Category: Essential Core Instruction

Lesson Planning: 6 Steps for Aligning Student Tasks With Learning Targets

By Amy Dujon, author of The Essential Flipbook for Achieving Rigor The goal of a standards-based classroom is to provide each student with an opportunity to produce evidence of the grade-level standards. This is no small feat for the teacher. First, teachers must understand the level of thinking and evidence required by

“We HOPE to See a Productive Struggle” Sara Croll on Omaha Public Radio

“We hope to see a productive struggle. We want kids to really think it out and try. When the teacher goes in and shows them and saves them, so to speak, the learning stops, because they got the answer and they’re done. So we really encourage the productive struggle —

Reflecting on a Year of Growth at Des Moines Public Schools

By Kara Bentley Staff members at an Iowa elementary school reflect on the take-aways, challenges, and rewards of becoming a School for Rigor. Read the first part of this series here. In August 2017, I had the privilege of working with the instructional staff of Monroe Elementary School in Des Moines

Student Reflections on Finding Joy in the Journey at Greensboro Elementary School

By Kara Bentley Some images courtesy of Greensboro Elementary School Assistant Principal Todd Nichols. Follow him on Twitter here. Earlier this year, I shared with you teacher reflections about the journey that began at Greensboro Elementary School in August, 2017 as Caroline County MD Schools embraced a new instructional initiative, Essentials

Important Reminder: “Wrong” Answers Are the Ones That Deepen Learning

By Shannon Pretorius You ask your class a question, expecting a particular answer. You planned for that answer, but the students’ responses are completely different from what you anticipated. What do you do? Too many times, I’ve seen teachers barely acknowledge the unexpected answers and say something like, “No, that’s

Helping Parents Understand Why Math Instruction Has Changed

By Kimberly Wood “What is it with this new math?” How many of you have heard this question from parents as they try to help their kids with homework? With the switch to rigorous college and career readiness standards, many parents feel that the math being taught in the classrooms

High fives at Lodge Community School in Evansville, Indiana

Verifying Learning: Who Learned the Lesson in These Scenarios?

By Shannon Pretorius You have the most amazing math lesson planned for today. It is interactive, engaging, requires student collaboration, and you didn’t even have to spend your own money to fund it. Students will be analyzing classroom objects based on their attributes and classifying them into specific geometric categories.

Building Rigor and Engagement Into Academic Vocabulary

Building Rigor and Engagement Into Academic Vocabulary

Six tips to get students excited about acquiring new words. By Kristin DeJong Remember the days when a teacher would hand us a spelling book and tell us to complete exercises in it? We would memorize each word and then take a dictation quiz at the end of the unit.

Lockerman Middle School's Coaching Tree

Lockerman Middle School: The Vision, the Work, the Legacy

By Theresa Staley How a Maryland school has come together to alter its legacy and move the needle for students. Not far from the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay lies the picturesque countryside of Denton, Maryland, where the bellowing wails of Wildcat honor personify the solidarity and spirit of

Wheels of Fortune: How and Why Learning Target Focus Wheels Should Be Part of Your Instructional Design

By Theresa Staley What learning target focus wheels are, how they improve classroom learning and climate, and how you can implement them in your instructional design. Wouldn’t it be spectacular if one student-centered resource could provide all of the assessment information teachers need, and beyond that, build a climate of