Virtual School Meanderings

August 10, 2018

REL Southeast Director’s Email—August 2018

Note the MOOC-ED items mentioned below that may be of interest to K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning educators.

August 2018
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Greetings from REL Southeast!

During the summer of 2018, REL Southeast staff presented multiple sessions for Georgia educators at the Georgia Literacy for Learning, Living and Leading (L4) Institutes. The Georgia Department of Education was excited to host these institutes in Valdosta, Savannah, Macon, Cartersville, and Athens as a part of their Striving Readers grant. Representatives from schools throughout the state were invited to send teams consisting of teachers and leaders for two days of professional development. REL Southeast shared literacy tools based on rigorous research which could be used by district- and school-level practitioners. These tools included the School Leader’s Literacy Walkthrough for grades K-3, the Rubric for Evaluating Reading/Language Arts Instructional Materials for Kindergarten to Grade 5, a suite of self-study guides addressing literacy K-12, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) practice guide Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade, and the accompanying professional learning materials for the guide.

Read participant testimonials and explore links to the literacy resources here.

Are you interested in learning more about teaching foundational reading skills?  If so, the MOOC-ED @ The Friday Institute may be appealing to you.  This MOOC-ED that begins October 1, 2018, is organized around the recommendations of the Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade practice guide, published in July 2016 by the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse.  This practice guide, developed by a panel of expert researchers and practitioners in collaboration with the Florida Center for Reading Research, provides educators with specific, research-based recommendations for effective teaching practices.  It focuses on the foundational skills that enable students to read words, relate those words to their oral language, and read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to understand what they read.

Learn more here.

One goal of ESSA is to strengthen the effectiveness of the nation’s educational investments by encouraging the use of evidence-based interventions. To accomplish this, SEA and LEA staff must be able to evaluate the quality of the evidence for a particular intervention.  In practical terms, this often means reading and evaluating the level of evidence for a research article. However, many SEA and LEA staff are unfamiliar with research design standards and levels of evidence.  In response to this goal, REL Southeast staff conducted “lunch-n-learn” sessions for the Florida Department of Education on research-related topics. The first session began with understanding the levels of evidence in ESSA.  Follow-up sessions examined how to review a research article, summer reading camps, and understanding moderation and mediation.


Ask A REL is a collaborative reference desk service provided by the 10 regional educational laboratories (REL) that by design, functions much in the same way as a technical reference library. It provides references, referrals, and brief responses in the form of citations on research-based education questions.

To submit your question to Ask A REL, click here. Explore Ask A REL responses here.

Regional Work

Explore the Improving Literacy Research Alliance page to learn more about literacy the work being conducted in our region.

You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website or provided your information at a REL Southeast sponsored event.

Our mailing address is:

REL Southeast at Florida State University

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