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April 2019

Feature Article

Engaging emergent bilingual students in daily academic talk

English learners (ELs)-or emergent bilinguals (EBs) as educators now refer to these students to remove the deficit stigma from their identity (Garcia et al., 2008)-must engage in academic conversations every day to gain access to the world of knowledge. Their educational mission is the simultaneous acquisition of knowledge and English. As educators committed to equity know, EBs cannot wait until they are fluent English speakers to participate in academic conversations. Academic language is an essential component of an equitable educational program for EBs, and equitable teaching practices that embed academic language development for these students must support deep thinking, conceptual understanding, argument, and discussion. Read More

Coaching Corner

A district's perspective: CFC and differentiation

Coaching, at its best, bolsters district goals while supporting individual needs, gracefully weaving coherence and differentiation into a tapestry of continuous learning. With Content-Focused Coaching® (CFC), both the culture and the instruction are positioned to evolve in ever-increasing complexity through the interdependence of people- coaches supporting teachers through individual conferring and teachers supporting one another during PLCs that are truly collaborative pursuits. Read More

Improvement Science in Action

District uses improvement science principles to increase math scores

When a district successfully shifts their trajectory of students' performance, many people ask how they did it. New Brunswick Public Schools' use of strategic decision-making, grounded in improvement science principles, and greater collaboration across role groups resulted in impressive gains in mathematics scores across the district. Read More

Partner Spotlight

Differentiation across tiers of math instruction

What does it mean to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of every learner in a mathematics classroom? Giving different students different tasks does not yield a common learning experience; therefore, the availability of holding rich mathematical conversations with the whole class is lacking. But we know that we need to meet students where they are and support students in their exploration of the math. Thus, there is the need to differentiate the questions that are asked of students as they engage in high-level tasks. Read More

Content Matters

Creating a map to bridge differences

When we are working with teachers on their curriculum, we often find ourselves having to reinforce the idea that it's important to do the tasks that we'd like our students to do. This is sometimes called dogfooding-it's slang in the corporate world for testing your own product to work out the kinks. Teachers should complete their own tasks to make sure that the product generated by students in response to the task is the product the teacher was expecting students to create. Another reason for dogfooding in education is to anticipate the range of responses. Anticipating how students could potentially respond to a task (either in the correct or incorrect space) provides an opportunity for teachers to pre-plan for differentiation and contingency work based on what student responses tell the teacher about where the students are in their learning. Read More

News and Events

IFL Leader Summit 2019

Registration is now open! Mark your calendars and book your travel to attend the 2019 IFL Leader Summit in Pittsburgh June 4 - 6, 2019. This year's event-Achieving the Promise of Instructional Equity Through Improvement Science-is designed for district and school leaders to learn about and use improvement science as a means for leading meaningful change that focuses on equity as a primary driver. Read More

Bridges To Learning

Research. Practice. Results.

BRIDGES connects educators with knowledge and research that shows every student can learn when provided cognitively challenging instructional opportunities and learning environments can flourish when collaboration is valued, voice is honored, and agency is realized. Download entire newsletter.