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Assistive Technology Tools: Supporting Literacy Learning for all Learners in the Inclusive ClassroomAuthor(s): Sider, S.; Maich, K. (2014)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html.

We are particularly interested in considering how assistive technology can be used to support the literacy achievement of all students, an area not frequently examined in the scholarly literature. In this article, we discuss the range of assistive technology tools available to students and teachers from a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) perspective, wherein strategies, resources and tools are incorporated with the needs of all students in mind.

This document has been viewed 1,694 times.
Computer Assisted LearningAuthor(s): Hattie, J. (2009)
This research snapshot was developed by the E-BEST team of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and outlines a 2009 summary about computer assisted learning by John Hattie
http://www.hwdsb.on.ca/e-best/

This document has been viewed 831 times.
Creating a Student-Driven Museum WorkshopAuthor(s): Lemelin, N. & Bencze, L. (2004)
This article explores a collaborative research project between two university researchers and personnel from the Education Department at a science and technology museum in Ontario. The personnel were, for the most part, unfamiliar with constructivist learning theories that position students as active learners. The study focused on assessing the effectiveness of the workshop in engaging students in open-ended inquiry and invention projects and developing scientific literacy.

This document has been viewed 592 times.
Critical Literacy Instruction and Primary StudentsAuthor(s): MacDonald, J., Halvorsen, M. and Wilcox, C. (2009)
This action research study examined the impact of critical literacy instruction on primary students’ ability to respond critically to text. Specifically, the researchers explored primary students’ understanding of voice (which character’s message is most prominently portrayed); voiceless (which character’s message is marginalized ); the voiceless perspective (what a character might say); and the author’s message (what meanings and values does the text convey).

This document has been viewed 1,065 times.
Cultivating Student Engagement Through Interactive Art StrategiesAuthor(s): Cho, C.; Vitale, J. (2014)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html.

While we know that engaged students are more invested in their learning, the arts remain an underutilized strategy for student engagement. The reality is that many teachers lack confidence teaching both visual arts and music. We feel strongly that the generalist teacher can develop a repertoire of strategies – such as those discussed here – to increase their confidence and provide authentic and sincere arts-based experiences for learners.

This document has been viewed 987 times.
Do language exchange programs influence students’ willingness to communicate in their second language?Author(s): Mady, C. (2011)
In previous research, exchange programs have been shown to impact students’ willingness to communicate in their second language (Yashima, Zenuk- Nishide, & Shimizu, 2004).

This particular study examined the impact a short-term Canadian bilingual exchange program had on Anglophone and Francophone language learners’ willingness to communicate in their second language.

This document has been viewed 902 times.
Drawing on Children’s “Sense of Place” – The Starting Point for Teaching Social Studies and GeographyAuthor(s): Hutchison, D. (2007)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

"Elementary school children now and then report that what they learn in school
sometimes seems disconnected from “real life” as they personally experience it
outside of school. Unfortunately, children tend to assume that subject learning that
doesn’t feel real to them isn’t real, or that its relevance ends when the school day is
over. This is a common problem in many subject areas, especially social studies and
geography. How can we make the study of “place” relevant and real to children?
Would the social studies curriculum be strengthened if it took account of the ways
in which children derive meaning and value from the real-life physical environments
that are familiar to them?"

This document has been viewed 1,395 times.
Dropout Prevention and Intervention ProgramsAuthor(s): Wilson, S. J., Tanner‐Smith, E. E., Lipsey, M. W., Steinka‐Fry, K., & Morrison, J. (2011)
This research snapshot was developed by the E-BEST team of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and outlines a 2011 systematic review of dropout prevention programs by Wilson, S. J., Tanner‐Smith, E. E., Lipsey, M. W., Steinka‐Fry, K., & Morrison.
http://www.hwdsb.on.ca/e-best/

This document has been viewed 811 times.
Engaging students through the ArtsAuthor(s): Upitis, R. (2011)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education and can be accessed, along with other What Works summaries, on their website at:
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

This summary provides an overview of research in the area of arts education:

"Student engagement is central to learning. Those students who are fully engaged are ready to learn in every way – physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually. The arts play a vital role in ensuring that students remain
engaged by encouraging them to learn in physical and embodied ways, by inviting them to collaborate with peers, by requiring them to respond emotionally and by calling upon their cognitive capacities as they learn in, through and about the arts."

