOL: DEY’S RESPONSE TO THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORT SUPPORTING FLASH CARDS OVER FREE PLAY

6/6/2017

DEY Senior Advisor and Wheelock College professor, Dr. Diane Levin, writes DEY’s response:

At Defending the Early Years (DEY; www.thedeyproject.com) we work to promote appropriate educational practice in early childhood. Dana Goldstein’s May 30th article, “Free Play or Flashcards? New Study Nods to More Rigorous Preschools” (NY Times, 5/30/17) not only left us puzzled but raised several important questions.

Should a find out about that observed a 2½-month attain in educational capabilities when taught in preschool impact early childhood coverage and practice? How can one argue for giving up large chunks of playtime for educational instructing to make such minimal positive aspects in tutorial performance—with little consideration of what different areas may have misplaced out due to the fact of the focal point on educational skills?  Studies of Head Start packages that taught educational competencies to preschoolers in the 1960’s and 1970’s located that features made in educational overall performance over adolescents in extra play-based Head Start applications had been commonly long past with the aid of 2nd grade (i.e., “fade-out effect,” as noted in the article).  Furthermore, lookup in many European countries, which do now not begin formal analyzing education till age seven, indicates that beginning formal instructing of studying in the past has little benefit.

Play-based early childhood programs are all-too-often misunderstood.  Just having played in a preschool is not enough, as all play is not the same.  When a baby dabbles from one pastime to another, tries out one cloth and then the next, and/or does the equal pastime day-after-day, this is no longer fine play or, necessarily, even play.  And, even when a baby does turn out to be greater absolutely engaged in an pastime that develops over time and is significant play, instructors have a necessary function in facilitating the play to assist the baby take it further.  The trainer additionally makes selections about how to combine greater formal early literacy and math abilities into the play—for instance, via supporting a baby dictate testimonies about his portray and pointing out some of the key phrases and letters involved, etc.   The trainer can then assist the toddler “read” the story at a category meeting.  With block building, the trainer and baby may talk about shapes, as she tries to discover the proper form for her structure.

This kind of intentional teacher-facilitated learning through play contributes to the many foundational skills children need for later school success, including self-regulation, social skills, creativity, original thinking, oral language development, eye-hand coordination, pre-literacy and math skills, and positive attitudes toward problem-solving.  And, in the long run, these foundational skills are much more important for how children will feel about and perform later in school than the 2½ months gain they might obtain from the early skill instruction received in preschool, as reported in the New York Times article.

Rather than debating over free play versus flashcards, possibly we ought to be asking the greater questions:

  1. Why are years of research on the benefits of quality play in preschool programs so often ignored?
  2. Why is it assumed that tutorial abilities are so necessary to emphasize in preschool as a substitute than a focal point on the improvement of the “whole child” and foundational abilities that put together teenagers for faculty success in the later years?
  3. Why are play and mastering so frequently dealt with as if they are  dichotomous, as they seem to be in this report?

NETWORK FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION RELEASES ITS NPE TOOLKIT: SCHOOL PRIVATIZATION EXPLAINED

4/26/2017

This complete toolkit will reply questions about constitution colleges and college privatization.

HIGH SCHOOL SHOULD BE MORE LIKE PRESCHOOL

4/8/2017

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Secondary education is now borrowing ideas from early childhood. Published April 7, 2017, in The Hechinger Report, read the full article here.

KINDERGARTEN READINESS ASSESSMENTS

4/4/2017

DON’T USE KINDERGARTEN READINESS ASSESSMENTS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY

More than forty states both have or are in the method of creating Kindergarten Readiness Assessments (KRA), a device to measure children’s readiness for kindergarten. While KRAs have a number of advantages for educating and learning, the outcomes can additionally be used inappropriately, in accordance to a latest Ounce of Prevention Fund report, “ Uses and Misuses of Kindergarten Readiness Assessments.
Read the entire article here.

STOP HUMILIATING TEACHERS

2/22/2017

“Stop Humiliating Teachers” through David Denby used to be posted in the Feb. 11, 2017 problem of The New Yorker.

DEY ISSUES A STATEMENT OPPOSING BETSY DEVOS’ NOMINATION FOR SECRETARY OF EDUCATION

1/27/2017

DEY is issuing a statement in opposition to the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. 
 
