Sunday, December 28, 2008

Resource Update: Adolescent Literacy, Digital Storytelling, RTI & Data-based Decision Making

Although January is the first month of the new year, it also marks the mid-point of the school year, a good time for those of us who work in schools and related academic settings to reflect a bit about what really matters.

I thought I'd dedicate this post to a review resources that might be useful when planning for the second semester.

On the last day before break, I noticed that my school district's professional development library had expanded well beyond my expectations. I had to restrain myself from checking out too many books!

Here is my sho
rt list, which reflects my interests in adolescent literacy, drop-out prevention, and technology integration:

McEWan, Elain K. 40 Ways to Support Struggling Readers in Content Classrooms, Grades 6-12 (2007) National Association of Secondary School Principals & Corwin Press

Beers, Kylene, Probst, Robert.E., & Rief, Linda
(Eds.) Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise into Practice (2007) Heinemann

Ohler, Jason Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity. (2007) Corwin Press

Online Resources:
Jason Ohler's Website
Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center

"The Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center (ARCC) at Edvantia is one of 16 regional comprehensive and 5 content centers that make up the
Comprehensive Center Network funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The purpose of the comprehensive centers is to provide state education agencies with intensive technical assistance to address the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements and meet student achievement goals."

The ARCC website contains a database of evidence-based resources, rated on the level of evidence provided that supports effectiveness.
Here's a list of resource toolkits found on the ARCC site. (Be prepared to spend more than a few minutes browsing through the info!)
National Center on Student Progress Monitoring

Note: This site focuses mostly on K-5 topics, but does have some resources appropriate for the secondary level.)
"The National Center on Student Progress Monitoring (NCSPM) has exciting downloadable articles, PowerPoint presentations, FAQs, and additional resources about student progress monitoring, Curriculum-Based Measurement, applying decision making to IEPs and other researched based topics. All of our publications are designed to inform and assist audiences in implementing student progress monitoring at the classroom, building, local or state level."
NCSPM's Web Resources: Links to "other resources" from the NCSPM website look interesting!

Rapid Assessment Found to Improve Student Achievement
Comparisons of student achievement effect sizes suggest that systems in which student performance in math and reading is rapidly assessed between 2 and 5 times per week are 4 times as effective as a 10% increase in per pupil expenditure, 6 times as effective as voucher programs, 64 times as effective as charter schools, and 6 times as effective as increased accountability, according to an article published in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Evaluation. Rapid assessment, which is a form of student progress monitoring, is defined by the article's author as "systems that provide nonjudgmental testing feedback [to teachers] immediately after each test." To read the entire article, The Cost-Effectiveness of Five Policies for Improving Student Achievement, Stuart Yeh, American Journal of Evaluation, 2007; 28: 416-436 (a small fee is charged), go to

High School Center Releases Document on RTI
The National High School Center has recently released a new document, entitled "Meeting the Needs of Significantly Struggling Learners in High School: A Look at Approaches to Tiered Intervention," that explains the need for and challenges of implementing Response to Intervention (RTI) at the high school level. This brief introduces the RTI model, illustrates two RTI approaches, discusses implementation issues, and provides a list of resources for more information.

National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities
"The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities (NDPC-SD) was established in 2004 by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) as part of OSEP’s Technical Assistance and Dissemination (TA&D) Network, which supports the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). NDPC-SD was specifically established to assist in building states’ capacity to increase school completion rates for students with disabilities through knowledge synthesis, technical assistance, and dissemination of interventions and practices that work. NDPC-SD is located at the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (NDPC/N) at Clemson University."

  • Dropout Prevention (pdf) (2008) (IES Practice Guide, National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance)

"All About Adolescent Literacy: Resources for Parents and Educators of Kids in Grades 4-12"
National Institute for Literacy
Note: The above publication has specific strategies for instruction included in the appendix, with some useful graphic organizers.

Learning Disabilities Online
National Center for Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)
Edutopia: How To Use Digital Storytelling in Your Classroom

Related Resources:, a website for teens: "Childhood Meets Adulthood"

  • Teacher Dave McDivitt & Making History at Oak Hill School: Video Games that Teach link: Digigirlz High Technology Camps (Microsoft)

I hope these updated resources are helpful!

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Wow! So many resources! Thank you, from one school psych to another. :)