(December 4, 2006) IDRA’s Focusing on Language and Academic Instructional Renewal (FLAIR) model capitalizes on the campus leaders, mobilizing the principal, teachers, librarians and support staff as a force to tailor-make a reading program that is research based and that results in better achievement for all students. Working with the school’s teachers and principals, and using the existing curriculum, FLAIR helps transform every classroom into a powerful learning environment, where students and teachers are encouraged to think creatively, explore their interests and achieve at high levels. Dr. Juanita García, an IDRA education associate, and Hector Bojorquez, IDRA’s web specialist, discuss this model and the impact they’ve witnessed at one sample school site. Juanita and Hector are interviewed by Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center.
00:55 Aurelio Montemayor, host, opens the show. He describes the purpose of the Classnotes podcast series.
01:14 Aurelio summarizes the mission and work of IDRA.
01:36 Aurelio invites listeners to leave feedback through e-mail to
or through a web form at http://www.idra.org/podcasts.
02:10 Aurelio invites listeners to subscribe to the podcast – free of charge – through iTunes or other podcast directories.
04:21 Juanita provides an overview of the FLAIR model.
06:05 Juanita explains the rationale for starting FLAIR training with only a small group of teachers on a campus – a "task force"–rather than the entire faculty. This task force is the first core component of FLAIR.
06:50 Juanita talks about how the small group members work closely together to develop an instructional vision for the school.
07:49 Hector explains his role of integrating technology into the FLAIR model.
09:22 Juanita offers her observations on the impact of technology in the FLAIR model.
10:18 Juanita outlines FLAIR's other core component: strategies training, lesson demonstrations and debriefings, coaching and mentoring, and study groups.
11:16 Aurelio talks about the trend toward professional learning communities.
12:05 Juanita offers some statistical data demonstrating the success of the FLAIR model.
13:42 Juanita, Hector, and Aurelio describe IDRA's specific role as a facilitator in the FLAIR model.
17:43 Hector emphasizes the importance of a practitioner-based model.
18:50 Hector notes that the IDRA model values teachers' experiences.
19:05 Juanita explains why FLAIR is more than just a reading or ESL class; rather, it's about developing a student's comprehensive English academic language.
20:08 Juanita describes her most recent visit to first- and fourth-grade classrooms that are using FLAIR strategies.
21:21 Juanita and Hector offer their final recommendations to schools looking to improve their students’ reading skills.
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