Glossary of Terms to Promote a Common Language


A general term for teaching approaches for limited-English proficient students that do not involve using a student's native language.

immersion bilingual education:
These programs derive from Canadian educational experiments, which has as their goal the bilingual/bicultural development of children without loss of achievement. Immersion experiences differ in terms of the following: (1)age at which a child begins the experience-kindergarten (early immersion), nine to ten years old (delayed immersion), and at the secondary level (late immersion); (2) amount of time spent in immersion.A day-total immersion beginning with 100% involvement in the second language which is reduced to 80% and then 50% in subsequent years and partial immersion which involves approximately 50% immersion in the second language from kindergarten through junior high.

independent reading:
Children read on their own or with partners from a wide range of materials. Some reading is from a special collection at their reading level.

independent writing:
Children write their own pieces either independently or with the help of others. Writing may include stories or information pieces (retellings, labeling, speech balloons, lists, etc.

A statistic that revels information about the performance of a school or a student. For a statistic to be an educational indicator, there must be a standard against which it can be judged. Educational indicators must meet certain substantive and technical standards that define the kind of information they should provide and the features they should measure. The primary educational indicator is student performance; other secondary indicators include attendance, graduation, mobility, and truancy and dropout rates.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP):
A written statement for each child with a disability that sets goals for the student and describes what kind of support services the student will receive.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA '97):
Federal legislation that applies to children with disabilities, ages birth through 21, who meet specific eligibility requirements under the law and is limited to educational services, protections, and procedures.

inductive reasoning:
Inductive reasoning is an approach to learning that proceeds from the specific to the general.Popularized by Francis Bacon (1561-1626), inductive reasoning gives a person more flexibility (that is, the individual is less susceptible to someone else's dogmatism (in reasoning and places increased emphasis on observation as opposed to secondary sources of knowledge. Numerous authorities believe that children can and should be encouraged to use inductive reasoning in the classroom. Typically, indicative reasoning is the basis of inquiry and discovery approaches. For example, students can study (observe) the habits of ants in an ant farm and then draw general conclusions about ant behavior.

information literacy:
The ability to access, understand, and use information in many formats to create meaning.

inquiry learning:
Inquiry learning is a teaching/learning approach in which students use systematized problem-solving procedures to find answers to questions. Questions are often those that are of interest to learners and/or based on their needs, but inquiry can also be used in more structured, academic settings as well, where students are learning formal subject matter. In a foundational sense, inquiry learning is based on the class conception of inductive reasoning formulated by Francis Bacon. In inquiry, as in induction, one reasons from particulars toward an inference or generalization, always using empirical methods.

inside-out task development:
Developing performance task by starting with a task that has proved to be engaging to students and then improving the connections between the task and the assessment tool and the content, process skills, and work habits of the curriculum.

instructional objectives:
A system for describing a desired behavior or performance that an individual is expected to demonstrate - also known as performance objective or behavioral objective. Instructional objectives are based upon the use of verbs to identify the critical behavior that the learner is expected to demonstrate. The following action verbs are commonly found in instructional objectives:

Apply A Rule: To state a rule as it applies to a situation, object or event that is being analyzed. The statement must convey analysis of a problem situation and/or its solution, together with the name or statement of the rule that was applied.

Classify: To place objects, words, or situations into categories according to defined criteria for each category. The criteria must be made know to the student.

Compose: To formulate a composition in written, spoken, musical or artistic form.

Construct: To make a drawing, structure, or model that identifies a designated object or set of conditions.

Define: To stipulate the requirements for inclusion of an object, word, or situation in a category or class. Elements of one or both of the following must be included: (1) The characteristics of the words, objects, or situations that are included in the class or category. (2) The characteristics of the words, objects, or situations that are excluded in a class or category. To define is to set up criteria or classification.

Demonstrate: The student performs the operations necessary for the application of an instrument,model, device, or implement. NOTE; There is a temptation to use demonstrate in objectives such as, "the student will demonstrate his knowledge of vowel sounds." As the verb is defined, this is improper use of it.

Describe: To name all of the necessary categories of objects, object properties, or event properties that are relevant to the description of a designated situation. The objective is of the form, "The student will describe this order, object, or event," and does not limit the categories that may be used in mentioning them. Specific or categorical limitations, if any,are to be given in the performance standards of each objective.

Diagram: To construct a drawing with labels and with a specified organization or structure to demonstrate knowledge of that organization or structure.Graphic charting and mapping is types of diagramming, and these terms may be used where more exact communication of the structure of the situation and response is desired.

Distinguish: To identify given the condition that only two contrasting identifications are involved for each response.

