Larry Bell

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Bella2010, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Larry Bell spoke at one of our professional days. He basically said, or at least we all took it this way, that if you use his techniques in the classroom, all of your kids can score proficient on state tests. He said you could also have your entire class score 100%. Hmmmm...

    Beth
     
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  3. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    I am not familiar with him, so I looked at his website. I'm curious to hear about:

    * "Five actions that alienate African American students (or other disenfranchised groups) from their teachers."

    * Eliminating the three things that hurt test scores the most.

    * 16 correctable errors that totally annihilate any chance some “at-risk” students have of doing well on standardized tests.

    * More about the 12 powerful words.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 20, 2010

    Larry Bell sounds like he's had his bell rung once or twice.:dizzy::dizzy:
     
  5. MsDeb

    MsDeb Comrade

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    I've never seen him speak but we do use his "12 Powerful Words" and UNRAAVEL to teach students test taking strategies. The 12 Powerful words are words commonly seen on tests (trace, analyze, infer, explain, evaluate, etc). I'm sure it helps some but not to that extent!!
     
  6. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    That's EXACTLY how we feel!

    Beth
     
  7. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Just saw him at a professional development. For the most part, I like the UNRAAVEL strategy (I'm sure most teachers do some of it without even knowing it) and teaching the 12 powerful words makes sense, but I am not sure that 100% of my students can score proficient on the state tests no matter what I do in the classroom. I am going to try my hardest to help my kids, but there are so many other factors involved in how a student performs on standardized tests. As a speaker, Larry Bell reminds me of a minister. He likes to include the audience in his presentation, and uses lots of "amen's" in his delivery (sort of surprised me as I work at a public school). He has lots of energy! All in all, not a bad way to earn professional development hours but not sure that his methods will produce the results that he claims.
     
  8. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Nov 21, 2010

    Okay, so... anyone want to share the 12 powerful words or the UNRAAVEL strategy?
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 21, 2010

    I'm not familiar with him, but here's my opinion.

    There's many strategies that work, and work well, but no single strategy, or even group of strategies will work for 100% of students 100% of the time. This is the heart of the problems with today's system. Everybody's looking for a magic bullet that will solve all of our problems. That's a fantasy that will never happen. What we need is teachers who possess a deep and strong understanding of their subject matter and who are equipped with multiple strategies and the knowledge of when to use them.

    Anybody who claims they have the magic formula is a snake oil salesman.
     
  10. MsDeb

    MsDeb Comrade

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    Nov 21, 2010

    Here's a link to a pdf of the Unraavel strategy: http://www.sanjacinto.k12.ca.us/documents/edserv/DSLT/DSLT UNRAAVEL (Reading).pdf

    I teach my kids to do every step on a reading test: Underline the title, Now predict the passage, Run through & number the paragraphs, Are you reading the questions? (read these before the passage), Are the important words circled?, Venture through the passage (read it), Eliminate the obviously wrong answers and Let the questions be answered (put the # of the paragraph where you found the answer).

    Making them do all the steps, especially putting the paragraph # where they found the answer, shows me that they actually went back to the passage to find the answer!

    :)
     
  11. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Thank you. I'm in a middle school and I get students from 4 or 5 feeders. Each school teaches a different strategy. They are with me for one year, then go on to the next middle school where they may be learning another strategy.

    I think all these reading strategies confuse a great number of my students.

    Not to mention (well, I will mention...) where else do you underline the title of what you are reading, etc.? It's all too mechanical for my taste but I'm sure it helps improve test scores! :(
     
  12. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Haha, I was wondering the same thing.

    So the unraavel is a two page document. Do you use both pages? How do you teach it? Do the students have the sheet to refer to while taking the test? I can see my students using this for their unit tests. :cool:
     
  13. MsDeb

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    I only use the first page. I have a poster in my room that I refer to and the students each have a copy they can use on practice tests. I personally think there are too many steps for my 3rd graders. But it gives them all somewhere to start as soon as they open that test!:)
     
  14. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    We have to take down all posters in the room when administering the state test!

    There are a lot of steps in this strategy and not all the letters of 'unraavel' (which isn't a real word, by the way so that's another minus) are in the strategy's first letter of the step. For example, I think the 'n' refers to "Now Predict" and I'd rather my kids not have to remember additional words in the strategy, kwim? I would rather the "predict" use a "P" in the mnemonic.
     
  15. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    I think you have to modify it to meet the needs of your students. I will modify mine as well. NO, I will not post this for state testing, but theme testing. The point is for the students to learn the word and then remember what the letters of the word stand for and then apply the strategy.
     
  16. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Heavens = I am not familiar with the term 'theme testing' - pls. elaborate.
     
  17. MsDeb

    MsDeb Comrade

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    We have to take down all posters too and I totally agree. It really bugs me that unraavel is not a word. I focus on the parts that make sense for my students. This is what we are required to use. I'd love something better..........
     
  18. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Remember anyone who talks this stuff is trying to SELL you something. Whenever you hear someone like this you should ask yourself 'would I buy a second hand car off this person'. The answer is usually that you wouldn't!
     
  19. John Lee

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    And furthermore, I think you indirectly or directly support a system (standardized testing) that teachers are uniformily against.

    I don't know who this guy is or anything, btw.
     
  20. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    He taught middle/high school science in a Virginia school where there was something like 20 different languages spoken. He said he had the "at promise," meaning "at risk" kids, in his class, and they all scored proficient on the state test.

    Again, hmmm...

    Really, with all the different languages being spoken, I'm thinking not every student's reading level was where it needed to be in order to score proficient on the test(s). Maybe he conveniently didn't add subgroups in there? :rolleyes:

    Beth
     
  21. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Theme testing in Houghton Mifflin = Unit testing. It is when you are tested on the larger unit comprised of three or four selections and all of the stuff that is in the TE that we are supposed to teach the students while reading the selection; writing, grammar, reading skills, spelling, etc.
     
  22. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    UNRAAVEL isn't a word, it's an acronym. U.N.R.A.A.V.E.L. Just like S.C.U.B.A.

    I've seen Larry Bell speak and I wasn't terribly impressed with his methods but why would I be, they are the antithesis of what I do. He's a good show. I kinda likened him to Little Richard. Our school is using his methods but I have some difficulty seeing that they're going to work well without a stiff dose of 'consistency'.
     
  23. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Yes, it is an acronym but I also like it when the acronym makes a real word as well.
     

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