This document has been viewed 915 times.
Factors That Impact Students’ Physical Activity LevelsAuthor(s): Cairney, J., Kwan, M.Y.W., Velduizen, S., Hay, J., Bray, S.R., & Faught, B.E. (2012)
This study investigated students' experiences and perceptions of their school-based Physical Education (PE) classes in order to determine if those perceptions changed overtime during middle school. In particular, the researchers were interested in the relationship between students’ perceived athletic abilities, their enjoyment of their school-based PE classes, and gender.

This document has been viewed 981 times.
Factors that Influence the Physical Activity Levels of Youth in Urban and Rural SettingsAuthor(s): Loucaides, C., Plotnikoff, R. and Bercovitz, K. (2007)
This study investigated the difference in physical activity (PA) levels of urban and rural youth in Canada. Specifically, the researchers explored the psychological, demographic, behavioural, and social factors affecting the level of PA for Canadian youth in urban and rural settings.

This document has been viewed 745 times.
Fostering Literacy Success for First Nations, Métis and Inuit StudentsAuthor(s): Toulouse, P.R. (2013)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html.

Literacy success rates for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students are currently measured by their acquisition of standard English and/or French, reflecting the languages of the Ontario curriculum. Because FNMI students often communicate in non-standard forms of English and/or French with their own unique nuances, they often encounter challenges in the standard languages. For these students, literacy success is cultivated by individualized programs that support their identity, experiences and relationships with the world. Literacy programs for these learners must, therefore, offer differentiated instruction, make real-life connections and involve strategies and resources that are engaging, motivating and culturally affirming.

This document has been viewed 1,154 times.
Integrated Curriculum: Increasing Relevance while Maintaining AccountabilityAuthor(s): Drake, S., Reid, J. (2010)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education and can be accessed, along with other What Works summaries, on their website at:
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

This summary provides an overview of research on integrated curriculum:

"In addition to literacy and numeracy, teachers need to address other initiatives such as environmental education, character education and the new literacies (media, critical and technological). With so many curriculum expectations to
cover and assess, it’s not surprising that teachers sometimes feel overwhelmed. How can teachers do it all? One way to address these multiple expectations is by integrating the curriculum. Integrated curriculum teaches core concepts and skills by connecting multiple subject areas to a unifying theme or issue."

This document has been viewed 1,314 times.
Is It Beneficial for Students with Disabilities to Participate in the IPRC Process?Author(s): Savaria, E. (2011)
This study investigated the extent to which young people with disabilities (in Ontario) participate in the process that results in their identification as an Exceptional student by an Individual Placement and Review Committee (IPRC), and how this participation impacts their self-concept.

This document has been viewed 1,014 times.
Learning Mathematics vs Following “Rules”: The Value of Student-Generated MethodsAuthor(s): Lawson, A. (2007)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

"There has been a significant shift in the instruction of mathematics over the past
two decades. This shift has occurred in response to growing evidence that students
were learning how to apply mathematics rules without a real understanding of
the mathematics. A particularly disconcerting observation was that student
difficulties often stemmed from our longstanding traditional methods of
mathematics instruction."


This document has been viewed 2,061 times.
Managing Teacher-Student Relationships: A Minimalist ApproachAuthor(s): Richmond, C. (2012)
This summary was created by the Research for Teachers project at The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO):
http://www.etfo.ca/resources/researchforteachers/Pages/default.aspx

This summary outlines research on managing teacher-student relationships:

"Teachers can have two types of conversations with students in class. In the ideal situation the most potent
conversation is focused on learning, with minor support from the managing conversation. However, when
teachers experience lessons where conversation about managing dominates, the learning agenda can
disappear and poor outcomes are much more likely (Richmond, 2007)."

This document has been viewed 1,385 times.
Parent EngagementAuthor(s): Pushor, D. (2010)
This summary was created by the Research for Teachers project at The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO):
http://www.etfo.ca/resources/researchforteachers/Pages/default.aspx

This summary outlines research in the area of parent engagement:

"A wealth of research concludes that students are more likely to be successful when their parents are
engaged in their education....In light of this evidence, meaningful relationships that enhance parents’ opportunities to make important
contributions to student learning are vital to the work of teachers."

