Phone: 1-800-453-7461
Fax: 914-937-9327

NPRInc Blog
The Educator's Choice for Classroom and Professional Development Resources

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

NPR Inc. Authors Present at CEC Special Education Convention & Expo

Exhibit-with-banner2We at National Professional Resources are proud to publish books and laminated reference guides for educators by some of the top experts in the field. Next week, at the CEC 2016 Special Education Convention & Expo in St. Louis, several of our authors will be presenting and hosting workshops. If you are at the conference, please try to check out some of these exciting sessions, listed below. Products by these experts will be available for purchase at a deeply discounted rate at our booth, #829.

Don’t forget to come by Booth #829 and say hello– and enter to win a presenter prize package! See you there!

 

New Laminated Guide, Using Data to Improve Student Learning, Now Available

The Newest in Our Line of Quick-Reference Laminated Guides for Educators

Using-Data-to-Improve-Student-Learning-Cover-UDSLFrom David Bateman and Jenifer Cline comes the new 6-page, quick-reference laminated guide for educators, Using Data To Improve Student Learning: Making It Meaningful to Classroom Teachers. The guide is a practical tool for helping teachers understand, collect, and interpret data, and use it for data-based instruction.

The guide answers the questions

  • What Are Data, Testing, Assessment and Evaluation?
  • What Are Different Forms of Assessment?
  • What Are Standardized Assessments?
  • How Are Standardized Assessments Normed?
  • What Are Criterion-Referenced Assessments?
  • What Are the Purposes of Standardized Tests?

Additional information is provided on how scores are computed and reported for different tests, and what various types of scores reveal about a student’s learning. The authors also gives examples of non-standardized data that should be used in conjunction with standardized data to get a holistic understanding of the student.

The guide is now in-stock and available for immediate shipping. Bulk discounts are available for 10 or more copies. For more information on this product and to order, visit http://www.nprinc.com/using-data-to-improve-student-learning/.

About the Authors:

David Bateman, PhD is a professor in the department of Educational Leadership and Special Education at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania where he teaches courses to future teachers and administrators in learning disabilities, special education law, and the introduction to special education. He has been a classroom teacher of students with learning disabilities, behavior disorders, intellectual disabilities, and hearing impairments. He is currently Public Policy Chair of the Division for Learning Disabilities and is active in the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in Washington, DC. Bateman is the co-author of A Principal’s Guide to Special Education, and The Special Education Program Administrator’s Handbook, and A Teacher’s Guide to Special Education.

Jennifer Cline is a special education administrator in Great Falls Public Schools in Great Falls, Montana. has worked as a special education administrator for the past 10 years both has a special education cooperative director and a district level special education administrator. An active member of CASE and CEC, Ms. Cline has served as the president of Montana CASE and on the professional development committee for CASE. She is coauthor of the A Teacher’s Guide to Special Education, Efficient and Effective Management of Resources.

The authors will be presenting a full day workshop at the 2016 CEC Special Education Convention and Expo on Wednesday, April 13, “Workshop 5: What All Administrators Need to Know About Special Education.

The Inclusive Education Checklist is Here!

Now Available for Purchase: The Inclusive Education Checklist: A Self-Assessment of Best Practices

The Inclusive Education Checklistinclusive-education-checklist-cover-icbo is an indispensable tool for assisting schools, districts, administrators, policy makers, community members and professionals interested in education, as well as parents and youth, assess, develop, implement, sustain, and continuously improve quality inclusive services for students with disabilities.

Authors Richard Villa and Jacqueline Thousand describe 15 inclusive education best practices and then provide a list of 8-32 indicator questions for each best practice. Readers are instructed to provide a 1-5 rating for each indicator question, and then tally the results. The authors explain how to interpret the total score, mean score, and range of scores. With this data, educators can assess the general degree to which a best practice is being implemented and the extent of school progress toward achieving that best practice. Scores will also indicate the variability of implementation and a general course of action going forward.

