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Medium 9781943874217

Epilogue: Changing a Belief System

Pineda Yazmin Zapata Solution Tree Press ePub


Changing a Belief System

The concept of a systems thinking approach is intertwined in every aspect of developing lessons according to universal design for learning principles and activities that provide access to all learners. Developing a systems thinking classroom requires education practitioners to reflect and commit themselves to taking the challenges that students face and using them to create an environment where they can help meet student needs. Responsive educators consider the existence of communication barriers and varying learning styles as opportunities to dive into collaborative and innovative lesson design. Collaboration among education teams—the co-planned lessons, universal design for learning principles, support system, student profile, infused skills grid, and academic unit lesson plan—removes the barriers.

We advocate for educators to rigorously question their instructional models and evaluate their belief systems and actions. It is vital that educators redefine their views and eschew low expectations for students who have difficulties. Consider each viewpoint. How can a student show competence if he or she does not have the necessary tools to develop those skills? What impedes a particular student from demonstrating knowledge? Is it a physical or language barrier that requires support to overcome or has he or she never learned a prerequisite skill? Has the instruction failed to address specific learning styles? Has the student accessed all available resources? Has there been an opportunity to establish specific learning criteria for individual students? Have the assessments and progress-monitoring activities facilitated student growth based on individual learning objectives?

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Medium 9781935543305

4 Developing a Family Engagement Plan

LeBlanc-Esparza, Ricardo, LeBlanc-Esparza, Kym Solution Tree Press ePub

You have looked at your school’s current attitudes and practices with regard to family engagement and examined how your school communicates with families. This general information has helped you understand the climate in your school. Now it’s time to gather the specific data that will allow you to formulate a plan for improving family engagement in your school. Recommendations from publications such as Beyond the Bake Sale (Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies, 2007) and A New Wave of Evidence (Henderson & Mapp, 2002) can help frame family-engagement goals and plans. Another excellent place to start is with the PTA Implementation Guide.

An excellent means for acquiring data is the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships implementation guide (National Parent Teacher Association [NPTA], 2007). The guide is focused on helping schools meet the six standards the PTA has identified for school-home partnerships:

1.  Welcoming all families

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Medium 9781936763504

Chapter 2: During the Unit

Toncheff, Mona Solution Tree Press ePub

The choice of classroom instruction and learning activities to maximize the outcome of surface knowledge and deeper processes is a hallmark of quality teaching.

—Mary Kennedy

Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.

—Albert Einstein

Much of the daily work of your collaborative team occurs during the unit of instruction. This makes sense, as it is during the unit that you place much of your collaborative team effort put forth in your before-the-unit work into action.

Your team conversations during the unit should focus on sharing evidence of student learning, discussing the effectiveness of lessons or activities, and examining the ways in which students may be challenged or need scaffolding to engage mathematically. While discussion about some of the tasks and the end-of-unit assessment planning take place prior to the start of the unit, teachers often plan and revise day-to-day unit lessons during the unit as they gain information regarding students’ needs and successes. What your students do and say while developing understanding of the essential learning standards for the unit provides the data for your teacher team conversations.

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Medium 9781609945695

Chapter 4 Exploring Learner and Judger Mindsets

Adams, Marilee G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Each of us literally chooses,
by our way of attending to things,
what sort of universe we shall appear
to ourselves to inhabit.

William James

On the way home from my meeting with Sophie, I stopped to do the weekend shopping, then rushed home, put away the groceries, and got everything ready for the coming week. Jared wouldn’t be back from his conference until early the next afternoon, which meant I’d have a few hours in the morning to myself. There’d be time to read over the materials Sophie had given me and make some notes in my journal. After the visit with Sophie, I had lots to write about.

Sunday morning I had a quick breakfast, made myself a mug of tea, and headed for my office. I picked up the blue folder Sophie had given me, titled Mindsets Make All the Difference. There was a colorful print of Sophie’s stained glass question mark on the outside of it. That image took me back to when I was twelve years old, walking into Sophie’s classroom for the first time. I had stopped in my tracks, staring at that stained glass artwork with its prominent question mark. It had hung in the window by Mrs. Goodwin’s big, oak teacher’s desk.

