EdHub: The Educators Resource Network

EdHub is an online library of professional development materials dedicated to the advancement of best practices in teaching and learning at the PK-12 and higher education levels. The EdHub library provides interactive online resources and a shared learning environment to support individual PK-12 teachers, principals, university teaching assistants, teacher prep students, and university faculty in creating a culture which values teaching and learning.
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All resources in EdHub: The Educators Resource Network

School-Wide Strategies for Managing Hyperactivity

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Hyperactive students tend to have a very high energy level, act impulsively and can be behaviorally distracting. They may fidget, play with objects, tap pencils so loudly against their desk that kids from across the room look over at them, or blurt out answers to teacher questions before the instructor is even finished asking them. When working with students who are hyperactive or impulsive, teachers should keep in mind that these students are very often completely unaware that others view their behavior as distracting or annoying. Teachers working with such children can greatly increase their own effectiveness by clearly communicating behavioral expectations to students, by encouraging and rewarding students who behave appropriately, and by being consistent and fair when responding to problem student behaviors. Here are teacher ideas for managing impulsive or hyperactive students who display problem motor or verbal behaviors:

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Jim Wright

Strategy Guide: Using Paired Reading to Increase Fluency and Peer Cooperation

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In this strategy, students read aloud to each other, pairing more fluent readers with less fluent readers. Likewise, this strategy can be used to pair older students with younger students to create “reading buddies.” Additionally, children who read at the same level can be paired to reread a text that they have already read, for continued understanding and fluency work. This research-based strategy can be used with any book or text in a variety of content areas, and can be implemented in a variety of ways.

Material Type: Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Strategy Guide: Using the Jigsaw Cooperative Learning Technique

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In this strategy guide, you will learn how to organize students and texts to allow for learning that meets the diverse needs of students but keeps student groups flexible. The research that originally gave credibility to the jigsaw approach—creating heterogeneous groups of students, diving them into new groups to become expert on a topic, and then returning them to their home groups—touted its value as a means of creating positive interdependence in the classroom and improving students’ attitudes toward school and each other.

Material Type: Reading, Textbook

Strategy Guide: Using Partner Talk to Strengthen Student Collaboration and Understanding

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In this strategy guide, you’ll learn about Partner Talk—a way to provide students with another learning opportunity to make learning their own through collaboration and discussion. Partner Talk can be used for assessing classwork, making connections to prior knowledge, discussing vocabulary, or simplifying concepts. One of the main goals of the English Language Arts Common Core Standards is to build natural collaboration and discussion strategies within students, helping to prepare them for higher levels of education and collaboration in the workforce. In today’s classrooms, students are using complex texts and are being asked to use a variety of strategies and provide evidence-based responses. Partner Talk is a best practice that gives students an active role in their learning and scaffold the experience for students.

Material Type: Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Positive Peer Reports: Changing Negative Behaviors By Rewarding Student Compliments

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Some students thrive on peer attention-and will do whatever they have to in order to get it. These students may even attempt intentionally to irritate their classmates in an attempt to be noticed. When students bother others to get attention, though, they often find themselves socially isolated and without friends. In addition, teachers may discover that they must surrender valuable instructional time to mediate conflicts that were triggered by students seeking negative peer attention. Positive Peer Reporting is a clever classwide intervention strategy that was designed to address the socially rejected child who disrupts the class by seeking negative attention. Classmates earn points toward rewards for praising the problem student. The intervention appears to work because it gives the rejected student an incentive to act appropriately for positive attention and also encourages other students to note the target student's good behaviors rather than simply focusing on negative actions. Another useful side effect of positive peer reporting is that it gives all children in the classroom a chance to praise others-a useful skill for them to master! The Positive Peer Reporting strategy presented here is adapted from Ervin, Miller, & Friman (1996).

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Jim Wright

Teacher Praise: An Efficient Tool to Motivate Students

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Teacher praise is one tool that can be a powerful motivator for students. Surprisingly, research suggests that praise is underused in both general- and special-education classrooms (Brophy, 1981; Hawkins & Heflin, 2011; Kern, 2007). This guide offers recommendations to instructors for using praise to maximize its positive impact.Effective teacher praise consists of two elements: (1) a description of noteworthy student academic performance or general behavior, and (2) a signal of teacher approval (Brophy, 1981; Burnett, 2001).

