Research to Practice

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DVFS Faculty Present at Fall Conferences

There is no shortage of research in the field of education, however, there is often a disconnect between this research and its implementation in classrooms. Fortunately, here at Delaware Valley Friends School, the teachers are passionate about reading the research and working with researchers, administrators, fellow teachers and students to bring the research into their instruction and classrooms. This process requires experienced, compassionate and committed teachers who are supported by administrators who encourage them to become experts in instruction and their content area. Many of our teachers continually share their expertise and experience with other teachers throughout the country as they present at conferences. Here is a sampling of how our faculty, at local, national, and international conferences during the months of October and November, shared their expertise in putting research into practice in the classroom of DFVS:

Our middle school science teacher, Joy Paul, shared her expertise at the conference sponsored by the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) in Austin, Texas. She presented Mission to Mars: A STEAM Approach to Middle School Science, which is a research-based curriculum she developed that includes hands-on activities along with resources for integrating this unit into a middle school curriculum. Joy helped other educators learn how science, technology, engineering, the arts and math can be successfully integrated into a cross-curricular unit of study.

Our middle school history teacher, Sam Steinberg, shared his expertise at the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education (PAMLE) Conference on November 8, focusing on writing at the middle school level.

In his presentation, he demonstrated how he uses two-column notes as an instructional strategy to help students organize information to make it accessible for comprehension, writing assignments and test preparation. Sam will be helping other teachers learn the research behind the five critical and sequential components that make up the foundation of this note-taking system called R.U.N. (Read. Underline. Notate.)

Our language arts teacher, Susan Mayes, presented at Pennsylvania’s International Dyslexia Association’s conference on Literacy and Learning. During her interactive session, Advanced Morphology: Integrating Spelling, Vocabulary, and Pronunciation, Susan shared the curriculum she has developed which is based on research and the extensive time she spent studying with Melvin Ramsden, Pete Bowers and Gina Cooke. BY demonstrating components of her curriculum, Susan helped other teachers learn how to teach students to derive meaning from and communicate through text, by taking an integrated and inquiry based, morphological approach to both vocabulary development and spelling. Susan shared that with explicit instruction, students can make sense of the English language and feel empowered to use “high powered” vocabulary in their writing.

Our English & Language Arts Teacher and Mindfulness Lab Teacher, Elizabeth Kriynovich, presented at IDA’s Annual International Conference, which is the premier professional development conference dedicated to reading, literacy and learning. The conference brings in experts from all over the world to educate attendees on the latest research, remediation, and more. During her session, The Benefits of Mindfulness and Metacognition in the LD Classroom, Elizabeth shared her passion and extensive research on how teachers can use mindfulness strategies to support students with LD and ADHD. Elizabeth taught other teachers how the practice of mindfulness can be used as a tool to support students’ emotional regulation and attentional capacity for better functioning in the LD classroom. Elizabeth included current research on mindfulness and LD/ADHD, and she demonstrated how this research and several mindfulness practices and strategies are currently being implemented in the classrooms and the academic program at DVFS.

Our English Department Chair, Director of Research and Faculty Development at DVFS, Bill Keeney, presented at Pennsylvania’s International Dyslexia Association’s conference on Literacy and Learning. During his session, Assistive Technology in Action: A Live, Interactive Assistive Technology Demonstration, Bill discussed the benefits of using assistive technologies and the steps required to adopt them successfully. Bill shared that students at DVFS are successfully using assistive technologies because they receive explicit instruction, modeling and practice using them in the classrooms. These steps help build a student’s comfort level and automaticity with the technologies. The presentation included students from DVFS demonstrating and answering questions about their use of assistive technologies, including audio books from Learning Ally, MS word, Livescribe smart pens, Evernote, Google Docs, Inspiration, Voice Thread, Garageband, and graphing calculators, among others.

Bill also presented at IDA’s Annual International Conference, the premier professional development conference dedicated to reading, literacy and learning. During his session, Four Steps to Better Spelling Instruction, Bill shared his extensive knowledge of the research on effective instruction. His presentation demonstrated that an effective structured literacy program in spelling must be taught with explicit, systematic, and rule- based methodologies. He explained that the English language is morphophonemic and that to teach spelling well, teachers need to know more than phonemic and phonological principals. Bill shared simple and effective practices for the classroom, which demonstrated his instructional expertise in the English orthographic system.


By Helen Mannion, DVFS Director of Teaching & Learning, Director of Teacher Training (more about Helen here)

Posted by Helen in Professionals, Research-to-Practice, Teaching, Professional Development, Current Research on Monday November, 7, 2016
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19 E. Central Avenue, Paoli, Pennsylvania 19301
Phone: 610.640.4150
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