Virtual School Meanderings

June 15, 2018

REL Southeast Director’s Email—June 2018

Note that I have been posting almost all of the newsletters and notices from various RELs and IES over the past few years.  As a way to try and bring the focus of this space back to K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning, I’m going to take the time to screen these items and only post those that have specifically relevant content.  I mention this now because if you rely upon this space for those more general resources, I would encourage you to subscribe to them directly.

June 2018
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Greetings from the REL Southeast!

This month I would like to highlight the work of the Improving Literacy Research Alliance. This longstanding alliance has grown to the point where it seemed advisable to divide the alliance into state chapters. These chapters, consisting of state, district, and university leadership, meet face-to-face once or twice per year, and a meeting of all members is held virtually twice per year. The needs expressed by alliance members are guiding the work of REL Southeast as described in the update below.

We look forward to continuing to share evidence-based projects and products with you in the future. Thank you for all of your work to improve education in the Southeast.


Dr. Barbara Foorman
Director, REL Southeast

Partnership Spotlight: Improving Literacy Research Alliance

Ensuring that all students have the literacy skills to be successful in school and beyond has been an ongoing challenge for states in the Southeast, and many students score below proficiency rates on state assessments in the region. The long-term goal for this alliance is for state education agency leaders and educators in the Southeast region to use research to learn about and improve the quality of literacy instruction in their states, especially the prevention and early detection of problems in literacy development that may require intervention. The short-term objectives to meet this goal will be accomplished through research studies and technical support activities supporting the specific needs identified by alliance members.

Training on Literacy Tools

Alliance members from from all chapters of the Improving Literacy Research Alliance have requested training on the literacy tools that have been developed by REL Southeast. Training has been conducted at state reading association conferences, symposiums, and at regional events. Over the course of several two-day sessions this June and July, REL Southeast will provide training at summer institutes in Georgia as they kick off their Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia (L4GA) initiative funded with their Striving Readers Grant. Training will be conducted on the IES Practice Guide on Foundational Reading Skills to Support Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade and professional learning community materialsthat complement the practice guide, the School Leader’s Literacy Walkthrough for Grades K-3, the Rubric for Evaluating Reading/Language Arts Instructional Materials for Kindergarten to Grade 5, and several self-study guides.

Infographic Spotlight: Instructional Strategies for Teaching Writing to Elementary Students

Teaching writing effectively to elementary students is imperative to helping them improve writing skills, which in turn helps them to be successful both in and out of the classroom. Effective writing is a vital component of literacy development and provides students a means of communicating their thoughts and ideas with others clearly. Writing also provides students with the skills to analyze texts and other information to clarify their own thoughts. This infographic shares multiple evidence-based instructional strategies and highlights several IES resources for teaching writing.

Upcoming REL Southeast Work

  • Alliance members have requested that REL Southeast develop a literacy leader’s walkthrough tool for grades 4-12. It is anticipated the tool will be similar in format to the tool created for grades K-3 and will be divided into grade bands. Alliance members will provide guidance as the tool is developed.
  • Several alliance members have expressed a desire for training for practitioners on evidence-based practices for writing instruction at the elementary and secondary levels. Training will be developed and should be available later this fall.
  • Work is continuing with the Adult Education Director at the Florida Department of Education and the Institute for the Professional Development of Adult Education at Indian River State College. Several trainings on evidence-based literacy strategies have been provided for adult educators across the state of Florida and follow-up webinars have been conducted. Future sessions are being planned that will build on this initial foundation of knowledge.

Ask A REL

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.

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

June 9, 2018

Great Summer Reading—15% Off Through End Of June

Another REL item…  There may be some items of interest here in this list.

