Marshall Memo 632

A Weekly Round-up of Important Ideas and Research in K-12 Education

April 11, 2016

 

 


In This Issue:

1. Resilience – a fixed trait or a learnable skill?

2. Insights from Florida on selecting students for gifted classes

3. Racism without racists?

4. Getting students to write before they speak

5. Efficient and effective feedback to students

6. Emotional adaptation in elementary school classrooms

7. Short items: (a) Patterns from vibration; (b) World language assessments;

    (c) Using lyrics to learn a foreign language; (d) Spanish learning resources

 

Quotes of the Week

“If you are lucky enough to never experience any sort of adversity, we won’t know how resilient you are. It’s only when you’re faced with obstacles, stress, and other environmental threats that resilience, or lack of it, emerges: Do you succumb or do you surmount?”

            Maria Konnikova (see item #1)

 

“How do you live your life? What do you live for? What kind of person are you? How do you see your future? Where are you going? How do you fit into this society?”

            David Denby, author of Lit Up (Henry Holt, 2016) about English classes in three high

schools, on the kinds of questions that might be asked of adolescents to pluck them

from the shallow world of social media and transform them into critical thinkers and

serious readers of great literature; from an interview with Alex Lenkei in Education

Week, March 16, 2016, www.edweek.org/go/david-denby  

 

“Awareness reduces racial bias.”

            A research study on bias in the National Basketball Association (quoted in item #3)

 

“A few well-designed questions are better than many superficial ones.”

            Heidi Kroog, Kristin King Hess, and Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo (see item #5)

 

“Effective feedback in the form of descriptive and prescriptive comments should lead students to judge the quality of their work and to monitor themselves as they produce new work.”

            Heidi Kroog, Kristin King Hess, and Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo (ibid.)

 

“When we use student writing to inform literary discussion, we can meet our students exactly where they are at every minute of every class. When we know how far they’ve already come, we have a great opportunity to help them go even further.”

            Paul Bambrick-Santoyo (see item #4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Resilience – a Fixed Trait or a Learnable Skill?

            In this New Yorker article, Maria Konnikova reports on resilience – for example, a boy with an alcoholic mother and absent father who walked into school every day with a smile on his face and a bread sandwich in his bag – two slices of bread with nothing between them – because he didn’t want anyone to know how bad things were at home. “Resilience presents a challenge for psychologists,” says Konnikova. “Whether you can be said to have it or not largely depends not on any particular psychological test but on the way your life unfolds. If you are lucky enough to never experience any sort of adversity, we won’t know how resilient you are. It’s only when you’re faced with obstacles, stress, and other environmental threats that resilience, or lack of it, emerges: Do you succumb or do you surmount?”

            The study of resilience focuses on protective factors – the elements that allow a person to thrive in spite of negative circumstances. Protective factors fall into two categories – internal/psychological and external/environmental. In a study in Hawaii, developmental psychologist Emmy Werner followed 698 children from before they were born into adulthood. Two-thirds of the children grew up in stable, trauma-free backgrounds, while one-third had stresses of some kind. Of the latter group, two-thirds developed serious learning and behavior problems by the age of ten or had mental health issues, incidents of delinquency, or teen pregnancies by 18 – but one-third grew up to be “competent, confident, and caring young adults,” said Werner; they achieved academic, domestic, and social success, and were always ready to capitalize on new opportunities.

            Drawing on the rich trove of data she had gathered on the lives of the resilient children, Werner was able to pinpoint the factors involved. The most important external variable (basically a matter of luck) was a strong bond with a supportive caregiver, parent, teacher, or other mentor figures. The internal psychological factors she found were more interesting. These children:

-   Met the world on their own terms;

-   Were autonomous and independent;

-   Sought out new experiences;

-   Had a positive social orientation;

-   Though not especially gifted, they used whatever skills they had effectively;

-   Had an internal locus of control – they believed that they, not their circumstances, affected their achievements, that they were the orchestrators of their own fates.

