Common Language Glossary: Noblesville Schools
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This glossary of terms presents the local, accepted meaning of terms currently used in Noblesville Schools. It is a dynamic list, growing and adapting to changing needs. Questions, requests for clarification, and suggestions for terms to be added should be directed to building administrators.
100% Online Learningan arrangement that occurs in unusual circumstances, such as when a school or the entire district delivers instruction 100% online in response to COVID-19 factors. In addition, individual students may receive instruction 100% online to avoid exposure to COVID-19, for homebound instruction, or for credit recovery. Depending on the situation, students may receive instruction from an NS teacher or through online courseware that is monitored by NS personnel.
20% Time, Genius Hour, Passion Projectthe dedication of a period of time--originally one day in a five-day work/school week--for exploration of a topic or task chosen by the individual based on their interests
4 Cscreativity, collaboration, communication, critical thinking
academic vocabularywords that are traditionally used in academic dialogue and text, especially words that are not necessarily common or frequently encountered in informal conversation
access pointa supplemental support, accommodation, modification, or context that provides a way for all students, including those with cognitive challenges or limited English, to begin to understand a grade-level standard; used in planning of curriculum or lessons in compliance with the federal ESSA (successor to NCLB)
accommodations vs. modificationschanges to how a student learns vs. what a student learns
activating prior knowledgethe process of helping students remember and apply what they already know about a specific topic to help them comprehend a text or activity on the same topic
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)potentially traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being; ACEs range from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to parental divorce or the incarceration of a parent or guardian
Advanced Placement (AP)a program administered by the College Board in which students may take advanced classes and associated national tests, and earn college credits by scoring 3 or higher on a 5-point scale
Advisory (Student Advisory Program)configurations in which an adult advisor meets regularly during the school day with a group of students to provide academic and social-emotional mentorship and support, to create personalization within the school, and to facilitate a small peer community of learners
agencylearning through activities that are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their interests, and often self-initiated with appropriate guidance from teachers
alignment, systems alignmentarrangement in correct or appropriate relative positions; ensuring that various parts of a whole work effectively and efficiently to achieve a desired purpose
assessment strategiesmethods of determining student knowledge and skills
assessment vs. gradingthe acts of determining student knowledge and skills vs. assigning a rating of how that knowledge and skill compare to set criteria or those of a peer group
assessment-capable learnersstudents who know the learning target for a lesson, can describe where they are in relation to the criteria, and use that information to select learning strategies to improve their work
Assistive Technology (AT)tools to help students with disabilities learn
asynchronous learninga general term used to describe forms of education, instruction, and learning that do not occur in the same place or at the same time, often involving the use of technology tools
authentic learningexperiences that involve actual situations, people, or activities
blended learningeducation through both digital and in-person instruction, typically involving some degree of student control over the time, place, or pace at which learning occurs; the strategic integration of teaching, technology, and data to increase personalization, engagement, and mastery of all essential skills
brain breakin education, mental breaks to help students process, solidify learning, stay focused, and attend, often using movement or relaxation techniques
Canvasthe learning management system used in Noblesville Schools to administer, track, and deliver instruction digitally
check for understandingan informal, formative assessment to determine students' mastery of facts, concepts, and skills; used to influence next steps in instruction
co-teachingdelivery of instruction to a group of students in the same classroom by two equally qualified teachers who have collaborated and startegically planned the delivery of a lesson
cognitive demand (rigor)the type of thinking or complexity of thought required in order to complete a task
[framework for] cognitive demand (rigor)a method to evaluate the degree of rigor (cognitive complexity and student autonomy) of instructional content and strategies; also used to incorporate appropriate levels of challenge while lesson planning; Bloom's Taxonomy and Webb's Depth of Knowledge framework describe levels of cognitive challenge/demand
Cognitive Growth Targetsa classification of thinking processes that is not strictly hierarchical and that includes both cognition and affect: retrieving, comprehending, analyzing, reasoning, creating, metacognition, and self-actualization
