2696 Chapters
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Appendix C: Cognitive-Demand-Level Task-Analysis Guide

Toncheff, Mona Solution Tree Press ePub

Source: Smith & Stein, 1998. Copyright 1998, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Used with permission.

Table C.1: Cognitive-Demand Levels of Mathematical Tasks

Lower-Level Cognitive Demand

Higher-Level Cognitive Demand

Memorization Tasks

•   These tasks involve reproducing previously learned facts, rules, formulae, or definitions to memory.

•   They cannot be solved using procedures because a procedure does not exist or because the time frame in which the task is being completed is too short to use the procedure.

•   They are not ambiguous; such tasks involve exact reproduction of previously seen material and what is to be reproduced is clearly and directly stated.

•   They have no connection to the concepts or meaning that underlie the facts, rules, formulae, or definitions being learned or reproduced.

Procedures With Connections Tasks

•   These procedures focus students’ attention on the use of procedures for the purpose of developing deeper levels of understanding of mathematical concepts and ideas.

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Section III: Creating Communities of Hope

Wayne Hully Solution Tree Press ePub

In Section 2, we wrote about Harbors of Hope that reside in many different districts in cities, towns, and rural areas in all parts of Canada. Their stories highlight the lessons for school success we have identified, and they demonstrate their application in the pursuit of the mission of learning for all. Change challenges the old and understood ways of operating, so it was no surprise to hear from the schools that their journey was not without trials and tribulations. The road taken when planning for school improvement is seldom smooth and uneventful because it forces people outside of their comfort zones. They must leave behind the tried, true, and comfortable to engage in new learning and new practices that may, at least initially, challenge their feelings of competence. The transition from old to new can be very uncomfortable, and the temptation to revert to old ways is strong. It is a process that is rife with highs and lows. Rocks and hard places are inevitable.

Through our work with the schools featured in Section 2, it became obvious that leadership at the district level is an important determinant of each school’s ability to address challenges in order to get better—not just get by. Those districts with a comprehensive, coherent plan to support improved teaching and learning in all schools are most able to support school improvement efforts effectively. These districts are aligned for success. As a result, rocks and hard places at the school level are not nearly as numerous or onerous.

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Medium 9781934009512

Chapter 7 RTI and Differentiation in Writing

William N. Bender Solution Tree Press ePub

Writing is, arguably, one of the most important skills students must develop since they will use it for communication throughout life (MacArthur & Philippakos, 2010). Given the importance of writing, it is somewhat surprising that most middle and high schools do not directly teach it, nor do early middle and high school RTI implementation models emphasize it (Spectrum K—12 School Solutions/CASE, 2008). Of course, this doesn’t mean the students are not writing in their subject-area classes or even in personal communication. In fact, as surprising as it may seem, one favorite pastime of many adolescents involves writing—specifically writing in the form of texting their best friends. Schools do not directly teach or evaluate texting as a form of writing. However, one could arguably build an interesting dictionary of specialized acronyms used in that form of written communication (lol, u, bff, rofl; if u don’t recognize these acronyms, u are clearly not txting!).

In addition to that very modern and very informal form of written communication, school curricula emphasize many other forms of writing, including expository, creative, letter, and technical writing. All of these forms may be required in one’s occupation, and in the 21st century, writing is essential

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Chapter 12 Content-Area Reading Instruction

Timothy V Rasinski Solution Tree Press ePub

Richard T. Vacca and Maryann Mraz

Since the 1930s, the slogan “It works, if you work it” has been embraced by individuals throughout the world in self-help programs. During the same era, another popular slogan quickly became the catchphrase of educators interested in helping students read more effectively in content areas: “Every teacher is a teacher of reading.” Far from being embraced, however, this slogan has been misinterpreted and often dismissed by content-area teachers who do not view themselves as “teachers of reading.” In this chapter, we explore (1) the appropriate roles content-area teachers play in the reading and literacy development of their students, and (2) the state of the art and research in effective content-area reading practices. In doing so, we underscore the notion that content-area reading works only if students and teachers “work it.”

Classrooms in today’s schools encompass a wide range of learners, including competent, unsure, and struggling readers. However, scoring well on standardized reading tests doesn’t necessarily guarantee that students who are identified as competent readers will effectively use reading to learn in a discipline. Conversely, a struggling or unsure reader is capable of learning effectively with academic texts with the instructional support of caring and knowledgeable teachers. In this chapter, we contend that many learners, regardless of their level of general reading ability, have not learned how to think with text (Vacca, Vacca, & Mraz, 2011). Content-area reading involves more than saying words on a printed page or screen or selecting snippets of information to answer questions on homework assignments. Students must learn how to think with text by becoming engaged, confident, and strategic in their study of discipline-related texts. This is where all teachers can play a pivotal role in the literacy development of their students.

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Chapter 4 How Will We Respond When Some Students Don’t Learn?

DuFour, Richard Solution Tree Press ePub

Marty Mathers, principal of the Puff Daddy Middle School (nickname: the Rappers), knew that his eighth-grade algebra teachers were his most challenging team on the faculty. The team was comprised of four people with very strong personalities who had difficulty finding common ground.

Peter Pilate was the most problematic teacher on the team from Principal Mather’s perspective. The failure rate in his classes was three times higher than the other members of the team, and parents routinely demanded that their students be assigned to a different teacher. Ironically, many of the students who failed Mr. Pilate’s class demonstrated proficiency on the state math test. Principal Mathers had raised these issues with Peter, but found Peter to be unreceptive to the possibility of changing any of his practices. Peter insisted that the primary reason students failed was because they did not complete their daily homework assignments in a timely manner. He refused to accept late work, and he explained that the accumulation of zeros on missed assignments led to the high failure rate. He felt strongly that the school had to teach students to be responsible, and he made it clear that he expected the principal to support him in his effort to teach responsibility for getting work done on time.

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