Estimate: To assess the dimension of an object, series of objects, event or condition without applying a standard scale or measuring device. Logical techniques of estimation, such as are involved in mathematical interpolation, may be used. See MEASURE.

Evaluate: To classify objects, situations, people, conditions, etc., according to defined criteria of quality. Indication of quality must be given in the defined criteria of each class category. Evaluation differs from general classification only in this respect.

Identify: To indicate the selection of an object of a class in response to its class name, by pointing, picking up, underlining, marking, or other responses.

Interpret: To translate information from observation, charts, tables, graphs, and written material in a verifiable manner.

Locate: To stipulate the position of an object, place, or event in relation to other specified objects, places, or events. Guides to location such as grids, order arrangements and time may be used to describe location.Note: Locate is not to be confused with IDENTIFY.

Measure: To apply a standard scale or measuring device to an object, series of objects,events, or conditions, according to practices accepted by those who are skilled in the use of the device or scale.

Name: To supply the correct name, in oral or written form for an object, class of objects,persons, places, conditions, or events which are pointed out or described.

Order: To arrange two or more objects or events in accordance with stated criteria.

Predict: To use a rule or principle to predict an outcome or to infer some consequence. It is not necessary that the rule or principle be stated.

Reproduce: To imitate or copy an action, construction, or object that is presented.

Solve: To effect a solution to a given problem, in writing or orally. The problem solution must contain all the elements required for the requested solution, and may contain extraneous elements that are not required for solution. The problem must be posed in such a way that the student is able to determine the type of response that is acceptable.

State A Rule: To make a statement that conveys the meaning of the rule, theory or principle.

Translate: To transcribe one symbolic form to another of the same or similar meaning.

instructional teams:
School-based groups of teachers at a given grade level or subject who are responsible for implementing the achievement cycle for their grade or subject.

integrated curriculum, see Interdisciplinary Studies

integrated, interdisciplinary unit:
Adds a focus concept to a specific topic (topical theme) of study.Disciplines work in an interdisciplinary manner to develop understanding of the conceptual ideas that transcend the specific topic. The conceptual focus forces integrated thinking.

Process integration applies complex performance and skills across areas of content study. For example, reading and writing performances are used to gain and share knowledge related to a topic such as lasers. Content integration uses a conceptual focus to create an interdisciplinary perspective around a common theme, issue, or problem of study.

intellectual disability (formerly mental retardation):
Significant deficits in conceptual, practical, and social intelligence that adversely affect a student's educational performance and are manifested during the developmental period (birth to age 18).

interactive writing:
As in shared writing, teacher and children compose messages and stories that are written using a "shared pen" technique that involves children in the writing.

Teacher and children compose together using a "shared pen" technique.
The teacher guides group writing of a large-print piece, which can be a list, a chart, pages of a book, or another form of writing.
All children participate in composing and constructing various aspects of the writing.
The piece of writing is read many times by the group during the process and as shared reading.

interdisciplinary or task assessment:
Refers to tasks that assess students' abilities to apply concepts, principles, and processes from two or more subject disciplines to a central question, theme, issue, or problem.

interdisciplinary studies:
Interdisciplinary studies and related terms are used somewhat interchangeably to indicate the bringing together of separate disciplines around common themes, issues, or problems. Based in progressive educational thought, interdisciplinary studies involve teacher teaming,students working together, real-world applications, and active,experiential learning.
The main arguments for interdisciplinary curriculums, or integrated studies as they are sometimes called, are twofold: (1) the knowledge explosion is very real and there is simply too much information to be covered in the curriculum; and (2) most school subjects are taught to students in isolation from other potentially related subjects. By combining subjects around themes or projects, a certain economy is achieved because much of the repetitious material that occurs from subject to subject is eliminated. When subjects are connected, students begin to see meaningful relationships because the subject matter serves as a vehicle for learning rather than as an end in itself.

interdisciplinary task assessment:
Refers to tasks that assess students' abilities to apply concepts,principles, and processes from two or more subject disciplines to a central question, theme, issue, or problem.

Student internships are situations where students work for an employer for a specified period of time to learn about a particular industry or occupation. Students' workplace activities may include special projects,a sample of tasks from different jobs, or tasks from a single occupation. These may or may not include financial compensation.

interpersonal competencies:
Competencies "among" people such as communication, conflict resolution, and courtesy. Also referred to as "people smart." See Multiple Intelligence.

intra-personal competencies:
Competencies "internal" to the person such as health habits,self-control, self-awareness, reaction to diversity, motivation and work habits. Also referred to as "self smart." See Multiple Intelligence

invented spelling:
A child's spelling system based on letter names and/or sounds. It is also called inventive spelling, creative spelling, and estimated spelling.

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