collective teacher efficacya belief that together teachers can positively affect student learning; when efficacy is high, teachers show greater persistence and are more likely to try new teaching approaches
common assessment (see also formative, summative assessments)tasks completed by students of different teachers in the same course or grade level; results are collaboratively analyzed by teachers to evaluate and adjust curricula, instructional strategies, and materials
community of practicea group of people who share a common passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly
community-mindedan attitude of consideration or respect for others, especially in reference to one's peers or area in which one lives
conferringthe act of discussing; in education, a conversation between a teacher and student about the student's learning, frequently based on individual learning goals, previous conferring notes, and formative assessment
CPTCurriculum Planning Team; in NS a group that is creating a matrix of reading and writing units of instruction for grades K - 5
critical thinkingforms of learning, thought, and analysis that go beyond the memorization and recall of information and facts
criteriaa set of rules for assessing or categorizing something
cultural competencean awareness of one's own cultural identify and views about difference, and the ability to learn and build on varying cultural and community norms; understanding of within-group differences and celebrating between-group variations
curriculum mapan outline of the skills, knowledge, assessments, and learning plans to be included in a course of study
differentiationan approach to teaching intended to meet all students' readiness, interests, and needs through varied learning content, processes, and/or products
digital citizenshipappropriate, responsible use of technology
digital contentany type of content that exists in the form of digital data, including information that is digitally broadcast, streamed, or contained in computer files
digital ecosystemaccess to a district's educational tools through a single sign-on
digital portfoliodigital portfolio - a collection of student work samples--blogs, digital images, multimedia presentations, audio files, and the the like--stored in an electronic format that can be shared digitally
direct instructioninstruction that is structured, sequenced, and led by teachers, such as in a lecture or demonstration
diversity (see also equity)differences in cultures, backgrounds, beliefs, traditions, personal traits, and experiences
driving questiona question that helps to initiate and focus the inquiry of a Problem Based Learning activity
dynamic and compelling curriculumskills, knowledge, assessments, and learning activities that are relevant, appropriate, and variable according to student needs and interests
educational neurosciencean emerging scientific field exploring the interactions between biological processes and education
effect sizea quantitative measure of the magnitude of a phenomenon, facilitating the interpretation of the substantive vs. statistical significance of a research result
effective feedbackinformation about a person's performance of a task, intended as a basis for improvement
Enduring Understandingsstatements summarizing important ideas and core processes that are central to a discipline and have lasting value beyond the classroom
entrepreneurshipthe process of designing, launching and running a new business
eLearning Daysin NS, pre-determined days when most secondary students do not come to school but complete assignments that were made the day before or are communicated on Canvas. These days allow for teachers' professional development while student learning continues. See also eLearning for Inclement Weather Days, Virtual Days, and 100% Online Learning.
eLearning for Inclement Weather Daysin NS, days when schools are closed because of poor road or dangerous weather conditions, and preK-12 students complete assignments that were made in anticipation of bad weather or are communicated on Canvas. These days allow the district to avoid having to schedule makeup days later in (or after) the school year. See also eLearning Days, Virtual Days, and 100% Online Learning.
EL, English Learnera person who is learning English in addition to his or her native language
equity (see also diversity)in education, efforts to reduce or remove obstacles to improve students' chances for success
Essential Questionsopen-ended inquiries that address the essence of the topic, issue, or unit of study and that prompt students to think more deeply
established goalsthe outcomes that have been determined for an educational activity, unit, course, or program
exemplar/anchor/modelan example of typical or excellent product or performance
feedbackinformation about a person's performance of a task, intended as a basis for improvement
flexible groupingtemporary arrangement of small numbers of students based on specific skills, interests, topics, etc.
flexible learning spaceseducational environments that provide various seating arrangements, furnishings, work stations, etc., for different purposes or to meet students' preferences
flipped classrooman instructional strategy and a type of blended learning that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom. It moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom.
