ABC's of Education

AP (Advanced Placement): Created by the College Board, these are classes in high school that allow students to qualify for college credit. Typically, student's must test well enough to get into these classes. They are college level, so the workload is must more challenging than typical non-AP classes.

Authentic Assessment: An assessment that is taken informally and usually shows how the student is progressing. Many times teachers will use a student work sample or the student will choose a piece of work that they are proud of. There are four levels of understanding ranging from Recall/Reproduction, Skill/Concept, Strategic Thinking, and Extended Thinking. It is a goal to be able to achieve Extended Thinking.
BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment)- By California state law, teachers are required to go through an induction that is funded by the state that provides new teachers with support and requires them to be assessed in their strengths and weaknesses.

Collaborative Learning: Students work in groups and are encouraged to work together to share concepts. A classroom is based on appreciating student's differences and the belief that collaboration is not only developing character, but students are teaching each other and each possesses a sense of power when doing so.
Depth of Knowledge (DOK): A resource to showcase student's level of complexity. It is used now to help students in advancing in higher levels of thinking, as seen in Common Core (similar to Bloom's Taxonomy).
Formative Assessment: These assessments are used during student learning to help teachers create groups based on strengths and/or needs. It also can help a teacher differentiate instruction in a class. Using these formative assessments allows teachers to see students individually in a daily classroom activity (Reading Samples) than a summative assessment, which shows what the student did learn. This can help catch holes in student' s learning to help them better understand concepts.

GAFE (Google Apps for Education): An approach to incorporating technology into the classroom.

IB (International Baccalaureate)- Started in Switzerland and based on eight learner profiles (Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded
Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced, Reflective). A program that incorporates learning and character development.

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act): Legislation that allows students with special needs to receive fair and equal education like those in mainstream education.
IEP (Individualized Education Plan)- Students who need a IEP need modifications or extra tools needed in their education to reach standards and school expectations.

LH (Learned Helplessness)- a child with a lack of motivation caused by being helped in more opportunities therefore limiting their experience to develop confidence through independence.

LRE (Least Restrictive Environment): A part of IDEA, it requires that each student is placed in a learning environment that is least restrictive. Essentially it boils down to placing students with special needs in mainstream or special day classes. This legislation allows for each IEP to be individualized so that parent teacher teams can decide which classroom setting(s) are most beneficial to the individual with special needs.

Montessori Method: Founded by Maria Montessori, a philosophy that encourages play for learning. Students learn at their pace and are encouraged to develop skills through discovery. As students develop they learn life skills such as sweeping, tying shoes, stringing beads, and pretend play. These are much more important skills the acquisition of reading.

NCLB (No Child Left Behind): A program implemented in 2001 by President Bush, an approach to making sure that all students were given an opportunity to achieve high standards. Schools were held accountable for their students' performance on state standardized tests by withholding funding from low performing schools.

PARRC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers)- One of two assessment options that 19 participating states in Common Core are using.

PD (Professional Development): Teachers are required to continue their education through the method of acquiring professional development.

OT (Occupational Therapist)- Working with students who have difficulties in spatial awareness and fine motor development.

SP (Speech Pathologist)-  Also known as a Speech Therapist (ST). Works with students who have difficulties in the area of speech and swallowing (i.e, lisps, unintelligibility).

SPED (Special Education)- For qualifying students that may need specialized instruction, classroom is individualized.

SST (Student Study Team)- A team made up of school staff and parents of a student that may be of concerned due to underperformance or learning differences.

Summative Assessment: Assessments taking place following concepts learned, such as test and final exams. Smarter Balanced, PARRC, as well as state testing are categorized as summative assessments

Thematic Lesson Planning: Teachers plan instruction based on one idea and all subjects are woven into the theme. For example, if the theme is centered on Spring, students science lessons may be on weather changing or oviparous animals. All activities will be cohesive with one another and build upon each other.
Unschooling: The belief that students learn best at their speed and students choose their emphasis of learning. Students are natural learners and will be drawn to ideas and concepts that are innately unique to each child (bugs versus animals, or space versus biology, etc,). It is the understanding that children will understand more when they are seekers of knowledge versus being taught it as the same speed and style as other children in the classroom. This style of learning is found mostly in homeschool settings.

Whole Child: The belief in teaching all aspects of a child, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. It is understood that a child needs to be well rounded in order to be successful in their education. Students will not be able be successful if their other needs are being met (lack of sleep, change at home, etc).

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