Resilience wasn’t a fixed entity, Werner found. With some children, the stressors in their lives overwhelmed them and they lost the ability to cope – in other words, they had a breaking point. Conversely, some children started off with a low level of resilience and somehow got better at it as the years passed, doing as well as children who had strong resilience from the beginning. Which raises the question of how resilience can be learned.

            George Bonanno, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University, has zeroed in on this question. One of the key aspects of resilience, he’s found, is perception: Do you see an event as traumatic or as an opportunity to learn and grow? “Events are not traumatic until we experience them as traumatic,” says Bonanno. Rather than calling an event traumatic, he believes it’s more accurate to call it a potentially traumatic event. Thus, the death of a loved one can be traumatic, or it can be seen as tragic but an opportunity to develop a greater awareness of a particular disease. In other words, the long-term impact of traumatic events is not in the events themselves but in how people process them.

            The good news is that resilience is a set of skills that can be taught. “We can make ourselves more or less vulnerable by how we think about things,” says Bonanno. People can be taught the cognitive skills of regulating their emotional response, and the new mindset lasts over time. University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman has successfully trained people to change their explanatory style from internal to external (Bad events aren’t my fault), from global to specific (This is one narrow thing rather than a massive indication that something is wrong with my life), and from permanent to ephemeral (I can change the situation; it’s not fixed) – and the result is that people are more psychologically successful and less prone to depression.

            It’s also possible for a person to move in the opposite direction. “We can become less resilient, or less likely to be resilient,” says Bonanno. “We can create or exaggerate stressors very easily in our own minds. That’s the danger of the human condition.” We can worry and ruminate, blow up a minor event into an obsession, and drive ourselves crazy. It’s all in how we frame things.

 

“How People Learn to Become Resilient” by Maria Konnikova in The New Yorker, February 11, 2016, http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/the-secret-formula-for-resilience

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2. Insights from Florida on Selecting Students for Gifted Classes

            In this New York Times article, Susan Dynarski (University of Michigan) notes that African-American and Hispanic students are almost always underrepresented in classes for gifted students; white and Asian students are twice as likely to have seats in such classes. The Broward County, Florida schools used to be part of this pattern: a decade ago, black and Hispanic students made up more than half of the district’s student body, but only 28 percent of black and Hispanic third graders were in gifted classes.

In 2005, Broward decided to address this disparity by changing the way it identified students for gifted classes. Instead of relying on teacher and parent nominations as the first step, the district required that all second graders take a short nonverbal test, then gave high-scoring students an I.Q. test to decide who would be admitted to gifted classes. This change in the screening process brought about a significant shift in students in gifted classes:

-   The percent of Hispanic students rose from 2 percent to 6 percent.

-   The percent of black students rose from 1 percent to 3 percent.

-   The percent of white students fell from 8 percent to 6 percent.

By requiring a universal pre-screening test, the district had begun to level the playing field for African-American and Hispanic students.

“Multiple factors could be at work here,” says Dynarski. “Teachers may have lower expectations for these children, and their parents may be unfamiliar with the process and the programs. Whatever the reason, the evidence indicates that relying on teachers and parents increases racial and ethnic disparities.”

But this is not the end of the story. Researchers found that the district’s gifted classes had little effect on students’ academic achievement, despite the fact that teachers had special certification and were encouraged to supplement the standard curriculum.

But a quirk in the district’s policies allowed some high-achieving students who didn’t make the I.Q. cut-off to be in gifted classes. Schools were required to form a gifted class if even one student qualified, and since many schools didn’t have enough high-I.Q. students to fill a class, the remaining seats were given to students with high scores on standardized tests. For those high-achieving, below-I.Q.-cutoff students, being in a gifted class significantly boosted their reading and math achievement, and the effects were long-lasting. This was especially true for black and Hispanic students. Back in the regular classes, there were no negative effects on achievement. What’s more, these positive effects didn’t cost any more, since teachers of the gifted classes didn’t get salary bonuses and no special materials or equipment were required.

