In Word Detectives: Using Units of Meaning to Support Literacy, Goodwin, Miriam, Lipsky, and Soyeon Ahn (2012), looked at research regarding how students comprehend, how students deconstruct words in order to determine word meaning, and the impact of morphological instruction on student understanding of words. From their findings, here are six strategies that focus on morphological instruction that help students understand how to attack and conquer unknown words, but have the added benefit of being easily implemented into any classroom. Segmenting and Building Begin with segmenting and building words with morphemes. Remember that the focus of this exercise [...]
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So far Amy Brown has created 7 blog entries.
Traditional Assessment When you think of assessments, the traditional method is of course paper and pencil. And when you think of paper and pencil “testing,” you may think of the required countless hours of grading that inevitably follows. As a teacher, this is often one of the most challenging barriers to overcome when planning lessons that include frequent formative assessments. However, how do we actually ensure that we are not only administering assessments but that we are actually collecting and using the data they provide to guide our instructional decisions, as well as monitor for student achievement? Because if we [...]
We’ve all been there -- full-day professional development workshops that give lots of information in a short period of time, and then a wave goodbye and a wish for good luck. Research is clear that these type of sit-and-get trainings aren’t effective, and often leave teachers more overwhelmed than overjoyed. Why does traditional professional development not work, and what can you do to make sure it doesn’t happen in your district? One hit wonders aren’t winners. One-time workshops aren’t ideal, especially when learning about something new that is expected to be put into practice immediately. Taking notes during a workshop [...]
A question we often get from teachers and leaders is, “What is one thing I can do right now to increase student success?” As you can imagine, there are lots of answers to that question, and none of those answers are simple. There are, of course, dozens of strategies that could be incorporated into instruction that will make a big difference in student achievement, but which ones are the best? Which ones are really worth our time to use in the classroom? Topping the list of the top research-based learning strategies is Higher Order Thinking. Teaching our students how to [...]
How does background knowledge impact student learning and achievement? If you are like many educators, you can read this passage fluently, yet still struggle to comprehend what it means. This of course is because many people have never played baseball, or followed it in any way (despite the fact that it is America’s game). So, how does this unpatriotic confession relate to student learning and achievement? Well, in Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement: Research on What Works in Schools (2004), Marzano says “…what students already know about the content is one of the strongest indicators of how well they [...]
Using a single research-based strategy or a single exemplary practice effectively in a lesson will yield positive results for learning for most students. And depending on the strategy or practice, it produces much, much more learning than not using it! Usually, teachers have a few strategies that they like to use with students. Choosing whether to use one of them (and when) is often an arbitrary decision that "strikes" a teacher when planning the lesson. Often, teachers rely on a single favorite strategy to work with all students. What about choosing strategies for students from homes of poverty? What about [...]
One important aspect of teaching is making sure the information is getting through, processed, retained and understood. There are ways of finding out if they have learned anything from your efforts. The first consideration is to set up Collaborative Pairs in your classroom. Collaborative Pairs is the base grouping and organizational tool for classroom use where students are paired for the purposes of engaging their thinking about the lesson and monitoring their understanding. You can monitor pairs and make reasonable determinations regarding which students understand, which students need additional support, and which students are not understanding. Using Collaborative Pairs, especially when [...]