Ideas from the experts.
eTips are brief, only a sentence or two, designed to get your creative juices flowing for improving learning. Generated from CLI consultant experiences and from successes within partner districts, you’re likely to find something you can use to better your classroom practices!
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Including academic and content vocabulary in the local curriculum will support instructional targets, promote vertical alignment across grade levels by establishing the use of common terminology, and ensure that the terms are both taught and assessed.
Get students up and moving with this quick assessment strategy! At the end of a lesson, make a statement or ask a question regarding content. Students will move to the corresponding corner of the classroom to share their response to the prompt. Responses can be degree of agreement (strongly agree, disagree, not sure), answers to specific questions, or self reflection of content understanding (I’ve got it! or I still need some help!).
Gallery walks involve using higher-order skills such as analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing information while also promoting collaboration and listening skills. Students are actively engaged as they explore texts or images around the room while working with peers to share ideas, respond to meaningful questions, and problem solve. Students are given an opportunity for authentic application of content.
Summer is a time for rest, reflection on the past school year, and anticipation for the next. What is your favorite way to relax and rejuvenate over the summer?
Providing fidelity to the local curriculum is key and a way to do this is by utilizing a variety of resources to support it. Resources can come from a variety of places and are tools used to provide instructional support to teach the curriculum at the rigor and verb-level it is written. Books, articles, websites, and teacher-created resources can all be used to support the curriculum.
Whether working with students or colleagues, providing immediate, structured feedback is an effective method of making connections and facilitating growth and reflection. Consider using the TAG Strategy when providing feedback to others.
T: Tell something you like
A: Ask a question
G: Give a suggestion
The Jigsaw Strategy gives students the opportunity to become “experts” on a section within a topic of study. After mastering their specified topic, students share their material with another group. This continues until a collective, complete understanding is created. This strategy empowers students to take ownership while learning new information and developing collaboration skills.
Using a variety of instructional strategies is an important avenue to reaching all learners. Whether it is a tried and true method, or a newer technique, share your favorite instructional strategy that you use with your learners.
State standards are an integral part of the curriculum, but do not serve as a curriculum on their own. Developing a local curriculum allows the district to include additional skills and content beyond the rigor of state standards that are locally important, as well as organize content into teachable units that are aligned vertically across grade levels.
Performance and Product Assessments provide students the opportunity to connect concepts they have learned, think about them more deeply, and apply them in a meaningful, engaging way such as through projects, presentations, or demonstrations. Students utilize higher-order thinking skills and are empowered with a voice that provides them with a platform to communicate what they have learned.
Connecting content across curricular areas allows for deeper, authentic learning opportunities. Students are able to apply skills they learn in meaningful, relevant ways and in real-world contexts. These connections also allow for increased engagement and speaks to a variety of learning styles.
One way to grow your practice is discovering new educational insights through books. What books have you read that inspire you in education?
Begin class discussions with an ice breaker activity that connects to the content of your lesson. Allowing students to practice targeted skills prior to explicit instruction empowers them to demonstrate their background knowledge while the teacher formatively pre-assesses content knowledge.
Creating proficiency scales prior to designing assessments allows you to identify instructional priorities. This encourages those learning targets to be both explicitly taught and assessed while creating more intentional assessment items.
Use the district mission statement as an anchor that connects the different pieces of the curriculum together. As subject mission statements, course purposes, and outcomes and components are created, find how they support the district mission to create a local curriculum that is aligned and connected.
Read-Alouds are a strong support structure in all content areas. They can serve as an engagement piece to inspire student thinking about a concept, a tool for making connections to new ideas that are introduced, and a bridge that links literacy in all subject areas