But then in 2010, Broward County ended the universal screening program as part of recession-driven budget cuts. Racial and ethnic disparities immediately re-emerged, as large as had existed before the program. Two years later, the district reinstated universal screening, but with some changes: (a) instead of the previously used nonverbal test (which psychologists believe is culturally neutral), schools used a test that relied more on verbal ability; (b) parents and teachers were once again given a say in which students were referred for I.Q. testing;

(c) parents were allowed to hire a private psychologist to test their children (at a cost of $1,000); and (d) for children who didn’t make the I.Q. cut-off, repeated private tests were permitted. The result: even with universal access, racial/ethnic disparities persisted: 8 percent of white students were classified as gifted, 4 percent of Hispanic students, and 2 percent of black students.

The research from Broward County is important, concludes Dynarski: “It shows that there is a fairer way to identify gifted children, and that placing each school’s gifted and achieving students in advanced classes can shrink, rather than expand, racial and ethnic differences in achievement. Universal screening, with a standardized process that does not rely on teachers and parents, can reveal talented, disadvantaged children who would otherwise go undiscovered. Challenging classes for these children can help them reach their full potential.”

“Finding a Fairer Way to Decide Who’s Gifted” by Susan Dynarski in The New York Times, April 10, 2016, http://nyti.ms/25UCs1o; Dynarski can be reached at dynarski@umich.edu.

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3. Racism Without Racists?

            In this New York Times article, Nicholas Kristof continues a series on U.S. race relations. “Obama’s election reinforced a narrative that we’re making progress,” he says. “We are in some ways, but the median black household in America still has only 8 percent of the wealth of the median white household. And even for blacks who have ‘made it’ – whose incomes are in the upper half of American incomes – 60 percent of their children tumble back into the lower half in the next generation, according to a Federal Reserve study… Reasons for inequality involve not just institutions but also personal behaviors. For instance, black babies are less likely to be breast-fed than white babies, are more likely to grow up with a single parent, and may be spoken to or read to less by their parents.”

            But discrimination plays a definite role, says Kristof, and he lists a series of data points from recent research:

-   When blacks and whites go in person to rent or buy properties, blacks are shown fewer options.

-   In one study, employers who received résumés of equally qualified candidates were 50 percent more likely to give a callback to a candidate with a stereotypically white name (like Brendan) than a candidate with a stereotypically black name (like Jamaal).

-   When researchers sent young whites and blacks out to interview for low-wage jobs in New York City with equivalent résumés, whites were twice as likely to get callbacks. A black applicant with a clean criminal record did no better than a white applicant who was said to have just been released from 18 months in prison.

-   In online advertisements for iPods, researchers found that when the photo showed an iPod held by a white hand, it received 21 percent more offers than when it was held by a black hand.

-   State legislators, Republican and Democratic, were less likely to respond to a constituent letter signed with a stereotypically black name.

-   A rigorous study by economists found that N.B.A. referees were more likely to call fouls on players of another race.

-   Researchers found that baseball umpires call fewer strikes with black pitchers.

-   In universities, e-mails sent to professors asking for a chance to discuss research ideas received fewer responses if the sender’s name was stereotypically black.

-   Black men get sentences about 20 percent longer than white men for similar crimes.

-   Three generations after Brown v. Board of Education, the average white or Asian-American student attends a school with at least 60th percentile test performance, while the average African-American student attends a school at the 37th percentile.

-   School funding formulas often direct the most resources to more-privileged students.

“Why do we discriminate?” asks Kristof. “The big factor isn’t overt racism. Rather, it seems to be unconscious bias among whites who believe in equality but act in ways that perpetuate inequality.” It’s been called “racism without racists,” and, says Kristof, “we whites should be less defensive about it. This bias affects blacks as well as whites, and we also have unconscious biases about gender, disability, body size, and age… It’s not that we’re evil, but that we’re human.”

            One hopeful sign: several years after the N.B.A. study was published, the same economists did a follow-up study and found that the bias had disappeared. “Awareness reduces racial bias,” said the researchers. The challenge, Kristof concludes, “is to recognize that unconscious bias afflicts us all – but that we just may be able overcome it if we face it.” He suggests the Implicit Association Test, available free online at www.projectimplicit.com.