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Medium 9780983351269

Introduction: The History of Standards-Based Education in the United States

Roy, Tom; Heflebower, Tammy Marzano Research ePub

The discussion of standards is not new. As explained by Robert Marzano and Mark Haystead (2008), awareness of the need for national standards in the United States dates back to 1989, when President George H. W. Bush met with governors at an Education Summit in Charlottesville, Virginia. The group adopted six education goals for the nation, one of which was that “all children will leave grades four, eight, and twelve having demonstrated competency in challenging subject matter” (Rothman, 2011, p. 30). Two groups were subsequently formed to facilitate the implementation of these goals: the National Education Goals Panel and the National Council on Education Standards and Testing.

Recognizing that the federal government did not have the expertise internally to identify what students needed to know and be able to do in each content area, the Bush administration issued grants to subject-matter organizations to develop standards in their content areas. The first organization to develop standards was the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), whose standards identified “what it means to be mathematically literate . . . in a world where mathematics is rapidly growing and is extensively being applied to diverse fields” (NCTM, 1989, p. 1). In 1989 (six months before President Bush’s Education Summit), NCTM published Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, which specified the math knowledge and skills that students should know and be able to do by the end of grades 2, 5, 8, and 12. According to Robert Rothman (2011):

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Medium 9780253211859

Propositions, Warranted Assertibility and Truth (1941)

LARRY A HICKMAN Indiana University Press ePub

I propose in what follows to restate some features of the theories I have previously advanced on the topics mentioned above. I shall shape this restatement on the basis of ascriptions and criticisms of my views found in Mr. Russell’s An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth. I am in full agreement with his statement that “there is an important difference between his views and mine, which will not be elicited unless we can understand each other.”1 Indeed, I think the statement might read “We can not understand each other unless important differences between us are brought out and borne in mind.” I shall then put my emphasis upon what I take to be such differences, especially in relation to the nature of propositions; operations; the respective force of antecedents and consequences; tests or “verifiers”; and experience, the latter being, perhaps, the most important of all differences because it probably underlies the others. I shall draw contrasts which, in the interest of mutual understanding, need to be drawn for the purpose of making my own views clearer than I have managed previously to do. In drawing them I shall be compelled to ascribe certain views to Mr. Russell, without, I hope, attributing to him views he does not in fact hold.

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Medium 9780983351290

Proficiency Scales for the ELA Common Core State Standards

Marzano, Robert J.; David C, Yanoski Marzano Research ePub

MRL’s scales for the Common Core State Standards were designed to include all of the ELA standards from the CCSS. Here we include several notes about MRL’s scales for the ELA CCSS that may interest teachers and readers.

In some cases, the CCSS present substandards for an overarching standard. For example, the overarching Writing standard W.6.1 has five substandards, labeled using a, b, c, d, and e. In cases like this, MRL used one of two approaches: we either included (1) both the overarching standard and the substandards (if the overarching standard contains additional information) or (2) the substandards but not the overarching standard (if the overarching standard does not contain additional information).

MRL created a single set of Reading measurement topics that includes standards from Reading Literature and Reading Informational Text.

Writing standards 9 and 10 are not included in MRL’s scales because our analysis found them to be more focused on instructional guidance rather than specific ELA content. In other words, Writing standards 9 and 10 give teachers guidance about how to structure lessons and combine content rather than specifying what students should know or be able to do as a result of instruction.

