Glossary of Terms to Promote a Common Language


Question/Answer Relationship ­ A means of classifying questions into 4categories (Right There, Think and Search, Author and Me., On My Own) to assist students in learning where to find answers to questions.

qualitative research, also see Empirical Research:
The qualitative research methodology is largely subjective in nature, relying on observations,interviews, and interpretations of phenomena to provide information to the researcher. Other terms commonly used to describe the process are"ethnographic" and "naturalistic" research. Important aspects of qualitative research include research in a natural setting, human observation as the data-gathering instrument, emphases on the social processes in the natural setting, and the use of intuitive insights. An example of the qualitative research process would be a researcher observing a classroom over an extended period of time, describing and interpreting the activities, interactions, and processes of the classroom, coupled with interviews with the teacher and students on their perceptions of the efficacy of the classroom environment. Qualitative research has increased in the past 20 years, and it is rapidly gaining prominence in the profession.

Written statements providing the reasons for steps taken and choices made.

raw score:
The number of items that are answered correctly out of the total possible.

To be prepared for instruction.

reading aloud:
The teacher reads aloud to the whole class or small groups. A carefully selected body of children's literature is used; the collection contains a variety of genres and represents our diverse society. Favorite texts, selected for special features, are reread many times.

Reading Recovery (RR):
Reading Recovery (RR) is a remedial program in which teachers tutor1st grade children who comprise the lowest 10 to 20% of their cohort. RR was begun in New Zealand in the 1970s where it became part of the official educational system. In the mid-1980s its founder, Marie Clay,directed a training program at Ohio State University, the first in the United States. On the basis of some early successes, the program rapidly increased in popularity in the United States, spreading to more than200 training sites. The goal of the program is to bring the lowest 10 to20% in a local school up to that school's average thereby making it possible for them to function in regular school work.

reading the room:
An activity designed to support a young child's learning to read. The activity involved having children wear "glasses" or walk around with a pointer to read the print displayed in the classroom. (See Writing The Room)

Concrete objects from the everyday world used during instruction to make input comprehensible. For example: magazines, books, and toys.

receptive language capacity:
Accuracy, fluency, and appropriateness in understanding language.

reciprocal teaching:
Reciprocal teaching is a technique for improving students' reading comprehension. It involves a four-step group teaching/learning process in which students (1) summarize the contents of a passage, (2) ask questions about the main idea of the passage, (3) clarify the difficult aspects of the material, and (4) predict what will happen next.Generally, reciprocal teaching begins as a teacher-centered strategy with the teacher modeling the steps, but the idea is for the center of gravity to shift to the students, creating a peer teaching effect.

Deliberate analysis and/or interpretation by an individual on planned or delivered instruction.

The degree to which an assessment measures consistently or to which assessment scores are free from errors of measurement. Technically, this is a statistical term that defines the extent to which errors of measurement are absent from an assessment instrument.

A representative factor of performance tasks and of scoring criteria ensuring that the task and criteria focus on the significant elements, concepts and strategies in the outcome(s) assessed.

resource room:
A classroom stocked with manipulatives and other special learning materials and equipment, usually reserved for special education, which students come to for instruction by a teacher specially trained in adaptive learning techniques.

response to literature:
Extensions or activities accompanying book reading, i.e., response logs and journals monitor and assess students' reactions to and understanding of text(s). Students may record personal reactions and reflections as they read and after reading.

Stating the main characters, setting, problem, events and important details sequentially, in an organized manner, from beginning to end.

An assessment in which a child uses either a story or non-fiction framework to summarize important information either orally or in written form.

An examination of parts of the evaluation process.

One of the designated Central Office Administrators who examine staff final evaluations for compliance and content.

root words:
The member of a word family with the simplest structure. Call, for example, is a root. (Reducing call to all is a phonic rather than a structural reduction, since all is not a family member.) Strategies for Identifying Words by Dolores Durkin.


A guide for scoring assessments, usually specifying criteria and three to five standards of achievement. Rubrics are frequently accompanied by examples (anchors) of products or performances to illustrate the various score points on the scale. Rubrics can be very holistic or more analytical. This type of assessment tool usually provides more a holistic approach than do assessment lists.

A narrower score scale (fewer score points) and a brief description of the response characteristics for each score point. A rule might be considered a condensed rubric.Like a rubric, a rule doesn't change to "fit" a particular activity.

running records:
An assessment tool that scribes a child's oral reading allowing the teacher to analyze his/her reading behaviors to determine skills to be emphasized next.

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