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.