Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.

Counting on Dolphins

By Gail Hennessey | January 24 , 2006

Talon leaping.
Talon leaping, which shows that he has incredible physical power as well as brain power. (Photo: Dolphin Research Center, Florida)
January 24, 2006

Talon and Rainbow are learning math, but they are not typical students. They are dolphins!

The math classes are part of a new study that shows dolphins may have cognitive, or thinking, abilities that allow them to understand math.

"Not much is known about the dolphin's ability to think mathematically," Emily Guarino told Scholastic News Online. Guarino is a research coordinator at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys.

Before Guarino and her team ran the study, researchers had to train the bottlenose dolphins to recognize the different number of dots on blackboards.

Once Talon and Rainbow learned what to do, they each took turns pointing their nose at the board with fewer white dots. Each time they were correct, positive reinforcement was given.

"A whistle is blown each time they do the right thing and they receive a fish. But more than fish is the enthusiasm and encouragement they receive when correct," Guarino said.

The research feels like a game to the dolphins, Guarino added. They love getting positive reinforcement like high fives, rubs, kisses, and even cheers.

In the study, a trainer sat in a booth wearing eyeglasses and a hat so that she wouldn't give any clues to the dolphins. Guarino then stood behind the screen selecting different boards.

The two dolphins picked the right board with the least amount of white dots about 80 percent of the time.

Guarino also said that this ability for dolphins to understand some math concepts might show that "humans and dolphins share something in common; our brains may work in the same ways."

About the Author

Gail Hennessey recently retired from teaching 6th grade social studies in Harpursville, New York. For more information and activity ideas, visit her Web site at

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Knowledge Quest! Read-Aloud Collection: Animals and Their Needs

    Knowledge Quest! Read-Aloud Collection: Animals and Their Needs

    This collection helps children identify a variety of wild and domesticated animals and their habitats. It also introduces the concepts of animal life cycles and animal classification.

    Help children succeed in school and in life by reading aloud for 20 minutes a day using these content-rich collections.

    Read the books in sequence to build vocabulary and knowledge around a topic. Each daily read-aloud provides one piece of the puzzle to help children on their knowledge quest to see the big picture!

    Choose recommended activities from the guidebook to suit your schedule and needs. Every guidebook provides:

    • Summary of prior knowledge
    • Content objectives
    • Vocabulary lists
    • Read-aloud guides
    • Activities that target Common Core
    • Supplemental book list
    • Reward certificate
    • List of collections for upcoming grades

    Knowledge Quest! helps you make learning fun, accelerate a child's vocabulary growth, and build skills that meet national standards. For complete information about this program, visit:

    Book Collection | Grades PreK-K
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Knowledge Quest! Read-Aloud Collection: Animals and Their Needs
    Grades PreK-K $69.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Guided Reading Content Areas 2nd Edition Level E

    Guided Reading Content Areas 2nd Edition Level E

    Available April 2016!

    NEW! Guided Reading Content Areas 2nd Edition will propel students into 21st century college & career success with new books and research-based instruction! Content Areas instruction is boosted with not only the latest in social studies books, but also essential STEAM knowledge students need to be engaged and successful in our ever changing world. With access to authentic informational text and books about careers at every level, students will acquire diverse content areas knowledge as they move through increasingly complex texts!

    What’s NEW?
    -Revised Teaching Guide brimming with research-based instruction including:
    -Including Content Area Informational Text in Primary Classrooms
    -Guided Reading in the Content Areas & Activating Background Knowledge
    -Text Dependent Questions
    -New authentic texts with titles on science, technology, engineering, arts, technology, and 21st century careers
    -New teaching cards for every title
    -More nonfiction than ever: 80% Nonfiction & 20% Fiction

    Signature Scholastic Guided Reading Features:
    -No title overlap with other Guided Reading programs
    -60 Trade Books per level (10 titles, 6 copies each)
    -Teacher’s Guide in every level
    -10 Teaching Cards with instructional suggestions for each title
    -Leveling Stickers
    -Attractive Storage Bins

    Visit the Scholastic Guided Reading Program website for more information.

    $359.96 You save: 32%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grades 1-2
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Guided Reading Content Areas 2nd Edition Level E
    Grades 1-2 $359.96
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy




Here's something interesting from