Tag Archive for 'primary grades'

You want evidence-based teaching practices?

In “How to Improve Student Learning in Every Classroom Now,” Janet Twyman and Bill Heward (in press) published excellent descriptions of effective practices, complete with descriptions, examples, links, and more. If you follow Teach Effectively, you'll be familiar with the practices they describe, but their article brings them together in one clear summary. Here's their abstract:

This paper is our attempt to help any of the world’s 60 million teachers who ask, “What can I do right now to improve learning in my classroom?” We describe three easy-to-use teaching tactics derived from applied behavior analysis that consistently yield measurably superior learning outcomes. Each tactic is applicable across curriculum content and students’ age and skill levels. Considerations for using digital tools to support and extend these “low-tech” tactics are also discussed.

Oh, about that evidence stuff: They provide plenty of references to solid research.

Twyman, J. S., & Heward, W. L. (in press). How to improve student learning in every classroom now. International Journal of Educationa Research. doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2016.05.007

More free Funnix! It’s math this time.

The folks who brought us the give-away of Funnix Beginning Reading are doing it again! They’re giving away Funnix Beginning Math for free throughout the month of June 2011. Funnix Beginning Math is a 100-lesson computer program designed for children who have not learned beginning math operations. One can download the program from the Funnix site (see link at the end of this post). All of the components of Funnix Beginning Math are included in the download—100 animated, computer-based lessons; workbook materials; a teaching guide, including explicit directions for the teacher; and a placement test for assessing and placing the student.
Continue reading ‘More free Funnix! It’s math this time.’

Some factors affecting effectiveness

According to an analysis by Gregory J. Palardy and Russell W. Rumberger, differences in teacher effectiveness have larger effects on young children’s outcomes in reading and math than do differences in teachers’ backgrounds factors such as level of education and types of certifications held. The teacher quality effects were also substantially greater than the effects for children’s families’ SES in their study and than the effects for class-size reduction (25 25 versus 15 students per classroom) reported in another study.

Professors Palardy and Rumberger arrived at this conclusion by analyzing data from a large data set that is representative of students in the US. They used a sophisticated analytic approach that permitted them to assess the effects of inputs, processes, and outputs at the school, classroom, and individual student levels.

This study uses Early Childhood Longitudinal Study data to investigate the importance of three general aspects of teacher effects—teacher background qualifications, attitudes, and instructional practices—to reading and math achievement gains in first grade. The results indicate that compared with instructional practices, background qualifications have less robust associations with achievement gains. These findings suggest that the No Child Left Behind Act’s “highly qualified teacher” provision, which screens teachers on the basis of their background qualifications, is insufficient for ensuring that classrooms are led by teachers who are effective in raising student achievement. To meet that objective, educational policy needs to be directed toward improving aspects of teaching, such as instructional practices and teacher attitudes.

Palardy, G. J., & Rumberger, R. W. (2008). Teacher effectiveness in first grade: The importance of background qualifications, attitudes, and instructional practices for student learning. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 30, 111-140.

Link to the abstract.

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