focused attention practicesbrain exercises to quiet distracting or disturbing thoughts, reduce the heart rate and blood pressure, and enhance coping strategies; often involving breathing, visualizing, and moving
formative assessmenta planned, continuous process teachers and students use to reveal learning, analyze learning, and adjust both instruction and learning strategies to enhance students’ achievement of intended outcomes
future-ready (21st century) skillsa broad set of knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits that are believed to be critically important for success in today’s world
genius hoursee 20% time
globally awarethe recognition of how one's choices and actions may affect others throughout the world, or of the conditions, beliefs, and challenges of others beyond one's own community
gradual release of responsibilitya model of instruction that shifts control and accountability for learning from the teacher to the student
growth vs. fixed mindsetthe belief that learning is the result of effort and persistence vs. inborn talent and capacity
heuristicany approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals
high abilitya student who performs as or shows the potential for performing at an outstanding level of accomplishment in at least one domain when compared with other students of the same age, experience, or environment; and is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation, or interests
higher-order thinkingthe types of learning that require more cognitive processing than others, but also have more generalized benefits; critical, logical, reflective, metacognitive, and creative thinking that is activated when individuals encounter unfamiliar problems, uncertainties, questions, or dilemmas.
implicit biasthe effect our attitudes or stereotypes have on our actions, decisions, or understanding without our conscious knowledge or intent
inclusionthe condition of being part of a whole; in education, the intentional methods of developing awareness about diversity among members of the school community
innovationa new idea, device or method; currently used more specifically for the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs
inquiryan approach to learning and teaching that begins with questions, sometimes generated by students, and involves stages of wondering and hypothesizing, researching or experimenting, reaching conclusions, and demonstrating understanding. Different forms of inquiry lie on a continuum based on the degree to which students vs. teachers control the learning experience, as well as the complexity and cognitive demand of the tasks involved
inquiry stancean approach to teaching that favors questions over directions, student voice over teacher voice, and process over outcome; it involves thoughtful structure, intentionally choosing where students explore openly, and where there are limits and scaffolds
instructional designthe process of creating instructional experiences that make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective, and appealing
instructional modelthe broadest level of instructional practices, reflecting a philosophical orientation to instruction; used to select and to structure teaching strategies, methods, skills, and student activities for a particular instructional emphasis
interventiona change in instruction, assessment, or learning environment that is designed to help striving students to make greater gains
ISTE-NETSstandards for the use of technology in learning and teaching
lab classroom, labsitean in-house professional development model occurring in a host teacher's room during the regular school day, framed by a pre-observation meeting and a debriefing session
Learning Management Systemsee Canvas
learning objectivea statement of what a learner will be able to do as the outcome of an educational experience; often includes the conditions for demonstrating learning and criteria for evaluation
learning pathwaythe route chosen by a learner (rather than a teacher) through a range of activities that builds a progression of knowledge; the various courses, programs, and learning opportunities offered by schools, community organizations, or local businesses that allow students to earn academic credit and satisfy graduation requirements
learning planin the Understanding by Design framework for curriculum development, the Stage 3 activities that students will experience as part of a unit plan
learning progressionsthe purposeful sequencing of teaching and learning expectations across multiple developmental stages, ages, or grade levels; concise, clearly articulated descriptions of what students should know and be able to do at specific stages of their education
literacythe ability to read and write; sometimes extended to include speaking, listening, and numeracy
loopingthe practice of repeating consecutive grades (e.g. 3rd and 4th) with the same teacher and set of students
makerspacean area and/or service that offers an opportunity to create intellectual and physical materials using resources such as computers, 3-D printers, audio and video capture and editing tools, and traditional arts and crafts supplies.
mastery-, competency-based instructionan approach to teaching and learning in which every individual skill/learning outcome, known as a competency, is one single unit; learners work on one competency at a time, which is likely a small component of a larger learning goal
metacognitionthe awareness and understanding of one's own thought processes
Miller Shifta term for the shift to innovative learning and teaching occurring in NS in the search for new and effective ways to educate all students for the future
mini-lessona short period of instruction with a narrow focus that provides instruction in a skill or concept that students will later relate to a larger skill or topic
MTSS: Multi-Tiered System of Supportsa structure for providing high quality instruction and intervention matched to student needs using learning rate over time and level of performance to inform instructional decisions; often thought of as combining RtI and PBIS
neuroscience (see educational neuroscience)
numeracythe ability to understand and work with numbers
NWEA: Northwest Evaluation Associationvendor of MAP and MPG tests: adaptive online tests given in NS three times a year in reading and math to provide formative data about student achievement and growth
OERs: Open Educational Resourceshigh-quality teaching, learning, and research materials--typically digital--that are free for people everywhere to use and repurpose