The ultimate summer reading list
Whether you’re looking for ways to recharge your classroom environment, unleash curiosity in yourself or your students, or shift your school or district from improvement to innovation, we’ve got the summer read for you.
Order your book(s) from the McREL Bookstore by June 30, 2018, and use the code SUMMER15 to save 15% on your entire order.*
Check out the titles listed below for new thinking about how learning happens for your students, how to push past performance plateaus, and how to move toward powerful, curiosity-driven innovation.
School leadership & improvement
Curiosity Works: A Guidebook for Moving Your School from Improvement to Innovation
Stretch your thinking and inspire your school team to embrace change for growth and innovation, not just individually as school leaders and educators, but as an entire team and school community.
This 128-page book includes 17 practical tools to help guide your school leadership team through a six-phase journey to powerful improvement and innovation. Along the way, you’ll learn why curiosity is an important lever for learning and how to cultivate it in teachers, leaders, and learners using the five improvement and innovation pathways in McREL’s Curiosity Works™ approach.
FREE SAMPLE
Download a free sample from
Chapter 1, including Tool #1.
Unstuck: How Curiosity, Peer Coaching, and Teaming Can Change Your School
What happens when your school performance gets stuck on a plateau, despite your team’s best efforts to enact your improvement plans and mandates?Unstuck shows how one school system embraced student and educator curiosity as a catalyst for transformation and developed a refreshing—and successful—new approach to school improvement, one you can apply to your own school or system to inspire better staff engagement and student achievement.
This process involves six steps to school improvement: starting with a moral purpose, unleashing curiosity, building on bright spots, peer coaching toward precision, leading from the inside out, and moving the goal posts. This book’s tips, real-life examples, and next steps will help leaders get from where they are now to where they want to be.
Balanced Leadership: Tools for Achieving Success in Your School
Thousands of school leaders worldwide have improved their leadership skills with our research-based Balanced Leadership®program. This book shares lessons we’ve learned and the guidance that has made the biggest difference in student and staff success. Learn how a balanced approach enables more effective implementation of the fundamental components of leadership: establishing a clear focus on what matters most for the entire school; managing the challenges associated with change to sustain improvement efforts; and creating a committed, purposeful, and positive community of teachers and staff.
Engaging instruction
Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works: Ready-to-Use Techniques for Increasing Student Achievement
Combining the best resources from McREL and Thoughtful Education Press, this book delivers 51 classroom-ready instructional tools and activities that make it easy to implement the effective teaching strategies from McREL’s bestselling book, Classroom Instruction That Works. By incorporating these tools into your daily practice, you can create high levels of engagement and deep learning for students every day. Each tool includes 3–7 basic steps and concrete examples that model how to use them in classrooms.
FREE SAMPLE
Download a free sample that includes the Foreword, Table of Contents, and 4 tools.
Unleashing Curiosity Quick Guide Series
Our Unleashing Curiosity quick guides give teachers and school leaders tips, suggestions, and ideas to increase student curiosity with six specific strategies. The guides also contain rubrics for professional dialogue with other teachers to develop shared professional expertise and leverage the power of motivation and curiosity.
Quality Questioning: Research-Based Practice to Engage Every Learner
Quality questioning in the classroom begins with preparing questions to engage all students in thinking, and ends in the facilitation of student dialogue that deepens learning. Quality Questioningshows how to integrate effective questioning strategies into daily classroom practice. The highly applicable, classroom-ready principles presented include:
  • Tools to develop student skills and create a classroom culture that nurtures thinking and learning
  • QR codes that link to more than 20 videos (elementary through high school)
  • Strategies to support teachers’ personal reflection, classroom observations, and collaborative professional dialogue
Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement
First published in 2001, Classroom Instruction That Works revolutionized teaching by linking nine categories of instructional practices to evidence of increased student learning. This second edition delivers expanded evidence-based insights on how to apply the instructional strategies in the classroom, and shows how and why some strategies work more effectively than others. It includes an Instructional Planning Guide that shows when to emphasize each of the strategies to:
  • Create an environment for learning that ensures an effective backdrop for every lesson
  • Develop your students’ understanding by using their prior knowledge as scaffolding for new learning
  • Help students extend and apply knowledge and move beyond “right answer” learning to an expanded understanding and use of concepts and skills
Free McREL resources
White Paper | Student Learning That Works: How Brain Science Informs a Student Learning Model
Surgeons learn about the body before operating. So why don’t more teachers learn about the brain before educating? In this free white paper, McREL president and CEO Bryan Goodwin makes the case for incorporating brain science into the practice of teaching. Knowing how memory works can suggest classroom tactics that aid the acquisition and recall of information, he says. Furthermore, adopting a model for learning, rather than relying solely on the increasingly common (and increasingly detailed) instructional framework, can help teachers layer innovation upon tradition.
Student Learning That Works
Changing Schools Volume 79, Spring 2018
McREL’s proposal for a research-inspired student learning model is the lead story in this issue of Changing Schools. Neuroscience is forcing some of the brain’s secrets out into the open, and by focusing on how students learn, rather than dwelling exclusively on how teachers teach, educators can create more effective lessons. In other articles, discover the characteristics of a dynamic and engaging classroom; learn about a six-phase process for school improvement and innovation; get tips on using more formative assessment; and read about how a McREL consultant helped a “turnaround” school find success.
* Cannot be combined with other discounts.
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P 800.858.6830 | F 303.337.3005
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June 8, 2018

