Browse Tag: measuring up live

Are the Tools You Use to Help English-Language Learners Measuring Up?

English Language Learners (ELLs) are the fastest-growing segment of the school-aged population[1] in the U.S. educational system, with many schools needing instructional support to meet the needs of these learners. In places that don’t have large numbers of ELLs and programs to support that population, one could argue it’s even more critical to prepare educators in specializing or modifying instruction to support English learners as they not only learn academic content, but also develop key language acquisition skills.

 

A recent analysis by Taylor & Francis Online[2] suggests that even academic content tests are linguistically complex, using words likely unknown by an ELL. That’s why testing poses unique challenges for this student population. Tailored tools and options for ELLs to allow educators to take a targeted approach and individually connect with each student in order to address their unique needs for instruction.

 

Research in the field of language acquisition[3] suggests that using multiple media to provide visual aids, providing repetition along with additional practice, and highlighting and teaching key vocabulary words are some of the methods that have shown to be effective for enhancing instruction for ELLs. Instruction becomes even more powerful when educators have access to data, which drives instruction and adaptive standards-based practice, in order to target the needs of ELLs.

 

With this challenge in mind, here are some tips for supporting English-Language Learners when preparing for high-stakes testing:

  • Developing oral language skills is critical for the development of literacy skills. In listening to language used in speaking, ELLs use context to figure out what words mean and learn about sentence structure and word order. Oral language and listening skills are a critical step in accessing written language. Educators can encourage this using prompts such as “turn and talk” and pairing students to discuss reading passages or verbalize how they worked through a problem.
  • Academic language differs from conversational English in that it is more complex and it is not typically encountered in everyday settings. Effective teaching includes planned speaking practice so that students have both formal and informal practice using academic English.
  • Students may struggle to use linking words and phrases such as “because,” “therefore,” and “for example” to connect opinions to reasons. Remind students that linking words and phrases help them connect ideas and sentences, which allows readers to follow what they are trying to say or write.
  • Some ELLs may need extra help coming up with different ways to state their opinions. Give them several sentence starters like “I believe…” “I think…” and “My opinion is…”
  • When teaching math, use visual aids. For example, to show examples of fractions, divide a whole circle into equal parts.
  • Develop writing skills by allowing students to jot down notes before beginning formal writing. In this way, students can build from writing fragments to forming sentences, constructing paragraphs, and finally to writing full essays.

 

Seeing growth and improvement can be a huge motivator for an ELL student. But educators won’t know if growth is taking place if it’s not measured. Regular student benchmarking can show not only what they’ve learned, but give educators the tools to plan future lessons. Utilizing portfolios to show writing progress over time can also be a great motivator.

 

In addition, ELLs need support to prepare for and thrive during high-stakes testing. The Measuring Up suite of print and digital solutions prepares all students for their state assessments, and further supports educators with teaching tips and guidance for ELL in the state-specific instructional worktexts.

 

Mastery Education, the creators of Measuring Up, constantly strives to provide richer and deeper learning experiences to prepare students of all backgrounds, including ELLs, for the challenges of mastering today’s standards and unlocking all the possibilities of a brilliant future.

 

Choose a partner that evolves with the ever-changing education landscape. To learn more, visit MasteryEducation.com today!

 

Sources:

[1] http://edglossary.org/english-language-learner/

[2] http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00405841003626619

[3] http://www.cal.org/create/publications/briefs/effective-practices-for-increasing-the-achievement-of-english-learners.html

Welcome Back!

We’ve taken a little break this summer from our posts and hope all you educators have also enjoyed your time off. As school is starting across the country, we welcome you all to subscribe to our blogs to receive updates on product developments and interesting thought leadership on state assessments, differentiated instruction, standards-based instruction, and adaptive, differentiated practice.

To learn more about the suite of Measuring Up solutions, visit us at masteryeducation.com today!

 

Tips on Implementing New Educational Technology – A Spotlight from ISTE 2017

The annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference is the marquee ed tech event of the year, attracting educators from all over the country and featuring the newest and most innovative educational technology available. As schools being for many of you across the country, we thought we’d share a little from the conference in hopes to inspire you as you begin your school year. This year’s conference did not disappoint with powerful keynote addresses from influential and inspirational leaders in journalism, education, and technology.

