Teacher Education Research Study Group

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey & Dana L. Grisham 

The Teacher Education Research Study Group, or TERSG, is a professional learning community of the Literacy Research Association that sponsors research in the field of (you guessed it) teacher education related to literacy.

TERSG members consider the preparation of excellent literacy teachers to be both a professional and a personal priority. In addition, this study group provides an opportunity for educators to come together for further study of effective practices in literacy teacher education. In this post, I want to tell you a little bit about a longitudinal project that examined the pathways from teacher candidate to student teacher to novice teacher. This project is the work of a subset of the larger study group who have published many other articles and resources related to teacher education, as well.

The research team has changed members as personal and professional demands have changed over time, but the work has continued since we first started the three-phase project in 2009.  The group has been incredibly productive, but one of the things that has come out of our work has been the opportunity to demonstrate that faculty members from small teaching colleges can work together to gather a substantial data set and mold that into multiple presentations and publications.  In addition our little band of researchers, a subset of the larger study group, has strengthened friendships, as a result of this project.

In addition to face-to-face meetings at the annual Literacy Research Association conference, the researchers met frequently using technologies such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and webinar software. We stored and shared documents on Box.com, Google Drive, and occasionally in Dropbox.  The Box.com secure site houses over 1154 discrete documents from raw data, to minutes of our meetings, to draft and final manuscripts.

This post will serve as a home base listing of the publications and presentations completed to date. We hope that our work will help inform the ongoing discussions about how best to prepare candidates as exemplary teachers of reading. Whenever possible, I have included a link to the presentation and publication resources, as well. The Wordle slide show, below, is drawn from descriptors of the teacher preparation programs that participated in the project.

Publications:

Scales, R.Q., Ganske, K., Grisham, D.L., Yoder, K.K., Lenski, S., Wolsey, T.D., Chambers, S., Young, J.R., Dobler, E., & Smetana, L. (2014).  Exploring the impact of literacy teacher education programs on student teachers’ instructional practices. Journal of Reading Education, 39(3), 3 – 13.

Grisham, D.L., Yoder, K.K., Smetana, L., Dobler, E., Wolsey, T.D., Lenski, S.J., Young, J., Chambers, S., Scales, R.Q., Wold, L.S, Ganske, K., & Scales, W.D. (2014). Are teacher candidates learning what they are taught? Declarative literacy learning in 10 teacher preparation programs. Teacher Education and Practice, 27(1), 168-189.

Wolsey, T.D., Young, J., Scales, R., Scales, W. D., Lenski, S., Yoder, K., Wold, L., Smetana, L., Grisham, D.L., Ganske, K., Dobler, E., & Chambers, S. (2013). An examination of teacher education in literacy instruction and candidate perceptions of their learned literacy practices. Action in Teacher Education, 35 (3), 204 – 222. doi: 10.1080/01626620.2013.806230

Lenski, S., Ganske, K., Chambers, S., Wold, L., Dobler, E., Grisham, D.L., Scales, R., Smetana, L., Wolsey, T.D., Yoder, K.K., & Young, J. (2013). Literacy course priorities and signature aspects of nine teacher preparation programs. Literacy Research and Instruction, 52(1), 1-27. doi: 10.1080/19388071.2012.738778

Young, J.R., Scales, R.Q., Grisham, D.L., Dobler, E., Wolsey, T.D., Smetana, L., Chambers, S., Ganske, K., Lenski, S., & Yoder, K.K. (In press). Teacher preparation in literacy: Cooking in someone else’s kitchen. Teacher Education Quarterly. (scheduled for volume 44, 4 in the Fall, 2017 issue).

Scales, R. Q., Wolsey, T. D., Lenski, S., Smetana, L., Yoder, K. K., Dobler, E., Grisham, D. L. & Young, J. R. with Wolsey, J.B. (in press). Are we preparing or training teachers?  Developing professional judgment in and beyond teacher preparation programs. Journal of Teacher Education.

Scales, R. Q., Wolsey, T. D., Young, J., Smetana, L., Grisham, D. L., Lenski, S., Dobler, E., Yoder, K. K., & Chambers, S. A. (in press). Mediating factors in literacy instruction: How novice elementary teachers navigate new teaching contexts. Accepted: Reading Psychology.

1 additional manuscript is in preparation. These will be added to the resources listed here as they are published.

Presentations:

Wolsey, T.D., Grisham, D.L., Smetana, L., Ganske, K., Scales, W.D., Lenski, S., Scales, R., Wold, L., Chambers, S., Young, J., & Dobler, E. (2013, April). A longitudinal investigation of teacher education programs across the United States. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in San Francisco, CA. Poster session 45-086-5 #14. Juried.

