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
View this email in your browser

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

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

July 5, 2018

REL Southeast Director’s Email—July 2018

Note that there are no K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning items in this REL newsletter; but it does have an “Ask a REL” feature which may be of interest or use to practitioner readers.

July 2018
View this email in your browser

Greetings from REL Southeast!

REL Southeast is fortunate to have a Governing Board that is both highly active and eagerly engaged. This month I would like to shine a spotlight on the efforts of one Governing Board member in particular, Dr. Julie Washington.

An expert in language development and disorders in high risk populations at Georgia State University, Dr. Washington was recently profiled in the April edition of The Atlantic for her work on code-switching as it relates to speakers of  African-American English. The article may be found here.

With REL SE, Dr. Washington also recently presented to two higher education literacy councils in Mississippi and Georgia. During Dr. Washington’s Dialect and Reading in Low-Income African American Students presentations for the Mississippi Higher Education Literacy Council and Georgia Department of Education Literacy Think Tank, participants received an overview of research regarding how dialect influences the development of reading skills, especially in African American students. Dr. Washington also discussed how the practice of teaching code-switching can help improve students’ language and reading abilities while not disparaging their dialect. Participants also debriefed in an effort to determine practices they could use to present this information to practitioners in the field, including preservice and inservice teachers. In both sessions, participants were engaged throughout as evidenced by their excellent questions during and after the presentations.

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

Regional Work

Learn about REL Southeast’s work in Georgia by visiting the Georgia Literacy Initiative partnership page on the REL Southeast website.


Explore the work REL Southeast is conducting in Mississippi by visiting the Improving Schools in Mississippi alliance page and the Mississippi Department of Education Partnership page on the REL Southeast website.

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 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
View this email in your browser

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.
CONNECT WITH McREL
FOLLOW McREL on SOCIAL MEDIA
QUICK LINKS
McREL PARTNERS
REL Pacific
North Central Comprehensive Center
CONTACT US
McREL International
P 800.858.6830 | F 303.337.3005
Copyright © 2018, McREL International. All rights reserved.

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

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

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

Facebook Twitter

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

Facebook Twitter

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

Facebook Twitter

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

Facebook Twitter

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

Facebook Twitter

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

Facebook Twitter

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

Facebook Twitter

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

Facebook Twitter

Featured Initiative

Follow Us on Social Media

WestEd is on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn. Connect with us to stay informed about our research, resources, services, events, and career opportunities.

WestEd at Events

Join us at national and local events. Browse our up-to-date calendar!

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Visit us online at WestEd.org

Copyright © 2018 WestEd. All rights reserved.  WestEd, 730 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.