3334 Chapters
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9781934009727

School Improvement Audit 6 Target Low-Performing Students and Schools, Starting With Reading

Robert Barr Solution Tree Press ePub

We had struggled for the past five years with our low-income students, particularly in reading. We, of course, had a Title I program, but we also had a summer remediation program in reading for all of our K–3 teachers and last year we even doubled the amount of time that we scheduled for reading instruction. What really made the difference was an in-service program that we had last fall where the consultant encouraged us to “name them, claim them, and teach them to read.” We were confronted with not just “teach reading,” but teaching kids to read! So, we got organized and began a process of weekly assessing each student’s progress, working with each and every student to chart their progress and to weekly monitor their improvement and slowly we began seeing remarkable results. For us, that was the secret: “Name them, claim them, and teach them to read.”

—Teacher, Maryland

There is a direct relationship between low student performance and student needs. For poverty-level students, it is absolutely essential that schools understand the unique needs of these students and their families. In the past, schools often blamed poverty-level families for low student performance or failures. It is now recognized that while poverty-level students face great challenges in achieving acceptable levels of performance, schools have proven that these students can learn effectively. In order to be effective, schools must carefully address the needs of low-performing students.

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Medium 9781942496113

Chapter 6: Storytelling Projects: Cultivating a Strategic Tool

Suzie Boss Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 6

Storytelling Projects: Cultivating a Strategic Tool

Knowing how to craft a compelling story, a skill that dates back to our cave-dwelling ancestors, has new cachet in the 21st century. A good story can make all the difference in a job interview, on a crowdfunding platform, in a television ad, or in a pitch to investors (Tugend, 2014). Author and executive coach Harrison Monarth (2014), writing in the Harvard Business Review, describes storytelling as a strategic tool, useful for everything from improving health care outcomes to swaying jurors. As he explains:

A story can go where quantitative analysis is denied admission: our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul. (Monarth, 2014)

Storytelling has always had a home in the classroom, especially among teachers who appreciate the power of a good tale to make learning memorable. Used well, the narrative structure provides a hook for grabbing, and holding, attention.

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Medium 9781943874071

Chapter 6: Summative Assessment

White, Katie Solution Tree Press ePub



Summative Assessment

In my tenth year working in education, I moved from teaching middle school to teaching elementary school. I was assigned a classroom of fourth- and fifth-grade students. I absolutely loved this teaching assignment. Every day I came to school with energy and passion for both the content we were exploring and for the inquisitive minds that greeted me when I walked in the door. I worked very hard to plan effectively, looking for similarities and differences in the learning goals at each grade level. Sometimes we spent time together as a class, and other times we would divide into grade-alike groups. I introduced projects and collaboration. We built a supportive climate and culture; we were a team. It was a great year.

Interestingly though, amid the enjoyment of this year, I also clearly remember the pain of report-card time. After months of well-considered instruction, I recall sitting at my computer, entering assignments and journal work, test scores, and project marks. At first, I was quite proud of myself for two reasons: I had designed a spreadsheet that completed wonderful calculations based on weighting and averaging. It was a new approach, and I loved the magic of watching student grades unfold before my eyes, much as I imagine a stockbroker loves the ebb and flow of stocks. I was also especially proud of the sheer volume of grades I utilized to calculate overall averages. In mathematics alone I had hundreds of scores and each one had the potential to affect a student’s reported grade. Watching student grades appear on the spreadsheet was a little like gambling: I was never sure what would appear in the end, but I remained hopeful I wouldn’t be completely surprised.

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Medium 9781936764914

Chapter 6: Shared Productive Culture

National Council of Supervisors of Mathe Solution Tree Press ePub


Finally, we must acknowledge one critical precursor at the heart of raising achievement in mathematics for every student and effectively implementing the CCSSM in every classroom: the development of a productive, inclusive, cohesive, and positive school culture. A shared productive culture is necessary to successfully carry out the overarching themes, supportive conditions, and imperatives to effectively implement the CCSSM and raise student achievement.

