Virtual School Meanderings

December 17, 2021

REL Southeast Director’s Email—December, 2021

Note the report below entitled Exploring Teachers’ Influence on Student Success in an Online Biology Course, which should be of interest to readers of this space.

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REL Southeast

Director’s Email

December 2021

Greetings from the REL Southeast,

This December marks the last year of our five-year REL Southeast contract period. As such, I’d like to take the opportunity to reflect on our time serving the region.

Though the pandemic presented challenges none of us had experienced, the committed staff of the REL Southeast managed to pivot and produce relevant, evidence-informed materials parents could use at home with their students. Similarly, the work of our Blended and Online Learning alliance became a critical resource for many educators who were wading into digital waters for the first time. All the while, our longitudinal studies, reports, and coaching activities diligently continued to take shape in the background. All this amazing work would not be possible without the determination and resiliency of our talented staff and research partners. To them, I say thank you.

Below you will find a selection of highlighted products produced by REL Southeast over the past five years. We encourage you to share these resources with colleagues and continue visiting for regular updates. The REL Southeast team looks forward to serving you in the future as we continue the critical work of improving outcomes for all students.

With gratitude,

Dr. John Hughes
Director, REL Southeast

1.	Integrating Reading Foundations: A Tool for College Instructors of Pre-service TeachersIntegrating Reading Foundations: A Tool for College Instructors of Pre-service Teachers

This resource complements and extends the practice guide, Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade, by providing lessons to assist college instructors in building pre-service teachers’ knowledge of evidence-based strategies for helping students in kindergarten through grade 3 acquire the language and literacy skills to succeed academically.

Development of Mathematical ReasoningDevelopment of Mathematical Reasoning

Developing mathematical reasoning is a process of constructing mental relationships and connections in increasingly sophisticated ways. This infographic provides an overview of the five major components of mathematical reasoning: counting strategies, additive thinking, multiplicative reasoning, proportional reasoning, and functional reasoning.

3.	Exploring Teachers’ Influence on Student Success in an Online Biology CourseExploring Teachers’ Influence on Student Success in an Online Biology Course

This study of an online high school biology course offered by Florida Virtual School examined the amount of variation in course completion, students’ final exam scores, and time to completion that is attributable to the influence of teachers.

Preparing a Career-Ready StudentPreparing a Career-Ready Student

This infographic presents four practices that were selected by REL Southeast Florida Career Readiness Research Alliance members after reviewing and discussing a literature review on effective career counseling practices.

Preparing a School-Ready ChildPreparing a School-Ready Child

This infographic discusses the four dimensions that must be considered when preparing a child for school and links to valuable additional resources for early educators.

6.	Impact of the Developing Mathematical Ideas Professional Development Program on Grade 4 Students’ and Teachers’ Understanding of FractionsImpact of the Developing Mathematical Ideas Professional Development Program on Grade 4 Students’ and Teachers’ Understanding of Fractions

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of the Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) professional development program on grade 4 teachers’ in-depth knowledge of fractions as well as their students’ understanding and proficiency with fractions.

Systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of early childhood education curricula and instructional practices on language and literacy developmentSystematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of early childhood education curricula and instructional practices on language and literacy development

This study reviews 20 years of research on early literacy interventions aimed at improving language, phonological awareness, print knowledge, decoding, and early writing skills for preschool students. Using a process modeled after the WWC methodology, REL Southeast identified 109 studies, representing 132 interventions, conducted from 1997 to 2017 that it determined were high-quality experimental or quasi-experimental studies.

Professional Learning Community: Improving Mathematical Problem Solving for Students in Grades 4 Through 8 Facilitator’s GuideProfessional Learning Community: Improving Mathematical Problem Solving for Students in Grades 4 Through 8 Facilitator’s Guide

REL Southeast developed this facilitator’s guide on the topic of mathematical problem solving for use in professional learning community (PLC) settings. The facilitator’s guide is a set of professional development materials designed to supplement the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide, Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8 (Woodward et al., 2012). The practice guide provides research-based recommendations for teachers to incorporate into their classroom practice. The facilitator’s guide is designed to complement and extend the practice guide by providing teachers in a PLC setting with additional, step-by-step guidance for the best ways to implement some of these evidence-based recommendations.

