Glossary of Terms to Promote a Common Language


day to day reading:
(Mary Howard): Students generate personal sentences using conventional spelling. These sentences are written on strips and taped to desks to be read daily, highlighting words, patterns, revisiting often, and adding activities such as cutting apart, sequencing, stretching, and compiling in a journal (10-15 min. daily).

Factual information, which determines the extent to which objectives are being met.

Group activity designed to elicit participant reactions, thoughts, and responses to a process.Debriefings can be initiated by asking participants: "What happened?"and "How did we feel about it?"

declarative knowledge:
Otherwise known as content knowledge including themes, big ideas, essential questions, content standards, and information.

decoding skills:
Skills in translating symbols (e.g., alphabet letters) into recognizable syllables and words.

deductive reasoning:
Deductive reasoning is a process of arriving at a conclusion about particulars from general or universal premises. It involves logically progressing from a general rule or principle to a specific solution.Deductive reasoning is the premise underlying most lecture or textbook presentations.

deep culture:
The non-tangible aspects of culture such as feelings, emotions, attitudes, and rules for interaction. They are not seen at the surface level and they are not taught.

A mood state that can be a spectrum from mild to severe. When one is depressed, there is usually a lost of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities. In children and adolescents, the mood may be irritable rather than sad. Additional symptoms may include changes in appetite or weight, sleep, or psychosomatic activity; decreased energy; feelings of worthlessness or guilt; difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions; or recurrent thoughts/plans of suicide or death.

An unofficial work copy of the evaluation report.

Developmental Pervasive Disorder:
A developmental spectrum disorder characterized by severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development: reciprocal social interaction skills, communication skills, or the presence of stereotypical behavior, interests, and activities. These delays are significantly below what is expected for the child's age.

developmentally appropriate:
Practices based on what is known about how children and youth develop, learn and manifest learning.

detect and correct errors:
The ability to self-monitor reading based on information consistent with one's knowledge of meaning, language structure, and visual features of words. Practices based on what is known about how children and youth develop, learn, and manifest learning.

developmental delay:
Delay, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the areas of cognitive development, physical development, communication development, social or emotional development, and adaptive development.

developmental stages:
Some psychologists and educators believe that individuals pass through specific stages of development on their way to maturity. These are referred to as developmental stages. Erik Erikson theorized that psychosocial development is, or can be, a life-long process involving eight sequential stages, each with a task to be accomplished by the individual before he/she can move on to the next stage. These and other theories of development have implications for educators in the areas of"developmentally appropriate" curricula, teaching strategies, and educational goals, and many have greatly influenced education in these areas at one time or another.

A regional or social variety of a language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary, especially a variety of speech differing from the standard literacy language or speech pattern of the culture in which it exists.

A conversation or exchange of ideas between individuals, the emphasis belong on active ("deep")listening and responding by building on what has been said in order to reach a deeper level of understanding together. Although participants may challenge ideas or raise questions, the idea is to create understanding rather than debate each other.

Marie Clay's assessment tool that identifies a child's ability to record heard sounds as letters.

direct instruction:
Direct instruction is a teaching method that places the center of gravity with the teacher, with the teacher typically instructing a whole class. The two most common forms of direct instruction are lecturing and explaining. Other forms include recitation or question asking and class discussion led by the teacher. Because the approach is teacher-centered, much research has been conducted to derive principles of effective teaching, especially the teaching of basic skills and knowledge with which direct instruction is so closely identified.

A very early reading strategy demonstrating that the child is aware of reading the left page before the right page starting at the top of the page and reading down the page, reading across the text from left to right and making the appropriate return sweep from one line to another.

disaggregated group:
Any group of students within a school population from which a group score is computed as a group separate from the total assessed population.

discipline-based competencies:
Competencies from school courses. Science content and the scientific processes are discipline-based competencies. Reading comprehension,interpreting themes in literature, and essay writing are other examples.Knowledge of algebra and math problem-solving skills are further examples.

