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  • Headed to #ISTE17?

    Posted By EdView360 | Jun 21, 2017
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    There's so much to see and learn...Don't miss the highlights!

    Next week, in San Antonio, thousands of dedicated educators and edtech professionals will converge on this Texas town for an unparalleled meeting about education technology. #ISTE17 is the annual conference that brings together innovation and learning, sharing and reconnecting...and Voyager Sopris Learning is proud to be a part of this event.

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  • Life Is A Science Project, And So Is Teaching

    Posted By Michael Milone, Ph.D. | Jun 14, 2017
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    A foundational ability of humans is the willingness to try things to see how they work out. This might be the most important talent we have developed. Imagine one of our ancestors long, long ago struggling with hair in her face as she managed the family fire while keeping the children from being eaten by a cave bear. She tried the Flintstone’s bone-in-hair approach, and that didn't work. Frustrated, she grabs a piece of flowering vine in one hand and her streaming locks in the other. Deftly wrapping the vine around her hair, she invents the hair tie and hair flair at the same time!

    Throughout history, we have admired those who tried things, failed, kept trying, and eventually succeeded.

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  • Don't Miss the Point: Content-Focused Reading Instruction Is Crucial

    Posted By Louisa Moats, Ed.D. | May 17, 2017
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    While many language skills and comprehension strategies are embedded in daily lessons, teachers know that the overall purpose of each lesson sequence is to understand content related to a theme. The reason for reading a text is clear: The text is worthwhile. It is complex and rich. The topic is inherently interesting—or if it isn’t, yet, it will be once the students know something about it. The reader will be rewarded with understanding, insight, ideas, and new information.

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  • Mysterious Learners: What's Going On with Them?

    Posted By Michael Milone, Ph.D. | May 03, 2017
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    A colleague and I have been looking at progress and outcome measures for a number of students using different interventions. We are doing this the old-fashioned way, not through data analytics (all the rage these days), but by reviewing every single detail we can find. These data are being plotted visually to see if some patterns emerge that might allow us to draw some general conclusions. After much plotting and discussion, we came to a remarkably insightful conclusion that I would like to share with you. (Slight drumroll, please.) We had no idea what was going on.

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  • Staying Grounded in Reading Realities: A Better Approach for Struggling Readers

    Posted By Louisa Moats, Ed.D. | Mar 29, 2017
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    At the end of October, I attended and spoke at the annual International Dyslexia Association (IDA) meeting in Dallas. IDA remains the best interdisciplinary conference for all professionals, advocates, and families concerned with reading, writing, and language difficulties. IDA meetings, over the past three decades, are where I’ve obtained my real education. This meeting was as informative as ever. We heard from neuroscientists, psychologists, directors of interdisciplinary research centers, researchers in language acquisition, experienced clinicians, education advocates, teacher educators, public school literacy leaders, and families affected by learning difficulties. Through diverse perspectives, one theme stood out for me: We will serve students and families better if we are informed by the facts. Romantic ideas, though appealing, will not serve the needs of students or teachers. Let’s examine a few beliefs that we’re better off without.

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  • High Fidelity for High Technology

    Posted By Michael Milone, Ph.D. | Aug 31, 2016
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    Here’s the most excellent example of stating the obvious in the history of educational research. When an intervention is implemented with high fidelity, it is more effective than when it is implemented with low fidelity. Really, it’s that simple … and obvious.

    So, what is this fidelity of implementation thing? Simply put, fidelity of implementation describes the extent to which delivery of an instructional practice adheres to the protocol on which it was developed or field tested. Or as my father liked to say when I was fiddling with assembling models as a kid, “Do it the way the instructions say.”

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  • MAGIC ACTIVATED: Part 2 of 2

    Posted By Antavia Hamilton-Ochs | May 04, 2016
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    I am more than a teacher. I am an activator. I'm tasked with lighting thousands upon thousands of little ‘aha’ moments in little minds each year. Not each spark takes hold, but others explode! Sometimes, I get to see the magic take hold in the most powerful of ways. Part 2 of 2.

    Carmen came to me a reading-shy freshman. She was ever so polite, with a smile that melts my heart daily.

    She'd forget her glasses. She'd quietly chat with her friend. She'd wait for someone to notice she was lost.

    In the past, I would give her a heads up before calling on her and be met with panicked eyes. While another student read aloud, I'd go over to her and softly let her know I'd help her. When she started to shut down, I'd smile and let her know that ladies let people know what they need and move forward. I'd remind her that she was still moving ahead.

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  • MAGIC ACTIVATED: Part 1 of 2

    Posted By Antavia Hamilton-Ochs | Apr 27, 2016
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    I am more than a teacher. I am an activator. I'm tasked with lighting thousands upon thousands of little ‘aha’ moments in little minds each year. Not each spark takes hold, but others explode! Sometimes, I get to see the magic take hold in the most powerful of ways. Part 1 of 2.

    Periodically, I stop class for a five-minute life lesson. I teach transferable skills, as many of them as I can, on and off curriculum. As these teachable moments crop up, I seize them. I'm preparing my kiddos for life. I'd be shirking my responsibilities if I didn't teach them the soft skills that subtly support us as we move through the world. My pupils needed to be well read, analytical, adept at critical thinking, and savvy. Most of all, they needed to find their voice. They live in a world that doesn't always tell them their “value.” They are told constantly what they are “worth.”

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  • Don't Miss the Point: Content-Focused Reading Instruction Is Crucial

    Posted By Louisa Moats, Ed.D. | Feb 24, 2016
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    While many language skills and comprehension strategies are embedded in daily lessons, teachers know that the overall purpose of each lesson sequence is to understand content related to a theme. The reason for reading a text is clear: The text is worthwhile. It is complex and rich. The topic is inherently interesting—or if it isn’t, yet, it will be once the students know something about it. The reader will be rewarded with understanding, insight, ideas, and new information.

    Full story
  • Keep the Focus on the Learning on Digital Learning Day

    Posted By Michael Milone, Ph.D. | Feb 10, 2016
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    For those of us who have been around for a while, Digital Learning Day (or DLDay), happening February 17, has special significance. I fall into the “around for a while” category because I had both a TRS-80 and an Apple II. How cool is that? I also had long, blond hair, but let’s not dwell on the past. The special significance of DLDay for us is that so many of our dreams are coming true. Blended learning is a great example. For many years, the technology aspect of education was a little standoffish. Because of limitations of hardware and software, it was challenging to use technology in the ways we thought were most effective. But because of recent software advances, blended learning is making its way into more and more classrooms. And it is paying off. When you combine the expertise and caring of the teacher with technology, you have a learning environment in which students are most likely to benefit.

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