Culture is an ongoing, shifting, dynamic process. It is the responsibility of leaders and teams of leaders to nurture and intentionally shape the culture in every school setting.

The shared beliefs, purpose, core values, and priorities that drive the thinking and actions of people within a school community comprise the school culture. Culture is an ongoing, shifting, dynamic process. It is the responsibility of leaders and teams of leaders to nurture and intentionally shape the culture in every school setting.

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Medium 9781934009413

Chapter 3: Core Beliefs to Guide Implementation

Ambrose Panico Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 3

Core Beliefs to Guide Implementation

The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.

Marcel Proust

This chapter presents 10 beliefs or assumptions that are important to anyone engaged in helping a student change his or her behavior. Individuals and teams involved in the process of developing behavior change plans are encouraged to review these beliefs periodically. Doing so will help ensure the quality of the plans and the student’s potential for success.

Belief One: Human Behavior Is Complex

Human behavior is a complex phenomenon that cannot be adequately explained by behaviorist theory, as we have seen in chapter 2. Instead, human behavior is best explained by constructs of social cognitive theory that describe a reciprocal relationship between environmental variables, personal variables, and the behavior itself. Human beings are both participants and observers to their own behavior. As such, perceived feedback is an important variable to consider when attempting to understand the function of a behavior, and ultimately when helping an individual change his or her behavior. For example, a student struggling to learn to control his anger may perceive himself and his plan as a failure because he has not been successful 100% of the time. The team points out to the student that he has been able to control his anger 100% of the time in three of five specific settings. After praising the student’s effort, the team engages the student in designing plan adjustments for the remaining problem settings.

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Medium 9780983302032

Chapter One: The Curse of Too Much Information

David A. Sousa Triple Nickel Press ePub

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.


AT THE VERY MOMENT I REALIZED I HAD TO BUY A NEW CAR, A COLD CHILL came over me. I had flashbacks to a similar event eight years earlier (I keep my automobiles for a while) that turned into unpleasant haggling and tiring drama. Frankly, entering a dentist’s office for a root canal is less disturbing to me than entering a new-car showroom.

I was cheered by the thought that my decision on the car’s make and model would be easier this time, given all the information one can find on the Internet about new cars. And so my hunt began. First, I compared ten models on the car manufacturers’ sites, including trunk size, gas mileage, and dozens of options—fancy ones, such as seat warming and cooling, and not-so-fancy ones, such as GPS location technology and side air bags. Already the number of possible permutations of models and options was becoming enormous. Next, I looked at several dozen written and video reviews from people who already owned the cars. Regrettably, some reviews praised model A but trashed model B, whereas others did the reverse. Then I collected several reports and recommendations from consumer advocate organizations. Add to this already dazzling amount of information the need to make a decision on whether to purchase or lease, along with evaluating the dealers’ special offers, such as cash-back incentives and low financing rates. In just a few days, I had so many facts, figures, and opinions that my head was spinning. To make matters worse, the results of all this effort were inconclusive.

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Medium 9780253005939


Matthew Tully Indiana University Press ePub



Sgt. John Barrow and I were walking down a hallway midway through third period of the school year’s first Friday when he got a call about a group of students who had been caught in the upstairs gym. The seven boys were skipping class and acting suspicious, another officer announced over the police radio. The day before, two students had been expelled for having oral sex in a nearby locker room. But the voice on the radio made clear to Barrow that he wouldn’t make it through this first week without a much bigger mess. “Let’s go,” he said.

Barrow had just finished giving me the first of many lessons he would deliver throughout the school year, lessons learned from more than a dozen years spent patrolling the halls of Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). He called this one the “Dandelion Theory.” It’s based on the idea that you sometimes have to pluck out one troublemaking student so that the others can thrive. “I want my grass to be perfectly green,” said Barrow, an army veteran with a shaved head and a huge smile. “That means I want every kid in here to graduate and be happy. But if there is one dandelion, I can’t ignore it. I have to pull it out, or before long we’ll have a lawn full of weeds. It’s like cancer. Trouble spreads if you don’t watch out for it and do something about it.”