 

“When Whites Just Don’t Get it, Revisited” by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times, April 3, 2016, http://nyti.ms/1XrPXQp

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4. Getting Students to Write Before They Speak

(Originally titled “Data-Driven Shakespeare”)

            In this Educational Leadership article, Paul Bambrick-Santoyo (Uncommon Schools) compares the way two teachers handle Shakespeare’s Sonnet 65. Both teachers focus on the first four lines:

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,

But sad mortality o’er-sways their power,

How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,

Whose action is no stronger than a flower?

and the last two lines:

O, none, unless this miracle have might,

That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

In both classrooms, there’s a rigorous discussion of figurative language and the broader theme. But when students are later asked to write about a different sonnet, one class does much better. Why? Because the teacher used a particular strategy:

            • Writing first. After reading the poem, she had all students respond to this prompt: What is the purpose of the imagery in these lines? This gets all students thinking and allows the teacher to monitor their responses before getting into an all-class conversation. If a class starts with oral discussion, a few talkative students dominate, so for most students, it’s an exercise in listening comprehension, not textual analysis.

            • Use an exemplar. Bambrick-Santoyo recommends that teachers write a model response to their own prompt to evaluate students’ responses. In this case, the teacher might read up on experts’ interpretations of Sonnet 65 and talk to colleagues who’ve taught the poem.

            • Respond on the spot. As students write, the teacher circulates, going to the fastest writers first and then moving on to students who take longer to get their thoughts on paper. The teacher jots shorthand feedback symbols on students’ papers:

-   M – meaning (re-read)

-   A – argument (re-think your approach);

-   E – evidence (more needed);

-   Z – zoom in and then zoom out.

Quick feedback like this makes it possible to interact with many more students, and the teacher can note learning and error patterns across the class.

            • Focus class discussion appropriately. Having diagnosed students’ responses, the teacher is in a position to guide oral discussion to what students need to learn versus what they already know. “Students,” the teacher says to the class, “we have some solid analyses of the poem, but we’re missing some key evidence. I want us to look back at certain lines. What does “o’er-sways” mean?” And then, “So what does it mean that mortality overtakes their power?” A few minutes later, “You all noticed that ‘black ink’ refers to Shakespeare’s own writing. But why use the phrase ‘shine bright’? What analogy is he making?” Slowly students see that a star is heavenly in a way that brass, stone, and sea are earthly.

            • Use students’ writing. The teacher might then project a particularly interesting piece of student writing and call on other students based on their written responses, pushing the class to deepen its analysis.

            This approach is highly effective, concludes Bambrick-Santoyo: “When we use student writing to inform literary discussion, we can meet our students exactly where they are at every minute of every class. When we know how far they’ve already come, we have a great opportunity to help them go even further… The end result is a powerful, data-driven cycle of improvement for literacy: read, write, revise, discuss, revise, and read even more.”

 

“Data-Driven Shakespeare” by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo in Educational Leadership, April 2016 (Vol. 73, #7, p. 26-30), available for purchase at http://bit.ly/1TNuYZo; the author can be reached at pbambrick@uncommonschools.org.

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5. Efficient and Effective Feedback to Students

(Originally titled “The 2 Es”)

            In this Educational Leadership article, Heidi Kroog, Kristin King Hess, and Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo (University of Colorado/Denver) describe their research on classroom math assessments. Very few teachers, the researchers found, give assignments that make students’ thinking explicit and reveal misconceptions, misapplications, or common mathematical errors. Instead, most teachers spend time grading practice work (little value-added) or end-of-unit assessments (too late to be helpful). The authors also found that almost three-quarters of teachers’ comments were too general (“Good”) or too prescriptive to improve the work. They suggest three ways to give feedback that’s more effective and takes less time:

Develop high-quality questions. Ideally they’re “planned in advance, designed to gather information from all students in the class at the same time, and intended to move students forward by providing feedback or instructional adjustments,” say the authors. “A few well-designed questions are better than many superficial ones.” Students should have to explain answers, elaborate on responses, or provide information on their thought process. Examples:

-   2 1/9 x 11/16 (this asks students to convert a mixed number to a fraction, multiply two-digit numbers, and know what to do with an improper fraction).