Professional Learning Community: Emergent LiteracyProfessional Learning Community: Emergent Literacy

The goal of emergent literacy instruction is to teach the building blocks that will, in later grades, provide children the foundation needed to become proficient readers, writers, and communicators. Emergent literacy building blocks, or skills, include print knowledge, phonological awareness, vocabulary, and oral language. Preschoolers who learn these skills are less likely to develop future reading problems and more likely to read with ease, understand what they read, and succeed in school.

Supporting Your Child's Reading at HomeSupporting Your Child’s Reading at Home

The videos and activities on this website provide families with information about how to support children as they practice foundational reading skills at home.

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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

2010 Levy Avenue
Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL 32310

December 6, 2021

REL Southeast Director’s Email—November, 2021

Seems odd that the “November newsletter” was sent on 03 December.  Either way, there are several items below that should be of interest to readers of this space.

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REL Southeast

Director’s Email

November 2021

Greetings from the REL Southeast,

This month we have three new evidence-based products to share with you. You can find brief descriptions and links to each product below. We look forward to sharing more resources with you in the future, and as always, thank you for helping to improve education.

Dr. John Hughes
Director, REL Southeast

Product Spotlight


Development of Mathematical ReasoningDevelopment of Mathematical Reasoning

This infographic defines the development of mathematical reasoning and provides readers with examples of what that development looks like in practice.

Explore the infographic here.

Product Spotlight


How Can We Discover Effective Strategies Invented by Online Teachers?How Can We Discover Effective Strategies Invented by Online Teachers?

This infographic summarizes and reflets on the REL Southeast report: Exploring Teacher Influences on Student Success in an Online Biology Course.

Explore the infographic here.

Product Spotlight


Beyond the Virtual Classroom: Extending the Social Presence Model to Extracurricular Activities in Online SchoolsBeyond the Virtual Classroom: Extending the Social Presence Model to Extracurricular Activities in Online Schools

In recent years, online schools have expanded beyond the virtual classroom to offer students extracurricular activities, such as virtual clubs. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, this infographic provides an initial look at how the Social Presence Model could help strengthen these extracurricular opportunities for K-12 students, along with examples of student clubs at Florida Virtual School, the nation’s largest state virtual school.

Explore the infographic here.

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.

Twitter
Website
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

2010 Levy Avenue
Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL 32310

November 30, 2021

REL Webinar: Grow Your Own Programs

The first of two items from the folks at IES.  The webinar described in this one may be of interest to some readers.

 Institute of Education Sciences

REL Webinar: Grow Your Own Programs

Join REL Southwest for a webinar on Grow Your Own (GYO) programs. To counter a shrinking teacher workforce that does not reflect the demographics of its students, states are helping schools and districts develop GYO programs to recruit and train future teachers from their own communities. The Biden administration’s American Families Plan calls for nearly $3 billion for GYO and paid teacher residency programs that are more likely to enroll candidates of color, highlighting the level of national interest in these types of programs.

The webinar will include—

  • An overview of GYO programs, the needs such programs are designed to address, and national GYO trends from REL Southwest’s Elizabeth Barkowski
  • Discussion about on-the-ground GYO implementation from three districts: Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) and Crosbyton CISD in Texas and Hamilton County Schools in Tennessee.
  • A presentation on Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) GYO grant program from Ronald Coleman. Participants will also hear about TEA’s data-driven approach to program development, supported by REL Southwest and the Region 14 Comprehensive Center, which helped develop a research-based framework to guide districts designing and implementing GYO programs.

This webinar is designed for a broad national audience of state education agency staff, district administrators, and researchers. Principals, teachers and educators also may be interested in this topic.

Grow Your Own Program, From State Education Agency to School District to Student Outcomes
December 15, 2021
3:00–4:30 p.m. Central Time
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. To provide feedback on this or other REL work, email Contact.IES@ed.gov.

