SUSTAINING A SIM INITIATIVE IN MONTANA TO IMPROVE STUDENT OUTCOMES
Big things are happening in Montana! Funded by the Educational Promise Foundation, SIM Professional Developers in Montana will build capacity to support SIM professional learning and implementation to improve student outcomes. A state-wide SIM Leadership Team, comprised of Montana SIM Professional Developers will lead the initiative. The effort is coordinated by Jocelyn Washburn at KUCRL and Tom Manthey at the Montana Center for Inclusive Education at MSUB. Developing a self-sustaining SIM initiative in Montana is the primary focus of the initiative with the ultimate goal of improving student outcomes. Funding empowers SIM Professional Developers to increase skills in delivering PD and coaching in blended virtual and face-to-face environments, to create opportunities for SIM Professional Developers to expand their networks and school-based expertise with SIM micro-credentials, and to host a Montana SIM Update Conference in the near future.
SIM READING PROGRAMS EVALUATED FOR INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION SCIENCES' WHAT WORKS CLEARINGHOUSE
A new report adds two Strategic Instruction Model™ reading programs to an influential national database of education interventions that have been proven effective in the classroom. The report found that Xtreme Reading and SIM Learning Strategies Curriculum, separately, have shown evidence of—in the parlance of the Institute of Education Sciences’ What Works Clearinghouse—“potentially positive effects” on reading achievement for struggling adolescent readers. The WWC rating means at least one study of each program reported statistically significant positive effects. Learn More...
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Check out Multiplication with Regrouping: Standard Algorithm and Multiplication with Regrouping: Partial Products. Available without Professional Development (downloadable PDF or coil bound manual ).
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SIM RATES STRONG FOR EVIDENCE BASED READING PROGRAMS
The www.evidenceforessa.org website is a free database that provides useful information for education leaders and policy makers. The Strategic Instruction Model and Xtreme Reading have been cited as Strong and the Content Literacy Continuum (CLC) was cited as being Promising in the new Evidence for ESSA website Evidence for ESSA. Learn More...
Social media helps students learn scientific argumentation better, study says
Adults often bemoan the amount of time young people spend staring at a screen and browsing social media. But social media can not only be a way to teach students elements of the scientific process, those who took part in a program to learn scientific argumentation through social media learned the components of argumentation better than their peers who did not, a University of Kansas study has found. Read more at phys.org
In the 30 x 30 + booklet, we have collected more than 30 stories from SIM Professional Developers about their work, their students, their schools and districts to reinforce the idea that the work we do is important and gives countless individuals hope for their future. The 30 x 30 + booklet is downloadable on legal sized paper. Download Part 1 Download Part 2
The Strategic Instruction Model and Xtreme Reading have been cited as Strongand the Content Literacy Continuum (CLC) was cited as being Promising in the new Evidence for ESSA website Evidence for ESSA.
Produced by the Center for Research and Reform in Education (CRRE) at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, the website provides information intended to be useful to educators and the public. Surfaced programs for every subject and grade level that meet high evidence standards that can be implemented to improve outcomes for American schools
As stated in Dr. Slavin’s blog post announcing the website, large effect sizes do not tell the entire story as large scale, randomized assignment studies result in much smaller effect sizes than smaller studies or quasi-experimental studies.
“However, unlike small and quasi-experimental studies, rigorous experiments using standardized outcome measures replicate. These effect sizes may not be enormous, but you can take them to the bank….In our secondary reading review, we found an extraordinary example of this. The University of Kansas has an array of programs for struggling readers in middle and high schools, collectively called the Strategic Instruction Model, or SIM.” ~ Robert Slavin
KUCRL’s effect sizes are derived from studies with tremendous variability; however the center has produced remarkable consistency given those contexts including:
• Studies conducted in middle schools and/or high schools
• Extra period of reading and no extra period for reading in the same study
• Some multiple year studies, and others not
• Schools settings ranged from inner-city to rural
• Studies took place across the U.S.
A new report adds two Strategic Instruction Model™ programs to an influential national database of education interventions that have been proven effective in the classroom.
The report found that Xtreme Reading and SIM’s Learning Strategies Curriculum, separately, have shown evidence of—in the parlance of the Institute of Education Sciences’ What Works Clearinghouse—“potentially positive effects” on reading achievement for struggling adolescent readers. The WWC rating means at least one study of each program reported statistically significant positive effects.
In both cases, the level of evidence met criteria to allow the programs to be included in the What Works Clearinghouse, a first for both interventions. Inclusion in the WWC is important: Educators who adopt interventions listed in the database are assured that the programs are effective and are supported by high-quality research.
The report, Summary of Research Generated by Striving Readers on the Effectiveness of Interventions for Struggling Adolescent Readers, was prepared for the IES’s National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance. It reviewed studies of interventions tested during the Striving Readers initiative. Striving Readers grants were awarded in 2006 and 2009.
In regard to SIM programs, the authors found that two studies—one of Xtreme Reading and one of the SIM Learning Strategies Curriculum—reported statistically significant positive effects. A second study of Xtreme Reading reported effects that were not large enough to be considered significant under WWC criteria.
In considering the implications of the report, its authors wrote: “This body of evidence substantially increases the amount of credible information available to district administrators trying to decide how to best meet the needs of struggling adolescent readers.”
Continue to Huffington Post Article
This article/blog from Dr. Robert Slavin (Johns Hopkins) makes several key points about rigorous research and effect sizes; he addresses Striving Reader studies, and the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM). Here are some points of interest:
1. Drs. Slavin and Cheung are reviewing the research that meets ESSA evidence standards for future publication. This should prove to be a great resource.