This document has been viewed 886 times.
Performing Poetry: Using Drama to Increase the Comprehension on PoetryAuthor(s): Ferguson, K. (2014)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html.

Poetry can be both challenging and intimidating to teach and learn. But how can teachers teach poetry comprehension without falling into the trap of mechanically dissecting poems for form and “real” meaning? Drama is one strategy, grounded in research, that fosters student comprehension of poetry and allows students to apply comprehension strategies.

This document has been viewed 1,014 times.
Predicting Implementation Fidelity and Sustainability in a School-Based Prevention ProgramAuthor(s): Crooks, C., Chiodo, D., Zwarych, S., Hughes, R. and Wolfe, D. (2013)
Teachers that were trained in the Fourth R prior to 2009 were surveyed online to determine the extent to which they continued using the program, the modifications they made, and perceived
barriers to implementation. Results indicated that...

This document has been viewed 104 times.
Secondary Students’ Attitudes Towards “Clickers” or Audience Response Systems (ARS)Author(s): Kay, R.H. and Knaack, L. (2009)
“Clickers” or Audience Response Systems (ARS), “permit students to answer digitally-displayed multiple choice questions using a remote control” (Kay et al., 2009, p. 1). One of the suggested benefits of clickers (or ARS) is that they allows teachers to gauge in real-time whether students are grasping the content of a lesson, and make timely adjustments to their lesson when necessary. This study investigated student attitudes towards ARS in Ontario secondary schools.

This document has been viewed 963 times.
Single-Sex ClassroomsAuthor(s): Demers, S., Bennett, C. (2007)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

"We hear more and more about single-sex classrooms. Traditionally, this mode of teaching was exclusively found in private schools; today, more and more single-sex classes are found in publicly funded schools in Canada and the United States. In the 1980s, single-sex classrooms were introduced in some Ontario schools to address perceived gaps in achievement of girls in mathematics. According to a recent Quebec study, in 2003–04 there were over 250 intervention projects to
improve boys’ learning. By far, the most common of these interventions was the single-sex classroom."

This document has been viewed 1,184 times.
Student Interaction in the Math Classroom: Stealing Ideas or Building UnderstandingAuthor(s): Bruce, C. D. (2007)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

"Research tells us that student interaction – through classroom discussion and other forms of interactive participation – is foundational to deep understanding and related student achievement. But implementing discussion in the mathematics classroom has been found to be challenging."

This document has been viewed 2,214 times.
Student Motivation to Learn Core FrenchAuthor(s): Mady, C. (2010)
This study investigated the motivation of students born in Canada (and whose first language was English) to learn French, compared with Allophone students (students whose first language was neither French nor English) and who were born outside of Canada. Specifically, this study compared the motivation of Allophones who began learning French in grade 9 after coming to Canada, to Canadian-born students who began learning French in grade 4.

This document has been viewed 899 times.
Student Self-handicapping in Mathematics ClassroomsAuthor(s): Ferguson, J. M., Dorman, J. P. (2003)
This study investigated the relationship between classroom environment and secondary students self-handicapping behaviour. The researchers define self-handicapping as a “proactive, avoidance behaviour... designed to manipulate other people’s perceptions of performance outcomes so that the self-handicapping student appears worthy to other people in the school”. Examples of self-handicapping behaviour include deliberately not trying in class, fooling around the night before an examination, and putting off studying until the last minute.

This document has been viewed 705 times.
Teaching Elementary MathAuthor(s): Small, M. (2013)
This summary was created by the Research for Teachers project at The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO):
http://www.etfo.ca/resources/researchforteachers/Pages/default.aspx

"Teaching through problem solving is about setting appropriate tasks, creating supportive environments and helping students to succeed without leading. Although some would argue that all mathematical tasks should be of this sort, others see it as one approach within a more varied menu. No matter the frequency of problem solving use, it is essential that students have opportunities to learn by thinking and doing and not by simply copying."