DeVos showed in her listening to testimony on January seventeenth that she is profoundly unqualified to serve as Secretary of Education. She used to be unable to reply primary questions or tackle controversial issues. But, most importantly, she is towards public schooling and, instead, wishes to privatize public education.  DeVos has a verified records of aiding efforts that discriminate in opposition to low-income communities and communities of color.  At DEY, we aid the equal chance of each younger toddler for an great education.  We are particularly worried that DeVos will undermine the countrywide and kingdom efforts to promote conventional preschool public education. 
 
For greater records about advocacy for suitable public education, go to DEY’s internet site at  www.thedeyproject.com.

ECE POLICY MATTERS’ SUSAN OCHSHORN DISCUSSES BETSY DE VOS NOMINATION AND DEY’S LATEST REPORT, “TEACHERS SPEAK OUT”

1/22/2017

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THE POWER OF THEIR VOICES: EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHERS TALK SCHOOL REFORM

(originally published on Jan. 19, 2017)

A former preschool instructor carried the torch for democracy at the affirmation listening to for Betsy DeVos, Donal Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education.  “The Senate have to to be a rubber stamp, Patty Murray said.  We owe it t the American humans to put households and adolescents first, now not billionaires.”

Those have been conflict phrases from the mild-mannered senator from Washington State, and senior Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee.  Especially with Microsoft and Amazon amongst her pinnacle marketing campaign contributors from 2011 to 2016.   But as the effects of our latest election attest, women’s ascent to strength is convoluted.  The pacts we make can be Faustian: these days, a former Microsoft govt runs Washington’s branch of early learning.

In the week earlier than the hearing, as opponents of DeVos signed petitions, referred to as their senators, and advised participants of the HELP committee to dump her, Defending the Early Years, a nonprofit agency primarily based in Boston, released  “Teachers Speak Out.” The report highlights the concerns of early childhood teachers about the impact of school reforms on low-income children.  Authors Diane E. Levin and Judith L. Van Hoorn culled their data from interviews with 34 educators in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington, DC.

The link between socioeconomic status and academic achievement has been firmly installed in research.  According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, forty seven percentage of teenagers beneath six years historical lived in  low-income families near or below the poverty line in 2014. The stage rises to almost 70 percentage for Black and Native-American young people and sixty four percentage for Hispanic youngsters.  In a latest survey performed through the Council of Chief State School Officers—which helped design  the Common Core standards—teachers throughout the United States listed household stress, poverty, and mastering and psychological issues as the pinnacle limitations to pupil success.

Yet the mandates of the Common Core are exacerbating the problem.  As Levin and Van Hoorn point out in the report’s introduction, “recent reforms…have been developed and implemented by people with good intentions but often little formal knowledge of early child development.”   Those with the understanding now face a  “profound moral dilemma.”  As top-down mandates dictate the instructing and evaluation of slim tutorial abilities at youthful and youthful ages, early childhood educators are pressured to do the “least harm,” instead than the “most good.”

In an exchange at the hearing, between DeVos and Todd Young, a Republican senator from Indiana, she crowed about our “great opportunity…to really empower [teachers] in a new way to do what they do best.”   She horrifies educators.  They’ve been leaving the field, exhausted and dispirited, in file numbers.  Respect for the occupation and morale are at an all-time low, as instructors have picked up the slack for a society that starves its colleges and communities, and blames them for all its ills.  But out of this malaise, a new activism has emerged, with high-quality electricity devoted to defeating her.

Early childhood teachers—with some excellent exceptions—have been lacking from the action. The motives are complex.  This is a body of workers that has lengthy been marginalized, their work devalued, and know-how ignored.  “It’s simply babysitting,” New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, stated some years ago, of his state’s prekindergarten program—a understanding shared by using many, and internalized by way of these in the field.  Salaries for educators working in community-based packages are substantially much less than these of their colleagues in the public schools.  Many are residing in poverty, and bothered through the poisonous stress frequent amongst their students. The most recent practitioners are concerned about inserting their careers at risk.  Few have been inclined to go on the report with their critique.