NGSS Implementation | Math Pathways | School Safety

An item from one of the RELs.

June 2018 forward to a friend view on web

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WestEd E-Bulletin
IN THIS ISSUE  Summer Professional Learning  School Police  Math Pathways

The NGSS Early Implementers Initiative is inspiring administrators to make science a priority in K–8 education. A new R&D Alert article explores how the initiative is helping education leaders pave the way for powerful instruction aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.

Learn More

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PROFESSIONAL LEARNINGRegister Now for Summer Professional Learning

Whether you’re modeling reading strategies for college freshmen, improving instruction for English learner students with disabilities, or engaging science students by putting a new twist on the classic properties of matter, WestEd services build your knowledge and skills, and present strategies designed to help all learners succeed.

Register

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HEALTH, SAFETY, & WELL-BEINGSchool-Based Law Enforcement and School Safety: What the Research Says

Police are an increasingly common presence in schools around the United States. This new brief presents a definition of school-based law enforcement and summarizes research about its effects on school safety.

Learn More

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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, & MATHEMATICSMultiple Paths Forward: Diversifying Mathematics as a Strategy for College Success

Designed for community college practitioners, this new report outlines how and why colleges are creating new math pathways that are aligned with students’ programs of study.

Learn More

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SPECIAL EDUCATIONAssessing and Improving Special Education Programs

Special education programs are a key component of school improvement efforts. This resource, developed by the Center on School Turnaround, aims to assist school districts and leaders in engaging in conversations about, and reviewing and improving, their special education programs.

Learn More

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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, & MATHEMATICSMaking Sense of SCIENCE: Register for Upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities

Backed by rigorous research, Making Sense of SCIENCE (MSS) is a transformative approach to professional learning that connects hands-on science with integrated teaching and literacy supports. MSS empowers teachers, staff developers, and educators with the knowledge and skills needed to support a culture of productive learning for students.

Register

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COLLEGE & CAREERThe Expository Reading and Writing Course: Preparing Students for College-Level English Coursework

The Expository Reading and Writing Course is designed to provide high school students with the skills necessary to successfully transition to postsecondary coursework. In this audio interview, WestEd’s Tony Fong and Nancy Brynelson of the California State University Chancellor’s Office discuss how the course was initially designed, the impact it has had on students and teachers, and plans for future revisions.

Listen

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AGENCY NEWSEnglish Language Learners, Leadership Standards, Early Childhood, & More: Explore Our Summer Reading Picks

Check out resources on a wide range of topics, from early childhood and literacy to STEM and special education, all designed to help learners succeed.

Resource Spotlight

Self-Regulation in Learning: The Role of Language and Formative Assessment

In this new book, Alison L. Bailey and WestEd’s Margaret Heritage illustrate how to help students become more self-regulated learners — that is, able to monitor and take charge of their own learning when working independently and with their peers in groups.

