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  • Increased accountability? Better communication? Greater student insight?

    Review360 Hero

    Check... Check... Check!

    For many students, the transition from the static nature of elementary school to the dynamics of middle school can be a huge adjustment. Not only are they contending with a daily schedule full of classroom changes and the new-found freedom of passing periods, they’re discovering that each teacher has a unique personality, their own way of doing things, and a whole slew of unique expectations. The pressures, freedoms, and expectations on them can, and often do, add up to an outcrop of behavior issues that can be difficult for their teachers to manage on their own. For one school district in Garland, Texas, Review360 was the answer to many of the issues their teachers, administrators, and students were facing.

    Robert Weyman, the assistant principal of J.W. O’Banion Middle School in the Garland Independent School District, has discovered that Review360’s utility goes way beyond documenting behavior incidences and serving up interventions. It’s become a medium through which teachers can instantly document incidences, yes, but it also allows them to communicate those incidences to the students’ other teachers along with the interventions that have helped to curtail the behaviors — and the ones that haven’t. The system alerts administration when an office referral has been given, and sends an email detailing the behavior. If there is a major incident in the building, administration is notified instantly via email, allowing for a fast response without creating the unnecessary confusion and discord that typically ensues when using the intercom system.

    While teachers initially felt that they had someone “looking over their shoulder”, they quickly came to realize the benefits of the new behavior management system. While the perks of being able to communicate with their cohorts about individual students’ behaviors were fairly obvious, the secondary benefit came as a bit of a surprise. Students began to realize that their teachers were in close communication, and they were no longer able to play one teacher against another, or be deceptive about what a teacher in another classroom “allows”. The students quickly responded to the consistency between classrooms, and as a result, everyone benefited!

    Review360's returns don’t end in the classrooms, and they don’t end in the hallways, nor do they end in the principal’s office. They are experienced all the way through to each students’ home, where their parents are regularly notified of behavior incidents, interventions, and best of all — progress.

    Review360’s web-based system also 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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  • Reliable, valid, or both?

    Teacher with students

    Reliability, as it pertains to assessment, is a measure of consistency. For example, if a group of people took a test on two different occasions, they should get nearly the same scores both times, assuming that no memory of the items carries over to the second. If an examinee scored high the first time and low the second, we wouldn’t have any basis for interpreting the test’s results. Initially, the most common means of determining reliability was to have the examinee take the same test twice or to take alternate forms of a test. The scores of the two administrations would then be correlated. Generally, one would hope for a correlation between the two administrations to reach .85 to the maximum correlation of +1.00. Reliability is the essential condition of a test: if it’s not reliable, it has to be disregarded.

    That being said, a test can be reliable without being valid. A central component in early childhood screening test validity is how accurately the test identifies children who may be in need of service. However, no matter how careful examiners are, there will be some error in the decision-making process. Some children identified as OK, may actually be in the Potentially Delayed range and vice versa. Verifying the validity of the tests you use is paramount in identifying kids who are in need of extra support.

    With ESI-3, you don’t have to choose between valid and reliable!

    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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  • The long winter break is over. Let’s get your students back on track!

    Student with speech bubble with teacher looking at laptop screen

    Well, the excitement from the holidays has passed, break is officially over, and it’s time to get back to learning... but how best to get your students back in the swing of things and on track to meeting end-of-year goals? Mid-year assessments are an excellent way to guide your classroom back to your typical learning environment while checking on their progress since fall. You can use the data provided by these assessments to help guide decisions and tailor each student’s instruction to their current level of ability.

    What’s on the January to-do list?

    • Follow your District Assessment calendar for mid-year assessments.
    • Re-administer the Word Analysis with students who were previously assessed in the fall.
    • Use the updated class profile to help plan specific teaching/learning activities in each area of instructional need.

    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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  • Making the turn into 2020

    Laptop displaying DRA3 Online report for Oral Reading Summary

    Can you believe we are here, talking about mid-year progress... already?? Fall is flashing by as quickly as summer did, and before we know it, colorful lights will be surrounding our windows, houses, and trees! Our bright little learners are bursting with excitement for the holiday season, and while it may seem like school is winding down for this calendar year, checking their mid-year reading skills progress is a fantastic way to maximize learning when school resumes after winter break!

    December to-dos:

    1. Continue using Progress monitoring with identified students.
    2. Plan and continue to model, teach, and support the areas identified in need of instruction on the Class profile form for small groups or the whole class.
    • Oral Reading Rate, Phrasing and expression (Use appropriate leveled passages from Progress Monitoring for repeated readings. See Routine Card 11–13 for routines to improve oral reading fluency.)
    • Oral retellings and written summaries (See Blackline Masters at the end of the Teacher Guides.)

    Enhancing reading progress through independent reading

    When kids have access to books on topics that interest them, they read more often and for longer periods of time... often without too much prodding. In an effort to help you guide your students’ parents in choosing the right book for their child’s age and interests, we’ve included a list of titles separated by grade level. They’re adapted from the Association for Library Service to Children and are part of their 2019 Notable Books list.

    Please choose from the following age groups, and download the appropriate PDF to send to your students’ parents.

    What’s on the calendar for 2020?

    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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  • Where does individuality end and true delay begin?

    Photo of Teacher with Students

    Human beings are inherently unique. From eye, skin, and hair color to height, weight, and overall build, no two people are exactly alike. Even identical twins have at least one physical trait that differentiates one from the other.

