ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT THROUGH FLES: Young Learners Benefit from Foreign Language Study

Record: Carolyn Taylor, and Robert LaFayette, “Academic Achievement Through FLES: A Case for Promoting Greater Access to Foreign Language Study Among Young Learners” in The Modern Language Journal, (2010): 22-42. [Available Here]

Summary: Carolyn Taylor is a Professor of Education at the University of Wyoming. Her main focus is on secondary teaching. Robert LaFayette is an Emeritus Professor at Louisiana State University. He specializes in curriculum and instruction. Together these two professors collaborated to develop their common interest on the impact of early foreign language learning on academic achievement. Their study takes place on fifth graders who were introduced to foreign language in their third grade classes. This program is called FLES (Foreign Language Early Start). Continue reading


Giving Up On Public School

Record: GIVING UP ON SCHOOL: ONE FAMILY’S STORY. (2007). Education Canada, 47(3), 38-42. [Abstract]

Summary: This article was written by a mother of two boys named Jeremy and Michael. The mother’s name is anonymous throughout the article. Both Jeremy and Michael are diagnosed with special needs. They are diagnosed with Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD), Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), giftedness, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and generalized anxiety disorder. Neither of her sons were diagnosed with anything when they first started public school.

The author discusses how she sent her older son Jeremy off to an elementary school called JK, and how excited she was for him. Right away, Jeremy was known for being very antisocial. He didn’t participate much in class, but he was very intelligent. When Jeremy started acting up in class, the mother was called in to school very often. The principle even started to blame her for the way her son was acting. Jeremy would come home every day afterschool, upset and angry. Two years later, her son Michael started school, and he had similar problems. At times, both sons were thinking about committing suicide. They both had behavioral problems, and the school staff didn’t know how to help them.

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Are iPads Effective Teaching Tools in Pre-K-4th Grade Classrooms?

Record: Milmana, N.B., Carlson-Bancroft, A., & Boogart, A.V. (2014). Examining differentiation and utilization of iPads across content areas in an independent, preK–4th grade elementary school. Computers in the Schools, 31:119–133.


This article by Milmana, et al. starts off engagingly by discussing the history and rise of the iPad tablet. The iPad was placed on the market in 2010 and exploded during its first few weeks. The tablet quickly became the standard by which all other personal tablets were judged. At the same time, though, the iPad’s prevalence in school environments also skyrocketed. Schools often use one-to-one programs, which give one iPad to every one student in order to distribute mobile technology among students. Finally, iPads are emerging as the up-and-coming teaching tool for students with special needs and/or English language learners. Continue reading

How Does Mobile Self-Assessment Affect Students’ Learning?

Record : De-Marcos, L., Hilera, J. R., Barchino, R., Jiménez, L., Martínez, J.J., Gutiérrez, J.A.,…Otón, S. (2010). An experiment for improving students’ performance in secondary and tertiary education by means of m-learning auto-assessment. Computers & Education, 55, 1069-1079.


Within the body of research on mobile technology in the classroom, there is a significant gap; it lacks comparative “analysis of the effect that similar [mobile-learning] systems have at different educational levels” (1070). This article, conducted by the Computer Science Department at the University of Alcalá in Madrid, Spain, attempts to bridge that gap. Continue reading

Public and Private Schools: A study in school processes


O’Brien, R. H.; (2010). Public and Private Schools: Do Classroom Processes Vary by School Type?. The Elementary School Journal, 110(3), 409-420.


This article, written by Rachel H. O’Brien and Robert C. Pianta, speaks to the ongoing debate on whether or not there is a “private school effect.” There is no doubt that private institutions outperform public schools, however, this is before adjusting for contributing demographical factors. Once these contributing factors are limited in their effect on the study, there is some matter of debate concerning the effectual improvement that a private school offers when compared to a public school. Here, the studies begin to disagree. Some studies say that private schools still outperforming public schools by at least a small margin, while others will say that public and private schools are about the same, with perhaps a small advantage in private schools.

With so much difference in opinion on the performance of public and private school, there is a great need for inside-the-classroom research and observation. To this end, this study used data found following about 900 students in Continue reading

Class Size Determinants


Dills, A. K., & Mulholland, S. E. (2010). A Comparative Look at Private and Public Schools’ Class Size Determinants. Education Economics, 18(4), 435-454


The search for smaller class sizes is a long and tedious one. There is a good deal of discussion on the benefits that having a smaller class size produces in the classroom. Parents and educators alike greatly desire to reduce class size, as they feel it will improve student achievement and school atmosphere. However, the forming of classes doesn’t just happen naturally, and there are reasons for why people are assigned to be in certain classrooms at certain times. It is important for people to understand the reasons behind why certain classrooms have a certain number of students in them, while other classrooms have many more or less students in them. This study, by Angela K. Dills and Sean E. Mulholland, is an exploration of the reasons what makes classes the size they are for public and private schools. Continue reading

RTI Responses to Special Education Eligibility


Cox, A., Macey, E., Maxey, B., Thorius, K. (2014, September). A Critical Practice Analysis of Response to Intervention Approriation in an Urban School, Remedial & Special Education, 35(5), 287-299.

Find the Article Here


RTI (Response to Intervention) meetings are the foundation for devising academic plans for students with learning disabilities or those that qualify for special education services. This specific case took place at an elementary school where RTI meetings met weekly in order to debrief the RTI meetings that happen during the school week. The study took place in an urban setting during the (2010-2011) school year. In this particular school, special education programs grew from 11% in 2006 to 16.1% in 2010-2011. The study contained five distinct parts: (1) 22 weekly meetings between paired participants over observations of decision making processes to address teachers’ reports of students’ difficulties. (2) Weekly peer debriefing sessions. (3) Weekly analytical sessions to review data. (4) Focused analytical sessions. (5) Individual and group interviews.

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