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, statistics, and assessment.
IES Research on Facebook IES Research on Twitter
By visiting Newsflash you may also sign up to receive information from IES and its four Centers NCESNCERNCEE, & NCSER to stay abreast of all activities within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

November 19, 2021

Changing Schools | November newsletter

I don’t believe that there are any specific K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning items in this newsletters – but I wanted to pass it along all the same.

November 2021
So Many Reasons to Be Thankful
As those of us in the U.S. prepare to spend time with families this Thanksgiving, we often reflect on the things for which we are thankful. Here’s my list.
Teachers and school leaders. No surprise here, but it can’t be said often enough. You’ve devoted yourselves to helping students succeed, the noblest career ambition I can imagine. It’s a privilege for my colleagues and I to work with you and support you and your students. You deserve all the support that society can muster.
Parents, families, and other guardians. You do the most important educational work of all by supporting your children throughout their lives. Your work is uncompensated, but let it not go unrecognized.
Legislators and school boards. You provide the policies and resources that guide and support our work in schools, encouraging us to help all students achieve success.
My McREL colleagues and our partners in other capacity-building organizations. You help educators be their best, and what could be more thanks-worthy than that?
Here’s wishing you rest, renewal, and all the success you and your students deserve!
Bryan Goodwin, CEO, McREL International
New and Notable
A Call for More Research on Restorative Justice
Restorative justice is in many ways a more appealing option than suspension for disciplinary issues, but too little is known about how it works (or even, really, what the phrase means) to bring it into widespread use just yet. In his Research Matters column in Educational Leadership magazine, Bryan Goodwin calls for more research and also points out that several schools have had success by moving deliberately enough to gather their own data and build support among colleagues.
Why Do Students’ Languages Matter?
Learning about, recognizing, and supporting students’ language backgrounds and multilingual practices are key to supporting students by developing relationships and nurturing classroom and school enrichment, academic and life success, and student well-being. If you’re teaching Pacific Island students from the Freely Associated States, you may be surprised how many languages they’ve been exposed to, not all of which may be reflected in their school records; they may, for example, be conversant in one language but literate in another. This infographic from our colleagues at REL Pacific will fill you in on how this language diversity informs students’ social world and influences their school experience.
Visit With McREL at These Upcoming Conferences
Literacy Association of Tennessee Conference: Dec. 5–7, Murfreesboro
Join Classroom Instruction That Works expert Cheryl Abla from McREL and Campbell County Schools educator Tammy Baird for their Simple and Easy Strategies to Engage all Students in Comprehending, Summarizing & Note Making session on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 11:30 a.m. Learn more at the conference website.
Learning Forward Annual Conference: Dec. 5–7, online
Learn along with McREL at this virtual conference for educators and professional developers, where Bryan Goodwin will present a session titled Learning That Sticks for Teacher Development. Learn more at the conference website.
New PD Reveals Why “Speaking in Class” Is Not a Bad Thing!
Following up on our popular Classroom Instruction That Works with English Learners and Six-Phase Model for Student Learning That Sticks online PD courses, we’re pleased to present our newest installment: The Speaking-Writing Connection.
A silent classroom is not necessarily one where a lot of learning is going on! This quick course (3–5 hours) will show you how purposeful classroom talk can help students, including English learners, become better writers.
Research Roundup
A selection of research news that ties into our work on leadership, instruction, school improvement, and professional learning here at McREL.
Loss of curiosity takes toll on social and emotional skills. From achievement motivation to trust, 10-year-olds show higher levels in virtually every social and emotional measure than 15-year-olds, according to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. One possible explanation is that “education systems often expect compliance from students, with the potential consequence of driving out curiosity and creativity as students grow older and stay longer in the education system,” according to a writeup on the OECD Education and Skills Today blog. OECD usually studies global academic achievement, but as the new report points out, social and emotional skills are correlated with grades.
Coaching gives principal training a boost. A randomized, controlled evaluation of a principal leadership program found no impact on student achievement from the program itself, but a measurable improvement in English language arts, especially in the most disadvantaged schools, when coaching was added. (There was probably some improvement in math, too, but it was too small to detect, the researchers from RAND Corp. said.) While other studies have shown that training programs can lead principals to modify their practices, this appears to be the first one ever to empirically demonstrate an association with student achievement, the authors asserted. While a coaching add-on can be expensive, the fact that principals reach large numbers of students via their teachers may justify the cost, the study said. Download the paper here.
Better relationships via math? An English research team claim that a pilot math homework project “points to a homework model that is manageable and enjoyable.” For 20 weeks, students at nine primary schools went home with packets that included not just problems to solve, but satisfaction questionnaires for both them and their parents, as well as tips to parents that emphasized being encouraging rather than working on problem-solving skills. This design made it possible for parents to play a fun and beneficial role in their children’s homework routine regardless of their own level of math skill, according to the study in Educational Review.
Fandom, memes, and language acquisition. What can’t K-Pop fans do? Now they’re contributing to the scholarly literature on English language acquisition by tweeting at each other in their shared second language. Writing in E-Learning and Digital Media, a Pakistan-based research team found that the fans are able to absorb the meaning of entire memes without first learning individual words. The authors say they hope this finding will lead to effective teaching aids.
GRANT OPPORTUNITIES
Common abbreviations: institutions of higher education (IHEs); local education agencies (LEAs); and state education agencies (SEAs).
McREL can be a strategic thought partner for your organization, helping you develop and submit a high-quality application. We can also often serve as your grant’s external evaluator. Contact us for more information about our grant partnership services.
Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)
The National Science Foundation’s AISL program seeks to advance new approaches to an evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments. The program supports six types of projects with varying grant values and durations: (1) Pilots and Feasibility Studies (up to $300K across 2 years); (2) Research in Service to Practice (from $300K–$2M across 2–5 years); (3) Innovations in Development (from $500K–$3M across 2–5 years); (4) Broad Implementation (from $1M–$3M across 3–5 years); (5) Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-Analyses (up to $250K across 2 years); and (6) Conferences (up to $250K across 2 years). Applications are due Jan. 18, 2022. Learn more here.
WE’RE HIRING!
As a growing organization, we’re expanding our team of educators, researchers, project managers, and communicators to provide supports and services to more schools, districts, and education agencies. Interested in joining our team? Check out these current openings on the McREL careers page:
  • Administrative Manager (Denver)
  • Research Associate (Denver or Honolulu)
  • Researcher (Denver or Honolulu)
CONTACT US TODAY
Learn more about how our coaching, professional learning, and analysis services can help your school or system reach its goals.
McREL International
P 800.858.6830 | F 303.337.3005
McREL International | 4601 DTC Blvd., Suite 500Denver, CO 80237