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​As I study thru the report, I stored underlining the costs from the teachers, as if to enlarge them, to raise them off the page.  They’re struggling to honor early childhood’s sturdy proof base, however they’re undermined by means of a lack of business enterprise and autonomy:

The believe in my understanding and judgment as a instructor is gone.  So are the play and mastering facilities in my classroom.  Everything is supposed to be structured for a precise lesson and rigidly timed to in shape into a specific, tight, preapproved schedule.

The negative impact of reforms on children’s development and learning can’t be overstated. Practice has become more rote, and standardized, with less time for deep relationships—among children, and between them and caring adults.  We’re stealing the heart of high-quality early education, as the individual strengths, interests, and needs of children get lost:

With this excessive emphasis on what’s known as ‘rigorous academics,’ drills are emphasized.  It’s a whole lot more difficult for my teenagers to grow to be self-regulated learners.  Children have no time to examine to self-regulate via selecting their personal activities, taking part in ongoing initiatives with their classmates, or enjoying creatively.  They have to sit down longer, however their interest spans are shorter.

The authors carry us into the lecture rooms studied by means of Daphna Bassok, Scott Lathem, and Anna Rorem, of the University of Virginia, who used two large, nationally consultant statistics units to evaluate public school  kindergarten classrooms between 1998 and 2010. More formal, directed coaching in reading, writing, and math, as soon as the province of first grade, has trickled down into kindergarten.  Close studying is becoming section of the predicted talent set of 5-year-olds, and the strain has extended, in some cases, to prekindergarten, the place youngsters are being requested to grasp analyzing via the give up of the year. The repercussions are severe:

It’s necessary for each kindergarten infant to experience welcomed and included, to be section of the class. Instead, we’re isolating the cream from the milk.  From the beginning, we’re telling children who are poor, ‘You’re deficient,’ rather of assisting them grow to be capable and sense profitable and section of their class.  Then it’s ‘remedial this, remedial that.’  It’s discrimination.

The record concludes with a sequence of recommendations—from the actual professionals in the room.  The first calls for the withdrawal of modern-day early childhood requirements and mandates. Another urges the use of true assessment, based totally on observations of children, their development, and learning.  Number ten addresses baby poverty, our country wide stain:

Work at all tiers of society to reduce, and subsequently stop infant poverty.  To do this, we need to first renowned that a slender center of attention on enhancing faculties will now not resolve the complicated issues related with toddler poverty.

Breaking the silence used to be in no way so sweet.  Now it’s time, as John Lewis says, to get in suitable trouble.

DEFENDING THE EARLY YEARS RELEASES ITS LATEST REPORT: “TEACHERS SPEAK OUT: HOW SCHOOL REFORMS ARE FAILING LOW-INCOME YOUNG CHILDREN”

1/9/2017

Defending the Early Years is proud to announce the release of its newest report, “Teachers Speak Out: How School Reforms Are Failing Low-Income Young Children.”  

In the wake of federal and state education mandates, this report documents interviews with early childhood teachers across the country about how school reforms negatively affect low-income young children.
 
Authored by Diane E. Levin, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Wheelock College, and Judith L. Van Hoorn, Professor Emerita, University of the Pacific and published by Defending the Early Years, the report finds that the mandates disregard teachers’ knowledge of child development, culturally appropriate practice, and how to meet the diverse educational needs of poor children.
 
Find the full 16-page report here.

Find the two-page summary report here.

Find the press release here.

NETWORK FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION MOUNTING A CAMPAIGN TO DEFEAT BETSY DEVOS AS SECRETARY OF EDUCATION

1/6/2017

Senate hearings on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education begin on January 11, 2017. Many educators have grave concerns about Mrs. DeVos.  See “A Sobering Look at What Betsy DeVos Did to Education in Michigan – and What She Might Do as Secretary of Education ” from The Answer Sheet in The Washington Post and “Betsy DeVos and God’s Plan for Schools” in the Dec. 13, 2016 New York Times.

Network for Public Education is mounting a marketing campaign and encouraging educators and different worried residents to contact their Senator.  Find a pattern letter and the addresses of all Senators at  https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-your-senator-to-vote-no-for-betsy-devos?source=facebook& amp;. Or write your own letter, in your own words.

Another option is to call 202-225-3121 and be connected with any congressional member, both Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. Tell the staffer who answers that you are opposed to Mrs. DeVos’ confirmation as Secretary of Education.  They will ask for your name and zip code and tally your call as a “yay” or “nay.” 

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