Research-Based Materials


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2009 (abstract only) Paris, Scott. April 2005. Reinterpreting the Development of Reading Skills. Reading Research Quarterly. 40(2): 184-202.

Abstract: Theories about reading have neglected basic differences in the developmental trajectories of skills related to reading. This essay proposes that some reading skills, such as learning the letters of the alphabet, are constrained to small sets of knowledge that are mastered in relatively brief periods of development. In contrast, other skills, such as vocabulary, are unconstrained by the knowledge to be acquired or the duration of learning. The conceptual, developmental, and methodological constraints on different reading skills are described in this essay that identifies various types of constraints on reading constructs and measures. Examples of reading research and assessment are discussed to illustrate (a) how the constraints can help to explain transitory correlational patterns among reading data, (b) how proxy effects surrounding constrained skills influence interpretations of reading development, (c) how prescriptions to teach constrained skills are causal misinterpretations of longitudinal correlations, and (d) why interventions on constrained skills usually lead only to temporary gains on skills aligned with the constrained skill. Because constrained skills are not normally distributed conceptually or empirically, except on special occasions, analyses based on parametric statistics are inappropriate. This essay describes implications for theories of reading development, research methods, and educational policies; the extra commentary linked to the online version of the article expands on this latter theme.


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2008 (abstract only) Johnson, Jennifer; Dunbar, Cherie; Roach, Shannon. May 2003. Improving Reading Achievement through the use of a Balanced Literacy Program.

Abstract: This action research project described a program for improving reading skills in the identified primary classrooms. The targeted population consisted of students in first and third grades. The third grade classrooms were located in a low socioeconomic area within an urban community of Illinois. The first grade classroom was located in a higher socioeconomic area within the same community. The problem of ineffective reading skills was documented through data compiled by the teacher-researchers through the use of the Developmental Reading Assessment. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that students lack literacy experiences at home and a lack of motivation, which directly relates to students feelings and attitudes towards reading. Additional probable causes included poor fluency, a lack of reading strategies, and a deficit in phonological processing. A need for a literacy-rich classroom environment with a framework that encompasses essential reading components for student success was revealed. A review of various solution strategies suggested by those knowledgeable in the field of education, combined with an analysis of the targeted settings, resulted in the selection of a four-block reading intervention. The intervention consisted of: (1) the teacher explained, demonstrated, and supported reading strategies with the students; (2) the teacher reinforced reading and spelling patterns through instructional activities; (3) students self-selected and responded to literature experiences; (4) the teacher described, modeled, and supported writing activities with the students. The balanced, comprehensive approach helped children become more skilled in all areas in literacy, as well as increase levels of motivation and confidence. Post intervention data indicate improvements in reading skills. By immersing the students in a literacy-rich environment, reading abilities were enhanced. Appendixes contain word lists, student reading conference questions, a researchers' weekly journal form, a permission letter, and six learning activities. (Contains 32 references and 15 figures.) (Author/RS)


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2007 (abstract only) Bowker, Mary; Irish, Barbara. May 2003. Using Test-Taking Skills to Improve Students’ Standardized Test Scores.

Abstract: As an action research project, a program was developed to improve test-taking skills to increase standardized test scores. The targeted population was high school juniors in a small Midwestern community in west central Illinois. The problem of low standardized test achievement was documented through data that revealed that students fell below the state average in every category. The analysis of probable cause data revealed that students had not been prepared for standardized testing. Faculty reported that they believed in the importance of the tests, but did not take class time to coach for them. Reviews of statistics and research revealed that causes are rooted at home in economics and at school in instruction. A review of solution strategies suggested by knowledgeable others, combined with an analysis of problem setting, resulted in the selection of two major categories of intervention: encouraging students to become motivated to do well on standardized tests and designing and teaching test-taking strategies to students. Post-intervention data indicated that test-taking strategies could be taught. Based on the analysis of the data, the students showed an improvement on tracking during tests. With good teaching and the proper approach to tests, students’ scores increased. Teachers need to learn to teach such skills as: tracking, vocabulary clues, and reviewing answers to raise test scores. The research showed that with some effort this could be achieved. Four appendixes contain supplemental information. (Contains 2 tables, 4 figures, and 29 references.) (SLD)


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2006 (abstract only)
Burstein, Joyce H; Hutton, Lisa. September-October 2005. Planning and Teaching with Multiple Perspectives. Social Studies and the Young Learner. 18(1): 15-17.

