This is a link to an article by author and researcher Douglas Reeves. The tile is "Practices, Not Programs". It is worth a read, but below are a few highlights. http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol6/601-reeves.aspx?utm_source=ascdexpress&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=express601

PRACTICES, NOT PROGRAMS (Douglas Reeves 2010)
"But the evidence on student achievement suggests that it is practices, not programs, that have the greatest influence on achievement "

Practice #1: Nonfiction Writing
"it is also a common factor in every high-performing school I have studied. Writing is "thinking through the end of a pen," and in particular, descriptive, persuasive, and analytical writing is strongly linked to improved performance in reading comprehension, mathematics, science, and social studies."

Practice #2: Feedback
"Do students use the feedback to make immediate improvements in their performance? After a great practice session, every musician and athlete in the class knows that they are better than when they started. That is precisely what we should expect of every class in every subject."

Practice #4: Zeros Aren't Permitted
"Perversely, zeroes are a reward, rather than a punishment, because they send the message that students do not need to complete a missing assignment for which the zero has been awarded. The best consequence for missing work is the most draconian consequence of all: doing the work."

Bruce Nicolls