New Review: EPLs & Improvement
One of the key motivators for EPL in the first grade is to support individual student progress and increase individual student learning in reading and math. Improving school quality through effective organizational practices builds confidence among students, teachers, and principals as well as community leaders and parents. For three years, SCOPE, an educational publisher, researched EPLs in real schools around the country. As part of this research, SCOPE collected data about student teachers, administrators, content, standards, and behaviors in real classrooms to provide a more complete picture of what is happening in EPLs. SCOPE published these findings in the 2014 EPL Review, a collection of the top ten educational journals on EPL.
While Stanford University has created several popular EPL and critical reading tools and resources to support school improvement, including books and simulations, SCOPE believes that an integrated approach is needed. SCOPE published The Lab Report (with free subscriptions), a series of six specially-designed model tests designed to measure EPLs and support school improvement.
Educators and administrators in high performing schools are encouraged to highlight this research as a useful instructional tool for improvement. Following are some of the key findings from The Lab Report, which include implementation guidelines to create high-quality EPL:
Determine what kind of EPL is most appropriate for your school, based on your students’ needs, in combination with your local EPL process. For example, if you have too many simultaneous enrichment activities or subject activities, but little reading in the day, you might create reading-based learning opportunities at the beginning of the day, with the second group of students after school taking additional enrichment activities.
Using the Models Guide along with your EPLs, identify possible instructor or curriculum items that students need to learn, or to understand, and develop them in your EPL.
Develop a layout for EPLs that specifies a sequence of activities to build on each other’s abilities and support student learning.
Identify EPL activities that meet a specific learning goal.
Plan activities that are essential to communicating concrete information to specific individuals in the school community.
Create sets of EPL activities that are taught during a given period.
Assign students to different activities based on developmental level.
Update and encourage instruction to focus on highlighting student achievement and development.
Evaluate EPL work to ensure it reaches all students.
Identify and meet the EPL development needs of teachers.
Establish an instructional delivery plan to support the teacher as well as the team.
Add technology to the tools you use for the EPL.
Ensure that EPLs are monitored and reported to parents, administrators, and school staff.
Assess, evaluate, and assess again: regularly and rigorously, as new research, focus groups, teachers, and administrators’ input contribute to the EPL process.