Abstract: Providing options in perspective helps children understand that history and the social sciences are made up of many different sources and points of view. By incorporating multiple perspectives, teachers provide rich opportunities for children to think like historians, and to use their critical thinking skills in solving the puzzle of how history is documented. As the country and schools become more ethically and culturally diverse, elementary teachers must have tools to help them plan for broadening the perspectives of the children they teach. Realizing that textbooks can be limited in the amount of information presented on a topic or event, this article gives suggestions for acquiring additional sources that may include other viewpoints and perspectives. It is the authors' belief that by analyzing these stories and perspectives, children are helped to understand the process of writing history and are taught to question, analyze, and problem-solve.


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2005 (abstract only)
Tung, Elaine. 2002. Lifeskills for Prospective Teachers. Journal of Invitational Theory and Practice. 8: 27-41.
Abstract: The author presents an international perspective on life skills education arguing the development of a healthy self-concept and skills in self-reflection are necessary for living in a world of rapid change.


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15348172 (pdf)
van Gelder, Tim. Winter 2005. Teaching Critical Thinking: Some Lessons from Cognitive Science. College Teaching. 53(1): 41.

Abstract: This article draws six key lessons from cognitive science for teachers of critical thinking. The lessons are: acquiring expertise in critical thinking is hard; practice in critical-thinking skills themselves enhances skills; the transfer of skills must be practiced; some theoretical knowledge is required; diagramming arguments ("argument mapping") promotes skill; and students are prone to belief preservation. The article provides some guidelines for teaching practice in light of these lessons.


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2004 (abstract only)
Guthrie, John T. May 1981. Research Views: Reading Interests. Reading Teacher. 34(8): 984-986.

Abstract: Concludes that high-interest reading materials should be included in the reading curriculum since they may allow students to attain higher comprehension levels.


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2003 (abstract only)

Maddox, Kathryn.1970. New Dimensions in Teacher Education Inservice. Kanawha County Teacher Education Center: Charleston, West Virginia. 31.

Abstract: The Multi-Institutional Kanawha County Teacher Education Center has developed new techniques in teacher education, initiated cooperative seminars, and explored and developed cooperative inservice programs for student teachers and supervising teachers. This document describes an "on site" program designed to improve the competency of teachers and to improve the quality of teacher education in schools designated as teacher education centers. The program deals primarily with the behavioral aspect of teaching. Each seminar is designed to model an "ideal" lesson, giving attention to early inductive or perceptual activities and culminating in a capstone or "doing" phase. The project was piloted at John Adams High School, a new suburban school with 968 students. The school faculty participated in organizing meetings preceding the actual course and in planning activities to meet the needs of their particular school program. The course was designed around the theme of "Teaching Behaviors," with an objective of sensitizing teachers to be aware and concerned with each unique student. The detailed curriculum for the course is included in the document. (MBM)


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2002 (abstract only)
Brendzel, Sharon. May 2004. Games that Teach. Science Scope. 27(8): 32-33.

Abstract: Teachers spend a great deal of time trying to capture student interest because motivation is the beginning of learning. One effective way to do this is through the use of games in the classroom. Games provide a natural motivation, are part of good teaching strategies, and, fortunately, there are many that can be used to help build concepts. Although games should not be used as a substitute for hands-on investigations, especially inquiry lessons, there are many situations where games can be useful in teaching. For example, they can be used to introduce various presentation formats, improve comprehension through simulations, or review the concepts in a format that is interesting to students. This article presents some general ideas teachers can use for incorporating various types of games into your lesson plans.


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7462570 (pdf)
Gettinger, Maribeth; Seibert, Jill. 2002. Contributions of Study Skills to Academic Competence. School Psychology Review. 31(3): 350-365.

Abstract: Study skills are fundamental to academic competence. Effective study skills are associated with positive outcomes across multiple academic content areas and for diverse learners. The purpose of this article is to describe an information-processing perspective on the contribution of study skills to academic competence, and to identify evidence-based strategies that are effective in helping students to improve their study skills. (Contains 120 references.) (GCP)


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 2001 (abstract only) 

Lewis, Tom. August 2005. Facts + Fun = Fluency. Teaching Children Mathematics. 12(1): 8.
 Abstract: Students in the classroom should be provided with engaging activities for improving their computational fluency, making effective use of time, and as a medium of self-motivation. Games such as Counting, the 24 Game, and Number Jumbler are useful for practicing basic facts and computational fluency of mathematics.

*Click here to download the Common Core State Standards for Remedia's math products.


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