The term refers to the ability to use spoken and written communication beyond the level of a single sentence.

discovery learning:
Discovery learning is a teaching/learning approach based on inductive thinking, popularized in the 1960s by the cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner and others. In discovery learning, students work on their own to discover basic principles. In a science class, students might be encouraged to investigate animal behavior in order to reach inferences about diet, feeding patterns, etc. Discovery learning invariably involves asking questions, exploration, data gathering, concluding, and generalizing. Advocates of discovery learning generally point to the process of acquiring knowledge as coequal with the product or answer itself. It is their contention that students must experience the process of how knowledge is created in order to better understand information,ideas, and skills.

An exchange of ideas between individuals. What differentiates a discussion from a dialogue is that less emphasis is placed on active listening and on trying to get to a higher level of understanding among the participants. Discussions tend to be more competitive and often resemble debates in the sense that they may yield "winners" and "losers."

distance learning:
In recent Years the revolution in communications technologies has made it possible for people to realistically obtain access to knowledge beyond the classroom and library walls. Personal computers with modems,the Internet, satellite telemetry, radio and television, audio and video cassettes, and other related developments have led to the emergence of new delivery systems that make it possible, for example,for students at small rural schools to study Russian, physics, and other subjects not necessarily available through traditional means using interactive television.

distributive education:
Originally conceived as a means of stimulating the economy during the Great Depression, distributive education began as an adult education program designed to help the unemployed to find work in distributing and marketing occupations. It soon became a high school program in the school-to-work tradition, and its distinguishing feature is a reliance on a work experience tied to school learning. Distributive education focuses on four employment levels including threshold entry-level jobs, career sustaining jobs, specialization jobs, and entrepreneurial jobs.

Danbury's District Development Council:
A representative body of elementary, middle and high school level staff, whose responsibilities include: overseeing curriculum and coordinating professional development.

divergent thinking:
Divergent thinking refers to a process where learners are encouraged to derive multiple solutions or differing solutions to problems. Often associated with creativity, divergent thinking involves originality, fluency, and flexibility. Divergent answers or solutions are generally more stimulus-free than conventional answers and are associated with insight, new applications, paradigm shifts, and a wide range of possibilities. Divergent thinking processes include invention, creativity, artistry, brainstorming, use of metaphor, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

diverse assessment:
Using more than one type of assessment in constructing a standard. The types of assessment selected as parts of a standard must not be exclusively forced choice/short answer (e.g., multiple choice, true/false, matching, fill in the blank)and must reflect the range and depth of the content and thinking skills of the learning outcome being assessed.

Written descriptions, reports or summaries of the steps taken and the rationale for those actions as related to the Illinois School Improvement Plan.

dominant language:
The language with which the speaker has greater proficiency and/or uses more often.

Developmental Reading Assessment designed to include leveled texts, pre-reading behaviors, running records, retellings, and comprehension questions.

An unofficial work copy.

Directed Reading Thinking Activities focus on: meaning strategies such as KWL, how to read different texts, and how to predict and confirm. (Regie Routman)

Dual Language Program:
Also known as two-way or developmental, these bilingual programs allow students to develop language proficiency in two languages by receiving instruction in English and another language in a classroom that is usually comprised of half native English speakers and half native speakers of the other language.

Dyslexia is a generic term used to describe a variety of conditions that cause great difficulty in learning to read. There is not a common definition to the term"dyslexia," but it is used widely by many people for one or more forms of learning disability affecting poor or non readers. Exactly what it is is not clear, but most definitions define "dyslexics" as normal or above in intelligence with a severe reading disorder. An older definition,dating from the 1930s, included the tendency for frequent letter and word reversals, leading to the belief that it was a type of neurological disorder. However, it is now known that many children not labeled as dyslexics also reverse letters and words, and that many children labeled as dyslexic do not.

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