Glossary of 21st Century Learning Terms

Action-based learning — Activities for students that reinforce literacy and numeracy skills while having them perform a physical activity. They learn to think and engage in a physical activity at the same time, such as balancing on a “bosu ball” (a piece of fitness equipment shaped like a ball on top, but flat on the bottom), while reading a word.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS) — The new national and state standards for students. The West Haven School System began transitioning to these new standards in the 2012-13 school year.

Daily Five — Teachers are making sure every student has a chance to complete some of these five activities every day: read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, work on writing, and word work.

Embedded professional development — Teachers receiving professional development in the classroom with students and actual lessons, rather than with a group of teachers when classes are not in session. For example, a teaching coach may model the lesson with the students, and then the teacher uses those strategies in his or her own lesson. The coach and teacher debrief after to see how things went.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Students who are fluent in both their native language and English, but are continuing to further their English skills.

English Language Learners (ELL) — Non-English speaking students learning English.

English Language Arts (ELA) —This refers to the English language arts curriculum.

Inclusion — Method of education where students with disabilities receive instruction with special education supports within the regular education environment.

Individualized Education Program (IEP) — Students with special needs receive individualized education programs tailored to their unique learning styles.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) — Educational placement giving students with disabilities the opportunity to be educated in the same environment with non-disabled peers to the greatest extent  appropriate.

Matched cohort — A group of students who were in the district and benefited from the curriculum for a few years in a row. The term is often used when talking about test scores. Instead of just looking at how, for example, grade three scored last year and how this year’s grade three scored, academic coordinators look at how students in grade three performed last year and how that same group of students performed in grade four this year.

Movement-Enhanced Learning (MEL) —This branches off of action-based learning and incorporates  physical activities for students to learn certain concepts. For example, in kindergarten, students might learn letters by forming letters shapes with a large rope.

Parent and Placement Team (PPT) — A Parent and Placement Team consists of parents and school administrators. A Parent and Placement Team reviews a student’s data and progress to make determinations about the student’s educational experience.

Performance task —
An assignment or activity that requires students to apply learned skills to problem-solving and often involves real-life scenarios. For example, Carrigan Intermediate School students were tasked with planning a pretend school dance and detailing what various costs of the event would be and how many students would be included in that cost, as well as what ticket prices should be to cover expenditures.

Scientific research-based intervention (SRBI) —Using strategies that have been proven to work and can show progress through data. Students receive varying levels of support (Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3) based on their needs.

Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) — The new standardized test.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) —The group of states that subscribe to the Smarter Balanced Assessment testing format.

Smarter Balanced Field Test (SBFT) —
This field test is being offered this spring and will determine what test items will be on next year’s Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Student learning objectives (SLO) —
These are measurable, long-term academic goals for groups of students.

System for Educator Evaluation and Development (SEED) —
The new state-mandated teacher evaluation system.