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Medium 9781935542322

Chapter 6 Critical Conversations Protocols: Set 1—Engage Partners

Carrie Chapman Solution Tree Press ePub

This chapter is the first of four chapters that contain the detailed conversations protocols or plans that will help you and your partner or team develop more effective co-teaching practice. In this chapter, you will find the critical conversations protocols for set 1, Engage Partners. The chapter begins with focus questions and anticipated outcomes and contains three types of conversations: (1) non-negotiable, (2) special occasion, and (3) in a perfect world.

The focus questions will give you an idea of what you’ll learn in this set of protocols. The outcomes provide measures to help you determine if you and your partner have covered the kinds of conversations that will help you be successful when you move to the next set. The Reflective Journal (page 46) will help you monitor your progress through the series of protocols.

Visit go.solution-tree.com/specialneeds to download the reproducibles for this chapter.

Focus Questions

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Medium 9781942496786

Appendix D

Tuchman Glass, Kathy Solution Tree Press PDF

Appendix D

Sentence Structure: Complex Sentences

This appendix provides a synopsis of the mechanics of clauses and the complex sentence as an aid in teaching sentence variety. For more in-depth information about clauses and other sentence structures and to address pertinent content-area standards, you might access grammar resources like Grammar Monster (www

.grammar-monster.com), the Purdue Online Writing

Lab (https://owl.english.purdue.edu), or Walden

University Writing Center (http://academicguides


A complex sentence includes one independent clause, one or more dependent clauses, and perhaps other words and phrases like modifiers or prepositional phrases. An independent clause is essentially just a simple sentence, such as the following: The dog barked. Mrs. Rothmann adheres to a regimented schedule. My son, Marshall, was accepted into a master’s program.

A dependent (or subordinate) clause, as the word denotes, depends or relies on something else. It cannot stand alone as a sentence unto itself since it does not represent a complete thought, such as the following: When

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Medium 9781936763917

4 Leverage

Douglas Reeves Solution Tree Press ePub

In the 2nd century before the Common Era, Greek mathematician Archimedes said, “Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world” (The Lever, n.d.). Though physicists have engaged in some entertaining debates about how long that lever would have to be, they agree that Archimedes was right—leverage is powerful. Finding leverage in education systems, however, can be challenging. Some leadership and instructional strategies with the greatest leverage—the greatest result for the least investment of time, energy, and resources—are not very popular. Moreover, when lots of little levers compete for a leader’s attention, the few big levers are lost. The central question you must address as a leader is not just what activities have potential leverage over education results but what few activities have the greatest leverage.

What Works Clearinghouse (http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc) is a source of evidence-based interventions in schools from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences. The institute rigorously screens various programs and initiatives and more than ten thousand studies in order to narrow the hundreds of programs available. It helps schools focus on what is most effective. Despite these good intentions, however, the institute still provides twenty-two interventions for third-grade reading alone and seven for dropout prevention. It’s nice to have choices, but making good choices is essential. Schools flooded with multitudes of strategies and initiatives aimed at the same objective find it difficult to execute all of them well.

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Medium 9781574411713


Guadalupe San Miguel Jr. University of North Texas Press PDF



This brief history focused on one of the most contentious and misunderstood policies in the country: federal bilingual education. It traced and explained, in bold sketches, the rise and fall of federal bilingual education policy during the years from 1960 to 2001 and the role played by the contending groups of supporters and opponents in its development.

Three major findings were presented in this book. First, this study showed that contestation, conflict, and accommodation were integral aspects of federal bilingual education policy development. From its origins in the 1960s to the present, different groups with competing notions of ethnicity, assimilation, pedagogy, and power have contended, clashed, struggled, and negotiated with each other for hegemony in the development and implementation of bilingual education. Second, contextual forces over time, especially electoral politics and a changing political climate at the national, state, and local level, significantly shaped the contours and content of this policy. Finally, those supportive of or opposed to federal bilingual education displayed a wide array of political, educational, and social reasons for their actions.

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Medium 9781936763856

2 Accuracy and Confidence: Our Grading True North

Tom Schimmer Solution Tree Press ePub

We can replace the emotional dynamics of fear and vulnerability with those of academic self-efficacy and eagerness to learn as the driving emotions for academic success.