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Medium 9781475837544


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Assessing Pre-Service Teachers’ Attitudes and Self-Efficacy in Using Technology in the Classroom

Jaime Coyne, Mae Lane, Lautrice Nickson, Tori Hollas, and Jalene P. Potter

ABSTRACT: No one can argue that technology plays a crucial role in our society. It is imperative that our students have the opportunity to learn technological skills, but there are a variety of barriers for teachers. A promising resolution is to integrate technology in our pre-service education classes. In an effort to assess our current role as teacher educators in preparing pre-service teachers in the use of technology, a survey was given to secondary student teachers to assess their perceptions about various aspects of technology. The following themes emerged after analyzing the data including the following: (a) technology is important to incorporate in the K–12 classroom according to pre-service teachers and (b) pre-service teachers have a relative high level of preparedness in using technology in the classroom but have limited pedagogy knowledge warranting the need for teacher education programs to increase effective instruction in technological pedagogical content knowledge. Our hope is that this article will shed light on the importance of preparing pre-service teachers for using technology effectively in the classroom.

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Medium 9781942496052

Chapter 4: Skills and Behaviors

Susan K. Sparks Solution Tree Press ePub

Effective teams know the importance of learning and refining skills to support collaborative work, and they commit to continually learning and developing these skills and behaviors.

When teacher leaders are asked during professional learning or in school visits “What stops your team from working well together?” many describe experiences related to communication, interpersonal dynamics, and conflict. They also refer to negative data conversations and facilitator issues. Stories are told about the times work halted because of personality conflicts, harsh words exchanged between teammates, or someone being ignored or discounted during a meeting. Others lament about the inability to process data objectively or team members and leaders avoiding conflict and steering clear of difficult conversations. We think the stories are disheartening and unnecessary.

High-performing teams have a continuous growth orientation and ask reflective questions. They know what individual and collective strengths and weaknesses exist when collaborating. Sometimes, we receive feedback from others if we pay attention and are receptive. Other times, we observe the dynamics in our team and realize our contributions or shortcomings. A skilled administrator may provide specific accommodations and areas of growth in the formal evaluation process. All of us can grow from feedback related to how we work with others.

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Medium 9781934009529

Chapter 6: Rubrics: All Roads Lead to the Standards

Kay Burke Solution Tree Press ePub

Rubrics provide criterion-based scoring procedures that guide teachers’ instruction and help them evaluate students’ performances more objectively. It takes skill and practice to create rubrics, but when they are done right, “rubrics are our friends!”

Defined in the simplest terms, a rubric is a scoring guide used to evaluate students’ responses to a performance assessment. Popham (1999) says that a rubric has three important features:

Evaluative criteria. These are the factors to be used in determining the quality of a student’s response.

Descriptions of qualitative differences for the evaluative criteria. For each evaluative criterion, a description must be supplied so that qualitative distinctions in students’ responses can be made using the criterion.

An indication of whether a holistic or analytical approach is to be used. The rubric must indicate whether the evaluative criteria are to be applied collectively in the form of holistic scoring or on a criterion-by-criterion basis in the form of analytical scoring. (p. 167)

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Medium 9781936765973

Appendix D Standards for Mathematical Content, Grade 1

Solution Tree Press ePub


Source: NGA & CCSSO, 2010, pp. 13–16. © Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

In Grade 1, instructional time should focus on four critical areas: (1) developing understanding of addition, subtraction, and strategies for addition and subtraction within 20; (2) developing understanding of whole number relationships and place value, including grouping in tens and ones; (3) developing understanding of linear measurement and measuring lengths as iterating length units; and (4) reasoning about attributes of, and composing and decomposing geometric shapes.

(1)  Students develop strategies for adding and subtracting whole numbers based on their prior work with small numbers. They use a variety of models, including discrete objects and length-based models (e.g., cubes connected to form lengths), to model add-to, take-from, put-together, take-apart, and compare situations to develop meaning for the operations of addition and subtraction, and to develop strategies to solve arithmetic problems with these operations. Students understand connections between counting and addition and subtraction (e.g., adding two is the same as counting on two). They use properties of addition to add whole numbers and to create and use increasingly sophisticated strategies based on these properties (e.g., “making tens”) to solve addition and subtraction problems within 20. By comparing a variety of solution strategies, children build their understanding of the relationship between addition and subtraction.