The 15 inclusive education best practices examined in the book are:

  1. Understanding what inclusion is and is not
  2. Home-school-community collaboration
  3. Administrative practices supportive of inclusive education
  4. Redefined roles and responsibilities of general educators; special educators, related services personnel, English language learning and other specialists; and paraeducators
  5. Collaborative planning and creative problem solving for school and post-secondary options
  6. Co-teaching
  7. Student-centered strength-based assessment
  8. Strategies for facilitating access to the general education curriculum
  9. Differentiation of instruction
  10. Student empowerment and natural supports
  11. Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)/Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtI2)
  12. Positive behavioral supports
  13. Integrated delivery of related services
  14. Transition planning
  15. Site-based continuous planning for sustainability of inclusive education best practices

The book is now in stock and available for immediate shipment. For more information and to order, please visit www.nprinc.com/the-inclusive-education-checklist/.

What Readers Are Saying About The Inclusive Education Checklist

“I believe this book is essential for inclusive school best practice accountability measures! There is a huge need to assess current practices and promote best practices within inclusive education services and supports. Richard Villa and Jacqueline Thousand have written the most important assessment tool for schools to celebrate inclusive education accomplishments and further their services to best practice. This will also help struggling schools get on the journey towards reimagining and establishing quality student-centered services that meet the needs of all learners. I highly recommend this book for all schools that are focused on providing quality effective education for all learners in their school community.” – Patrick Schwartz, Ph.D., Professor, Diversity in Learning and Teaching Program Teacher Preparation, National Louis University

“This book is a beautiful resource to help schools use real data to improve their abilities to be inclusive. Incredibly useful in providing concrete ideas of best practice in a way to lets teams assess, discuss and improve.” – George Theoharis, Ph.D., Department Chair, Teaching and Leadership, Syracuse University

Once again Villa and Thousand have given us a practical guide to creating inclusive schools. This books is unique in that it allows collaborative teams to self-assess and determine goals and actions to initiate, implement, and sustain inclusive education. It is an excellent resource that meets teams where they are on the journey of inclusion and guides them forward!” – Jodi Robledo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Special Education Program Coordinator, California State University San Marcos

About the Authors

IMG_1414Richard A. Villa, Ed.D., is President of Bayridge Consortium, Inc. His primary field of expertise is the development of administrative and instructional support systems for educating all students within general education settings. He has authored seventeen books and has presented at international, national, and state education conferences.

Jacqueline S. Thousand, Ph.D., is a nationally known teacher, author, systems change consultant, and disability rights and inclusive education advocate. She is the author of numerous books, research articles, and chapters on issues related to inclusive schooling, organizational change strategies, differentiated instruction and universal design, co-teaching and collaborative teaming, cooperative group learning, creative problem solving, and positive behavioral supports. She is a professor at California State University San Marcos.

Strategies to Overcome Test Anxiety: Focus on Mindfulness

If there’s one thing that everyone in education— from students, to parents, to teachers, to administrators— seems to agree on presently it’s that the recent increase in testing is stressing students out. In fact, in a recent online survey of 22,000 high school-age youth, conducted by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, one of the most common responses to the question of how do you currently feel in school was “Stressed” (29%).  For many students, this stress causes cognitive, emotional and psychological symptoms, which can negatively impact test performance.

Dr. Joseph Casbarro, author of the book Test Anxiety and What You Can Do About It,  recently completed a new laminated reference guide for NPR, Inc. on this topic, entitled, Test Anxiety: Strategies to Improve Student Performance. This guide, available in early January 2016, presents a dozen strategies that teachers and parents can use with students to help them overcome excessive test anxiety.

Among the strategies recommended is mindfulness and meditation. The guide describes mindfulness— a state of active, open attention to the present— and offers a quick-start meditation for cultivating mindfulness, as shown below. It also provides links to many additional mindfulness resources. Mindfulness has wide-ranging benefits for children of all ages, as well as adults (teachers, administrators, parents). In addition to the exercise referenced below, check out some of these other excellent resources for beginners.

Quick Start Mindfulness Meditation

Establish the correct posture (bottoms of feet on floor, straight but not stiff upper body, hands at the top of your legs with arms at side, chin dropped slightly, downward gaze or eyes closed), then simply follow your breath as it goes in and out. When you notice your attention wander, simply return it to the breath, without judgment. Start with a couple of minutes (2-3) then work up to 10 minutes or more (set a timer). Encourage students to practice at home regularly as well.