2. A number of recent reports have appeared and some of this is due to the federally funded Striving Readers studies as well as the Investing in Innovation (i3) program. England has also been conducting studies of secondary reading.
3. Unsurprisingly, large scale, randomized assignment studies, such as these, result in modest effect sizes. Such studies, such as several in which CRL’s materials have been test, had much smaller effect sizes than smaller studies or quasi-experimental studies.
4. “However, unlike small and quasi-experimental studies, rigorous experiments using standardized outcome measures replicate. These effect sizes may not be enormous, but you can take them to the bank….In our secondary reading review, we found an extraordinary example of this. The University of Kansas has an array of programs for struggling readers in middle and high schools, collectively called the Strategic Instruction Model, or SIM.”
5. Do not be discouraged by small effect sizes! The effect sizes from the KUCRL varied, mostly cluttered around the weighted mean of +0.09, but given the considerable varied contexts, the consistency is, as the authors stated, remarkable.
- The varied contexts were middle schools and/or high schools.
- Some students received an extra period of reading but others did not.
- Some studies were conducted for multiple years, and others were not.
- The schools settings ranged from inner-city to rural and all across the U.S.
6. Researchers can learn from zero impact work how to alter their product to arrive at different outcomes.
7. The authors’ reviews have surfaced programs for every subject and grade level that meet high evidence standard that can be implemented to improve outcomes for American schools.
8. Bipartisan support exists for schools to use evidence to enhance outcomes.
9. The authors are continuing their work to gather the evidence.
Laura Belle Wallace Middle School in Kyle, Texas is KUCRL’s first named SIM Profile Showcase School. The SIM footprint is clearly evident in this school; it has become a part of the school culture and is observable daily. View evidence of this SIM footprint in this YouTube video, featured on the school’s website.
Teachers implement Content Enhancement Routines in all core content classes and in most elective classes. SIM devices are collected on a shared drive for collaboration across faculty; student notebooks and binders contain CER devices constructed and used in classes; the Paragraph Writing Strategy is embedded into core content classes as well as being integrated with an expository writing strategy used by the District. Learning Strategies are taught in a reading intervention course for struggling readers, and student folders and data are available for viewing. A Region 13 SIM coach works with strategies teachers to ensure they are implementing with fidelity. Xtreme Reading will be implemented in the 2016-17 school year.
The school is implementing four of the five Levels of the CLC, and Levels 1-3 are being implemented with a high level of fidelity and quality. The principal and SIM coach have discussed implementation of Level 5 and are investigating ways to integrate the Speech Language program.
SIM reaches beyond this school. The Hays Community Independent School District (CISD) uses SMARTER as a lesson-planning template for planning and instruction and in Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings. Visitors can observe PLCs and witness the SMARTER template in action to create integrated Unit Organizers.
An examination of the last three years of data tells a happy story. Each year, an increasing number of students have met or exceeded the state standards and the students’ scale scores across all three grades showed a positive trajectory. The teachers examined their class data and learned that, across the past three years, there was notable growth in student achievement in their courses – more students were successful and the level of success had increased.
In comparison to other district schools, Wallace has a larger number of 8th graders complete Algebra, and the 2016 passing rate was 93%! The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test results show that 82% of Wallace Middle School students were successful in math and 88% were successful in Reading.
What Students Say
• “I really feel like the course organizer helped me in all of my classes because it helped me to …see where I was and what I need to improve on.”
• “I think the FRAME helped me the most this year, mostly because it was easy to remember how to fill it out and it helped me to organize the details. “
• “The comparison table helped me find the definitions of the words and helped me remember what they meant.”
• “I think the paragraph diagram really helped me out this year because it was really simple…it organized everything for me.”
• “The clarifying table was really helpful for me because I’m bilingual. It’ll help you break down what you need and don’t need and really be successful.”
• “Frame is easy for me to organize my thoughts and go over and review or study later on for a test.”
• “I like UO because it’s fun to see what we’re going to learn throughout the unit.”
What Teachers Say
• “Possible Selves was one of my favorite strategies because it let me listen to my kids hopes and dreams and really get to know them.”
• “The learning strategies helped my students [to] be more organized about how they read a passage and figure out the vocabulary and answer questions.”
• “SIM allows me to focus on the content that I know I can deliver to my students in a very easy way that they can then go back and review to enhance what some of the kids may not already know and build upon it.”
What Administrators Say
• “The Strategic Instruction Model is research based and it has done nothing but wonderful things for the students that use it. Personally as a teacher and administrator, I’ve seen the value of it. Most students will tell you that it helps them organize what their thoughts are, the content specific things that are important, as well as cut away things they don’t need.”
Christy Henry, SIM professional developer and SIM Instructional Coach, led the effort to gather and submit the evidence for this recognition. The effort included people from across the district and school to garner this recognition. To also be recognized are:
• Susan Maxey, Director of Professional Development
• Lucio Calzada, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary School Performance
• The Literacy Leadership Team – Jenna Crail (Science), Lindsey Crain (Math), Jennifer Cude (ELA), James Davis (Science), Rudy Gonzalez (Assistant Principal), Tina Hansen (Social Studies), James Noble (GTT – Gateways to Technology), Jennifer Patterson (Assistant Principal), and Lacy Tambunga (Learning Strategies)
• Also, Rachelle Hill, Rachel Gomez and Kim Pena
What is Your School’s SIM Profile?
SIM implementation varies from school to school. Some schools may implement a number of Content Enhancement Routines (CERs) and integrate the routines across classes and content areas. Others may have a great deal of Learning Strategies (LS) implementation and others may implement some of each (CERs and LS). Still others have established all levels of the Content Literacy Continuum at their sites.