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Medium 9781475819212

Editorial: Affirming Diversity in a Changing World—Teacher Education’s Unfinished Work

R&L Education ePub


Multicultural education is both a symbol and an evocation of the right of the social contract of democracy.

—Gay, 1997a, p. 2

Education does not make us educable. It is our awareness of being unfinished that makes us educable.

—Freire, 1998, p. 58

As teacher educators and practitioners, we live in a world articulated and predicated on difference, a world in which affirming diversity and developing multicultural educational environments present complex political and pedagogical challenges. Giroux (1991) helps us to understand that, in this sense, difference “is not about merely registering or asserting spatial, racial, ethnic or cultural difference, but about historical differences that manifest themselves in public and pedagogical struggles” (p. 516). At issue for America, as for much of the world, is the concern for how we will live with our deepest differences. More important, central to this concern is to address the kind of difference that is acknowledged and engaged rather than simply to acknowledge that difference exists. Jay (1991) is instructive when he explains that who we are as a society, our commonality, “is not a substance of essence (Americanness),” but rather it is “a process of social existence predicated on the espoused if not always realized principles of cultural democracy, political rights, community responsibility, social justice, equality of opportunity, and individual freedom” (p. 265). When we fail to affirm our diversity, that is, when the principles of cultural democracy “are subordinated to totalizing ideologies seeking to invent or impose a common culture, the actual multicultural life of Americans suffers under oppression that is in no one’s best interests” (p. 266).

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Medium 9781475836745

“The Click-Clack of Her Heels and the Jingle of Her Keys”: Exploring the Tensions in the Leadership of a Successful Turnaround Principal

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub



“The Click-Clack of Her Heels and the Jingle of Her Keys”

Exploring the Tensions in the Leadership of a Successful Turnaround Principal

ABSTRACT: This qualitative case study explores the practices and tensions of being an effective principal in a turnaround school through an in-depth analysis of one principal who has been successful in several turnaround settings. Although principals have long been cited as foundational to a school’s success, being the principal of a turnaround school is a significantly different enterprise than being a principal of a non-turnaround school. Newly appointed turnaround principals are expected not only to generate significant improvement in achievement in schools that have been low-achieving for many years, but to do so in a short period of time.

To gain insight into the leadership practices of a principal who was successful in accomplishing school turnaround, we conducted interviews with 21 of the principal’s current and past colleagues, observed her in practice, analyzed documents related to her leadership, and interviewed her three times. In this report, we describe her leadership practice and conclude that it was characterized by four dynamic tensions that resulted in the turnaround of the schools she led:

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Medium 9781475824520

Effects of Sentence-Combining Instruction and Frequency Building to a Performance Criterion on Adolescents With Difficulty Constructing Sentences

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Shawn M. Datchuk
Richard M. Kubina Jr.

ABSTRACT : Adolescents with difficulty constructing sentences were provided with a multicomponent intervention: sentence-combining instruction and frequency building to a performance criterion. The study used a multiple-probe, single-case experimental design to evaluate the intervention’s effects on accuracy and frequency of constructing simple and compound sentences. For all four participants, results indicated improved sentence construction of simple and compound sentences during and following intervention.

Expressive writing serves a useful purpose across a variety of settings. Expressive writing allows students to demonstrate knowledge and refine understanding (Bangert-Drowns, Hurley, & Wilkinson, 2004), and it is an important factor in promotion and salaried employment (National Commission on Writing, 2004). Expressive writing also enables participation in many online social activities, such as composing e-mails or posting messages to online social networks (Boyd, 2008). Writing has become a foundational skill to an increasingly global society and economic marketplace.

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Medium 9780795317217

Chapter 5. The Rule of Learning Circuitry

Matthew Murdoch and Treion Muller FranklinCovey RosettaBooks, LLC ePub

Making the move online can be challenging. But with the right resources, tools, and rules, you will be the spark that ignites your virtual training. We have provided a few action plans from the book that will help you in the transition from live to virtual training.

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