Wolsey, T.D., Scales, R.Q., Young, J., Smetana, L., Lenski, S., Yoder, K., Ganske, K., Grisham, D. L., Dobler, B., & Chambers, S. (2015, December). A longitudinal perspective on teacher development: Investigation of teacher preparation. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association. Carlsbad, CA. Juried.

Wolsey, T.D., Grisham, D.L., Smetana, L., Ganske, K., Scales, W.D., Lenski, S., Scales, R., Wold, L., Chambers, S., Young, J., & Dobler, E. (2013, December). From teacher preparation through first-year teaching: A longitudinal study through the lens of professional standards for literacy professionals. Alternative session paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Dallas, TX. Juried.

Scales, R.Q., Chambers, S., Wold, L., Young, J., & Lenski, S. (2012, November). Exploring the impact of literacy teacher education programs on teacher candidates’ instructional practices. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, San Diego, CA. Juried.

Dobler, E., Grisham, D., Lenski, S., Scales, R., Wolsey, D., Smetana, L., Young, J., Yoder, K., Alfaro, C., Chambers, S., Ganske, K., & Wold, L. (2011, December). Expanding the investigation: Exploring the impact of teacher preparation programs on the instructional practices of teacher candidates. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Jacksonville, FL. Juried.

Scales, R.Q., Chambers, S., Wold, L., Dobler, E., Lenski, S., Smetana, L., Grisham, D., Wolsey, T.D., Young, J., Ganske, K., Alfaro, C., & Yoder, K.K. (2011, November). Signature aspects of literacy teacher education programs: A national study. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Literacy Educators & Researchers, Richmond, VA. Juried.

Lenski, S., Wolsey, T.D., Alfaro, C., Chambers, S., Dobler, E., Scales, R., Smetana, L., Grisham, D., Wold, L., Young, J., & Scales, W.D. (2010, December). The impact of teacher education programs on the instructional practices of novice teachers. Alternative format paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Ft. Worth, TX. Juried.


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Meet the Influencers

Influencers Banner

Influencers

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

This month, Literacy Beat begins a series of posts to introduce to our readers some of the influencers and thought-leaders who have changed the way we think about intersections of literacy and technology.  Each month, Literacy Beat interviews a person who inspires teachers, researchers, makers, students, and parents to do more and be more.  Each influencer will share some of their thinking about trends they see, their own educational journeys, or tips and tools they find particularly helpful.  We hope you enjoy their stories as they share them each month.

This page will serve an index; you can always return here to find the influencers who have contributed their thoughts. Just bookmark this page at https://literacybeat.com/2016/03/20/meet-the-influencers/ or https://literacybeat.com/category/influencers/ to call up all the posts as a group.

The influencer banner, above, is adapted from an image titled, “Globe, Lights, Blog” by Jisc (CC BY 3.0).

The Influencers:

March 2016: The first in our influencers and thought-leaders series is Kathy Schrock. In this post, Kathy tells the story of how she came to realize the value of curated content for educators. Meet Kathy on Literacy Beat.

April 2016: Don Leu describes the Online Research and Comprehension Assessment (ORCA). Meet Don on Literacy Beat.

May 2016: Sylvia Martinez talks about the Maker Movement. Meet Sylvia on Literacy Beat.

January 2017: Peggy Semingson, assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Arlington.

If you would like to suggest an influencer for this series, please contact DeVere  (link will take you to iaieus.com/contact-iaie) and use the word “influencer” in the subject line.

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Education Dictionaries and Glossaries

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey 

In August, I published a post with links to discipline-specific glossaries and dictionaries. Because the internet has such a wealth of resources, it is sometimes difficult to find the sites you want or the key words for a search you need. Lists with links can help readers find the resources they need quickly. Continuing the dictionary list tradition, I compiled some general education dictionaries online. The criteria for inclusion are the same as in the discipline-specific post, except that the resource audience includes teachers and parents.

Parents may want to catch up on the words teachers use. Because schools and states purchase materials from different publishers, sometimes differing terms are heard in the faculty lounge or the school board room. The underlying ideas may be the same, but the word to describe that idea could differ from district to district.  Here are some resources to learn more about the words teachers use.

