Book Review — Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom

Reciprocal Teaching: An Evidence-Based Reading Comprehension Strategy

Evidence-Based Practices – March 2019

This month’s student outcome bright spots come from the 17 teams who celebrated their student outcomes at SOcon, and shared what works, and how we can do more of it.

Explicit Direct Instruction – December 2018

This month’s student outcome bright spots come from the 17 teams who celebrated their student outcomes at SOcon, and shared what works, and how we can do more of it.

Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Severe Disabilities – May 2018

This month’s Bright Spot comes from Barbara Rizzo, a Special Education teacher at Ossining High School who has been attending the RSE-TASC Forum, a group developed by educators who exclusively serve students with more severe developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Making New Year’s Resolutions? Select and Implement an Evidence-Based Practice in Your School or Classroom!

January marks the beginning of a new year and brings with it a spirit of reflection and commitment to self-improvement.  Many of us make plans to change a current work routine or establish a new one, but weeks to months later, find we have fallen back into the old routine and are wondering why the new one did not take root.

Finding ways to start and sustain new “ways of working” has been a challenge for individuals and organizations since New Year’s resolutions began!  However, thanks to the field of Implementation Science (Blasé et al, 2015), we are beginning to discover processes that ensure we both choose the right evidence-based practice (EBP) to address an identified need and create the conditions that make it take root and thrive. Need a reminder of what EBPs are?  They are practices that are supported by multiple, high-quality studies that utilize research designs from which causality can be inferred (group experimental, group quasi-experimental, and single subject) and that demonstrate meaningful effects on student outcomes  (Boniello, 2016; Cook & Odom, 2013). Finding EBPs in the field of education is becoming easier and easier as there is a growing body of high quality research on instructional practices, with a related increase in resources for learning about them. (See our School Tool on page 3 for some trustworthy sources of EBPs.)

Trustworthy Sources of Evidence-Based Practices – January 2018

Implementation Science: From Dangerous Canyons to Fields of Dreams

I recently traveled to San Francisco to hear Dean Fixsen, founder of the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN), deliver a keynote address on Implementation Science. During my flight there I had a birds-eye view to our country’s diversely beautiful landscape -- green fields blooming with this season’s crops and brown canyons that reminded me of those that Evel Knievel attempted to jump on his motorcycle. As I listened to Fixsen I reflected on how that landscape was a perfect metaphor for the importance of paying attention to implementation drivers during school improvement.

Show Me the Strategies! What are the Evidence-Based Strategies for Students with Disabilities?

As professional educators, we are constantly in search of powerful strategies that have a tangible impact on student learning. Given the limited amount of instructional time we have to work with students who struggle with learning challenges, we must also be mindful of how we choose to spend those precious instructional minutes. While the 21st Century World has provided us with unprecedented access to a vast number of resources on effective pedagogy, many teachers struggle to pare that professional advice down to a practical number of highly impactful strategies.
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