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Medium 9781936765386

Chapter 1 Empowering Students to Learn Scientific Practices

Maria C. Grant Solution Tree Press ePub

Think for a few minutes about all of the good teachers you’ve encountered in your lifetime. What qualities led you to put them in your best-teacher category? Look for the possible reasons in table 1.1, and check each statement that describes your best teachers. (Visit go.solution-tree.com/commoncore for a reproducible version of this table.)

Table 1.1: Characteristics of Your Best Teachers

These are some of the strengths that the best teachers have. As you can see, they interact with students, plan and implement purposeful instruction that motivates students, and are patient supporters offering additional instruction on the side to ensure that every student learns. Do you have these strengths?

As elementary school teachers, we are often very good at providing excellent purposeful instruction when we are teaching our students how to read and write.

Like most of your elementary school colleagues, you probably love to teach English language arts, and because of this, you’re wonderful at sharing ideas through picturewalks, think-alouds, and guided reading groups. During these times, you teach your students to read fluently, dig deeply into a piece of literature to analyze the traits of a character, make predictions based on the clues the author gives, identify the language devices the author uses to persuade, and finally use critical thinking to evaluate, synthesize, and summarize as they compare characters and ideas across texts.

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Medium 9781475811995

An Exploratory Analysis of the Longitudinal Impact of Principal Change on Elementary School Achievement

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP R&L Education ePub

CRAIG HOCHBEIN
BRITTANY C. CUNNINGHAM

ABSTRACT: Recent reform initiatives, such as the Title I School Improvement Grants and Race to the Top, recommended a principal change to jump-start school turnaround. Yet, few educational researchers have examined principal change as way to improve schools in a state of systematic reform; furthermore, no large-scale quantitative study has determined the immediate or longitudinal impact of principal change on school performance. Using 9 years of school performance data, this study examined the impact of principal change on elementary schools’ scholastic achievement in reading and mathematics. Specifically, it examined whether a principal change was associated with initial improvement and longitudinal improvement of school reading and mathematics achievement. Findings suggest that principal changes did not substantially influence initial student achievement or school performance trajectory. Furthermore, these findings suggest that making a principal change does not predispose a school for improving school performance.

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Medium 9781942496397

Introduction

Juli K. Dixon Solution Tree Press ePub

The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics.

—Paul Halmos

When teaching, much of the day is spent supporting students to engage in learning new content. In mathematics, that often means planning for instruction, delivering the planned lessons, and engaging in the formative assessment process. There are opportunities to attend conferences and other professional development events, but those are typically focused on teaching strategies or on administrative tasks like learning the new gradebook program. Opportunities to take on the role of learner of the subject you teach are often not available. As you read Making Sense of Mathematics for Teaching Grades K–2, you will have the chance to become the learner once again. You will learn about the mathematics you teach by doing the mathematics you teach.

There is a strong call to build teachers’ content knowledge for teaching mathematics. A lack of a “deep understanding of the content that [teachers] are expected to teach may inhibit their ability to teach meaningful, effective, and connected lesson sequences, regardless of the materials that they have available” (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], 2014, p. 71). This lack of deep understanding may have more to do with lack of exposure than anything else.

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Nine Struggling Readers and English Learners

Patricia M. Cunningham Solution Tree Press ePub

In every school there are children for whom learning to read is an unusually difficult task. Starting in the mid sixties, federal and local money has been spent providing a variety of remedial services for these students. Struggling readers have been pulled out for thirty-minute sessions with Title I reading teachers or aides. Children diagnosed as learning disabled have been given reading instruction consistent with their individual education plan. Many children who are behind in reading are English learners simultaneously acquiring a new language and learning to read in it. Millions of dollars are spent each year on these remedial efforts, but there is very little evidence that any of these programs are generally effective. Most children who are behind in reading in first grade are further behind by the time they leave elementary school, in spite of their participation in a variety of remedial programs.

Why are these reading problems so intransigent? Why did one-third of fourth graders who took the NAEP Reading test in 2009 fail to score even at the basic level and only one-third of fourth graders score at proficient or advanced levels? With little to show for all the time, effort, and money expended on struggling readers, we must reevaluate what we are doing and consider how we might provide instruction that would actually move children forward and begin to close achievement gaps. There are common roadblocks to supporting learners that are not easy to get beyond.

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Medium 9781475818512

Saving Our Future by Reducing Suspensions and Expulsions Among African American Males

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Carlos R. McCray

Floyd D. Beachum

Christopher D. Yawn

Saving Our Future by Reducing Suspensions and Expulsions Among African American Males

ABSTRACT: In 2012, the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights Division, presented a report titled Revealing New Truths About Our Nation’s Schools. This lengthy and detailed report delineated the increasing problem of young African American males being suspended and expelled from school, thus robbing them of an opportunity to fully participate in our nation’s new economy. This article attempts to problematize even further the issue of overrepresentation of Black males who are exposed to out-of-school suspension. We offer the framework cultural collision and collusion as an explanation for this increasing phenomenon. We also recommend prescriptive measures for educators and school leaders to take under consideration to prevent the ushering out of Black males from the educative process.

It has been discussed and debated over the last decade how the U.S. economy is going through a complete overhaul with regard to economic opportunities for its citizens. This changing job structure is due to the fact that occupations and professions that were once plentiful to all who desired to be gainfully employed are no longer readily available. In fact, over the past few years, the United States has seen some of its highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression (Wilson, 2009). Although many economic experts have indicated that the economy is improving, pundits still believe that there is a tremendous amount work to do if we are to see unemployment numbers where they were before the start of the Great Recession in 2008. As of December 2014, the unemployment rate for all Americans is around 5.6%, a drastic decrease from the 9.0% of the last few years. But for many Americans, the 5.6% unemployment rate also seems too high, and they are beginning to wonder if the jobs that were lost will ever return.

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