-   Draw two shapes, one rectangle and one square, each with a perimeter of 12 units.

-   Why does ______? How would you _______? Could you explain _______? Why is _______ an example of _______? 

Quickly follow up with students. The sooner teachers can see and act on students’ strengths and weaknesses, the better. If several students are making a particular error, speak directly to them about the nature of the error and how to avoid it – for example, “Before you add your numbers, remember to align the numbers by the decimal point.” Alternatively, the teacher might pair students who got a problem wrong with those who got it right, setting up peer tutoring.

            • Make written comments informative. Comments should be concrete, specific, and useful and “should lead students to judge the quality of their work and to monitor themselves as they produce new work,” say the authors. Examples: “Good explanation. You are providing data as evidence to support your claim” and “Do you have a claim? Where is your evidence? Provide some justification that supports your claim.”

            • Don’t repeatedly write the same comment if lots of students are making the same error. This is a poor use of teachers’ time, say the authors. Better to spend that time planning how to reteach the skill the next day. It’s also helpful to tell a class the percentage of students who got the right answer to each question and specific areas that need improvement – for example, “Most of your reports missed a description of the control variable. Why is that so important?”

 

“The 2 Es” by Heidi Kroog, Kristin King Hess, and Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo in Educational Leadership, April 2016 (Vol. 73, #7, p. 22-25), http://bit.ly/1VO1daP; the authors can be reached at Heidi.Kroog@ucdenver.edu, King.Kristin.M@gmail.com, and Maria.Ruiz-Primo@ucdenver.edu.

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6. Emotional Adaptation in Elementary-School Classrooms

            In this Teachers College Record article, Mary Mccaslin and Christine Vriesema (University of Arizona) and Susan Burggraf (Naropa University) report on their study of how upper-elementary students in high-poverty schools think, feel, and cope when they make mistakes in classrooms. The authors were intrigued with this question because of three challenges at this particular point in students’ K-12 development:

-   Maintaining confidence in themselves as learners;

-   Navigating relationships with peers;

-   Dealing with self-conscious emotions, including guilt, pride, and shame.

“Students can struggle with their emotional adaptations as they juggle beliefs about competence, realized achievement, and their place in the give-and-take of learning with peers in classrooms,” say Mccaslin, Vriesema, and Burggraf. “The process and product of this fusion of personal and social challenges is learning how to cope with making mistakes along the way.”

            The authors asked students for their reactions to a set of classroom scenarios (using the School Situations inventory) and charted their responses in terms of guilt, shame, externalizing, normalizing, and pride. Here are the scenarios (each was followed by four possible responses, each characterizing a different emotional approach to a situation):

-   A teacher that you really like asks a question in class. You raise your hand and give the wrong answer.

-   You accidentally spill your milk on another student’s sandwich while you are telling a joke at lunchtime.

-   You and your best friend do separate projects for a competition. You win.

-   While reading aloud in the classroom, you make a mistake and some of the other kids laugh.

-   You lose a classmate’s library book and she blames someone else.

-   You took an important math test and you did much better than you expected. As you look at the paper, what do you think?

-   Your small group is working on an assignment and you accidentally rip the answer sheet. The rest of the group was busy and no one saw you do it.

-   One student from each small group is asked to explain to the class what his or her group is doing for their math project. You are the one from your group, and you try to tell about the project, but you mess it up. The teacher calls on someone else from your group to tell what it is about.

-   While working in your small group, you are talking loudly and your whole group is blamed.

-   You are working on math problems in your small group. You really feel like you understand how to do the work, and you explain it to the rest of the group. You find out later that you were wrong.

-   While working in your small group, another student tells a joke. Everyone but you understands it.

-   You really understand the work today and help your small group to finish early.