This document has been viewed 779 times.
Technology in the Mathematics ClassroomAuthor(s): Bruce, C.D. (2012)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
and can be accessed, along with other What Works summaries, on their website at:
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

This summary provides an overview of research in the area of interactive whiteboards:

"Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are a relatively new learning tool. While some early studies suggest that they may only be a “slick presentation tool” used to enhance teacher-directed lessons, others have identified a greater potential. Research on use in mathematics classrooms suggests that when we combine thoughtful professional learning with implementation, we enable teachers to maximize the use of IWBs to enhance student learning through multi-modal representations and inquiry approaches."

This document has been viewed 2,149 times.
The Association Between Students’ Physical Activity Level and Their Sense of Connectedness with Their SchoolAuthor(s): Faulkner, G., Adlaf, E., Irving, H., Allison, K. and Dwyer, J. (2009)
School connectedness has been defined as a student’s belief “that adults in their school care about their learning and about them as individuals” (Blum & Libbey, 2004, p. 233). A greater sense of school connectedness has been linked to increased academic performance, reduced absenteeism, and a reduction in risky behaviors including substance and alcohol use and adolescent sexual activity.
This study investigated the factors that limit students’ sense of connectedness with their school and, specifically, the association between physical inactivity and school connectedness.


This document has been viewed 807 times.
The Educational Implications of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderAuthor(s): Tannock, R. (2007)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

"Teachers should be aware that although there are many different perspectives on
ADHD, there is ample scientific evidence affirming its existence and its detrimental
impact on individuals. Classroom practices can make a difference for children with
ADHD."

This document has been viewed 2,579 times.
The Impact of Interdisciplinary Planning on Classroom Practice: Perceptions of Teachers and AdministratorsAuthor(s): Racknor, W. and Drake, S. (2011)
In 2008, the Bluewater District School Board in Ontario began to use interdisciplinary planning with junior kindergarten (JK) to grade 6 teachers, JK to grade 8 administrators, and teachers from two high schools. In this approach, teachers are intended to work in collaborative teams to develop interdisciplinary units based on provincial curriculum standards. The units developed by these teams are structured around “big ideas” such as change and interdependence and focused on developing higher order thinking skills such as problem solving, communication, and critical literacy.

This study investigated teacher and administrator perceptions of the impact of these new units on classroom practice.

This document has been viewed 672 times.
The regulation of Mp3 Players and cell phones in secondary schoolAuthor(s): Domitrek, J, Raby, R. (2008)
Recently, there has been much media coverage about cell phone and personal music player usage in schools, including in the
Toronto and Whitton regions. However, there is little literature on how students and teachers view rules on the use of such
electronic devices. Using data gathered from focus groups with students in Toronto and Whitton and interviews with teachers
and administrators from Whitton, we present the viewpoints from these stakeholders on the usage of cell phones and personal music players.

This document has been viewed 1,153 times.
The Student FilmmakerAuthor(s): Hutchison, D. (2012)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
and can be accessed, along with other What Works summaries, on their website at:
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

This summary provides an overview of research in the area of digital video production:

"Increasingly, teachers are being asked to address an ever-broader notion
of literacy – one that includes new forms of digital literacy, related to the
multimedia technologies students routinely interact with (e.g., blogs, wikis
and social networking websites). Yet how can teachers integrate digital literacy
with the Ontario curriculum which underscores the importance of traditional
forms of print and oral literacy? Student-created videos are one possibility
that affords an opportunity to integrate print, oral, and digital literacies
into a compelling curriculum unit."

This document has been viewed 1,275 times.
Using a Professional Learning Community to Support Multimodal LiteraciesAuthor(s): Lotherington, H., Paige, H. and Holland-Spencer, M. (2013)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html.

Literacy instruction is under pressure, being pushed towards screen-based, digitally networked environments, while simultaneously adhering to print- based reading and writing practices. Teachers are pulled in opposing directions as literacy is applied to an expanding grey area of evolving texts that do not fit comfortably within conventional school curricular expectations and assessments. How can teachers change their literacy teaching practices to incorporate integrated pedagogical approaches while still ensuring student success?

