When some teachers think of differentiation, they imagine having to create a different lesson for every student in the room. In this video, teacher and author Larry Ferlazzo explains that differentiating instruction is really about getting to know your students and making decisions, often in the moment, based on what they need. He offers some low-lift strategies he’s learned over the years for making activities accessible for students with all types of gifts and challenges.Read More
Filtering by Category: Teaching Framework
From “Leading for Instructional Improvement: How Successful Leaders Develop Teaching and Learning Expertise” Chapter 1
What do athletes, actors, musicians, doctors, scientists have in common?
- These people all represent professions that have clear and accepted standards for professional practice. There is shared understanding among all in their profession (and often outside their profession as well) about what constitutes quality performance.
- All of these professionals have improved their given craft with public scrutiny and feedback. Not one of these professionals practices his or her craft in isolation.
- All of these professionals have had or continue to have extensive coaching. It is understood and accepted that the most powerful way to improve one’s craft is through coaching by someone with high expertise.
There are two kinds of expertise involved in the idea that it takes expertise to make expertise.
- The first is learning expertise, which "...involves the degree to which would-be experts continually attempt to refine their skills and attitudes toward learning-skills and attitudes that include practicing, self-monitoring, and finding ways to avoid plateaus and move to the next level" Bransford and Schwarts (2008)
- Bransford and Schwartz call the second kind of expertise teaching expertise. " involves a variety of forms including but not limited to coaching. The key argument here is that simply being an expert in something does not guarantee that one is also good at teaching that expertise to others." Fink and Markholt
by Paul Mielke and Tony Frontier
In the classroom, effective teachers use rubrics not just as summative tools to determine students' grades, but also as exemplars that they apply across entire units to guide students' efforts to improve. The language of the rubrics becomes the language of the curriculum.
In the same way, both supervisors and teachers need to use comprehensive teaching frameworks not just for summative teacher evaluation, but rather to guide improvement throughout the school year. Used in this way, these frameworks can create a common language for practice, focusing teachers' collaborative efforts to identify and implement specific research-based instructional strategies and behaviors.
We need to transcend the common practice of making administrators the primary users of comprehensive teaching frameworks. At a minimum, teachers can use comprehensive frameworks to guide their daily practice—for example, to assist in lesson planning, prioritize strategies for whole-group instruction, or select alternative strategies for students who require more challenge or support.
Teaching must engage students in active reasoning about concepts. In every subject, at every grade level, the curriculum must include commitment to a knowledge core, high thinking demand, and active use of knowledge.