—Rick Stiggins

True north is north according to the Earth’s axis. It sits at the geographic North Pole. Unlike magnetic north, which transforms over time due to magnetic changes in the Earth’s core as well as local magnetic variances, true north remains constant. While much about Earth constantly changes, true north remains stable and unaffected as a geographic focal point.

In the metaphorical sense, establishing a true north for grading provides a guide for the ideal conditions. While there are some definitive non-negotiable grading fundamentals, most decisions about when to grade, how to grade, and what to grade vary from teacher to teacher. What one teacher perceives as ideal may not be ideal for another. Establishing a true north increases the likelihood that grading practices remain consistent and aligned. The grading true north prevents teachers from losing sight of the big ideas that align assessment, instruction, and grading paradigms.

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Medium 9781945349300

8 Implications for Practice

Muhammad, Anthony Solution Tree Press ePub


Implications for Practice

When analyzing organizations, especially schools, it becomes clear that meaningful and productive growth is primarily a function of the cohesion of human resources. Technical or structural changes can certainly aid this process, but if the human factors are not healthy, growth and transformation become very difficult. This book has made a case for understanding why schools have such a difficult time changing when members of the culture cannot accept new paradigms that do not mesh with the traditional operation of schools.

Unfortunately, many school leaders find themselves underprepared to deal with all the diverse aspects of school leadership, especially as it pertains to developing a healthy school culture (DuFour, 2001). This chapter will focus on practical methods that both administrators and teachers can use to loosen the grip of their Fundamentalists, overcome staff division, and focus the school on its primary purpose: student learning.

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Medium 9781935542872

Chapter 14

Holly Windram Solution Tree Press ePub

In an effective RTI system, special education is neither the placement to be avoided at all costs nor is it the catch-all for any student who is difficult to teach. Rather it operates as an integral part of the system.

—Evelyn S. Johnson, Lori Smith, & Monica L. Harris

Advance Organizer

  IDEA provides the legal basis for connecting RTI with special education entitlement.

  There are some critical considerations before and during the establishment of decision-making rules for level and slope of growth.

  There exists a unique, research-based model of learning disability (LD) identification using criterion-referenced target scores.

In considering students who are most discrepant and who need the greatest intensity of resources to make progress in our schools, it is natural to think about special education services and the interface those services have with system efforts to improve instructional outcomes. Indeed, special education can and should be a well-integrated resource within the total cascade of services offered by a school to meet the needs of the diversity of the student body. Those who work in special education know well that students must qualify to receive special education services. There are thirteen specific disability labels under which students could potentially qualify to receive these services, as defined in the federal special education law, IDEA. Nationally, over 6.5 million children are served under this law. While definitions of these categories are provided at the federal level, it is the job of each state to determine the specific criteria that students must meet in order to qualify for services under each category. As you might imagine, there is inconsistency across states related to criteria for each of the special education categories (Reschly & Hosp, 2004). Of all the categories, specific learning disability (SLD) is the most common, meaning that the greatest percentage of students identified to receive special education services are identified as meeting eligibility requirements under this category. It has also been among the most controversial categories, in part due to challenges with systems for determining that eligibility.

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Medium 9781934009079

Chapter 8: Schoolwide Discipline

Allen Mendler Solution Tree Press ePub

The principal is the most important source of inspiration, support, and leadership needed to facilitate change within the school. Because effective schoolwide discipline requires that people of differing perceptions and roles work collaboratively, it is the principal who must set an effective tone for this work. Leadership requires an active principal whose presence is felt and who sets the tone by having clear, consistent rules.

A leader is unafraid of accountability to staff and students and demands the same from them, respectfully and with dignity. A leader is visible in the halls and cafeteria and at the bus stop. He smiles, greets his staff, knows the names of his students, and most important, garners community and parent support by reaching out in ways such as making home visits. A leader is able to see the larger picture and coordinate community resources from businesses and churches, law-enforcement and private agencies, in order to maximize all possible input to the school.

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