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How Teachers Judge the Quality of Instructional Materials: Selecting Instructional Materials, Brief 1 - Quality

January 1, 2017

How do teachers make informed decisions about selecting quality instructional materials that support positive outcomes for students?

Teachers' Perceptions and Practices Related to the Adoption of Instructional Materials: Selecting Instructional Materials, Brief 3 - Adoption

January 1, 2017

How do teachers make informed decisions about choosing quality instructional materials that support positive outcomes for students?

Why and How Teachers Choose to Supplement Adopted Materials: Selecting Instructional Materials, Brief 2 - Supplementation

January 1, 2017

How do teachers make informed decisions about choosing quality instructional materials that support positive outcomes for students?

When an English Learner Struggles Academically: Telling the Difference Between Second Language Acquisition and a Possible Learning Disability

September 20, 2016

What are best practices for isolating the source of an English learner student's academic difficulties? How do educators know if a student's issue is related to second-language acquisition, a learning disability, or some other factor?In this webinar, presented by the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) at WestEd, Julie Esparza Brown (Portland State University) illustrates how a deep knowledge of the lives of English language learners can help educators assess students' English language acquisition progress and inform decisions about when — or if — to seek additional supports.Who Will BenefitGeneral education, English learner, and special education teachersCoordinators, school psychologists, principals, and district leadersWhat You Will LearnWhat is important to know about English learner students: their language development/profile, cultural background, life experiences, education experiences, and personal characteristicsThe second-language acquisition process and the differences between typical and atypical language developmentAppropriate supports and screening tools

Classroom Observations: Documenting Shifts in Instruction for Districtwide Improvement

January 26, 2015

Even seemingly straightforward education policy ideas are interpreted and implemented quite differently as they make their way through the levels of the education system (Cohen, 1990; Cohen & Hill, 2001; Spillane, 2000). Complex ideas that lack clear and specific instructional guidance, like the Common Core State Standards in mathematics (CCSS-M) -- with their increased emphasis on rigorous and coherent content, standards for mathematical practice, and instructional pedagogies that support students' deep conceptual mathematics learning -- may prove challenging as teachers attempt to interpret and implement them in their own classrooms. The combination of limited instructional guidance for the CCSS-M and individual teacher variation (resulting from each teacher's different beliefs, skills, knowledge, and interests) leaves room for significant variation in how the central CCSS-M reform ideas are interpreted and implemented in the classroom. As such, there will likely be wide variation in teachers' instruction as they implement the CCSS-M in their classrooms.Yet if, as research has shown, teachers affect student achievement more than any other school-related factor (Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2005), Math in Common districts will need to understand and monitor how CCSS-M ideas are taught in classrooms in order to improve mathematics education for all students. Understanding the extent of teachers' instructional variation will help districts build on and spread best practices and support improvement of CCSS-M implementation.