Marilyn Friend, Toby Karten & Lisa Dieker Headline Workshop Series: Improving Student Outcomes

Comprehensive School Solution (CSS), the new training division of National Professional Resources (NPR, Inc.), has partnered with the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) to present series of professional development workshops designed to assist educators working with students with special needs. Three of our most popular authors—Marilyn Friend, Toby Karten, and Lisa Dieker—will each be presenting two full-day workshops at different locations in New York City, in December, February, and March, respectively. Register now for early-bird pricing!

A description of each presentation follows. Each session includes complimentary breakfast and lunch, as well as training materials.

marilyn-friend-presenter

Marilyn Friend

Co-Teaching: Classroom Partnerships for Student Success with Marilyn Friend

Explore different models of co-teaching, the necessary elements for successful co-teaching partnerships, and the ways in which co-teaching can improve student outcomes. Learn about the interrelationship of co-teaching with specially designed instruction (SDI) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Marilyn Friend, PhD, past president of CEC and professor emeritus at UNC, is the foremost authority on co-teaching, having authored several best-selling publications, as well as co-authored three of the most widely used college textbooks on special education.

 

toby-karten

Toby Karten

Implementing the Common Core Standards for Students with Special Needs with Toby Karten
February 1 & 2, 2016

Align K-12 standards to research-based instructional practices that respect learning differences. Learn ways of creatively connecting CCSS to students with and without IEPs who are instructed across the least restrictive environment (LRE) continuum.

Toby Karten has extensive experience with NYC schools as a teacher, instructional coach, and professional development provider. Her internationally best-selling books explore effective inclusion strategies that respect students’ diverse abilities, skills, and knowledge.

 

lisa-dieker

Lisa Dieker

Co-Teaching in Secondary Schools with Lisa Dieker
March 9 & 10, 2016

Learn best practices and winning techniques for implementing co-teaching in the unique settings of middle and high school. Develop effective lesson plans and enhance co-teaching partnerships.

Lisa Dieker, PhD, a professor and Lockheed Martin eminent scholar and the coordinator of the University of Central Florida’s PhD program in special education, has produced six books and two videos focused on effective strategies for inclusion and co-teaching.

 

Brought to you by CSS & CEI

Comprehensive School Solutions (CSS), a training division of NPR, Inc., offers affordable, customizable professional training delivered by world-class authors, researchers, and presenters in the field of education. CSS provides schools with research-based strategies and solutions to improve the process of support around learning.

The Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) is a non-profit education organization and a recognized leader in advancing meaningful reforms in public education. Our mission is to ensure that the school is the center and driving force of public education reform and innovation. CEI provides customized, hands on support to principals, teachers, parents and staff to help them meet the unique needs of their students.

National Professional Resources in Naples: A Visit to Our New Headquarters

As you may have read, National Professional Resources (NPR, Inc.) has relocated to sunny Naples, FL. Our Naples office and warehouse space is brand new, spacious, bright, and most importantly, operated by an incredible team of staff. President and Founder, Robert Hanson, recently visited our Florida headquarters, where he met with Chief Operating Officer Joe Casbarro to discuss upcoming projects, such as several new laminated reference guides and books for educators, and our new training division, Comprehensive School Solutions. Many exciting things are underway!

Naples-FL-NPRinc1

L-R: Linda Kehoe, Joe Casbarro, Robert Hanson, Kalyn Dovey

Naples-FL-NPRinc2

L-R: Mark Micheel, Joe Casbarro, Robert Hanson, Kalyn Dovey

 

New Release: Schools of Social-Emotional Competence and Character Laminated Guide

9781938539046Schools of Social-Emotional Competence and Character: Actions for School Leaders, Teachers, and Support Staff, the newest in NPR, Inc.’s series of laminated reference guides for educators, is now in-stock and available for purchase.

Written by Maurice Elias and Marvin Berkowitz, this six-page quick-reference guide offers information and action steps to help educators build schools that promote character, social-emotional competence, and a schoolwide climate of safety, caring, challenge, support, respect, and inspiration in which to educate students.

