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Lesson Planning

Why Learning Goals Lead the Way for Lessons

I recently heard someone compare Learning Goals to a GPS, and I thought, “Absolutely!” After all, it is the job of a GPS to help us arrive at our destination. Consider the following scenario… a woman and her husband are on a road trip where he becomes thoroughly lost, and of course, is unable to…

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7 Assessment Strategies That Put Aside Paper and Pencil

Traditional Assessment When you think of assessments, the traditional method is of course paper and pencil. And when you think of paper and pencil “testing,” you may think of the required countless hours of grading that inevitably follows. As a teacher, this is often one of the most challenging barriers to overcome when planning lessons…

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Engage Students With Exemplary Essential Questions

Why Is A Lesson Essential Question More Effective Than An Objective? Chances are that if you have been in education long enough, you have been asked at least one time or another, to display the standard(s) you are currently teaching on the board for students to see. The rationale behind posting the standard on the…

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A Focus on the Framework

Why does the Learning-Focused Instructional Framework work so well? The highest achieving schools in the nation all use a proven framework for instruction based on learning. An exemplary instructional framework, such as The Learning-Focused Instructional Framework, provides a structure that connects all of the lessons learned from exemplary schools and address major concerns in schools and districts.…

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Building Background Knowledge to Boost Achievement

How does background knowledge impact student learning and achievement? If you are like many educators, you can read this passage fluently, yet still, struggle to comprehend what it means. This, of course, is because many people have never played baseball, or followed it in any way (despite the fact that it is America’s game). So,…

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What is Symphonic Planning?

Using a single research-based strategy or a single exemplary practice effectively in a lesson will yield positive results for learning for most students. And depending on the strategy or practice, it produces much, much more learning than not using it! Usually, teachers have a few strategies that they like to use with students. Choosing whether…

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6 Student Questioning Strategies to Increase Achievement

Are you asking the “just right” questions to increase student achievement?  Are you answering your own questions, or are students interacting with the questions being asked?  Are your questions well planned and do they have a purpose and intent? How are these questions being monitored? Focus Questions are the different types of questions that are…

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9 Strategies for Checking for Student Understanding

How do you determine if the students have learned what you want them to? One important aspect of teaching is making sure the information is getting through, processed, retained and understood. There are ways of finding out if they have learned anything from your efforts. The first consideration is to set up Collaborative Pairs in…

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Building a Supportive Environment for a Differentiated Classroom

How do you start making your classroom super supportive for differentiation? Before you can begin to build support for a classroom where customized assignments are the norm instead of the exception, you must learn all that you can about differentiation. Develop your own professional knowledge. There are numerous resources available such as books that offer…

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Providing Scaffolding for Students

How can scaffolding help students become successful with the grade-level curriculum? When I think of scaffolding, I think of the temporary support structure erected on the side of a building that allows workers to access parts of the building that they may not otherwise be able to reach in order to accomplish a particular task.…

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