Blog

  • Breaking Down Barriers, One Karate Belt At A Time

    A Challenging Childhood

    Irasema McAllister says her son, Andrei, learned to be a problem solver from an early age.

    When he was three years old, he was diagnosed with selective mutism and placed in a severely handicapped class.
     

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  • Help your students travel through time and space this summer!

    Person behind laptop

    How old were you when you realized there was a whole world out there beyond your driveway or the long car ride to the grocery store? When did you fully realize that there were entire societies of people and faraway places you’d never even imagined? What was it that opened up that door for you?

    For many of us, that realization came from a textbook, and then a library book when we just had to know more. As we grew, the world grew with us, but somehow being able to travel to distant lands, to witness the hopeful beginnings of an ancient civilization, or to peer through the looking glass of someone else’s futuristic utopia the world became infinitely smaller.

    This summer will undoubtedly feel different for your students, but through books they can discover a new interest, visit a new — or familiar — place, and learn more about mankind. We’ve assembled some grade-level reading lists to help guide your students’ and caregivers’ choices. Please feel free to download and share them with your classes.

    We wish you, your students, and families many grand adventures this summer!

    Grades Pre-K–2 | Grades 3–5 | Grades 6–8  

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  • Are your behavior interventions working?

    Four Kids Smiling

    If you’re using BASC-3 as part of your behavior screening and assessment process, the BASC-3 Flex Monitor can help you see which of your interventions are working, and which need a little fine tuning. It’s not only web-based and efficient, it allows you to create a custom assessment that can help you pinpoint the issues that may be causing the behavior so that interventions may be tailored around it.

    If you’re a behavioral specialist, a school psychologist, or a clinician working with students struggling with school behavior, the BASC-3 Flex Monitor can help monitor and track the progress of their behavior intervention plan. It also helps to promote the involvement of teachers, parents, and students while addressing behavioral and emotional concerns.

    If you need to track the effectiveness of your students’ behavior interventions or demonstrate the effectiveness of a school-wide behavior program, see for yourself how the BASC-3 Flex Monitor can complement your current behavior plan!

    Learn more about the BASC-3 Flex Monitor.

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  • Are your students engaged readers?

    Laptop with DRA3 on Screen

    Think for a moment about your favorite book... Were you excited to read it? Did you find yourself unable to set it down, even for a moment? Did you talk about the characters or plot line while you weren’t reading it? Did you feel a little disappointed when you’d turned the last page, knowing it was over? Do you still think about the characters from time to time? Do you recommend it to others? If so, chances are you were entrenched in the book, connected to the characters, and captivated by the story. You were engaged.

    Engaged readers find satisfaction in reading, read independently, and talk about what they’ve read — but how do we transform students who read because they have to into students who read because they want to? How do we inspire them to become engaged readers?

    Included in your DRA3 kit is an optional component, the Reading Engagement Survey. It gathers information about each student’s reading preferences, and provides insights into why the student might be struggling with engagement. Based on information obtained in the survey, DRA3 then provides a Focus for Instruction checklist specifically designed to improve reading engagement, assist in book selections, and build up reading stamina to expand their abilities to include longer texts.

    Learn more about the benefits of the Reading Engagement Survey and where to find it in your DRA3 kit!

    Watch the video

    What’s on the calendar this month?

    • Continue using progress monitoring with identified students.
    • Administer the Word Analysis to other first through third grade students who are reading below established oral reading mid-year benchmark levels.
    • Model, teach, and support areas in need of instruction.

    What’s on the calendar for the rest of the school year?

    One of the most important tasks in any school year is discovering each student’s literacy strengths and weaknesses. Identifying where they might need a little help, and how you can utilize their strengths to augment that support will help them make the most of their educational time. We have put together a reading assessment calendar to help you stay on track throughout the year, and to provide you with helpful tools to enhance your reading curriculum. December’s activities are crucial to your students’ reading success, and will set you on the path to discovering — and fostering — the lifelong reader in each of them!

    Download the calendar  

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  • When the question is “Are they ready?”, ESI-3 is the answer!

    Teacher with students

    How do you know if your students are ready for the next level or if they’re at risk for school failure? Spring benchmarking is the ideal time to get a full picture of each student’s abilities in order to determine if they’re ready for the next step in their educational journey. Knowing what to look for and having a test that assesses all domains of development are the most critical factors in that process.

    We have a number of valid and reliable tools to help you make that determination. For students ages 2:6–5:11, assess Motor, Concepts, Language, Self-Help, and Social-Emotional domains with the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning(TM), Fourth Edition (DIAL(TM)-4). To assess Visual Motor/Adaptive, Language and Cognition, and Gross Motor domains for students ages 3:0–5:11, use Early Screening Inventory(TM), Third Edition (ESI(TM)-3).  