The guide outlines

  • Core social-emotional competencies
  • Key aspects of character
  • Research on character education & social-emotional competence
  • What leadership teams can do to cultivate a positive school climate that promotes of good character
  • Professional development approaches
  • Ways of encouraging student voice and empowerment

About the Authors:

Maurice Elias

Maurice Elias

Maurice J. Elias, PhD is a professor in the psychology department at Rutgers University and director of clinical PhD training. Other positions include:

  • Academic director of The Collaborative, Rutgers’ Center for Community Based Research, Service, & Public Scholarship;
  • Past president of the Society for Community Research and Action/Division 27 (Community Psychology) of the American Psychological Association;
  • Co-founder of the Consortium on the School-Based Promotion of Social Competence, a research consortium comprised of nationally prominent scientists;
  • Director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab;
  • Coordinator of Improving School Climate for Academic and Life Success (ISCALS) at Rutgers’ Center for Applied Psychology;
  • Founding member of the leadership team for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, or CASEL.

The focus of Elias’ work is on establishing the field of prevention, school-based preventive intervention, and social competence promotion as a credible, important, and rigorous area of research, practice, and public policy. With colleagues at CASEL, Elias was senior author of Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators, which is already circulated to over 100,000 educational leaders in the U.S. and internationally.

Elias lectures nationally and internationally, has been featured on numerous television and radio programs, is frequently sought out as an expert in magazines and newspapers, and devotes his research and writing to the area of social-emotional and character development in children, schools, and families. He writes a blog on Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) for the George Lucas Educational Foundation, edutopia, at http://www.edutopia.org/user/67

Marvin Berkowitz

Marvin Berkowitz

Marvin W. Berkowitz, PhD is the inaugural Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education, and Co-Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and University of Missouri Thomas Jefferson Fellow. He was the inaugural Ambassador H.H. Coors Professor of Character Development at the US Air Force Academy (1999), and Professor of Psychology at Marquette University (1979-1999).

He earned his Ph.D. in Life-span Developmental Psychology at Wayne State University in 1977.

His scholarly focus and expertise is in character education and development. He is author of Parenting for Good (2005), You Can’t Teach Through a Rat: And Other Epiphanies for Educators (2012), and more than 100 book chapters, monographs, and journal articles. He is founding co-editor of the Journal of Character Education.

Dr. Berkowitz received the Sanford N. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Character Education Partnership (2006), the Good Works Award from the Association for Moral Education (2010), and the University of Missouri System’s Thomas Jefferson Professorship (2011-12).

Thank You Teachers!

teachers-appreciationThis week (May 4-8) is National Teacher Appreciation week. The leadership team here at National Professional Resources is comprised of career educators, who are also parents and grandparents (and one-time students!), so we know full well how important teachers are. On behalf of all of us at NPR, Inc., a heartfelt “thank you” to all the dedicated professionals who do so much every day to help today’s students meet their full potential.

At NPR, Inc. we are committed to providing teachers and other educators with efficient, effective tools to help them in the classroom and beyond. Our line of quick reference laminated guides includes offerings on teaching children with autism, ADHD & LD, gifted students, English Language Learners, students in Pre-K, and students with disabilities. Laminated guides, books, videos, and multi-media resources are also available on the topics of inclusive classrooms, co-teaching, social emotional learning, bullying prevention, classroom management, RTI, and more.

Through our new training division, Comprehensive School Solutions, we are now offering customized on-site consultation, on-site training, and professional development workshops. The first such workshop takes place next week, May 13, when we present Dr. Jim Knight who will speak on High Impact Instruction. Space is still available for this presentation, which will be held in Orlando, FL. Get more information and register now.

Let’s Help Start an Emotion Revolution!

Emotion-RevolutionLogo2Empower high school students to create schools and communities where emotions matter! Spread the word; take the survey.

We at NPR Inc. have a long and proud history with two of the figures who are most closely identified with the theory of emotional intelligence: Peter Salovey and Marc Brackett. It was Salovey, along with John Mayer, who, in 1990, first defined emotional intelligence as “the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). Salovey hosts the video Optimizing Intelligences: Thinking, Emotion & Creativity, produced by NPR, Inc. The video also features John D. Mayer speaking on Emotional Intelligence.

