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Your Favorite Early Years Posts of 2015

30-SR-Literacy-Alabama-Reading-Initiative-selma-blog.jpgIt's been an exciting year at Early Years. It was Lillian's first full year on the blog. She had a great time launching the Ask A Scientist series, which has gotten a huge response from readers. Christina, meanwhile, has been on top of all the big D.C. policy changes of the year, keeping you up to date on federal policy implications for early learning. 

We've tallied up the most popular posts of the year, listed below in reverse order. And if you read all the way to the end of the post, you'll find a bonus: our personal favorite posts, even if they weren't the most widely read.

10. Working Brain Science Into Parents' Daily Routine—Can an app help parents be the best "first teachers" they can be?

9. Study: Talkative Fathers Matter for Young Children—Kids with talkative fathers hear more language at home overall and do better in school.

8. Do 4-Year-Olds Lose When They Share a Classroom With 3-Year-Olds?—Younger children may distract teachers and lower the academic expectations for older learners.

7. Doctors' Group Signals Potential New Guidance on 'Screen Time'—Now that iPads (and touch-screen tablets of all brands) are so popular, the American Academy of Pediatrics may revise its guidelines on screen time for young children.

6. Racial and Economic Segregation Starts in Preschool, Study Finds—Low-income and minority children often attend low-quality, non-diverse early-childhood programs.

5. Adjectives, Social Cues, Screens and More: What Scientists Know about Baby Brains—Missed SXSWedu 2015? Here's a Q&A with the most popular early-childhood speaker there.

4. 'Sesame Street' Boosted School Readiness for Young Children, Study Says—Boys, black children, and children living in poor neighborhoods were affected particularly strongly.

3. How Much Are You Paying For Child Care? Maybe Not as Much as You Think—A new analysis of child-care costs finds an increase more like 14 percent since 1990, not the 39 percent increase that has been widely reported.

2. Social Competence in Kindergarten Linked to Adult Success—Kids who share, solve problems, and cooperate stay in school longer, according to a new report.

1. Ask A Scientist: How Does Vocabulary Size at Age 2 Affect Kindergarten Performance?—A toddler's vocabulary has a direct impact on his or her ability to behave well and meet academic standards in kindergarten.

Christina's favorite post of 2015: Preschoolers, Elders Share Retirement Home and Equal Billing in Planned Film—Filmmaker Evan Briggs launched a Kickstarter campaign to help pay for a documentary about a Seattle preschool that shares space with a retirement community. The clips released thus far are truly charming. 

Lillian's favorite: Ask A Scientist: Can Brain Scanners 'See' a Kid's Imagination at Work?—Perhaps not surprisingly, children who are read to often at home and who have many books in their homes are better at visualizing stories read aloud to them. 

Warm wishes from all of us here at Early Years, we look forward to keeping you in the loop on all things early in 2016. ~Lillian and Christina 

Photo: Kindergartners Jaylen Rivers, Jalisha Lee, and KenmaJ Shell, left to right, practice literacy skills with their teacher, Diane Daniel, at Southside Primary School in Selma, Ala.—Julie Bennett for Education Week

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