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Kaleidoscope Feature

R&L Education ePub

Kaleidoscope Feature


ABSTRACT: The authors of this article present a synopsis of one simultaneous reform effort of a teacher preparation program and a partner urban elementary school. We have attempted to blend the realities of urban teaching and teacher preparation without compromising our beliefs in constructivist theories of learning, cooperative learning, and inclusion. We accept the responsibility to create parallel opportunities for growth and development for ourselves, school-based personnel, and teacher education candidates. Through our partnership we have collaborated with school-based personnel to identify and implement methods that improve student outcomes in the bureaucratic context of mandated programs and curricula. Using the research in effective urban education as a guide, we present specialized curricular content and activities used in our teacher education program designed specifically for urban teaching. Our combined efforts continue to be aimed at improving the academic success of children in urban elementary school classrooms through the exploration and implementation of effective teaching practices and the implementation of innovative approaches to teacher preparation.

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Medium 9781936763603

Chapter 5 Recognizing and Reinforcing the Efforts of Students, Schools, and Districts

Meg Ormiston Solution Tree Press ePub

Recognizing achievement is a powerful motivating force. One third-grade teacher shared with me how his students obsess over the badges they earn on the Khan Academy website. He keeps track of the students’ activities in his role as a coach. The data analytics are so detailed that a teacher can drill down to specific problems the students missed. In his classroom, students can elect to complete Khan Academy activities in their free time, but he discovered that they did most of the work outside of school.

He noted that one girl was way out in front, well ahead of the pack. From the data, he could see that this student did not watch very many of the videos, but she still successfully completed many of the topics covered in middle school mathematics. He followed up with her to check for understanding and discovered that she loved mathematics and really did understand the advanced topics. The student said she loved earning the badges and was very proud of her accomplishments. The teacher, in turn, met with the curriculum coordinator to create a modified curriculum to meet the needs of this student instead of letting her sit through the third-grade mathematics topics she had already mastered.

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Medium 9781475811803

The Ecology of Democratic Learning Communities: Faculty Trust and Continuous Learning in Public Middle Schools

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Lisa A. W. Kensler

Grace I. L. Caskie

Margaret E. Barber

George P. White

The Ecology of Democratic Learning Communities: Faculty Trust and Continuous Learning in Public Middle Schools

ABSTRACT: This cross-sectional explanatory study integrated three complex social processes—democratic community, faculty trust, and organizational learning—into a single testable model. The review of literature demonstrated substantial evidence for the proposed model. The data sources for the study included approximately 3,000 teachers from 79 public middle schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Teachers from each school completed one of three surveys measuring democratic community, faculty trust, or continuous and team learning. Structural equation modeling was the primary method of analysis, with teacher responses aggregated to the school level. The data adequately fit the proposed model. Faculty trust was found to mediate the relationship between democratic community and continuous and team learning. Further research, including data collection over time, is necessary to fully understand the pattern of causal relationships among democratic community, faculty trust, and continuous and team learning.

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Medium 9781935542124

Chapter 7 Time-Saving Strategies for Busy Teachers

Reeves, Douglas Solution Tree Press ePub

In this chapter, we will consider how effective grading strategies save time for busy teachers. First, we challenge the notion that traditional grading policies are as efficient as they appear. In fact, grading systems that lead to higher levels of student failure not only have enormous costs for the student in terms of frustration and academic distress, but also cost teachers and schools excessive time and energy. By contrast, effective grading systems save time and are therefore in the best interests of both students and teachers. In particular, we will consider the menu system, a grading system that I have used with students ranging from elementary to graduate school. This represents one of many possible ways that teachers can save time and also provide feedback to students in a way that is accurate, fair, and specific.

Any new policy, whether it has to do with grading, curriculum, assessment, discipline, or any other educational issue, will not have a prayer of implementation if it attempts to cram additional tasks into the days of teachers who are already overwhelmed with initiatives. In a national study, University of Pennsylvania researchers Richard Ingersoll and David Perda (2009) found that, contrary to many stereotypes about teacher dissatisfaction (inadequate pay, poor discipline, standardized testing, and so on), the greatest source of dissatisfaction was the lack of time to do their jobs well.

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Medium 9780981709154


Todd Farley Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF



My Own Private



Y MARCH 2005, I’d been “retired” from ETS for a year and a half, but it had been a lucrative year and a half indeed. As soon as I’d hung up my ETS pencil, the offers for consulting work started flooding in, and those offers were not small. I accepted because I had to pay the bills (damn, that was some Cobra health payment!) and because I was unqualified to do anything else. I took gigs with former colleagues at ETS to develop training materials, with Maria (who was in business for herself in Iowa City) to write test items, and with Riverside

Publishing in Chicago, which had mysteriously gotten my name and quickly signed me to a contract as a “test-scoring expert.” A friend from NCS had also called to ask if I could lend a hand on a scoring project, but the pay was so small (17 bucks an hour) I had to make a serious effort not to laugh in my old pal’s face.

Being a consultant was like running my own private Halliburton: I did what I felt like and charged what I wanted, the

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