Research Summaries

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Class Size

Class size is the number of students in a given course or classroom. Average class size is the average (mean) number of students taught by classroom teachers. This differs from student to teacher ratio in that for the ratios, all licensed staff in the building (e.g. librarians, speech therapists, academic support specialists) count towards teachers in the ratio. For example, a student to teacher ratio of 20:1 may translate into a class size of about 30. What is considered a ‘large’ or ‘small’ class size varies widely depending on grade level, make-up of the student body, as well as personal opinions.

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Homework

"Tasks assigned to students by school teachers that are meant to be carried out during non-school hours" (Cooper, 1989, p.7 as cited in Hattie, 2009, p. 234). Homework is to be used to practice or reinforce learning that has already taken place.

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Instructional Coaching

"Definition of coaching as "a process that can move a person from where he is to where he wants to be. A coach needs to "enroll" a teacher.... A teacher has to want it... Once the teacher has been enrolled, the coach should help her determine goals for her practice..." (Aguilar, 2011, in Wang 2017).

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Literacy Assessments

The screening process is designed to allow for the efficient and early identification of needs. Screening involves administering brief, reliable and valid assessments to all students at multiple points per year. Screening provides a quick way to identify which students are expected to exceed, meet, or fall below grade level standards. Without screening, all students who may need additional support are unlikely to be identified.

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Looping

Looping, a school practice since 1913, is "a policy in which whole classes (or most of the students within a class) are taught by the same teacher in sequential years" (Cistone, et al 2004 in Hill 2018, p. 2). Other names for looping include: "continuous learning," "continuous progress," "persisting groups," "multi-year grouping," "teacher/student progression, " "teacher cycling," "teacher rotation" or "persistence teams" (Zarlengo, et al 1997, p. 8).

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Platooning

"Platooning," is a 100 year old term for "a method of school organization in which a teacher instructs in one subject or in one group of related subjects," (Barnes 1962) also known as "departmentalization", "specialization" and "distributed teaching model" and the antithesis of "self-contained classrooms." Platoons of students and teachers organized by subjects can last all day or part of the day (Hood 2010 p.13). Initially "platooning" was for more "efficient" schools (Barnes 1921); and became adopted in grades 7-12; current platooning debate is about K-6 for core subjects.

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