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets

Language and teaching strategies: Effective teachers use a variety of strategies to guide their students. This glossary from Reading Rockets organizes them by the type of language learning task (phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing). http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies


 

Glossary of Language Education Terms

Wikipedia

English Language Learners: WikiProjects Glossaries provides this resource that includes terms used in teaching English language learners (students whose first language is not English). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_language_education_terms

The United States Department of Education also publishes a useful glossary of terms related to teaching English language learners. http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/ell/glossary.html 

 


 

Teachnology glossary

Teach-nology

General Teaching Glossary: General terms that go beyond those used just in language learning environments can be found on the Teach-nology site. http://www.teach-nology.com/glossary/

 


 

Fractus Learning Technology Terms for Teachers

Fractus

Technology in Education: As technology becomes an increasingly useful component for teaching, new terms have made their way into the classroom. Learn some of them on the Fractus Learning blog.    http://www.fractuslearning.com/2013/03/04/technology-terms-for-teachers/

Another useful site with technology terms, but not specifically for educators or parents, is Netlingo.com


 

Understood Disability Important Terms

Understood

Special education: The field of special education has its own set of terms, often derived from policies and laws that govern special education settings.  Look them up on the Understood website.          https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/getting-started/disability-important-terms/terms-you-may-hear-from-educators


What other categories should be added to this link list? Are there other dictionaries or glossaries that you can suggest for any of the categories in this post?

 

Student Oral Language Observation Matrix: Spreadsheet Style

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

A time-tested standby to help teachers understand English learners’ oral language proficiency is the SOLOM or Student Oral Language Observation Matrix. The instrument is not a test, but it is an informative assessment that teachers use to inform instruction. There are many versions in html, Word, and PDF, but an interactive version in Excel (.xls) may prove useful.

SOLOM and Excel

SOLOM is in the public domain, so you may find some variations in the various published versions of the Matrix.   Teachers and teacher educators use the Matrix, developed by the San Jose (California) Bilingual Consortium, for a variety of purposes:

  • It fixes teachers’ attention on language-development goals;

  • It keeps them aware of how their students are progressing in relation to  those goals; and

  • It reminds them to set up oral-language-use situations that allow them to observe the student, as well as provide the students with language-development activities.

    Source: Center for Applied Linguistics

Download SOLOM (Excel)

Download SOLOM (Excel) here.

The Box.net file opens in preview mode; to download, find the upper right ↓ download arrow. Figure 1 shows where to locate the download icon.

SOLOM (Excel)

Figure 1: Download from Preview Mode – SOLOM Excel

What are the advantages of the Excel version of SOLOM?

  1. You can replicate this SOLOM digitally without killing any trees (no paper needed).
  2. You can add sheets for each student to keep all your results in one file.
    • Each sheet is accessed by the tabs at the bottom, left, of the spreadsheet. See figure 2. This template includes three sheets, but you can add more if you need them. Start here to learn how.

      Excel Tabs

      Figure 2: Excel Tabs

    • If you choose to do so, you can calculate results across sheets – a topic for a future post.
  3. The Excel spreadsheet does the calculations for you, an important feature if you have many students’ results to enter.

Want to review some common Excel terms? Navigate here. Maybe you want to dive into Excel vocabulary a bit more deeply? Point your browser here.

SOLOM Practice on YouTube

Several good YouTube videos allow you and your colleagues to practice using SOLOM. Try this one. This Playlist may also be useful.

Excel Geek?

If you happen to be an Excel geek, you can read this paragraph. Otherwise, just skip to the “Sources,” below. Excel is a powerful spreadsheet that harnesses the calculating abilities of the processor on your computer (or in the cloud). This version of SOLOM employs the COUNTA function to actually count the number of entries for each column, the SUM function to add up the column totals, and the VLOOKUP function to assign overall scores to a proficiency level. Shout out to gebobs for helping me find the function I should use instead of the one I was unsuccessfully trying to use!

SOLOM Sources

The best original source for SOLOM I can find is found at http://www.cal.org/ and opens as a PDF.

I adapted SOLOM for Excel from Arch Ford Educational Service Cooperative;  in Word format at SOLOM. (note: I removed the word “even” from cell B8).

Please share your variations and adaptations of SOLOM (Excel) in the comments section. What might you do to improve this tool? How have you used apps other than Excel to improve SOLOM or similar assessments

Literacy in the Disciplines Page

You may have noticed that a new page tab appeared at the top of the Literacy Beat site. New resources for literacy in the disciplines (also known as disciplinary literacy) will be posted here periodically.

