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Popular Technical Terms Used in Elementary Schools

Higher Education Articles October 12, 2015

Overview of Terms Used in Elementary Schools

Like most professions, teaching has many and sometimes not so easy to decipher technical terms and phrases to the outsiders. Most teachers and other management staff use this jargon when communicating to each other and to their students. The following are some of the most common technical phrases and words.

Balanced Literacy

These two words refer to the practical framework that teachers and administrators use in order to enhance the students’ reading and writing skills. Balanced literacy is implemented in such a way that students can help one another in reading and writing at both individual and at group levels.

Blue Ribbon School

Blue ribbon schools is a term used by the U.S. Department of Education in trying to acknowledge the efforts of the highest performing schools and more so those schools that make tremendous contributions in helping students with disabilities achieve academically.

Charter School

The U.S. government funds the so called charter schools, which in effect help in reforming the public education system. They are fully funded by the government and in addition to that, they are operated independently of regional or local school boards. They also use an instructional form of teaching.

Differentiating Instruction

Differentiating instruction means more the same of what it sounds. It involves assessing the likes and dislikes of the learners, their preferred modes of learning and more so in identifying their strength areas, which can in effect be used to determine how best to help the student achieve high in academics. Sometimes the teachers and administrators may have to group and regroup the students depending on what areas they are learning in relation to their strengths and likes.

Hands on Learning

This applies to the method of teaching where students learn new things by actually doing them. The lessons in hands on learning use mainly items or manipulable objects to underpin the value of abstract ideas while improving critical thinking skills among the learners.

Multisensory Instruction

Multisensory instruction type of learning is in most cases implemented on students with various learning disabilities. It involves the use of two or more sensory feelings. For example, a teacher may target both auditory and kinesthetic modalities in one lesson or teach by incorporating both audio and visuals when explaining a certain idea in one lesson.

No Child Left Behind

This phrase or technical term is quite common. It has been in existence for the past ten years. Its aim is to ensure that schools embrace the use of research and research based materials in order to help students achieve high in their academics. It is also used as a benchmark of a school’s success now that the accountability legislation advocates for standards oriented teaching.

Race to the top Fund

This is a program by the U.S. Department of Education and provides grants to school districts and states, which are in the forefront in providing great, ambitious and compelling education reforms.

Response to Intervention (RTI)

RTI advocates for progressive students’ evaluation in order to offer data driven instructions. It aims at providing enhanced academic interventions to all students.


Scaffolding refers to materials especially visuals that aid the learners to understand the concepts they learn in the classroom in a better way. Scaffolding may also involve the use of modeling learning to give motivation to the students.

Whole Child Education

Whole child education means that both teachers and administrators should put a lot of emphasis in helping the learner grow in all aspects, emotional, socially, academically and in any other way.

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