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Jim Wright

Build a Student Motivation Trap to Increase Academic Engagement

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Motivating a reluctant student to complete schoolwork is not easy. In a typical classroom, students can choose from a number of sources of potential reinforcement (Billington & DiTommaso, 2003)--and academic tasks often take a back seat to competing behaviors such as talking with peers. One way that teachers can increase the attractiveness of schoolwork is by structuring lessons or assignments around topics or activities of high interest to the student (Miller et al., 2003).In fact, with planning, the teacher can set up a 'trap' that uses motivating elements to capture a student's attention to complete academic tasks (Alber & Heward, 1996). Here is a 6-step blue-print for building an academic 'motivation trap' (adapted from Alber & Heward, 1996).

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Jim Wright

Response to Intervention, Parent Resources

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Families are critical partners in effective implementation of RTI. As states and school districts work to implement an RTI process that provides early help to struggling students, parents need to understand the essential components of RTI and the roles they can play in supporting their child’s success.

Material Type: Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Homework Contracts: Tapping the Power of Parents

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Students who regularly complete and turn in homework assignments perform significantly better in school than those of similar ability who do not do homework (Olympia et al., 1994). Homework is valuable because it gives students a chance to practice, extend, and entrench the academic skills taught in school. Parents can be instrumental in encouraging and motivating their children to complete homework. This homework contract intervention (adapted from Miller & Kelly, 1994) uses goal-setting, a written contract, and rewards to boost student completion (and accuracy) of homework. Students also learn the valuable skills of breaking down academic assignments into smaller, more manageable subtasks and setting priorities for work completion.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Jim Wright

The Family Engagement for High School Success Toolkit: Planning and Implementing An Initiative to Support the Pathway to Graduation for At-Risk Students

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The Family Engagement for High School Success Toolkit is designed to support at-risk high school students by engaging families, schools, and the community. Created in a joint effort by United Way Worldwide (UWW) and Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) as part of the Family Engagement for High School Success (FEHS) initiative, the toolkit has two parts: Part 1 focuses on the comprehensive planning that goes into the development of a family engagement initiative. Part 2 focuses on the early implementation process.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Resource Guide for Family Engagement in Education at the High School Level

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Although family engagement tends to decline as students enter adolescence it remains important at this stage of youth development, and is related to healthy behaviors and higher rates of college enrollment. This resource guide represents a sampling of research reports, best practices, and tools to guide you in conceptualizing and creating effective family engagement strategies for high school students.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Family Engagement for High School Success Toolkit Webinar Series

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The recently released The Family Engagement for High School Success Toolkit: Planning and implementing an initiative to support the pathway to graduation for at-risk students distills the successes and lessons learned throughout a 5 month planning process at 15 United Way pilot sites—where community stakeholders worked together to create family engagement action plans—and through the first year of implementing the initiatives. Join us as Jennifer Enderlin from AT&T moderates a two-part webinar series designed to introduce the main themes of the toolkit and explore the central components of planning and implementing family engagement strategies for at-risk high school students.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Family Involvement in the Education of Secondary-School-Age Students With Disabilities

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Family support for learning is important for all students, but it may be particularly important for children with disabilities. One of the main tenets of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Action is parents’ participation in decision making related to their children’s education. However, despite legislative support for parental involvement, little information has been available until now to examine the actual level of family support for education that is given to middle- and high-school-age students with disabilities.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Family Engagement for High School Success

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We evaluated the United Way Worldwide’s Family Engagement for High School Success initiative, which aimed to support the families of disadvantaged high school youth by increasing involvement in their children’s education. This initiative, funded by AT&T, is part of United Way Worldwide’s national strategy to significantly reduce the nation’s high school dropout rate by 2018. In November 2009, AT&T granted 15 awards to local and state United Way sites to plan projects that will increase family–school–community partnerships.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

New Visions for Public Schools: Using Data to Engage Families

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The U. S. Department of Education has adopted using data for school improvement as one of its major education reform priorities. However, as states, districts, and schools develop new approaches to track academic progress, both accessing and understanding data are often out of reach for average parents. While school leaders and teachers have begun to share and analyze student data, parents are too often left out of the conversation. This is unfortunate, because data use presents a great opportunity for parents to become involved in their children’s education with a focus squarely on student achievement.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Mothering the Mind and Soul: African American Mothers' Beliefs and Practices to Ensure Academic and Social Success for Their Daughters in High School

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Adolescence is a time of rich experiences for girls as they approach the boundaries of womanhood. It is also a time filled with the risks born of gender, sexuality, class, and race discrimination. For African American female adolescents to have viable options for future education and employment, the contexts of school and family must create a safe and supportive environment for them (Collins, 2000). Read research findings from a qualitative study of eight African American mothers of successful high school daughters.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy