ability groupingPlacing students into groups based solely on their achievement on a test.
academic standardsStatements that provide a clear description of the knowledge and skills students should be developing through instruction.
accommodationA device, material, or support process that will enable a student to accomplish a task more efficiently.
ADHDAttention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This is a condition in which an individual has difficulty sustaining attention, focusing on information, and frequently demonstrates hyperactive behavior.
analysisA level of questioning in which students break down something into its component parts.
anecdotal recordsNarrative descriptions of student behavior or performance.
anticipation guideA teaching strategy that encourages students to use their background knowledge about a topic before reading about that topic.
applicationA level of questioning in which students take information and apply it to a new situation.
assessmentGathering information about the level of performance of individual students.
attitudinal assessmentDetermining the attitudinal or emotional growth of your students.
benchmarksSee performance standards.
bilingualAn individual's ability to speak his or her native language as well as an additional language fluently.
block schedulingLonger academic periods (primarily at the high school level) that allow students to pursue a subject in more depth. Periods may range from 70 to 140 minutes in length.
bodily-kinesthetic intelligenceThis intelligence focuses on physical activities; eye/hand coordination; and the ability to move around through dance, plays, or role-playing activities.
brainstormingGenerating lots of ideas from many individuals.
buzz sessionA temporary group of students formed to discuss a specific topic.
CD-ROMA computer disc of digitized sounds, activities, and/or pictures.
charter schoolA school operated as a for-profit enterprise.
closureThe final instructional activity in a lesson plan.
comprehensionThe way in which ideas are organized into categories.
constructivismThe way knowledge is created in the mind of a learner.
content coursesTeacher preparation courses that focus on the specific content of factual information about a subject (chemistry, social studies, algebra). College students in secondary teacher education programs most often take these courses.
cooperative learningPlacing students into small groups and having them work together toward a common goal.
copyrightThe registration with the Library of Congress that protects a book or other printed material from unfair and/or unauthorized duplication.
creative thinkingGenerating new ways of looking at a situation.
criterion checkA point in any lesson at which the teacher stops and checks to see if students understand the material up to that point.
critical thinkingThe ability to analyze information.
deductive thinkingGoing from the general to the specific. See also inductive thinking.
dehydrationA reduction of water content.
differentiated instructionProviding instruction according to the different ability levels in a classroom.
dimensions of learningThe five basic elements of any teaching/learning situation: confidence and independence, knowledge and understanding, skills and strategies, use of prior and emerging experience, and critical reflection.
disruptive behaviorAny behavior that interferes with or impedes a teacher's ability to teach and students' abilities to learn.
educational technologyAny instructional aid or media teachers use to support the teaching and learning process.
elaborationThe expansion of an idea or thought.
elementary teachersTeachers who teach preschool up through grade 6.
evaluationA method of determining if students learned what they were taught. It is usually conducted at the end of a lesson.
extrinsic motivationWhen an individual is motivated by outside factors or other people (as opposed to being motivated from within).
flexibilityThe skill of drawing relationships between seemingly unrelated ideas (How are a brick and a book similar?).
fluencyThe ability to create a lot of ideas.
formative evaluationEvaluation that takes place between the introduction of material and its conclusion.
free lunchA student's meal which is completely subsidized by government funds.
gifted studentsStudents who demonstrate high levels of imagination, curiosity, and intelligence.
graphic organizerA chart, outline, or web of ideas or concepts visually organized into groups or categories.
heterogeneous groupsGroups of students of mixed abilities.
high-stakes testingWhen students take standardized tests, the results of which are rewarded in some way (graduation, for example).
homeroomThe classroom a secondary student attends in the morning (or at the end of the day). Attendance is taken, announcements are made, and forms are completed in this room.
hypothesisAn assumption, interpretation, or guess based on currently available information.
IDEAIndividuals with Disabilities Education Act. This is the name given in 1990 to what was formerly known as Public Law 94-142 (the Education for All Handicapped Children Act).
IEPA document that outlines specific learning objectives for a student and how those objectives will be carried out.
in-service teacherAn individual who has been hired by a district and is actively teaching.
inclusionInvolving all students in the educational setting that best meets their needs.
inductive thinkingGoing from the specific to the general. See also deductive thinking.
INTASCThe Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium. This a group of state education agencies and national educational organizations who work to reform the preparation, licensing, and professional development of teachers.
intelligenceThe ability to use knowledge.
intermediate teachersTeachers who teach forth, fifth, and sixth grade.
interpersonal intelligenceThe ability to work effectively with other people.
intrapersonal intelligenceThe ability to understand one's own emotions, goals, and intentions.
intrinsic motivationMotivation that comes from within the individual.
knowledgeThe facts and data of a subject.
laws of learningBasic laws or rules by and through which learning occurs.
learning centerA self-contained section of the classroom in which students engage in independent activities.
learning disabled studentsThose students who demonstrate a significant discrepancy between academic achievement and intellectual abilities in one or more areas.
lectureSharing information with students verbally.
lesson planAn outline of goals and objectives, activities designed to help students achieve those goals, and objectives and ways to assess whether students have actually reached those goals and objectives.
listservA list of e-mail addresses maintained by a group or organization. E-mail can be sent electronically to everyone on the list by any member of the list.
locus of controlThe degree to which individuals perceive they are in control. There are two types: external (people motivated by others) and internal (people motivated from within).
