Virtual School Meanderings

January 4, 2023

REL Southeast Director’s Email—January 2023

No K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning items in this REL newsletter.

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Dr. Nicole Patton TerryREL Southeast

Director’s Email

January 2023

Greetings from the REL Southeast,

Today’s global information economy requires that students possess more advanced literacy skills than previous generations. However, improvements in the literacy development of older students have not kept pace with the increasing demands for literacy in the workplace or postsecondary educational settings. Data from the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading reports that only 31 percent of eighth-grade students were able to perform at or above the NAEP Proficient level on the reading assessment, 3 percentage points lower than 2019 scores. To improve reading ability, students must refine and build upon their reading skills, and teachers of adolescents who struggle with reading should help them acquire more advanced skills.

The REL Southeast has and continues to work with states, districts, and schools to support educators and help them achieve this goal. This month, we’d like to share resources regarding adolescent literacy that were designed specifically for classroom teachers, school leaders, and even parents and caregivers. We hope you find these materials informative and useful, and as always, thank you for helping to improve educational outcomes for every student in our region.

With gratitude,

Dr. Nicole Patton Terry
Director, REL Southeast

Improving Literacy in Mississippi –The Journey Continues 

The Mississippi success story of improving the literacy skills of students in the early grades is widely known and well-documented. The state continues to focus on strong literacy instruction in grades K-3 but is also turning their attention to the next leg of their journey to improve the skills of ALL students, which is to address instruction in grades 4 and up. In this recent blog post, you’ll learn about the REL Southeast’s Mississippi Adolescent Literacy Partnership and the work they’re doing around the state to improve adolescent literacy skills and provide training to literacy intervention teachers.

Click here to read the blog.

Explore the Practice Guides discussed in the blog

Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively

Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices

Guide and Checklists for a School Leader’s Walkthrough during Literacy Instruction in Grades 4-12

This tool was developed to assist school leaders in observing specific research-based practices during literacy instruction in grade 4-12 classrooms and students’ independent use or application of those practices. The tool aims to help school leaders conduct brief and frequent walkthroughs throughout the school year.

Click here to explore the tool.

Literacy Tips for Parents of Adolescents

This infographic provides several evidence-informed activities that parents can initiate at home to help ensure successful literacy outcomes for their adolescent students.

Click here to explore the infographic.

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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 22, 2022

Changing Schools | December newsletter

A newsletter from one of the RELs – no K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning items in it.  But several items that readers might find useful all the same.

December 7, 2022

REL Southeast Director’s Email—December, 2022

The NAEP information at the top of this REL newsletter is interesting.

View this email in your browser

Dr. Nicole Patton TerryREL Southeast

Director’s Email

December 2022

Greetings from the REL Southeast,

As we enter the final month of 2022, the effects of an almost three year-long pandemic on student performance are sharpening into focus. This October, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—often referred to as the Nation’s Report Card—was released and provided a sobering look at average math and reading scores across the nation. We also invite you to read IES director Mark Schneider’s recent blog article which provides more context about the NAEP scores. As Director Schneider noted, these scores represent the largest declines in NAEP history. However, declines were evident before the pandemic, especially for students who were already struggling with reading and math in school.

Though troubling, there was also evidence to suggest student performance is moving in the right direction as typical classroom and school practices resume. So, it is important we remain steadfast in our efforts to support student learning and achievement in school. The NAEP scores suggest that many children are in of need additional support with math, and conversations with our partners across the region agree. Therefore, this month we’d like to share several resources that educators and families can use to support math development and instruction. We hope you find these materials informative and useful, and as always, thank you for helping to improve educational outcomes for every student in our region.

With gratitude,

Dr. Nicole Patton Terry
Director, REL Southeast

Teaching Math to Young Children

This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guide provides five recommendations for teaching math to children in preschool, prekindergarten, and kindergarten. Each recommendation includes implementation steps and solutions for common roadblocks. The recommendations also summarize and rate supporting evidence. This guide is geared toward teachers, administrators, and other educators who want to build a strong foundation for later math learning.

Click here to explore the practice guide.


REL Central videos on WWC practice guide Teaching Math to Young Children

This series of REL Central videos focus on actionable strategies to increase the quality of math instruction in the early years by providing recommendations that address implementation steps and common roadblocks experienced by early learners. Dr. Douglas Clements presents these brief discussions using the five recommendations in the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide Teaching Math to Young Children.

Click here to explore the videos.


Teaching Math to Young Children for Families and Caregivers

These family and caregiver resources and activities, organized by math topics such as counting or shapes, include research-based and easy-to-follow steps to help you support your child’s math skills during a typical day.

Click here to explore the resources.

Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Intervention in the Elementary Grades

This WWC practice guide provides evidence-based practices that can help teachers tailor their instructional approaches and/or their mathematics intervention programs to meet the needs of their students.

Click here to explore the practice guide.


Using number lines to teach number concepts in the elementary grades

This infographic, developed by the REL Southeast, presents important number principles included in the contemporary state standards for which the number line can be useful tool to build understanding.

Click here to explore the infographic.

Improving Mathematical Problem Solving for Students in Grades 4 Through 8

This WWC practice guide provides five recommendations for improving students’ mathematical problem solving in grades 4 through 8. This guide is geared toward teachers, math coaches, other educators, and curriculum developers who want to improve the mathematical problem solving of students.

Click here to explore the practice guide.


Professional Learning Community: Improving Mathematical Problem Solving for Students in Grades 4 Through 8

The 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.

Click here to explore the PLC.
Click here to explore an infographic about the PLC.


Using the Practice Guide to Improve Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8

In this recorded webinar, REL Northeast & Islands presented an overview of the practice guide approach, including how this approach produces credible, evidence-based, and useful recommendations that can be applied in practice. Also discussed was how the practice guide can be used to guide the professional development of mathematics teachers using examples. Finally, a mathematics teacher and coach shared their experiences and discussed how educators in leadership positions can support teachers as they use these practices.

Click here to watch the video.


Supporting Mathematical Problem Solving at Home

This REL Northeast & Islands guide helps families and caregivers carry out recommended practices described in the What Works Clearinghouse educator’s practice guide, Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8.

Click here to explore the guide.

Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students

This WWC practice guide provides three recommendations for teaching algebra to students in middle school and high school. Each recommendation includes implementation steps and solutions for common roadblocks. This guide is geared toward teachers, administrators, and other educators who want to improve their students’ algebra knowledge.

Click here to explore the practice guide.


Foundational Knowledge and Skills for Success in Algebra I

This REL Central infographic presents the results from a study in which educators from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education partnered with REL Central to investigate the specific foundational knowledge and skills that are associated with achievement in Algebra I.
Click here to explore the infographic.


Ingredients for a Successful Algebra Program in Middle School

In this recorded webinar, REL Central presenters review research on how Algebra I in a middle school is situated within a broader course sequence and teacher characteristics associated with student achievement in middle school Algebra I.

Click here to watch the video.

Professional Learning Models to Support Student Success in Mathematics

The REL Appalachia Student Success in Mathematics partnership (SSMP) focused on supporting teachers in using evidence-based mathematics instruction in their classrooms, with goal of increasing students’ readiness for algebra I and opening doors for future high school, postsecondary, and workforce success. To support this goal, the partnership launched the Professional Learning Models for Success in Mathematics project to assist the SSMP divisions in designing and carrying out evidenced-based professional development to improve mathematics teaching and learning.

Click here to explore the models.

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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, 2022

REL Report: Indicators of School Performance in Texas

A couple of references to remote attendance in this report, which raises the age old question of what constitutes “attendance” in an online class?

 Institute 
of Education Sciences

REL Report: Indicators of School Performance in Texas

Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest partnered with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to examine whether information regularly collected by districts could be used to monitor school performance when assessment data are not available, such as during the school year or when there are disruptions to schooling. Using school-level data from the two school years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic (2017/18 and 2018/19), the study examined the association between several student behaviors and teacher factors and the likelihood of schools meeting accountability expectations. Focusing only on the student behaviors and teacher factors associated with the likelihood of meeting accountability expectations in 2018/19, the study team created indicators for predicting school performance. Finally, the study examined whether the percentages of schools identified by the indicators as likely to meet accountability expectations vary across school years, including the year in which accountability ratings were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic (2019/20). TEA staff and local support providers (such as regional service centers or other organizations providing technical assistance to schools) can use the indicators for ongoing monitoring that informs continuous improvement in schools.

Key findings include the following:

  • Student attendance rate, chronic absenteeism rate, and the prospective teacher turnover rate were associated with elementary, middle, and high schools’ likelihood of meeting accountability expectations.
  • For elementary schools, the student attendance rate and chronic absenteeism rate were the only two indicators that performed adequately in predicting whether schools met accountability expectations across all school levels during the 2018/19 school year. For middle school and high school, several additional indicators performed adequately.
  • For elementary and middle school indicators, such as the attendance rate and chronic absenteeism rate, the percentages of schools above the indicator cutpoints were consistent between 2017/18 and 2018/19 but differed in 2019/20, potentially due to changes in how attendance was reported during the pandemic.

Read the full report at: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/rel/Products/Publication/100919

*****

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.

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November 19, 2022

14 Strategies to Boost Student Success

The second of two MCREL items. Some classroom resources and professional learning opportunities that teachers might find useful.

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