This document has been viewed 828 times.
Using Classroom Amplification in a Universal Design Model to Enhance Hearing and ListeningAuthor(s): Millett, P. (2009)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

"The ability to hear, listen and process auditory information effectively is crucial
to learning for all students, and particularly challenging for students with hearing
loss. Internal and external classroom noise levels are often high: classrooms
with many hard, reflective surfaces (like concrete block walls) and few soft,
noise-absorbing surfaces (like carpet) cause this noise to be reflected and
amplified. While technologies such as hearing aids and cochlear implants are
useful for students with hearing loss, addressing the problem of poor classroom
acoustics benefits not only these students, but also their classmates and teachers."

This document has been viewed 1,230 times.
Using Digital Technologies to Support Literacy Instruction Across the CurriculumAuthor(s): Brett, C. (2012)
This summary was created by the Research for Teachers project at The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO):
http://www.etfo.ca/resources/researchforteachers/Pages/default.aspx

This document has been viewed 609 times.
Using Theatre to Examine Social Issues and Change School CultureAuthor(s): Gallagher, G. and Service, I. (2010)
This study examines the use of theatre to stimulate discussions about social issues and changes to school culture.The play tells the story of one boy’s struggle to overcome economic hardship, and the schools selected to show the play were chosen because of their large enrolments of students from low socio-economic backgrounds. The play was followed up with teacher professional development workshops to support the implementation of the overall program which was designed to help schools reduce the effects of poverty on students.

This document has been viewed 5,513 times.
Using Video Games to Teach ScienceAuthor(s): Jaipal, K. and Figg, C. (2009)
This study explored the use of a video game in the science classroom and it’s impact on teaching and learning. More specifically, this study focused on Nano Legends, an educational video game about cell division and cancer, which was implemented by four grade 8 science teachers in 2007.

This document has been viewed 945 times.
Video Games in the Classroom: Building Skills in Literacy and NumeracyAuthor(s): Duplàa, E., Shirmohammadi, S. (2010)
This summary was created by the What Works: Research into Practice program at the Ontario Ministry of Education
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

"As a society, we are seeing rapid and significant developments in video gaming,
a field that is on its way to outdistancing the film and television industry.
We are also witnessing the development and marketing of multiplayer online
gaming. Yet much like the telephone at the turn of the century or television
50 years ago, video games are linked to controversy....So, our question is, Can video games be used for learning in the classroom,
particularly in the area of literacy and numeracy?"


This document has been viewed 1,693 times.
Volunteer Youth Exchange Programs and Second Language LearningAuthor(s): Arnott, S. and Mady, C. (2012)
Second language exchange programs provide students with an opportunity to practice their language skills in an authentic setting. This study examined the impact of a Volunteer Youth Exchange (VYE) program on participants’ motivation to learn a second language (French or English).

Specifically, the researchers focused on the following two research questions: 1) How do the participants’ motivation to learn a second language (L2) and their self-assessment of their L2 compare pre and post volunteer experience?, and 2) What aspects of the volunteer experience may have influenced VYE participants’ willingness to communicate in their second language?

This document has been viewed 988 times.
What do we know about school climate?Author(s): Thapa, A, Cohen J, Guffey S, Higgins-D’Alessandro A. (2013)
This research snapshot was developed by the E-BEST team of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and outlines a 2013 literature review on school climate by Thapa, Cohen, Guffey, & Higgens-D'Alessandro.

This document has been viewed 893 times.
What Factors Impact Student Enrollment in Physical Education Classes?Author(s): Hobin E.P., Leatherdale S., Manske S., Burkhalter R.J., & Woodruff, S.J. (2010)
While it is generally believed that regular physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, the amount of time teenagers spend being physically active can vary greatly. This study compared the enrollment rates of students in physical education (PE) courses in secondary schools across Ontario and the factors that impact this enrollment.

This document has been viewed 884 times.
Why the Arts MatterAuthor(s): Upitis, R. (2011)
This summary was created by the Research for Teachers project at The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO):
http://www.etfo.ca/resources/researchforteachers/Pages/default.aspx

This summary outlines research in the area of Arts education:

"Many teachers are aware that the arts can be key in reaching students who do not respond well to traditional forms of learning. The arts also help students analyze complex issues from multiple perspectives. There is mounting evidence that the arts develop critical thinking skills, contribute to self-confidence, encourage risk-taking, and bolster achievement in other subjects."

This document has been viewed 1,190 times.