Wednesday, July 30, 2014

When Do Readers Read to Learn?

We've all heard the mantra....By 4th grade, readers read to learn and learning how to read is not an issue.  With this mantra we're not talking about struggling readers.  However, in this article, researchers are discovering that for many readers this shift is not clear cut at all.  Donna Coch who heads the Reading Brains Lab at Dartmouth College did brain research to find out when automatic word recognition starts.  Automatic word recognition is important because the brain needs resources for comprehension, not word recognition.  Interesting....Read the full article for more details.

Learning to Read May Take Longer Than We Thought. Anya Kamnetz. 7.26.14.  nprED.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Teaching Math to Struggling First Graders

The newer CC methods to teach math using hands-on materials, whole body movements, and discussions of different strategies are not working well with struggling very young children.  Guess what works?  The old fashioned way...drill and practice!  The newest research published in the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis studied methodology used in teaching young struggling students.   What was effective was traditional teacher directed instruction.  Read the whole article for details.

Right and wrong methods for teaching first graders who struggle with math.  Jill Barshay. 7.21.1014. The Hechinger Report.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

ELL Education: Best Practices from Exemplary Schools

This well researched study analyzes how highly effective schools with high ELL populations provide instruction that results in excellent performance in state states.  ELLs in 5 states were examined (California, Florida, Massachusetts, Texas, and New Mexico).
Findings include these characteristics...
  • Explicit instruction
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Collaborative learning for language and reading
  • Student engagement in culturally relevant lessons
  • Teachers certified in bilingual or ESL or large number of highly trained staff
  • Professional development:  effective instructional strategies
  • Greatest challenge:  parent-school connections
Read summary findings and obtain the full study on Colorin Colorado website - an excellent source for ELL information of all kinds.

Effective Practices for English Language Learners.  Rivera, David J. Francis, Magdalena Fernandez, Ani C. Moughamian, Julia Jergensen, Nonie K. Lesaux; Center on Instruction. 2010