Acronyms and Educational Terms

  • Ability Grouping - Placing students into groups based solely on their achievement on a test.

    Academic Standards - Statements that provide a clear description of the knowledge and skills students should be developing through instruction.

    Accommodation - A device, material, or support process that will enable a student to accomplish a task more efficiently.

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - This is a condition in which an individual has difficulty sustaining attention, focusing on information, and frequently demonstrates hyperactive behavior.

    Analysis - A level of questioning in which students break down something into its component parts.

    Anecdotal Records - Narrative descriptions of student behavior or performance.

    Anticipation Guide - A teaching strategy that encourages students to use their background knowledge about a topic before reading about that topic.

    Application - A level of questioning in which students take information and apply it to a new situation.

    Assessment - Gathering information about the level of performance of individual students.

    Attitudinal Assessment - Determining the attitudinal or emotional growth of your students.

    Benchmarks - See performance standards.

    Bilingual - An individual's ability to speak his or her native language as well as an additional language fluently.

    Block Scheduling - Longer 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 Intelligence - This intelligence focuses on physical activities; eye/hand coordination; and the ability to move around through dance, plays, or role-playing activities.

    Brainstorming - Generating lots of ideas from many individuals.

    Buzz Session - A temporary group of students formed to discuss a specific topic.

    CD-ROM - A computer disc of digitized sounds, activities, and/or pictures.

    Charter School - A school operated as a for-profit enterprise.

    Closure - The final instructional activity in a lesson plan.

    Comprehension - The way in which ideas are organized into categories.

    Constructivism - The way knowledge is created in the mind of a learner.

    Content Courses - Teacher 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 Learning - Placing students into small groups and having them work together toward a common goal.

    Copyright - The registration with the Library of Congress that protects a book or other printed material from unfair and/or unauthorized duplication.

    Creative Thinking - Generating new ways of looking at a situation.

    Criterion Check - A point in any lesson at which the teacher stops and checks to see if students understand the material up to that point.

    Critical Thinking - The ability to analyze information.

    Deductive Thinking - Going from the general to the specific. See also inductive thinking.

    Dehydration - A reduction of water content.

    Differentiated Instruction - Providing instruction according to the different ability levels in a classroom.

    Dimensions of Learning - The 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 Behavior - Any behavior that interferes with or impedes a teacher's ability to teach and students' abilities to learn.

    Educational Technology - Any instructional aid or media teachers use to support the teaching and learning process.

    Elaboration - The expansion of an idea or thought.

    Elementary Teachers - Teachers who teach preschool up through grade 6.

    Evaluation - A method of determining if students learned what they were taught. It is usually conducted at the end of a lesson.

    Extrinsic Motivation - When an individual is motivated by outside factors or other people (as opposed to being motivated from within).

    Flexibility - The skill of drawing relationships between seemingly unrelated ideas (How are a brick and a book similar?).

    Fluency - The ability to create a lot of ideas.

    Formative Evaluation - Evaluation that takes place between the introduction of material and its conclusion.

    Free Lunch - A student's meal which is completely subsidized by government funds.

    Gifted Students - Students who demonstrate high levels of imagination, curiosity, and intelligence.

    Graphic Organizer - A chart, outline, or web of ideas or concepts visually organized into groups or categories.

    Heterogeneous Groups - Groups of students of mixed abilities.

    High-Stakes Testing - When students take standardized tests, the results of which are rewarded in some way (graduation, for example).

    Homeroom - The 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.

    Hypothesis - An assumption, interpretation, or guess based on currently available information.

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - This is the name given in 1990 to what was formerly known as Public Law 94-142 (the Education for All Handicapped Children Act).

    IEP - A document that outlines specific learning objectives for a student and how those objectives will be carried out.

    Inclusion - Involving all students in the educational setting that best meets their needs.

    Inductive Thinking - Going from the specific to the general. See also deductive thinking.

    In-Service Teacher - An individual who has been hired by a district and is actively teaching.

    The Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) - This a group of state education agencies and national educational organizations who work to reform the preparation, licensing, and professional development of teachers.

    Intelligence - The ability to use knowledge.

    Intermediate Teachers - Teachers who teach forth, fifth, and sixth grade.

    Interpersonal Intelligence - The ability to work effectively with other people.

    Intrapersonal Intelligence - The ability to understand one's own emotions, goals, and intentions.

    Intrinsic Motivation - Motivation that comes from within the individual.

    Knowledge - The facts and data of a subject.

    Laws of Learning - Basic laws or rules by and through which learning occurs.

    Learning Center - A self-contained section of the classroom in which students engage in independent activities.

    Learning Disabled Students - Those students who demonstrate a significant discrepancy between academic achievement and intellectual abilities in one or more areas.

    lecture  Sharing information with students verbally.

    Lesson Plan - An 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.

    Listserv - A 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 Control - The 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 Intelligence -  The ability to reason deductively or inductively and to recognize and manipulate abstract patterns and relationships.

    Magnet School - A school that specializes in a specific subject area.

    Manipulatives - Physical materials such as cubes, blocks, or balls that model mathematical concepts.

