Virtual School Meanderings

July 23, 2016

e-News July 2016 | Free Tool For Selecting Interventions

From Thursday’s inbox…

July 2016

Gearing up for the new school year?
We hope you’re having a marvelous summer! We’re in the middle of hosting our annual summer PD workshops and institutes, helping educators from across the U.S. and around the world learn strategies for higher levels of teaching and leading.
If you couldn’t make it to one of our sessions, check out our books that leverage our extensive knowledge base on what works in teaching and leading to help strengthen your practice with practical guidance you can use today—-and into the future—-to enhance student achievement.
Need a customized solution?
We can also provide contextualized consulting, training, coaching, and support, onsite at your location and/or via online delivery. Just let us know how we can help!

Research Roundup

Impacts of professional development in classroom assessment on teacher and student outcomes
The Journal of Educational Research

An impact study conducted by McREL of the Classroom Assessment for Student Learning (CASL) program, a professional development program on formative assessment practices, found positive impacts of CASL on teacher knowledge of assessment and the frequency of student involvement in classroom assessment. However, the study also found that implementation fidelity of the program was below the CASL developer recommendations, and no statistically significant impacts on student achievement were found.

Is classroom stress contagious? Study shows link between teacher and student stress
University of British Columbia

A recent study of 406 4th- through 7th-graders and their classroom teachers showed a link between teacher stress and higher levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress, in students. Teachers completed surveys and rated school climate indicators and their associated stress levels, while students’ free cortisol levels in their saliva were tested three times each day over a period of eight weeks.

The Hidden Role of Teachers: Child and classroom predictors of change in interracial friendships
New York University (NYU)

Using data from the Early Adolescent Development Study, researchers from NYU showed that interracial friendships among elementary and middle school students decrease over time, even in diverse classrooms. However, the study also showed that teachers can play a role in fostering friendship diversity.

New from McREL

How to select school interventions
Selecting and implementing the right intervention for your students’ needs can be a daunting task. Our newest resource,Recommended Protocol for Selecting School Interventions, walks school leaders and teams through seven key steps to take when selecting school interventions to accelerate student growth. From the first step (collect and analyze data to identify your priority area of focus) to the last (evaluate the efficacy of the intervention), the document provides multiple action steps and questions to consider that will help you make better intervention decisions. Download this free resource.


Blog Post | Four fallacies that keep us from finishing what we start
What keeps us from finishing school improvement initiatives that we start? Often it can be traced back to fallacies that form our belief systems about school improvement. In this blog post, McREL consulting director Bj Stone offers four valuable tips to help implement and sustain initiatives and get them across the finish line. Read her blog post.

Video | How to be a change agent: Educational Leadership interview with Bryan Goodwin
In this video interview with ASCD’s Educational Leadership, McREL’s CEO Bryan Goodwin shares his thoughts on how teachers can be change agents, what school leaders can do when they face resistance to change, and how to build on the work of early adopters. Watch the video.


McREL partner Science4Us wins national industry awards for innovation
Science4Us, a digitally delivered science curriculum for K-2 students, won the SIAA CODiE award for Best Science Instructional Solution, and a BESSIE award for Best Science Concepts website. In 2013, McREL provided an efficacy study of Science4Us, finding that students who used the curriculum out-performed students in the control group. Development for Science4Us was supported by IES’ SBIR program. Read the IES announcement on the awards.

Events & Opportunities

Conference Sessions | Annual CASE Convention
Breckenridge, Colorado, Jul. 25-29
Join McREL staff at the Colorado Association of School Executives’ annual leadership conference for two presentations:
Bryan Goodwin will lead a session on unleashing student and teacher potential, revealing the leadership keys to shifting to an “inside-out” improvement approach that taps teachers’ intrinsic motivation to get better every day and focuses on a powerful driver of success: student curiosity.

Matt Seebaum will present a high-reliability approach to system improvement and leadership development, offering a model and examples of districts that have successfully connected the principles of High Reliability Organizations (HROs) and Improvement Cycles with a focus on developing leadership at all levels. Learn more and register.

Summer PD | Classroom Instruction That Works® | Workshop
Denver, Colorado, Jul. 25-27
Learn research-based, practice-proven instructional strategies and ways to implement them in the classroom. Discover how each strategy can be effective with any student, at any grade level, and in any subject area, to enhance student achievement.
  • Learn new, evidence-based insights from the most recent, rigorous research
  • Get a framework to strengthen instructional design
  • Discover the reasons for choosing certain strategies for certain situations
  • Connect the strategies to essential 21st century skills

Whether the strategies are new to you or something you already use every day, this workshop will help you raise your level of effectiveness. Learn more and register.

Summer PD | Classroom Instruction That Works | Authorized Facilitator Training
Denver, Colorado, Jul. 25-29
Attend our Classroom Instruction That Works (CITW) facilitator training to learn effective research-based instructional strategies and methods to help other teachers learn and implement these strategies in their classrooms. The first three days of this training will solidify your understanding of the nine CITW categories of instructional strategies and an instructional planning framework that maximizes the strategies’ effectiveness. The final two days will prepare you to become an authorized facilitator of CITW workshops in your own district or region. Learn more and register.

Conference Sessions | NSTA Annual STEM Expo
Denver, Colorado, Jul. 27-29
NSTA’s annual STEM Forum & Expo brings together educators, administrators, and companies who are interested in—-and have tools and resources to share—-successful implementation of STEM education.
Join McREL consultants Anne Tweed and Whitney Cobb for their sessions on a PD model for GreenSTEM programs, citizen scientists’ virtual exploration of our universe, STEAM education connecting art and science concepts using images from NASA missions, and how to harness the power of out-of-school-time partnerships to enhance STEM programs.

In addition, stop by the McREL booth in the Exhibit Hall to learn more about our services that support the development and implementation of high-quality STEM instruction and experiences for students. Learn more and register.

Conference Sessions | Wyoming Department of Education WAVE Symposium
Cheyenne, Wyoming, Aug. 1-4
Join McREL staff at the Wyoming Department of Education’s Week of Academic Vision and Excellence (WAVE) Symposium. Adena Miller will share information on how special education staff can foster greater collaboration and shared responsibility for MTSS with all educators to ensure that the needs of every student are met. Catherine Johnson will give an overview of a regional pilot project that is helping Native American students develop strong academic language skills.

Learn more and register.

Client Testimonial
“The best investment the CNMI Public School System has made 
is partnering with McREL in improving our school system.”
Vincent Dela Cruz, Principal, Chacha Ocean View Middle School
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