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  • Making the mental health – behavior connection

    Review360 Hero

    How one Indiana school overcame rampant behavior issues by focusing on their students’ mental health

    Teachers struggling with classroom behavior is a tale as old as time, but one thing that’s changed in the story is how behavior issues are handled. Serving approximately 500 PreK through 6th grade students, Arlington Woods Elementary in Indiana is a school like any other. Teachers set the boundaries, students test the boundaries, and administrators are called in to try and reinforce the boundaries — however, typical behavior remediation wasn’t working. Suspensions were up, teacher morale was down, and academic achievement scores had flatlined. Something had to give.

    Dr. Kristine Eaton, the former Indianapolis Public Schools Wellness Specialist, worked in IPS for 20 years, and had an up close and personal view of what was going on at Arlington Woods. She sat down with the school’s administrators and together they decided to tackle their school’s behavior problem from the inside — by focusing on their students’ social-emotional health. Dr. Eaton researched various tools and methodologies for improving students’ social-emotional wellbeing while also supporting their teachers and thankfully discovered Review360.

    Review360 proved to be the magic thread that wove together teacher support, mental health and behavior concerns, effective communication, and consistent interventions.

    Review360 not only helped students take ownership of their academic success, it also provided urgently needed support for the school’s teachers.

    How did Review360 help to transform this school?

    Read their success story!

    Review360’s web-based system enhances communication among teachers for students who are in both regular AND special education settings, and helps improve outcomes for all students.

    Review360 provides:

    • Universal screening
    • Progress monitoring
    • Incident reporting and analysis
    • Professional development for teachers
    • Evidence-based, consistent interventions

    How could your school or district benefit from increased accountability, communication, and insight? Visit PearsonClinical.com/Review360 or call 800-328-5999 and be one step closer to becoming our next Review360 success story!  

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  • Sensitivity, specificity, and the agreement index

    Teacher with students

    What are they, and why do they matter when choosing a developmental screener?

    The extent to which a test performs accurately in a screening situation can be determined by the three indices of a test’s validity: Sensitivity, Specificity, and the Agreement Index. Here’s a brief explanation of each and how they relate to a test’s validity:

    • Sensitivity relates to the proportion of the children at the extreme end of the continuum (Potential Delay category) who were identified as such in the screening process.
    • Specificity refers to the proportion of those children in the OK category who were identified as OK in the screening process.
    • Agreement Index refers to the percentage of children for whom the screening decision was correct, whether at the extreme or in the “OK” range.

    These three indices are the best way to determine the extent to which a screening test is doing what it is supposed to do: separating children at the extreme end (potential learning delays) from children who perform in a more typical manner. Having these factors at play when identifying the children who may need further testing can help get them the support they need... sooner.

    ESI-3 takes all three indices into account!

    If you need to take a closer look at overall abilities to determine where additional support may be necessary, the Early Screening Inventory, Third Edition will give you the tools you need to individually screen kids ages 3:0–5:11 in several areas of development.  

    Read the previous articles in this series.

    For more information on developmental screening with the ESI-3, visit  

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  • Headed toward the deep end of assessment season?

    Laptop with DRA3 on Screen

    We’ve got the perfect life jacket for you!

    You’ve finally gotten your classroom back to some semblance of a learning environment and having turned the calendar to February you’ve realized that you’re now headed directly into the busiest time of year — spring assessments and conferences! Are you prepared for everything you need to prepare for? Are your students? What do you need to do in order to make sure you are all ready for what lies ahead? What adjustments do you need to make to ensure that your students are meeting end-of-year goals?

    If you’re feeling like you’re treading water, we’ve got you covered! DRA3’s reading skills assessment calendar was designed to help buoy you through these challenging times!

    What’s on the calendar this month?

    • Continue using progress monitoring with identified students.
    • Administer the Word Analysis to other first through third grade students who are reading below established oral reading mid-year benchmark levels.
    • Prepare for and conduct mid-year Parent/Teacher conferences using all appropriate DRA3 assessments and materials.
    • Model, teach, and support areas in need of instruction.

    What’s on the calendar for the rest of the school year?

    One of the most important tasks in any school year is discovering each student’s literacy strengths and weaknesses. Identifying where they might need a little help, and how you can utilize their strengths to augment that support will help them make the most of their educational time. We have put together a reading assessment calendar to help you stay on track throughout the year, and to provide you with helpful tools to enhance your reading curriculum. December’s activities are crucial to your students’ reading success, and will set you on the path to discovering — and fostering — the lifelong reader in each of them!

    Download the calendar  

    Read more