  • Jad Abumrad – Creator and host of the popular “RadioLab” program on public radio, which has been running for 15 years, as well as a recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award in 2015
  • Jennie Magiera – Chief innovation officer for the Des Plaines Public Schools located in the Chicago, Illinois, and author of Courageous Edventures which dives into classroom struggles and how innovation can improve educational performance
  • Reshma Saujani – Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit working all around the country to close the gender gap that exists in the technology space

 

Held in San Antonio from June 24-27, ISTE 2017 was a huge success that showcased the most cutting-edge educational technologies, including Measuring Up Live 2.0 from Mastery Education.

 

Adopting new technology can help make dramatic improvements in educational excellence, but there are things to consider when doing so.

  • Is there a trial period to get a feel for the technology before a larger investment must be made?
  • Is customer service and technology support available and equipped to respond to issues promptly?
  • How is data security handled, including initial input, storage, and data transfer?
  • Is the product embedded with advertisements, and to what extent?

 

Here are some tips for adopting new educational technology and evaluation of the program success.

  • Ensure technology products have been tailored to be consistent with school standards
  • Perform a full 360-degree trial prior to adopting the technology
  • Determine if the technology complies with student information and privacy laws
  • Understand the scope of the financial and resource investment
  • Construct a detailed plan for the technology roll out prior to implementation, as well as a full implementation plan
  • Evaluate the technology performance regularly
  • Drive decisions based on data

 

These questions and tips are key to helping educators and technology innovators embark on fruitful partnerships that will benefit student performance over the course of the school year.

 

At Mastery Education, we understand the value drivers and pain points associated with adopting new educational technology. As such, we are focused on developing research-based products that promote problem-based learning to deliver measurable educational advancement.

 

Learn more about implementing new technology and how the suite of digital solutions from Measuring Up can help by visiting us online at MasteryEducation.com today!

Six Strategies to Increase Student Engagement

No teacher wants to lecture to a student who is bored or disengaged, and no student wants to sit in a classroom feeling the material is meaningless. When it comes to learning, engagement is essential. Savvy educators seek to connect with students and engage their growing minds in new and innovative ways. But these engagement methods must be grounded in research, rather than guesswork.

With so many resources available today, how can educators find those that engage students? According to Robert Marzano in The New Art and Science of Teaching (2017), monitoring student engagement is critical so that teachers know when to employ effective engagement strategies and sense when students may need differentiated instruction to optimize learning.

Students can provide teachers with self-reported engagement data through informal verbal or written prompts during a lesson. Marzano suggests that teachers should react when they see students are disengaged. Increasing engagement might involve creating a “lively pace” through the use of instructional segments, allowing students to work at their own individual pace, or grouping students according to where they are in their comprehension of new material. Educators may also want to add physical movement, such as standing to vote for an answer, or present new and unusual information through real-world connections.

To engage students, teachers should consider the following strategies:

1. Make It Meaningful: If students do not consider a learning activity worthy of their time and effort, they might not engage in an effective way, or may even disengage entirely in response.

2. Foster a Sense of Competence: Competence results from a student’s ongoing personal evaluation of whether he or she can succeed in a learning activity or challenge.

3. Provide Autonomy Support: Teachers should create a sense of autonomy by nurturing the students’ sense of control over their behaviors and goals.

4. Embrace Collaborative Learning: When students work effectively with others, their engagement may be amplified as a result.

5. Establish Positive Teacher-Student Relationships: High-quality teacher-student relationships are another critical factor in creating student engagement, especially in the case of difficult students and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

6. Promote Mastery Orientations: Engagement is more likely to be full and thorough when students pursue an activity because they want to learn and understand through mastery, rather than get a good grade, look smart, please their parents, or outperform peers.

Research by Marzano has shown that providing choices to students of all age levels often increases their intrinsic motivation and have been linked to increases in effort, task performance, and subsequent learning. However, for students to feel that their decision has an impact on their learning, teachers should provide students with choices of tasks, reporting formats, learning goals, and behaviors.

The new Measuring Up instructional worktexts offer engagement features designed to get students thinking about their progress so they become invested in their own success. These materials engage students through collaboration, turn and talk, and prompts to check understanding. Students learn relevance through with real-world applications of vocabulary and math skills, authentic writing tasks, and real models of math concepts. Each lesson is grounded in the significance of concepts being learned.

And the digital Measuring Up Live platform offers games, dashboards to monitor progress, and data and reporting, all designed to allow students to be drivers of their own success and to help teachers monitor student engagement.

It is important to choose a partner that evolves with the ever-changing education landscape. Mastery Education, the creator of Measuring Up, is constantly striving to provide richer and deeper learning experiences that prepare students for the challenges of mastering today’s standards and unlock the possibility of a brilliant future.

To learn more, visit MasteryEducation.com today.


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