Marc Brackett, who earned his PhD from the University of New Hampshire under John D. Mayer and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale with Peter Salovey (who has since been appointed President of Yale University), became closely associated with the theory of emotional intelligences and its applications, co-authoring hundreds of scholarly publications on the topic and co-editing the book Emotional Intelligence: Key Readings on the Mayer and Salovey Model, published by NPR, Inc. Marc also developed the RULER Approach to Social Emotional Learning. In 2013, Brackett was named Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, which recently teamed up with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation to launch an initiative called the Emotion Revolution.

The initiative is designed to build awareness of the role emotions play in young people’s learning, decision-making and overall wellness of youth. It begins with an online survey of high-school age youth (available at EmotionRevolution.org) that includes questions about things like how students feel they are treated by classmates, how they view their relationships with adults at the school and how they view the work they do there. In a video in which she speaks about the Emotion Revolution, Lady Gaga describes feeling isolated, depressed and different as a teen, and how she was motivated to this project by the belief that, ”working together, we can make the world a kinder and braver place where all voices are heard, all feelings are respected.”

“Our goal is to create a call to action to America’s schools, to take seriously the social and emotional development of youth,” says Brackett, a member of the Born This Way Foundation board since 2012. “What we know is that emotions matter, and they matter a great deal for almost everything we do in life, from learning to decision making to relationships to mental health.”

We have promised to help Marc get the word out about the Emotion Revolution. Please visit the website http://bornthisway.foundation/emotionrevolution to learn more. Most importantly, please share this information with high school staff or directly with high school students and encourage students to take the survey online at emorev2015.

The survey’s results will be presented at a summit this October hosted by Yale University. Gaga and her mother, Born This Way Foundation co-founder Cynthia Germanotta, are slated to appear at the event, as are our friends Peter Salovey and Marc Brackett.

It’s World Autism Awareness Day! Show support, raise awareness, find resources.

Today, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD)! The date has been commemorated annually since 2008, when the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution designating April 2 World Autism Awareness Day.  Since then, organziations around the world have mobilized to raise awareness on this day, as well as throughout the month of April.

LIUB-VERTThis year, the theme is of WAAD at the United Nations is “Employment; The Autism Advantage.” Numerous events are scheduled at the UN on this day, with a focus on ways nations can support growth in employment opportunities for individuals with autism as well as create work environments where people with autism can excel by contributing their unique and exceptions skills. Following welcoming remarks by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Governor Jack Markell of Delaware will deliver the keynote address, “A Better Bottom Line.” A panel discussion on “Science, Collaboration & Answers for the Global Autism Community.” A live webcast of this panel, which takes place 4/2/15 from 3-6pm EST, can be viewed at http://webtv.un.org/.

Among the most popular campaigns for World Autism Awareness Day is the Light It Up Blue campaign, led by Autism Speaks. This year over 13,000 landmark buildings will shine blue lights to raise global awareness of autism. They include the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center in New York; the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, the Tokyo Tower in Japan; the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca; Niagra Falls in Canada; the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt; Trafalgar Square in London, Shanghai World Financial Center, Nelson Mandela Bridge in South Africa; Macau Tower, the Hungarian Parliament; and many more.

There are several simple ways individuals can “Light It Up Blue” to show their support and raise autism awareness. One of the easiest ways to get involved is to wear something blue. You can also show your support on social media by turning your profile picture blue and/or tweet/post about Autism Awareness Day using the hashtag #LIUB. For more ideas see this Autism Speaks blog post, 5 Ways You Can Light It Up Blue on World Autism Awareness Day!
ASD-7-Steps-Support-layout-7SSCOf course, to effectively raise awareness, it is not enough to know basic fasts and figures about autism. It is also important to understand what autism is, and be familiar with the latest, most effective evidence-based treatments and supports for individuals with autism. National Professional Resources has hundreds of resources for educators, intervention specialists, parents and individuals with autism available in our online store, at www.nprinc.com/autism. In addition to our brand new release, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Seven Steps of Support, browse a wide variety of quick-reference laminated guides, books, videos and multimedia resources, and do your part in improving opportunities and outcomes for individuals with autism.