Purchase

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June 1, 2018

New Issue! Changing Schools | Student Learning That Works

From one of the RELs yesterday.

Student Learning That Works™
Changing Schools Volume 79, Spring 2018
McREL International CEO Bryan Goodwin’s proposal for a research-inspired student learning model is the lead story in this issue of Changing Schools. Neuroscience, he writes, is forcing some of the brain’s secrets out into the open. By focusing on how students learn, rather than dwelling exclusively on how teachers teach, educators can create more effective lessons. In other articles, discover the characteristics of a dynamic and engaging classroom; learn about a six-phase process for school improvement and innovation; get tips on using more formative assessment; and read about how a McREL consultant helped a “turnaround” school find success.
Learn more about McREL’s Six-Phase Model for Learning
Download our new, free white paper
Student Learning That Works: How Brain Science Informs a Student Learning Model
Surgeons learn about the body before operating. So why don’t more teachers learn about the brain before educating? In this free white paper, McREL president and CEO Bryan Goodwin makes the case for incorporating brain science into the practice of teaching. Knowing how memory works can suggest classroom tactics that aid the acquisition and recall of information, he says. Furthermore, adopting a model for learning, rather than relying solely on the increasingly common (and increasingly detailed) instructional framework, can help teachers layer innovation upon tradition.
Wherever you are on your school improvement journey,
McREL is here to support you! For a free consultation or to schedule onsite PD in your district, contact us today.
Motivate. Lead. Achieve.
Bringing research, practice, and the joy of learning to classrooms.
Nonprofit education research, development, consulting, and services.
CONNECT WITH McREL
FOLLOW McREL on SOCIAL MEDIA
CONTACT US
McREL International
P 800.858.6830 | F 303.337.3005
Copyright © 2018, McREL International. All rights reserved.

May 31, 2018

REL Webinar: Strategies to Support Evidence Use in Education

This webinar might be of interest – unfortunately RELs are well known for conducting media comparison studies as “evidence.”

Institute of Education Sciences - Newsflash Find IES Research on Facebook Connect with IES Research on Twitter IES Newsflash

REL Webinar: Strategies to Support Evidence Use in Education

Join Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest for a webinar on June 19 to learn how researchers can support the use of evidence-based practices in education.

With the goal of increasing student achievement, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires schools to identify and incorporate evidence-based practices to receive federal funding. However, education practitioners may be limited in applying research due to several factors, including time constraints, policies and legislative requirements, and the need for easily understandable research findings.

This webinar will highlight strategies that researchers can use to support evidence use by state and local education agency staff. Speakers from REL Midwest, the University of California San Diego, the University of Rochester, and the Ohio Department of Education will discuss barriers that may prevent education practitioners from using evidence-based practices, and share actionable strategies that researchers and other stakeholders can use to increase evidence use. The webinar also will feature a panel discussion about REL Midwest’s evidence-based intervention clearinghouse resources and coaching sessions, which were developed to encourage research use in state-level practice, particularly to help school districts in identifying practices that meet ESSA evidence standards.

This webinar is designed for researchers, state-level education agency staff, district-level education agency staff, and school administrators. If you cannot attend the live event, register to be notified when a recording of the webinar is available online.

Strategies to Support Evidence Use in Education
June 19, 2018
12:00–1:00 p.m. CT
Register here

*****
The Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) build the capacity of educators to use data and research to improve student outcomes. Each REL responds to needs identified in its region and makes learning opportunities and other resources available to educators throughout the United States. The REL program is a part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education. To receive regular updates on REL work, including events and reports, follow IES on Facebook and Twitter.

The Institute of Education Sciences, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation and statistics.
By visiting Newsflash you may also sign up to receive information from IES and its four Centers NCESNCERNCEE, & NCSERto stay abreast of all activities within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

To obtain hard copy of many IES products as well as hard copy and electronic versions of hundreds of other U.S. Department of Education products please visit http://www.edpubs.org or call 1-877-433-7827 (877-4-EDPUBS).

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