REL Webinar: Survey Design and Communication of Results

This webinar may be of interest to some readers.

 Institute of Education Sciences

REL Webinar: Survey Design and Communication of Results

Join REL West for a free 90-minute webinar on strategies for effective survey design and communication of survey results.

This webinar will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to—

  • Learn how to plan for, develop, and implement surveys
  • Understand the purpose of communicating survey results to key audiences
  • Receive guidance on how to effectively communicate the survey results

As a result, stakeholders will be able to improve the quality of data collected in local and state agencies and will be more likely to ensure that survey results are accurate, actionable, and effectively shared with relevant key audiences.

The first part of the webinar will share lessons from research and practice to help participants create effective surveys. Presenters will discuss best practices in four areas of survey development: general best practices in survey design, common problematic survey questions and how to avoid them, Likert scales and rating scales, and creating more inclusive surveys. The second part will outline strategies for effectively communicating survey results to stakeholders. During this time, participants will learn about four levels of communicating survey results: inform, inquire, involve, and inspire/engage. Participants also will learn how to develop a plan that outlines, by type of stakeholder group, the level of communication, timeline, and person(s) responsible for coordination.

Who should attend: State and local education agency leaders and their staff who are asked to develop surveys but may not have extensive experience in either survey design or communication of survey results.

Effective Survey Design and Communication of Survey Results
December 6, 2021
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time
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. To provide feedback on this or other REL work, email Contact.IES@ed.gov.

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, statistics, and assessment.
IES Research on Facebook IES Research on Twitter
By visiting Newsflash you may also sign up to receive information from IES and its four Centers NCESNCERNCEE, & NCSER to stay abreast of all activities within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).
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