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Developing Students’ Academic Vocabulary Helps Beat Achievement Gap | Edutopia

12 Dec

Developing Students’ Academic Vocabulary Helps Beat Achievement Gap

We, in Hooksett, NH, are not in a Mecca of ethnic or racial diversity. We do, however, serve a population richly diverse in academic differences. Regardless of a student’s coding or educational profile, though, we need to cater to our students’s strong suits so we can address their weaknesses. The following article lists a few simple methods we can use to improve students understanding of us, teachers, so we can eliminate the achievement gap.

Here is an excerpt of the beginning of Ben Johnson’s post:

“At a small school district, I faced the challenge as an administrator of diminishing the achievement gap in the student scores, especially in math and science. For example, we noticed that in science there was a 40-point gap between Hispanic students passing the test versus the number of white students passing. Having been in the classrooms and having observed teachers teaching, I knew that they were not treating Hispanic students any differently than the white students. So why was there an achievement gap?

We wrestled with this question for a while. Then one day when I was talking with my own children the problem dawned on me: I sometimes had to watch how I spoke with my own children because they would give me funny looks when I used the “big” or unfamiliar words. My own children spoke English just fine, but they did not understand words like ubiquitous, loquacious, or facetious. The solution was looking me in the face quizzically. So, were teachers using academic language that the students whose first language was English were more familiar with? To make a long story short, we decided to increase the level of vocabulary development, primarily using many sheltered language techniques. The results were astounding. Because of this and an intense college readiness focus, in two years, our schools went from the status of unacceptable to recognized and then the next year, exemplary.”

Read more by clicking the following link:

Developing Students’ Academic Vocabulary Helps Beat Achievement Gap | Edutopia.

Questions to Consider:

1. What stands out about his 3 techniques?

2. How could you implement those strategies in your class?

3. He implemented these strategies in his school primarily to eliminate the achievement gap between Hispanics and whites. Could it be beneficial for others?

Sneak Peek: Opening Day Prezi

29 Aug
To those interested in getting a sneak peak at our opening faculty meeting, here is the link.  It should open in another tab or window of your browser, and you may have to create a free Prezi account to view it.  Enjoy, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Why? How? What?

8 Jul

The Golden Circle, as described in this clip, describes how we all have a common bond, a common purpose.  Once we reach consensus on our practices, and we unite in our beliefs and understanding, our How? and What? will become more effective and efficient.

RtI Day 1 for Leadership

7 Jul

Over the course of the day, I gained insight and a strong foundational belief that Underhill School can and will succeed in the implementation of RtI. Through my conversations with staff so far and the survey results, it is apparent that all staff believes that the client, the students, deserve the attention and the focus of our improvement efforts. This year we will work to build consensus within and outside of our SBLT while simultaneously honing the team’s ability to use data to leverage tier one instructional practices so they are in line with 21st century instruction and scientifically proven, research based reading instruction.

Florida Problem Solving & Response to Intervention Project – Home

7 Jul

The following link leads to a sight we will be using periodically to evaluate our readiness for RtI.  It will also help us identify systemic areas we need to support within our own building.

Florida Problem Solving & Response to Intervention Project