Saturday , 16 December 2017
Breaking News

Modeling – The Underrated Instructional Strategy

modelingI clearly remember assigning a project I had developed to my class.  I was so excited about it!  I just knew that my students were going to amaze me with their creativity and deep understanding.  When the projects came in, I was thoroughly disappointed and wondered, “Why didn’t they get this?”  “How did they misunderstand what I wanted?”  and “Why did they leave out some of the major components of this project?” When I stopped looking “out the window” and took a long look “in the mirror,” I realized that in my mind I had a very clear vision of what I wanted my students to do but somehow my vision was lost in translation.  No matter how clearly we articulate an assignment or how thorough our rubrics are, models are a very powerful way to help students visualize your expectation.  Yes, it takes time to write an entire essay or create a project, but when students have a clear understanding of what they are supposed to know, understand, and be able to do, their chance for success increases (Marzano, 1992).


Marzano, R. (1992). A different kind of classroom: Teaching with dimensions of learning.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

About Heather Mullins

Heather Mullins is the Chief Academic Officer in Newton-Conover City Schools. She is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who spent 12 years as a high school English Teacher. She received her B.S.Ed. in Secondary English Education from Western Carolina University. Heather completed her National Board Certification in Adolescent Young Adult English Language Arts in 2002. She holds an M.Ed. in Academically and Intellectually Gifted from UNC-Charlotte. Heather has served as a Curriculum Specialist in Hickory City Schools, an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and a Professional Development Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She completed her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership through Western Carolina University. Heather is one of the co-founders of #NCed Chat, North Carolina’s first Twitter chat for teachers. She is passionate about innovative practices, instructional technology, student ownership of learning, and supporting teachers. Heather serves on the advisory board for the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan, North Carolina School for the Deaf and Catawba Science Center. She is a recipient of the 2015 NCMLE Central Office Administrator to Watch Award. She also received the 2016 Don Chalker Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership. Heather is the proud mother of one son, Jackson.

Leave a Reply