Formal education refers to the amount of credit-bearing coursework a teacher has completed at an accredited institution, including two- or four-year colleges and universities.

Formative assessment refers to the process of gaining insight into children’s learning and thinking in the classroom and of using that information to guide instruction. It entails the use of several methods—observation, task, and flexible interview—that help the teacher develop ideas about children’s thinking and learning and about teaching methods that can help them learn. Formative assessment is often inseparable from teaching and usually not distinctly identified as assessment, but formative assessment can also be used in a deliberate and organized format.

Geometry refers to the study of shapes and space, including flat, two-dimensional space as well as three-dimensional space.

In-service education refers to the formal education and training that one may receive while having formal responsibility for a group of children.

Instruction/pedagogy refers to intentional teaching.

Instructional feedback refers to a response where the teacher provides students with specific information about the content or process of learning and provides the opportunity to practice and master knowledge and skill.

Instructional supports refer to concept development, quality of feedback, and language modeling.

Integration refers to the blending together of two or more content areas in one activity or learning experience with the purpose of making content meaningful and accessible but also allowing more content to be covered during the instructional period.

Intentional teaching refers to holding a clear learning target as a goal and adapting teaching to the content and type of learning experience for the individual child, along with the use of formative assessment to determine the child’s development in relation to the goal.

Language modeling refers to a practice by adults when they converse with children, ask open-ended questions, repeat or extend children’s responses, and use a variety of words, including more advanced language and building on words the children already know.

Manipulatives refer to concrete objects—including blocks, geometric shapes, and items for counting—to support children’s mathematical thinking.

Mathematics teaching-learning path refers to the significant steps in learning a particular mathematical topic with each new step building on the earlier steps. Teaching-learning paths are often referred to as learning



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement