Also from yesterday’s inbox…
May is Teacher Appreciation Month!
We’d like to acknowledge the hard work
of all teachers who are making a difference
in the lives of students each day. Thank you!
Review of international research on factors underlying teacher absenteeismREL Pacific and the Institute for Education Sciences
A new report from REL Pacific and the Institute for Education Sciences examines international research on teacher absenteeism and identifies five key factors, in contexts comparable to the Pacific Region, that relate to the causes of teacher absenteeism: pay structure, management, working conditions, community conditions, and social and cultural responsibilities.
The exposure advantage: Early exposure to a multilingual environment promotes effective communication
University of Chicago
Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that children who were either bilingual or regularly exposed to a multilingual environment were better able to interpret a speaker’s perspective and intended meaning than those who were monolingual, suggesting that exposure to second languages can improve the accuracy of perceptions and communication.
Key to vocabulary gap is quality of conversation, not dearth of wordsEducation WeekExpanding on findings from a 20-year-old study that coined the phrase “30 million word gap” to describe the disparity in the size of vocabulary between children of college-educated parents and those of high school dropouts, new studies have shown that what matters more for closing achievement gaps is the quality of interactions between parents and children—-using complex, conceptual language and words of encouragement—-rather than the quantity of words children hear.
The effect of stand-biased desks on academic engagement: An exploratory studyInternational Journal of Health Promotion and EducationIn a recent study from Texas A&M University, researchers found that elementary school students who used standing desks in classrooms demonstrated higher levels of academic engagement than students from the control group who were sitting. Standing students were more likely to raise their hands, answer questions, and participate in classroom discussions, and were less likely to exhibit disruptive behavior than seated students.
Events and Opportunities
Destination Denver: McREL’s summer professional development
Denver is your destination for high-quality professional development this summer! Register now for McREL’s summer PD workshops and institutes held at our headquarters in sunny Denver. Our sessions present analytic insights and best-practice strategies blended with practical school experience. You’ll leave knowing how to make changes in teaching, leading, and learning that result in better outcomes.
Bring your colleagues: Groups of three or more people from the same district receive a 10% discount on registration.
Visit with our researchers and consultants at the following conferences to hear the latest insights and discoveries we’ve made:ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence in Nashville, Tenn., June 26-28.
Friday, June 26, “Creating the Environment for Learning: Implementing a New Instruction Planning Framework,” presented by Howard Pitler
Friday, June 26, “Using AWSM to Improve Formative Assessment Practices,” presented by Kathleen Dempsey and Anne TweedSaturday, June 27, “Academic Language Learning for ALLs and ELLs,” presented by Jane Hill
Arizona School Administrators Summer Conference in Tucson, Ariz., June 14-16.McREL exhibit:Visit with Dr. Kent Davis at the McREL table in the vendor hall to learn about our leadership development and instructional strategies work in Arizona.
National Association of Elementary School Principals Annual Conference in Long Beach, Calif., June 30-July 2.
McREL institutes and sessions:
Monday, June 29, pre-conference institute on creating purposeful school communities with Jim Eck from McREL and Carol Riley from NAESP
Tuesday, June 30, “Using McREL’s Balanced Leadership Framework as a Lens for Mentoring and Coaching,” presented by Jim Eck
Tuesday, June 30, NAESP Mentor Reunion and Reception (mentors only)—-evening reception sponsored by McRELWednesday, July 1, NAESP and McREL Balanced Leadership and Mentor Program Focus Group with Jim Eck
WELS National School Leadership Conference in Pewaukee, Wis., June 15-18.
Tuesday, June 16, “Classroom Instruction That Works,” presented by Howard PitlerTuesday, June 16, “Power Walkthrough Classroom Observations,” presented by Howard Pitler
Changing Schools, Spring 2015 | Focus on Diverse Learners
As U.S. schools usher in a new demographic majority, our spring issue of Changing Schools looks at how to better support diverse learners and improve their odds of success. Articles focus on closing the academic language gap; how the Common Core’s text complexity model helps match diverse learners with relevant reading; the role of critical self-reflection for teachers; how a sense of community is helping Cree Nation students and teachers engage in school improvement; and “stereotype threat” and how it affects achievement.
McREL Policy Brief | Curriculum-Embedded Performance Assessments: Policy considerations for meaningful accountability
McREL’s latest policy brief examines the possibilities for states in using Curriculum-Embedded Performance Assessments (CEPAs) as a way to promote deeper learning in K-12 environments. The brief gives an overview of CEPAs (which can be used for both formative and summative purposes), includes examples of successful CEPA applications, and suggests ways that CEPAs can improve policy-driven outcomes.
Research Says | Mobile Devices: Driving Us to Distraction?
What does the research say about how digital devices in the classroom affect learning? Bryan Goodwin, McREL’s president and CEO, finds that, while we know some educators are doing great things with mobile device technology in the classroom, such approaches are too new to have been subjected to rigorous study. The limited research we have warns of increased distraction; however, Goodwin suggests ways for teachers and students to fend off such distractions. Read more in the latest Research Says column in ASCD’s Educational Leadership magazine.
McREL Blog | Sometimes the best technology is no technology
In a new blog post, “Sometimes the best technology is no technology,” Howard Pitler, McREL’s executive director of digital solutions, suggests that knowing when and how to use technology to enhance classroom learning is an important consideration for teachers, and, sometimes, it’s best to encourage students to “unplug and engage” with each other.
AWSM featured in new NCTM Annual Perspectives in Math yearbook McREL authors contributed a chapter, “Authentic Work Samples Support Formative Assessment in Middle School,” to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ (NCTM) 2015 yearbook, Annual Perspectives in Mathematics Education: Assessment to Enhance Learning and Teaching. The chapter details a formative assessment model—-AWSM, shorthand for Learning to Use Formative Assessment with the Assessment Work Sample Method—-for middle school math, developed by McREL math and assessment specialists for an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) study.
McREL and Habele making a difference for students affected by super typhoon Maysak in Micronesia
VIDEO: Through our Pacific Center for Changing the Odds—-REL Pacific office in Honolulu, the relief effort continues for those affected by super typhoon Maysak. McREL staff members in Denver assembled and delivered more than 450 New Beginnings Kits for affected students in the Outer Islands, using supplies donated by McREL staff members and area schools. This work was featured on ABC’s local affiliate, KITV4, in Hawai’i.
McREL and the Habele education fund have partnered to establish direct links between students and educators in the U.S. looking to help our neighbors in Micronesia by assembling New Beginnings Kits for students in need. Read more about all the ways you can help on Habele’s blog.
In This Issue
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