Teaching & Learning Strategies, Concepts, and Terms That Every Teacher Must Know: Letters NO-NU

To be considered a competent educator, there are almost 2000 strategies, concepts, and terms that you must know. However, since teachers wear so many hats, who has the time to learn them all? Don’t worry; we have you covered. In this series, we will discuss all the teaching and learning strategies, concepts, and terms that you need to know to be considered an effective educator. There are over 70 articles in this series, so pace yourself. We recommend reading one piece per weekday, which will allow you to complete the series in three to four months. We hope you enjoy it.

Click here to read all the articles in this series.

No Zero Grading Policy Over the last decade, a growing number of school districts have implemented grading systems that ban educators from giving students grades below 50% (this amount can vary from region to region). This type of policy has been given the term “no-zero” grading, and it usually operates like this: If a student finishes an assignment, regardless if it is late or represents low quality, the student still deserves at least a grade of 50, just for their effort.

Non-Directive Teaching A teaching model that uses facilitated teaching and focuses on helping students set personal goals.

Nondiscriminatory Assessment The idea that any assessment should be fair to all children regardless of their cultural or socioeconomic background. Professionals must keep in mind that all assessments are discriminatory to some extent because they must measure which children need more services and which do not.

Nondiscriminatory Education Is based on the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. According to this principle, children shall be assessed fairly so that they can be placed in appropriate classes. This principle includes nondiscriminatory education for African American and other racial minority children.

Nonfeasance This occurs when a teacher does not adequately perform his or her supervisory duties, and as a result, a student is hurt. For example, a teacher leaves the classroom to drop something off at the office, and two students engage in a fight in the interim. The teacher is guilty of nonfeasance because the teacher must never leave students unsupervised under any circumstances.

Non-Fiction A story that is factual and based in reality.

Nongraded Programs Educational methods and curriculum, generally at the primary level, that group children of different ages within the same class. These are also referred to as cross-age grouping programs.

Non-Pulmonic Consonants Non-pulmonic consonants are clicks, ejectives, and implosives that though not used in English are present in other languages. Children who have hearing loss have been reported as using ejectives, and those with SSD have been reported as using clicks.

Nonsense Words (pseudo-words) A word that appears to be an actual word in English, but is not. You can use nonsense words to find if the child can apply the “rules” of phonics without giving the child the scaffold of a real word.

Nonstructured Writing A freeform writing activity that provides space for students to write about their interests without direct instruction and learn naturally about written forms of language.

Nonverbal Communication The sending and receiving of messages through facial expressions, posture, body language,  gestures and other nonverbal cues.

Nonverbal IQ Tests Another term for Perceptual IQ tests. Intelligence tests that measure perceptual skills (such as spatial skills) rather than verbal skills.

Normal Curve A bell-shaped curve with the greatest number of scores lying close to the mean and fewer at the extremes above and below the mean. The typical distribution of scores.

Normal Distribution Refers to a statistical data distribution pattern. Certain data, when graphed as a histogram (data on the horizontal axis, amount of data on the vertical axis), creates a bell-shaped curve known as a normal curve, or normal distribution. Normal distributions are symmetrical with one central peak at the mean (average) of the data. The contour of the curve is bell-shaped. The spread of a normal distribution is determined by the standard deviation. The smaller the standard deviation, the more concentrated the data.

Normal-curve Equivalent Converts the results on an assessment to a normal curve with a mean of (usually) 50 and a standard deviation of (usually) 21.06 for ease of interpretation of results. A scale with 100 equal parts.

Normative Assessment An evaluation of a child’s performance based with the same age-level peers.

Normative Sample A subgroup within a population that used to assess  normal for that population.

Norm-Group Refers to the representative group that the students being tested are being ranked against comparatively. This takes place in norm-referenced testing.

Norming A method of determining what score the average student of a particular age will achieve on a given test.

Norm-referenced An assessment which compares a student’s performance to that of others with similar characteristics.

Norm-Referenced Assessment The most traditional type of assessment used for accountability is based on norm-referenced tests, where results compare students to each other. By default, results of norm-referenced tests require that half of all students be ranked as “below average.” Norm-referenced tests have been the focus of much criticism over the years. While it is true that some valuable information can come from norm-referenced exams, they are of limited use in truly ensuring academic learning and improvement. Unfortunately, these tests often illustrate a school’s socio-economic divisions more than the effectiveness of teachers and the school.

Norms Beliefs about  considered to be appropriate behavior by a specific cultural group.

Norms Metrics based on the test results of a norm group that serves as a reference for evaluating the scores of other test takers. The statistics that describe the distribution of test results of the norm group.

Novel Study An in-depth reading of, interpretation and analysis of, and reflection on a novel or set of related stories.

Novel-Mapping The ability to place unknown words onto new objects. Novel-mapping opens the door to multiword use.

Numerical Rating Scale In contrast to a rubric, a scale provides a series of numbers for an evaluator to use in assessing student performance.

Nurturance The tendency of a child to identify with the more caring of two parents.

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