Glossary of Terms to Promote a Common Language


A process intended to help groups work more effectively. Facilitation requires many important interpersonal skills, most of which center on initiating, maintaining,monitoring, and concluding different forms of structured group activities.

Someone who takes responsibility for initiating, maintaining, monitoring, and concluding structured group activities. The main role of a facilitator is to maintain the integrity of the process and to attend to the needs of the participants while being as unobtrusive as possible.

facilitator vs. coach:
The role of the coach is broader and more long term than that of a facilitator. The coach takes responsibility for the overall direction and progress of the group. The facilitator takes responsibility for the direction and progress of the process being used by a group at a given time.

faculty buy-in:
The degree to which a faculty supports a particular idea or initiative. Faculty buy-in is usually a function of the degree to which the idea(s) to be "bought" are understood by those who are being asked to "buy" them. People will tend to "buy-in" when they have been invited to consider, reflect, and provide input as partners in the process instead of being told what they are to "buy."

(See non-discrimination)

A characteristic of scoring criteria ensuring that the judging of student work is appropriate for the conditions within which the task was completed.

feedback, descriptive:
A means of communicating with others by describing their work. Although feedback usually is evaluative in nature, descriptive feedback is literal and nonjudgmental. Its primary purpose is to foster a deeper understanding of the work in question rather than providing an evaluation of it.

feedback (giving):
A process that is often solicited (formally or informally) by a colleague in need of a particular type of information related to his/her work. The important thing to remember is that this is essentially a communication process that works best when it is constructive rather than destructive. Giving constructive feedback is not easy, and it does not come naturally to many. It must be learned and practiced and it works best in a context of trust and mutual respect.

feedback (receiving):
This is the other side of the"communication coin." Like giving feedback, this is not easy and for the most part does not come naturally to many of us who have worked individually and in isolation for most of our teaching careers. It must be learned and practiced and it requires a special emphasis on active listening and controlling the reactive reflex that so often prevents our ability to reflect ..

Fluent English Proficient

field test:
A small-scale administration of an assessment with one or two classes of students of the staff on the assessment development group. A field test is conducted when staff has insufficient experience with using a task with students to know how well it will work as an assessment.

flex group:
Small instructional groups organized to meet he immediate needs of students. Continually changing based on assessment.

The ability to make reading sound like spoken language by achieving speed and accuracy in recognizing words and comprehending connected text, and coordinating the two.

fluency impairment:
The inability to speak in a natural flow without hesitating or stuttering.

fm system:
The term refers to an electronic device that helps hearing-impaired or distractible students to focus on the teacher's (speaker's) voice.

focus concept:
The single concept that serves as an integrating lens for a unit of study. The focus concept draws thinking about the disciplines as a common theme, issue, or problem is examined through the different subject-area perspectives. Thinking becomes "integrated" as students search for patterns and connections in the creation of new knowledge.

focus questions:
A topic-specific version of the essential question. An example is"What structures have spiders developed to protect themselves?"

Sequential actions taken at the end of the evaluation period to reinforce gains and to develop future plans.

forced-choice assessment:
Testing where responses to an item, questions or prompts are placed against a set answer key. Scoring does not require judgment on the part of the scorer because there is one right answer to the item. Multiple choice, true/false, cloze, and matching are examples of forced choice/short answer assessments.

formative assessment:
Ongoing diagnostic assessment providing information to guide instruction and improve student performance.

formative evaluation:
Formative evaluation involves strategies that are used during the planning and implementation stages of a new program. Most often associated with evaluation research, the purpose of formative evaluation is to plan for and provide feedback during a process. For example, if a school is implementing a new 90-minute block schedule for the first time, formative evaluation would take place early in the implementation to provide feedback to the participants on the extent to which it is working and what may need modification in order to enhance its chance of success. Formative evaluation is sometimes referred to as process evaluation because much of the evaluative activity centers on the process of implementation.

Foundational Skills And Competencies:
Connecticut's definition of effective teaching practice common to all teachers from kindergarten through grade 12.

free appropriate public education (FAPE):
Special education and related services that are provided to a student with a disability at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge, in conformity with the individualized education program.

frustration level/reading:
Level at which a child's reading skills break down: fluency disappears, errors in word recognition are numerous, comprehension is faulty, recall is sketchy,and signs of emotional tension and discomfort become evident.

functional communication:
The term is used to describe the use of language for early developmental purposes and for meeting basic needs.

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