Glossary of Terms to Promote a Common Language


There is no separation of students based on need or ability. All students are placed in the classrooms designed for native English speakers that function at the perceived "typical" level.

making words:
A multilevel developmental activity for discovering how our alphabetic system words. It is quick, every pupil response, manipulative activity with which children get actively involved. (Making Words, Cullingham and Hall, 1994)

A chart which summarizes the major elements of a system and which shows the relationships between the parts of a system.

The process of gathering information, in assessment of student learning. Educators use a wide variety of methods such as paper and pencil tests, performance assessments, direct observation, and personal communications with students.

Print and non-print materials that convey meaning.

media literacy:
The ability to comprehend meaning conveyed by any medium; for example, graphics, ads, video and film, audio, computer.

mediation panel:
Persons selected to facilitate appeals procedures.

Meta-analysis is a powerful research analysis method that integrates the results of a set of different experiments carried out on the same topic in order to enhance both the internal and external validity of the conclusions drawn from those studies.

Metacognition is a theory,which states that learners benefit by thoughtfully and reflectively considering the things they are learning and the ways in which they are learning them. A common phrase used by its advocates is "thinking about thinking." In classroom situations, metacognition could well involve"thinking aloud" with a partner, so that each participant gains insight to the processes that lead to intellectual conclusions. Carried to further levels, metacognition might involve reflective thinking by students about the value and/or the applicability of the things they are learning.

The term is used to describe the ability to talk about and understand language concepts such as counting syllables and words or knowing the difference between a letter and a word.

methods of assessment:
Tests and procedures used to measure student performance in meeting the standards for a learning outcome. These assessments must relate to a learning outcome, identify a particular kind of evidence to be evaluated, define exercises that elicit that evidence and describe systematic scoring procedures. Methods of assessment are classified as either forced choice/short answer or complex generated (performance-based) response.

modeled writing:
Exposing the steps/components of the personal writing process as an individual experiences it. The teacher actually thinks and responds (questioning and confirming) out loud as she brainstorms, chooses, plans, composes, reflects upon, edits and revises her writing, using conventions of print.

Montessori Schools:
Montessori schools are so named in honor of the Italian educator Maria Montessori (1870-1952). The Montessori system is based on beliefs in the child's creative potential,an innate drive to learn, and a right to be treated as an individual.Montessori was an environmentalist in the sense that she felt that children could learn best in an environment supplied with concrete materials and related organizing situations. In this sense, she advocated the supremacy of the learning environment over teacher dominance. Individual learner initiative and self-direction are the keys to meaningful learning according to Montessori. The Montessori movement is very much alive today, and it has moved from being exclusively private education in the United States to where some public school systems incorporate Montessori schools or classrooms.

The aspects of language structure related to the ways words are formed from prefixes; roots, and suffixes (e.g., "mis-spell-ing") and how they are related to each other.

mother tongue/native language:
Refers to the first language learned in the home (home language) which often continues to be the stronger language in terms of competence and function.

Multiage Grouping, see Nongraded Education

multi-sensory code-based instruction:
(Just the Facts ­ The International Dyslexia Association) Teaching that is simultaneously visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile to enhance memory and learning. Links are consistently made between the visual (what we see), auditory (what we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (what we feel) pathways in learning to read and spell. This approach teaches students to link the sounds of the letters with the written symbols. Students also line the sound and symbol with how it feels to form the letters.

Multiple Intelligences:
Howard Gardner, a cognitive psychologist at Harvard University, published Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences in 1983. It outlined a seven-faceted view of human intelligence that included linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal forms of intelligence:

Linguistic Intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply metalinguistic skills to reflect on our use of language. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists,journalists, and effective public speakers.

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complex mathematical operations. It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns. Logical intelligence is usually well-developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives.

Bodily Kinesthetic Intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind-body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.

Spatial Intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic, and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters,and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence.

Musical Intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalists,and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical Intelligences may share common thinking processes.

Interpersonal Intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.

Intrapersonal Intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one's thoughts and feelings and to use such knowledge in planning and directing one's life. Intrapersonal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologists,spiritual leaders, and philosophers.

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