5 articles I loved this week. (Weekly Smart Picks #45)

How do kids find best friends? What milestones should your child achieve by Kindergarten? These questions and more are addressed in this week's roundup of some of my favorite articles. Enjoy!

 

Photo Source: Marvel Entertainment via NPR

Photo Source: Marvel Entertainment via NPR

Who are the women of the A-Force?

So many kids love comics, and they are often the first stop on a lifetime love of reading, especially for boys. Now, "for the first time in history, the group known as Earth's mightiest heroes will be composed entirely of women." This fascinating interview with G. Willow Wilson, the writer behind the restructuring, is worth a listen. You'll also get the scoop on the brand new character joining the A-Force!  
 

 

Photo Source: Wall Street Journal

Photo Source: Wall Street Journal

How do kids find close friends?

It's harder for kids to form lasting friendships today given a rise in extracurricular activities and screen time. This article explores the reality that faces kids today, and also provides a few tips and tools for ensuring our kids are well-equipped to find and nurture lasting, close friendships.


 

Photo Source: Teach Like a Champion

Photo Source: Teach Like a Champion

The importance of reading aloud spans beyond vocabulary development. Take it from this incredible educator...

Doug Lemov, author of "Teach Like a Champion," among much more, recently wrote a fantastic blog post about the importance of reading aloud to kids. Readers loved it so much that they asked him to write the post in an even more plainspoken version. It will give you a new perspective onwhyreading aloud with kids is so important. 




Photo Credit: KQED MindShift

Photo Credit: KQED MindShift

Why does the teacher's pet resemble the teacher?
It turns out that teachers may pick favorites based on the similarities s/he sees with a student, and not necessarily based on the student's abilities. I can't say that I find the new paper published on this topic to be terribly surprising, but some of the data points are interesting, and it certainly has me thinking about the implications for my own kids, as well as other students. 
Photo: MindShift KQED


 

Photo Credit: TechCrunch

Photo Credit: TechCrunch

YouTube Kids is here!
For years, we have all wanted a curated YouTube site for our kids. Sure, we can find one video that works well for our family, but then the videos suggested after one ends are often not appropriate. Your YouTube woes are a thing of the past. Learn more about the new app here. I especially love how the content is still highly curated, despite the incredible volume of videos on YouTube.


 

BONUS: Do you know your child's learning milestones?
A couple of weeks ago, Great Schools released this new Milestones site. Milestones is a free collection of videos that show you how to understand what grade level milestones really mean. You can find videos of a child decoding text, identifying the meaning of a new word, and more. This includes grades K-5 and is a terrific resource!