The researchers found that students had characteristic emotional adaptations to classroom demands and that those patterns were relatively stable across the school year. Here are the five categories, with examples of the selected responses that were common in each group:

Distance and Displace:

-   You are angry with your group for being so silly.

-   You pretend you didn’t hear and wish they would stop laughing.

-   You feel like asking the teacher if you can change groups. You don’t, but it’s hard to forget about it.

-   You are angry with them for not doing more of the work themselves.

-   You think that it was a stupid joke.

Regret and Repair:

-   You think about why you got so confused and decide to think about your answer first next time.

-   You remember this happens to other kids, too.

-   You worry about your best friend who worked hard, too.

-   You worry that you didn’t give the other kids a chance to figure it out.

-   You tell him you’re sorry and offer some of your lunch.

Inadequate and Exposed:

-   You feel like a total jerk.

-   You wish you could disappear.

-   You feel really embarrassed and wish you could go home now.

-   You feel stupid and embarrassed and wish you could stop reading.

-   You are angry with yourself for not giving the right answer.

Proud and Modest:

-   You feel proud of yourself.

-   You are proud of how smart you are.

-   You think: “I was really lucky.”

-   You think that the test was really easy.

-   You say to yourself: “I really did a good job.”

Minimize and Move On:

-   You think, it’s no big deal, it was just one math lesson.

-   You think: “She’ll get over it.”

-   You feel like the teacher is making a big deal out of nothing.

-   You think the other kids are careless too so you shouldn’t feel bad.

-   You feel like avoiding that classmate until she forgets about it.

Looking at these patterns and at students’ achievement on a mathematics pre- and post-test, the authors made several observations:

            • Students were most vulnerable to peer opinions when working in small groups. They had thicker skins in whole-class situations, and focused best on new learning when working alone. The researchers are particularly concerned when students with certain emotional styles are combined in small groups: “Inclusion of Regret and Repair students with those who characteristically display Inadequate and Exposed emotional adaptations, for example, might unintentionally reaffirm one’s sense of control and the other’s inadequacy rather than, or perhaps in addition to, the intended goal of improving achievement among a heterogeneous group of learners.”

            • Students from relatively high-density poverty settings tended to have more-negative emotional responses to the scenarios (e.g., shame and displacement), even when their academic achievement was good. “It is difficult for students with fewer resources,” say Mccaslin, Vriesema, and Burggraf, “be it due to density of school poverty or less readiness to learn, to cope with negative emotions when making mistakes and to realize pride upon success.”

            • Two of the response patterns were the least helpful: Distance and Displace and Minimize and Move On. These adaptations “may serve to escape threat,” say the authors, “but both are ultimately counterproductive to self and other. Not only do they not ‘solve’ the current difficulty, but they can contribute to increased individual isolation by inviting peer resistance and rejection (Distance and Displace) and trivializing persons, tasks, or events (Minimize and Move On)… When dealing with chronic learning difficulty, even in the context of progress, students’ emotional adaptations are counterproductive, serving to deplete personal resources while potentially damaging relationships with others.”

            • The most productive pattern was Regret and Repair; those with this response, when they made mistakes, restored balance and promoted positive beliefs about their ability. “These students’ emotional adaptations are more productive interpersonally as well,” say the authors, “serving to positively align themselves with peers in ways that warrant their valued participation.”

            • Students’ characteristic adaptation styles are malleable and open to intervention.

 

“Making Mistakes: Emotional Adaptation and Classroom Learning” by Mary Mccaslin, Christine Vriesema, and Susan Burggraf in Teachers College Record, February 2016 (Vol. 118, #2, p. 1-46), https://tcrecord.org/library/Abstract.asp?ContentId=18226; Mccaslin can be reached at mccaslin@email.arizona.edu.

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7. Short Items:

            a. Patterns from vibration – In this short video, Steve Mould demonstrates Chladni patterns, with a random scatter of couscous on a steel plate instantly forming patterns when the plate is “played” with a bow. Fascinating physics!