    Just as each person is unique physically, so, too are they in their developmental abilities. Where one infant may smile and begin communicating nonverbally at 6 weeks of age, another might roll over at 10 weeks, then smile for the first time. One baby might not ever crawl, but completely stun their parents by pulling themselves up on a chair leg at 10 months and toddling across the kitchen. One baby might sing themselves the “Happy Birthday song” on their first birthday while another doesn’t start communicating verbally until after their second.

    Although early childhood experts have general guidelines for milestones, each child is unique in their own development. That being said, knowing when a baby or young child is truly delayed is often critical to making sure they receive the interventions necessary to get them — and keep them — on track.

    Areas of development to screen for:

    • Physical development
      • sensory abilities: acuity, discrimination, perception
      • fine motor skills, gross motor skills
    • Cognitive development (intellectual abilities)
    • Communication development (speech and language)
    • Social or emotional development (social skills, emotional control)
    • Adaptive development (self-care skills)

    Screening for developmental delays gives you a closer look at their overall abilities to determine where additional support may be necessary. The Early Screening Inventory, Third Edition gives you the tools needed to individually screen kids ages 3:0–5:11 in several areas of development. In short, ESI™-3 makes finding the kids that need extra support... easier.

    Read the previous articles in this series.

    For more information on developmental screening with the ESI-3, visit PearsonAssessments.com/ESI-3.  

     

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  • Are you prepared to serve the growing population of ELLs?

    Five children

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the number of English Language Learner (ELL) students in the US rose from 3.8 million (8.1%) in 2000 to 4.8 million (9.5%) in the fall of 2015. This 20% growth in the number of ELL students prompts several important questions, two of which are, “How can we help this growing population succeed in school and beyond?” and “What tools do we need to do so?”

    Language is the basis for all learning, which poses a problem when a student isn’t fluent in the language spoken in their school. Despite this challenge, ELLs are expected to meet the same standards of their English-speaking classmates, and as a result, are falling drastically behind. According to a recent study, only 63% of ELLs graduate from high school, compared to 82% of non-ELLs — and of those who graduate, only 1.4% go on to take college entrance exams.

    Academics isn’t the only area where these students are running into trouble. While 1 in 10 US students are ELLs, only 7% of school psychologists surveyed are proficient (not fluent) in Spanish, 1.3% are proficient in Sign Language, and 5.3% are proficient in 27 other languages. This discrepancy is alarming as it clearly indicates an immense gap in a typical school’s ability to address these students’ diverse needs.

    What are practical guidelines for serving the ELL population?

    Get the practical guidelines for working with English Language Learners.

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  • It’s time for parent-teacher conferences!

    Laptop displaying DRA3 Online report for Oral Reading Summary

    Streamline your preparations with DRA3’s online reports.

    For some students, nothing conjures up greater anxiety than these three words: parent-teacher conferences. What will my teacher(s) have to say? Have I done everything I can to get a good report? Am I doing well?? Concurrently, parents have similar concerns. What will their teacher(s) have to say? Have I done everything I can to help my child succeed in school? Are they doing well? Taking time out to make sure that you have all of the information related to each student’s progress can be an overwhelming task at a time of year when their attention span is already waning with the upcoming holidays. Math grades, outcome tests, science grades, reading skills progress, social studies… the list of reports and papers is seemingly endless.

    DRA3 can take care of one big item on that list — reading skills progress. Our powerful online platform gives you unlimited access to:

    • Class Roster Report
    • Student Action Plan
    • Student Assessment History
    • Assessment Instance Results
    • Parent Report
    • Student Performance Over Time
    • Class Skills Summary
    • School/District Benchmark Scoring Report
    • School/District Data Across Seasons (and Across Years)

    What’s on the calendar for November?

    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. October’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
  • Are your students in need of extra support?

    Teacher with young students

    The connections for learning, behavior, and health in a child’s brain are the most flexible when they are young, and over time, these connections become harder to change. As with any other skill, the sooner a child receives intervention for developmental delays, the better their outcomes typically are. Developmental screening is the most effective way to identify children who need further evaluation in order to get them the support they need sooner rather than later.

    Developmental screening should be used to:

    1. Identify children who may be in need of further evaluation
    2. Assist teachers in getting to know their students’:
      • Cognition
      • Adaptive skills
      • Language skills
      • Fine and gross motor skills
    3. Help prevent severe delays from going unrecognized

    Developmental screening should not be used as:

    • A means to make a diagnostic decision
    • A school entry or readiness test
    • An achievement test

    A typical developmental screening tool will contain items such as name, color recognition, printing letters, picture recognition, rote counting, and identifying body parts. The Early Screening Inventory, Third Edition (ESI-3) goes beyond these “typical” categories to help attain a deeper understanding of a child’s abilities.

    ESI-3:

    • Measures visual motor-adaptive skills through block building, copy forms, and visual-sequential memory to help understand how a child can coordinate their visual capacities with their fine motor abilities.
    • Connects language and cognition with number concepts rather than just rote counting, and verbal expression rather than just identifying objects.
    • Measures verbal reasoning which enables them complete analogies, and auditory-sequential memory which enables them to recall items in a particular sequence.
    • Measures gross motor skills through balancing, hopping, and skipping.

    Hear about the importance of developmental screening, and the power of the ESI-3 from its author, Dr. Miesels!

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