    Memory - The way we recall previously learned or previously experienced information.

    Mental Imagery - Creating pictures or images in one's own mind.

    Mentor - An experienced teacher who assists a new colleague.

    Methodology - The way(s) in which information is shared with students.

    Methods Courses - Teacher preparation courses that focus on the methods, ways, procedures, or strategies of teaching (the “how-to's” of teaching).

    Modification - Changes in the instruction, course content, or outcomes for special needs students.

    Motivation - An emotion or psychological need that incites a person to do something.

    Motivational Opening - An initial activity or motivational devise in a lesson designed to get students' attention or tap into their background knowledge.

    MP3 - Moving Picture Experts Group Audio Layer 3. This is an audio compression technology that provides high-quality sound in a very limited space.

    Multimedia - A combination of technologies to create an instructional program or experience for students.

    Multiple Intelligences - A theory that postulates that human beings have eight separate intelligences (rather than a single IQ score) that determine how they learn.

    Musical-Rhythmic Intelligence - Sensitivity to the pitch, timbre, and rhythm of sounds and the elements of music.

    Naturalistic Intelligence - The ability of individuals to recognize plants and animal lives and to have an appreciation for nature.

    Neural Forest - The 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.

    Neuron - A brain cell.

    Objective - A statement that describes what students will be able to do upon completion of an instructional experience.

    Originality - The creation of singular and unique ideas.

    Paraprofessional - An individual (usually uncertified) who works with a teacher in a classroom setting.

    Parent-Teacher Conference - A 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.

    Performance - The ability to effectively use new information in a productive manner.

    Performance Assessment - When students demonstrate their mastery of material through a “hands-on activity” (assembling an electrical circuit, for example).

    Performance Standards - Statements that describe what it will take for a student to demonstrate mastery of a standard.

    Phonemic Awareness - A recognition that spoken words are composed of several individual sounds.

    Phonics - A recognition of sound-spelling relationships in printed words.

    planning time  Time during the day when a teacher does not have students and can plan lessons and other activities.

    Portfolio Assessment - A collection of materials designed to demonstrate progress over time.

    Praise - Verbal comments that recognize individual students.

    Prediction - An educated guess about something that may happen in the future.

    Prior Knowledge - The knowledge a learner already has about a topic or subject. It is the past knowledge a learner brings to a new learning situation.

    Probing - A series of teacher statements or questions that encourage students to elaborate on their answers to previous questions.

    Problem-Solving - The ability to identify and solve problems by applying appropriate skills systematically.

    Process Evaluation - The way students go about learning. It may or may not be related to what they learned.

    Product Evaluation - A formal test that occurs at the end of a lesson or lessons.

    Project Assessment - When students design a project that illustrates a specific principle (science fair projects, for example).

    Prompting - Assisting students in thinking beyond their response to a question.

    Realia - Three-dimensional objects used for instruction.

    Reduced Lunch - A meal that is partially subsidized by government funds.

    Remediation - A teacher comment that helps students reach a more accurate or higher-level response.

    Round Robin - A small group setting in which each student shares information.

    Routines - Ways of managing the classroom; an established set of expectations.

    Rubric - A document that describes varying levels of performance (from high to low) for a specific assignment.

    Rule of Two-Thirds - In 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 Engine - A computer program designed to find websites based on keywords you enter.

    Second Language Learners - Students whose primary language is not English. They are learning English as their second language.

    Secondary Teachers - Those teachers who teach in grades 7 through 12 (in most states).

    Section 504 - A civil rights law that requires that institutions not discriminate against people with disabilities.

    Simulation - An activity in which students are given real-life problem-solving situations. The emphasis is on student decision-making.

    Specials - Classes usually designated as nonacademic. They typically include art class, P.E., library time, and music class.

    Standards - A description of what students should know or be able to do.

    Standards-Based Teaching - When teachers use activities and lessons to ensure that students master a predetermined set of requirements or standards.

    Stimulus - An event that causes something else to happen or take place.

    Stress - What people experience when a situation challenges their ability to effectively cope.

    Stressor - An event, circumstance, or situation that causes stress.

    Summative Evaluation - Evaluation that occurs at the end of a unit of study.

    Synapse - The place where electrical and chemical connections are made between one brain cell and another.

    Synthesis - The combination of knowledge elements that form a new whole.

    Systems Analysis - Analyzing the parts of a system and the manner in which they interact.

    task orientation  The degree to which a teacher provides learning opportunities (as opposed to dealing with management issues) for students.

    Taxonomy - An orderly classification of items according to various levels (low to high, small to large).

    Teacher Burnout - The time in a teacher's life when the demands and expectations of the job exceed one's perceived ability to accomplish them.

    Teacher's Guide - A supplement to a textbook which includes a collection of teaching materials, lessons, ideas, and activities to help you teach the subject.

    Textbook - A collection of the knowledge, concepts, and principles of a selected topic or course

    Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence - The ability to use and produce language effectively.

    Visual-Spatial Intelligence - The ability to create visual images in the form of drawings, designs, maps, puzzles, mazes, and other creative items.

    Wait Time - The time between the asking of a question and the solicitation of a response.

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