 

“Random Couscous Snaps Into Beautiful Patterns” by Steve Mould on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR_XL192wXw

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            b. World language assessments – This link http://mafla.org/links-2/ddms has locally developed assessments (District-Determined Measures) from several Massachusetts districts in these areas: Interpretive Reading and Listening, Interpersonal Speaking, Presentational Writing, Classical Languages, and External Assessments.

 

“Developing Common Assessment Measures: A State and District Collaboration” by Jorge Allen, Tim Egan, and Catherine Ritz in The Language Educator, March/April 2016 (Vol. 11, #2, p. 35-38)

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            c. Using lyrics to learn a foreign language – This free website www.lyricstraining.com helps students practice their target language by watching and singing along with Karaoke-style music videos and then participating in one of four levels of word fill-in games based on the song’s lyrics.

 

“Tech Watch” in The Language Educator, March/April 2016 (Vol. 11, #2, p. 56)

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            d. Spanish learning resources – This site www.zachary-jones.com/zambombazo, edited and curated by Spanish teacher Zachary Jones, has musical, language, and cultural resources to support Spanish language learning.

 

“Tech Watch” in The Language Educator, March/April 2016 (Vol. 11, #2, p. 56)

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About the Marshall Memo

 


Mission and focus:

This weekly memo is designed to keep principals, teachers, superintendents, and others very well-informed on current research and effective practices in K-12 education. Kim Marshall, drawing on 44 years’ experience as a teacher, principal, central office administrator, and writer, lightens the load of busy educators by serving as their “designated reader.”

 

To produce the Marshall Memo, Kim subscribes to 64 carefully-chosen publications (see list to the right), sifts through more than a hundred articles each week, and selects 5-10 that have the greatest potential to improve teaching, leadership, and learning. He then writes a brief summary of each article, pulls out several striking quotes, provides e-links to full articles when available, and e-mails the Memo to subscribers every Monday evening (with occasional breaks; there are 50 issues a year).

 

Subscriptions:

Individual subscriptions are $50 for a year. Rates decline steeply for multiple readers within the same organization. See the website for these rates and how to pay by check, credit card, or purchase order.

 

Website:

If you go to http://www.marshallmemo.com you will find detailed information on:

• How to subscribe or renew

• A detailed rationale for the Marshall Memo

• Publications (with a count of articles from each)

• Article selection criteria

• Topics (with a count of articles from each)

• Headlines for all issues

• Reader opinions (with results of an annual survey)

• About Kim Marshall (including links to articles)

• A free sample issue

 

Subscribers have access to the Members’ Area of the website, which has:

• The current issue (in Word or PDF)

• All back issues (also in Word and PDF)

• A database of all articles to date, searchable

    by topic, title, author, source, level, etc.

• A collection of “classic” articles from all 11 years

Core list of publications covered

Those read this week are underlined.

American Educational Research Journal

American Educator

American Journal of Education

American School Board Journal

AMLE Magazine

ASCA School Counselor

ASCD SmartBrief/Public Education NewsBlast

Better: Evidence-Based Education

Center for Performance Assessment Newsletter

District Administration

Ed. Magazine

Education Digest

Education Gadfly

Education Next

Education Week

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis

Educational Horizons

Educational Leadership

Educational Researcher
Edutopia

Elementary School Journal

Essential Teacher

Go Teach

Harvard Business Review

Harvard Educational Review

Independent School

Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk (JESPAR)

Journal of Staff Development

Kappa Delta Pi Record

Knowledge Quest

Literacy Today

Middle School Journal

Peabody Journal of Education

Perspectives

Phi Delta Kappan

Principal

Principal Leadership

Principal’s Research Review

Reading Research Quarterly

Responsive Classroom Newsletter

Rethinking Schools

Review of Educational Research

School Administrator

School Library Journal

Teacher

Teachers College Record

Teaching Children Mathematics

Teaching Exceptional Children/Exceptional Children

The Atlantic

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The District Management Journal

The Journal of the Learning Sciences

The Language Educator

The Learning Principal/Learning System/Tools for Schools

The New York Times

The New Yorker

The Reading Teacher

Theory Into Practice

Time Magazine

Wharton Leadership Digest