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Her areas of expertise include brain-compatible learning, block scheduling, emotional intelligence, instructional and assessment practices, differentiated instructional strategies, using data to differentiate, literacy, presentation skills, renewal of secondary schools, enhancing teacher quality, coaching and mentoring, managing change and building professional learning communities.

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She is the author and co-author of numerous publications for teachers and administrators. Gayle believes in life long learning for herself and others. She served the Thompson School District in several roles as the assistant superintendent, executive director of secondary and elementary instruction, director of professional development, and a building principal.

Her school was named a winner of the John R. Irwin Award for Academic Excellence and Improvement. In addition, for the past decade she has been involved in staff development through several universities and the Tointon Institute for Educational Change. She is a senior consultant for the International Center for Leadership in Education, has provided training and consulting to school districts around the country, and has presented at numerous national conferences.

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Differentiated Literacy Strategies: For Student Growth and Achievement

Toggle navigation Category Menu. Item : CRWN In Stock. Longitudinal studies have shown a link between viewing Sesame Street before kindergarten and school readiness, as well as positive outcomes in high school Anderson et al. It is important to emphasize that any benefits of technology will depend on the use of high-quality educational technology implemented well see, e. Limited research has examined how different technologies can be used effectively with students at different ages for different subjects, how to incorporate digital content into curricula, and how best to employ technology to enable early skill development.

Although these research questions warrant further exploration, available research provides some guidance on how technology can contribute to effective early childhood settings Clements and Sarama, ; Sarama and Clements, Appropriate implementation of high-quality educational technology can help teaching and learning be more effective, efficient, and motivating Bereiter and Scardamalia, ; Bus and Kegel, ; Clements and Sarama, , ; Clements et al. High-quality educational technology, implemented well in meaningful con-.

These benefits extend across diverse populations and may be especially important for children with special needs e. In some cases, the use of educational technology has been shown to increase social interactions, especially those centered around subject-matter content.

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These social interactions in turn generate increased use of language Clements and Sarama, Technology-assisted instruction also can help build prereading and reading skills e. Educational technology also can support the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics Clements and Sarama, ; NMP, ; NRC, ; Sarama and Clements, There can also be collateral benefits for digital literacy: the integration of an interactive literacy program into curriculum increases computer skills, computer self-efficacy, and enjoyment of computers Ross et al.

Most recently, debates about the value of video in early childhood have centered on whether any positive impact is evident when educational videos are watched before the age of 24 months. Thus far the few studies addressing this question have focused on word learning, and their results are mixed: two showed that children younger than 24 months of age cannot learn words from videos even when the videos are explicitly designed to teach them those words; another two showed that children just a few months shy of 24 months are, in fact, able to learn the words DeLoache et al.

With the research still nascent and unsettled, parents and early educators continue to receive mixed messages about the value of so-called baby videos. Another study showed that 2-year-olds using touch screens learn more from the on-screen content than those who only watch, as long as they are asked to touch specific areas of the screen that relate to the task they are learning Choi and.

Kirkorian, A similar study showed that the same caveat applies to word learning as well Kirkorian et al. An only slightly more extensive line of research has emerged on the impact of interactive technologies for children aged For example, a study of the Building Blocks Pre-K math curriculum examined, among other questions, whether software integrated into a suite of curricular activities could have a positive impact on student learning.

Students in classrooms using the software scored higher than children in classrooms that employed the curriculum without the software Sarama and Clements, see also, Clements and Sarama, On the literacy front, a series of e-book studies in Israel with 40 kindergarteners and 50 first-graders showed that digital text with embedded questions and audio dictionaries definitions spoken aloud when a child clicks on a word can lead to improvements in phonological awareness, vocabulary knowledge, and word-reading skills Korat, Good results are seen when educators use the products intentionally and are given support in integrating them into their classroom practices.

One example comes from research on the television show The Adventures of SuperWhy , which is broadcast regularly on PBS and was also designed to be part of a classroom literacy curriculum for children aged In an experiment with the curriculum version, children watched episodes twice per week that were linked to teacher-led whole-classroom activities, small-group activities, online games, and individual exploration.

Teachers received professional development and training in how to integrate these activities throughout the 10 weeks.

Differentiated Literacy Strategies for Student Growth and Achievement in Grades K-6 | Corwin

With funding from the U. Department of Education, researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial of low-income children in 80 preschools to determine the impact of the media-enriched literacy curricula. They found that children outscored the control group on measures of letter recognition, letter sounds, print concepts, and knowing the letters of their names Penuel.

The most important feature of any high-quality educational environment is a knowledgeable and responsive adult Darling-Hammond, ; Ferguson, ; NRC, b; Watson, , and this is no less true for technology as part of the learning environment. As research continues to examine what kinds of tools, media, and curriculum integration may be best for young children at which ages, one area of consensus is already forming: children consistently show greater signs of learning if they watch media with an adult who engages them in the content or helps them connect the ideas on screen to their world.

Just as they do with books, adults can spark conversations about the subject matter of a video or a game by using dialogic questioning and other ways to prompt deeper engagement. In short, computers and other technology are used well in classrooms where educators use effective instructional strategies.

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Moreover, there is evidence that if educators receive more support in the use of computers, their students benefit, even more than if the support is targeted at students Fuller, As the science of how children are affected by and in what ways they can learn from various forms of media and technology emerges, research is starting to focus on a corollary question: What skills and knowledge do young children need to acquire about how to use technology and media—that is, what does digital literacy or technological fluency look like for young children?

There are instances of children as young as 5 learning how to produce multimedia projects, and some case studies suggest that such projects could prompt better reading comprehension Hobbs and Moore, Given the role these tools are already playing in schools and workplaces, more scientific research is needed on how and when young children develop skills in and knowledge about technology and media.

Educators working with older students— years old—have clearer expectations for the use of technology than their counterparts working with children under age 5. These standards call for students to be able to demonstrate the following with respect to using technology: research and information fluency; critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making; creativity and innovation; and communication and collaboration ISTE, a, At one count, nearly all 50 states had adopted or used part of the ISTE student standards. Another indicator of technology expectations for educators comes in the Common Core State Standards. Consider, for example, the kindergarten standard CCSS. To be able to help children use digital tools for writing, educators themselves need a high level of familiarity with those tools and developmentally appropriate methods for introducing them to young children who are still learning how to write with analog tools such as pens and pencils.

Expectations for the use of technology are very different in settings outside of elementary schools. In prekindergarten and childcare settings, there is no widely adopted set of standards for using technology with these young children, nor are there common standards for what the children should know and be able to do regarding technology. Some states do not mention technology in their early learning guidelines at all Daugherty et al. The intent was to provide guidance to teachers in settings across the birth through 8 age spectrum.

Zero to Three has also developed guidelines specifically for screen use for children under 3 Lerner and Barr, Digital media—whether television, video, or games on interactive tablets—are a regular presence in the lives of young children. Educators across professional roles and age ranges are expected to have competency in the use of technology for learning. This competency includes knowing how children learn through technology and having the ability to integrate that knowledge into practices that support development and learning.

These professionals need better support in the use of technology and more opportunities to learn how to use technology appropriately, effectively, and to its fullest potential to foster early learning for children from birth through age 8. In addition to what is known about supporting healthy development among children, writ large, the current research base points to a set of essential practices for educators in early care and education settings and elementary schools with respect to the specific language-learning needs of the multilingual population.

Comprehensive early screening of the key skills and competencies related to literacy development is essential to prevent risk and vulnerabilities from becoming difficulties, given what is known about the relationships between early language and literacy skills and later academic achievement.

The current research base highlights features of effective early assessment practices with multilingual learners, which together make for a comprehensive approach:. More information can be found at www. Research on effective instructional practices with young multilingual learners highlights the promise and importance of several strategies and approaches that, together, prepare multilingual learners for the oral and written language they will encounter in the later grades:.

In addition to general principles that support all learners such as small class sizes that allow for tailored individual learning experiences, team teaching with collaborative planning and reflection, and positive relationships between educators and students as well as with their families , Clements and Sarama have summarized the research on instructional approaches that are beneficial for the mathematics learning of dual language learners:.

Researchers have developed specific instructional strategies or components of instructional strategies for the acquisition and generalization of key skills by young children with or at risk for disabilities Godfrey et al. These approaches vary along several dimensions, including what is taught, when teaching occurs, the spacing of teaching trials, and the type of instructional procedure that is used. An issue with these strategies is how they can be implemented during naturally occurring activities and routines so that the instruction leads not only to the acquisition of new skills but also to higher levels of engagement in ongoing activities and routines for children with disabilities.

Although this type of embedded instruction is a recommended practice in early childhood special education Wolery, and early childhood education NAEYC, , evidence indicates that it frequently is not used in early childhood settings. An observational study in primary-grade classrooms found that for some children, across multiple academic and social activities, there were no instructional trials focused on their learning objectives Schuster et al. For some students math skills may be delayed, but if formally classified as learning disabled they may be miseducated and mislabeled. In the earliest years, such labeling will probably do more harm than good.

Instead, high-quality instruction preventive education should be provided to all students. Foundational abilities in subitizing, counting and counting strategies, simple arithmetic, and magnitude comparison are important. In later years, competencies in arithmetic combinations, place value, and word problem solving should also be ensured Dowker, Other students may have a true math learning disability and be in need of specialized instruction.

An example of the value of different kinds of additional instruction comes from a study showing that in the primary years, students with a math learning disability alone or in combination with a reading learning disability performed worse than normally developing students on timed tests but just as well on untimed tests.


Students with a math learning disability alone may simply need extra time studying and extra time to complete calculation tasks. Using a calculator and other computational aids can enable these students to concentrate on developing their problem-solving skills. Students with both mathematics and reading learning disabilities may need more systematic remedial intervention that is aimed at problem conceptualization, the development of effective computational strategies, and strategies for efficient fact retrieval Jordan and Montani, Further, specific mathematical competencies may have different relationships to reading learning disabilities.

In one study, children with dyslexia experienced difficulty with both arithmetic fact fluency and operations. In addition, however, the findings distinguished between these two areas, as arithmetic fact fluency appeared to be affected by domain-general competencies, whereas operations appeared to be related to specific competencies in literacy Vukovic et al. Historically, many have called for Direct Instruction in skills for students with math learning disabilities. Research also supports other approaches that share characteristics with Direct Instruction—such as explicit, systematic instruction—but include more student problem solving and student-generated talk rather than highly educator-directed lessons with specific instructions and demonstrations of procedures.

For example, educators may not only explain and demonstrate specific strategies, but also encourage students to think aloud. Further, instruction is not limited to memorization of simple skills but includes computation and solving word problems, including those that apply mathematics to novel situations. Using visual representations may make such explicit instruction even more effective.

Scaffolding for Student Success

Further, educators need to ensure that students are acquiring all foundational concepts and skills necessary to learning mathematics at their grade level NMP, Such interventions should be used in addition to other mathematics instruction. Clements and Sarama have summarized the research on instructional approaches that help students at risk of experiencing problems with learning mathematics:. There are many gaps in the availability of resources to help students with special needs.

For example, there is no widely used measure with which to identify specific learning difficulties or disabilities in mathemat-.

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