Diane Lapp and Thomas DeVere Wolsey have been putting together a multimedia collection of interviews between literacy professionals and experts in some disciplines. We started with art, music, and technology, and these are now live on Literacy Beat. We invited teachers to respond with ideas and insights, as well. We plan to add to this in the coming months, but we hope this will be useful to you as you think about literacy in the disciplines. The site includes videos and podcasts and a few online resources, as well.
Use the page tab or just click here to find the new page: literacybeat.com/literacy-in-the-disciplines/ 

Discipline-specific and Technical Dictionaries Online

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey 

One effective way of learning vocabulary specific to any given discipline is to use technical and discipline-specific reference sources. This list is not comprehensive, and anyone with suggestions to build this directory is encouraged to email me at info@iaieus.com or post a comment, below. Experts and practitioners use reference works that are specific to their fields all the time. What better way to help ease students into the world of your discipline than to guide them to the reference works that are specific to each field?

My criteria for inclusion in this list:

  • Resource must be fully accessible online.
  • Resource must be suitable (but perhaps challenging) for students in grades 6 through 12 and undergraduate (but not excluding those who are learning about the topic).
  • There is a reasonable probability that the resource will remain online for some time to come.
  • The resource presents accurate information that represents the field.

Art:

MOMA: http://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/glossary Search by artist, by theme, or alphabetically.

Business:

Inc.com Encyclopedia: http://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/ Search many entries relevant to business and entrepreneurism.

Web Copywriting Glossary: http://www.wealthywebwriter.com/web-copywriting-glossary/ Suggested by Benedict Paul (thanks!). I have included this in the business category, but it has some very good entries on writing (as you might expect) and technology, as well. (added 8/6/2015)

Literature:

Literature Dictionary: http://www.literature-dictionary.org/ Includes dictionaries of characters, dictionaries by author, and dictionaries of terms.

Mathematics:

Illustrated mathematics dictionary: http://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/index.html. Easy navigation, intended for grades K-12.

Mathwords: http://www.mathwords.com/ Focuses on precision and readability. The site includes graphics to bolster the definitions.

Wolfram MathWorld: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/  Perhaps one of the most comprehensive resources for mathematics definitions on the web.

Encyclopedia of Mathematics: http://www.encyclopediaofmath.org/index.php/Main_Page An open-access resource with more than 8000 entries.

Music:

Naxos.com: http://www.naxos.com/education/glossary.asp Search alphabetically.

Physical Education:

Sports Definitions: http://www.sportsdefinitions.com/ Searchable by type of sport or alphabetically.

Science:

The Science Dictionary: https://www.thesciencedictionary.com/ This is actually a search tool that aggregates search results specific to science.

Enchanted Learning: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/science/dictionary/ Links to several specialty dictionaries by Enchanted Learning for students (e.g., botany, dinosaurs, land forms).

Geology Dictionary: http://geology.com/geology-dictionary.shtml Also, check out the map collections: http://geology.com/state-map/

Social Studies:

Ancient History Encyclopedia: http://www.ancient.eu/index/ Search alphabetically, by timeline, for images, or for videos.

Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences: http://bitbucket.icaap.org/ A comprehensive dictionary, designed for undergraduates, by Athabasca University.

Catholic Online: http://www.catholic.org/ So many figures and ideas are associated with the Roman Catholic church that a reference work may be very helpful. This one is supported by ads that can be annoying.

Taegan Goddard’s Political Dictionary: http://politicaldictionary.com/

Geography Dictionary & Glossary: http://www.itseducation.asia/geography/

Compilation of Architecture Dictionaries by Robert Beard: http://www.alphadictionary.com/directory/Specialty_Dictionaries/Architecture/ (Be sure to check out http://www.alphadictionary.com/specialty.html for many more specialty dictionary links. Some are better than others, but it’s quite a collection).

Technology:

NetLingo: http://www.netlingo.com/ One of the first and best (in my opinion) dictionaries for those interested in technology and internet-related terms.

~~~

Find more resources for literacy in the disciplines right here on Literacy Beat.

Literacy Beat Friday at ILA

Friday, July 17

Presenters:   Bernadette Dwyer, Jill Castek, Colin Harrison
Title:             Using Technology to Improve Reading and Learning in Transforming Adolescents’ Lives through Literacy. (Institute session #0865)

Presenter:    Bridget Dalton
Title:             Transforming Literacy Instruction through Online Inquiry (Institute 01 Session # 0997)

Presenters:   Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Dana L. Grisham, Linda Smetana
Title:             Academic Wordplay: Digital Strategies for Active Vocabulary Instruction In Vocabulary Collaborations: Pathways to Vocabulary Learning for All students, Grades 2-12 (Institute session #0986)
Title:   Vocabulary Self-Selection Strategy Plus (VSS+):Post-Reading Concept Development Using Digital Tools in Transforming Adolescents’ Lives through Literacy. (Institute session #0865)

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