3334 Chapters
Medium 9781935542667

Chapter 7: Ensuring Effective Instruction

Richard DuFour Solution Tree Press ePub

What distinguishes professional learning communities from support groups where teachers mainly share ideas and offer encouragement is their critical stance and commitment to inquiry. . . . Teachers ask probing questions, invite colleagues to observe and review their teaching and their students’ learning, and hold out ideas for discussion and debate.

—Jonathon Saphier

Effective classroom assessment as described in chapter 6 is a powerful tool for enhancing student achievement. With clear objectives embedded in scales that form a guaranteed and viable curriculum, and with specific details regarding what constitutes the different levels of performance for an objective, students will have the benefit of knowing what they are expected to learn and what they must do to demonstrate their learning. When effective instruction is added to this mix, the effect on student achievement increases even more. In this chapter, we consider how to design and deliver lessons that maximize the probability that all students will acquire the intended knowledge and skills.

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Medium 9781934009611

Chapter 1 The Power of Differentiation

Linda Bowgen Solution Tree Press ePub

The ultimate goal of professional development is to strengthen the practice of teachers in order to raise the achievement of students (Darling-Hammond, 1997a, 1997b). The question we still need to answer is, How? How do we expand new and veteran teacher knowledge? Every district can point to efforts to support teacher learning. Nonetheless, our experience may show us that not all teachers who engaged in professional development programs learned, and not all of our students are achieving at high levels.

According to Bruce Joyce and Beverly Showers (2002), to ensure that teacher learning transfers to classroom practice, professional development must include the following four components:

1. Teachers must be provided with and understand the theory supporting a strategy.

2. Teachers must have the opportunity to watch a skillful demonstration of the strategy.

3. Teachers must be given time to practice the strategy.

4. Teachers must engage in follow-up sharing of practice and participation in peer coaching.

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Medium 9781943874071

Chapter 7: Systems of Reporting

White, Katie Solution Tree Press ePub

CHAPTER

7

Systems of Reporting

My youngest daughter had an eighth-grade teacher who used social media to share the learning stories in her classroom. Intrigued at the teacher’s invitation to be part of this experiment, I positioned myself to receive notifications from her when she shared these stories, and I waited for the first communication. It arrived in the second week of school in the form of images of learners, including my daughter, engaged in a science experiment. Their faces were a mix of interest and excitement as they conducted their lab, and I was surprised at how much joy it brought me in my busy adult day to witness this learning artifact. I found it compellingly reassuring, and the posts that followed as the year progressed continued to bring me these same feelings. I felt like I was opening a window into my daughter’s day of learning. When the first reporting period arrived and I opened my daughter’s report card, I realized I now had a context for the symbols I saw—they actually meant something. The story of my daughter’s and her classmates’ learning had been made visible to me, and I felt a role by witnessing and supporting her learning story. Our conversations about school expanded because of this single experiment by her teacher, and for that I am grateful.

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Medium 9781934009628

Appendix C: Sample Responses to Tasks and Reflections

r4Educated Solutions Solution Tree Press ePub

Appendix C

Sample Responses to Tasks and Reflections

Reflection 1.1

Some students transition to English very quickly because they are eager to learn, have supportive families, and are encouraged by teachers who care and provide appropriate instruction and a welcoming environment.

Task: Identifying Language Proficiency Levels

Case Study: Li

Early intermediate

Possible indicators:

•   Attempts to speak English but relies heavily on gestures and facial expressions

•   Becomes frustrated when solving word problems

•   Shows some understanding of the lesson vocabulary and concepts

Case Study: Heinz

Proficient

Possible indicators:

•   Understands and uses academic language

•   Demonstrates understanding of abstract mathematical concepts

•   Functions on grade level

•   Uses advanced sentence structure, including academic language, in justifying answers

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Medium 9781942496533

Chapter 1 Delivering Differentiated Remedial Instruction

James H. Stronge Solution Tree Press ePub

In an ideal world, every student would (and should) be able to succeed, even if it is at different rates and with different strengths. To differentiate instruction is to recognize an individual student’s learning history, background, readiness to learn, interests, and acquired skill set, and then choose instructional strategies more tailored to that student, or a small group, to speed academic success. Converting the school mission statement from “We believe that all children can learn” to “We expect all children to learn” would be a major step in this direction.

With this perspective in mind, consider the following quote:

Every child can learn. That so many students fail to attain necessary skills reflects not the incapacity of the students but the incapacity of schools to meet the needs of every child. Given a skilled one-to-one tutor, for example, every student without severe dyslexia or retardation could attain an adequate level of basic skills. Practically speaking, of course, it is unlikely that we will soon be providing a skilled tutor for every child who is falling behind in reading or math. Nevertheless, we can develop feasible programs to ensure that every child learns. The first step is to consider what we know about practices that can accelerate the achievement of students in danger of school failure. (Slavin & Madden, 1989, p. 4)

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