logical-mathematical intelligenceThe ability to reason deductively or inductively and to recognize and manipulate abstract patterns and relationships.
magnet schoolA school that specializes in a specific subject area.
manipulativesPhysical materials such as cubes, blocks, or balls that model mathematical concepts.
memoryThe way we recall previously learned or previously experienced information.
mental imageryCreating pictures or images in one's own mind.
mentorAn experienced teacher who assists a new colleague.
methodologyThe way(s) in which information is shared with students.
methods coursesTeacher preparation courses that focus on the methods, ways, procedures, or strategies of teaching (the “how-to's” of teaching).
modificationChanges in the instruction, course content, or outcomes for special needs students.
motivationAn emotion or psychological need that incites a person to do something.
motivational openingAn initial activity or motivational devise in a lesson designed to get students' attention or tap into their background knowledge.
MP3Moving Picture Experts Group Audio Layer 3. This is an audio compression technology that provides high-quality sound in a very limited space.
multimediaA combination of technologies to create an instructional program or experience for students.
multiple intelligencesA theory that postulates that human beings have eight separate intelligences (rather than a single IQ score) that determine how they learn.
musical-rhythmic intelligenceSensitivity to the pitch, timbre, and rhythm of sounds and the elements of music.
naturalistic intelligenceThe ability of individuals to recognize plants and animal lives and to have an appreciation for nature.
neural forestThe connections that occur between brain cells. The more connections, the thicker the neural forest; the thicker the neural forest, the more we know about a specific topic.
neuronA brain cell.
objectiveA statement that describes what students will be able to do upon completion of an instructional experience.
originalityThe creation of singular and unique ideas.
paraprofessionalAn individual (usually uncertified) who works with a teacher in a classroom setting.
parent-teacher conferenceA face-to-face meeting between a teacher and one or both parents (or guardians) of a student to discuss the student's academic performance and any concerns either party might have.
performanceThe ability to effectively use new information in a productive manner.
performance assessmentWhen students demonstrate their mastery of material through a “hands-on activity” (assembling an electrical circuit, for example).
performance standardsStatements that describe what it will take for a student to demonstrate mastery of a standard.
phonemic awarenessA recognition that spoken words are composed of several individual sounds.
phonicsA recognition of sound-spelling relationships in printed words.
planning timeTime during the day when a teacher does not have students and can plan lessons and other activities.
portfolio assessmentA collection of materials designed to demonstrate progress over time.
praiseVerbal comments that recognize individual students.
predictionAn educated guess about something that may happen in the future.
prior knowledgeThe knowledge a learner already has about a topic or subject. It is the past knowledge a learner brings to a new learning situation.
probingA series of teacher statements or questions that encourage students to elaborate on their answers to previous questions.
problem-solvingThe ability to identify and solve problems by applying appropriate skills systematically.
process evaluationThe way students go about learning. It may or may not be related to what they learned.
product evaluationA formal test that occurs at the end of a lesson or lessons.
project assessmentWhen students design a project that illustrates a specific principle (science fair projects, for example).
promptingAssisting students in thinking beyond their response to a question.
realiaThree-dimensional objects used for instruction.
reduced lunchA meal that is partially subsidized by government funds.
remediationA teacher comment that helps students reach a more accurate or higher-level response.
round robinA small group setting in which each student shares information.
routinesWays of managing the classroom; an established set of expectations.
rubricA document that describes varying levels of performance (from high to low) for a specific assignment.
rule of two-thirdsIn a traditional classroom, 2 3 of class time is taken up by talking, 2 3 of that time is taken up by teacher talk, and 2 3 of the teacher talk is telling or disciplining.
search engineA computer program designed to find websites based on keywords you enter.
second language learnersStudents whose primary language is not English. They are learning English as their second language.
secondary teachersThose teachers who teach in grades 7 through 12 (in most states).
section 504A civil rights law that requires that institutions not discriminate against people with disabilities.
simulationAn activity in which students are given real-life problem-solving situations. The emphasis is on student decision-making.
specialsClasses usually designated as nonacademic. They typically include art class, P.E., library time, and music class.
standardsA description of what students should know or be able to do.
standards-based teachingWhen teachers use activities and lessons to ensure that students master a predetermined set of requirements or standards.
stimulusAn event that causes something else to happen or take place.
stressWhat people experience when a situation challenges their ability to effectively cope.
stressorAn event, circumstance, or situation that causes stress.
summative evaluationEvaluation that occurs at the end of a unit of study.
synapseThe place where electrical and chemical connections are made between one brain cell and another.
synthesisThe combination of knowledge elements that form a new whole.
systems analysisAnalyzing the parts of a system and the manner in which they interact.
task orientationThe degree to which a teacher provides learning opportunities (as opposed to dealing with management issues) for students.
taxonomyAn orderly classification of items according to various levels (low to high, small to large).
teacher burnoutThe time in a teacher's life when the demands and expectations of the job exceed one's perceived ability to accomplish them.
teacher's guideA supplement to a textbook which includes a collection of teaching materials, lessons, ideas, and activities to help you teach the subject.
textbookA collection of the knowledge, concepts, and principles of a selected topic or course.
verbal-linguistic intelligenceThe ability to use and produce language effectively.
visual-spatial intelligenceThe ability to create visual images in the form of drawings, designs, maps, puzzles, mazes, and other creative items.
wait timeThe time between the asking of a question and the solicitation of a response.