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Instructional Strategies

Classroom Strategies to Promote Student Learning Behaviors

Relationships, Rituals and Routines

  • We use tools such as Black-Board Configuration, Check-In Circles, Process Checks, Timers and Appreciations/Celebrations to begin and end class - students know what to expect on a daily basis and are therefore prepared to learn.
  • We post current student work in classrooms, share constant academic and social emotional feedback with students, and create structures to praise individual students and groups of students to recognize growth and achievement.

Warm Demander

  • We create clear boundaries/norms for student behavior and demand high performance from them, and at the same time provide support and encouragement in a very humanistic manner.
  • We bring our authentic selves to the classroom and develop strong relationships with students, greeting students at the door, and using restorative practices to repair harm and build community in our classrooms.

Strength-based Approach

  • We constantly look for things to praise in our students - especially those who are struggling.
  • We encourage a growth mindset with students by celebrating learning and effort as much as the final product.

Relevance: Framing Student Learning

  • We connect student learning to previous knowledge, future knowledge and current events. (ADD strategies)
  • We facilitate student understanding of a lesson’s purpose and how it connects to student lives Students can answer the question: What are you learning, why are you learning it and why does it matter?

Using Culturally/Linguistically Relevant Pedagogy and Curriculum

  • We connect traditional texts and content to relevant texts and content.
  • We use curriculum to connect students lived experiences to social justice issues in their communities and elsewhere.

Project-based Learning and Alternative Assessments

  • We differentiate assignments through project based learning and access multiple intelligences.
  • We engage students to demonstrate mastery of a concept using different modalities.
  • We elicit multiple outputs and multiple assessment from students.

Rigor: Critical Thinking

  • We use common BBCs, create lesson objectives, tasks and assessments that span all levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • We use strategies such as pre-teaching vocabulary, using sentence frames, asking deeper levels of questions, and group roles, to promote structured academic student talk.
  • We develop students’ spoken and written communication skills, through focusing on supporting analysis/argument with evidence and a range of texts.

Cross-Curricular Skill Building

  • Through collaboration we develop common pedagogy and instructional strategies to teach common core skills.
  • We find curricular intersections between content areas to make learning more relevant to students.
  • Skills across content - essential questions.

Bring Student Voice to the Forefront (Written and Spoken)

  • We are guides on the side versus sages on the stage; we ask students to do the “heavy lifting” in classes.
  • We create lesson structures that promote students using academic language (both written and spoken) in pairs and groups.
  • We create systems in structures where we routinely check for understanding in both a teacher driven and student driven manner.