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Category Archives: Instructional Strategies

What is Student Engagement?

Schlecty’s book Engaging Students describes students in the classroom into categories including engagement, strategic compliance, ritual compliance, retreatism, and rebellion.  During the administrative walk-thru’s, the administrators will be observing in your classrooms to determine where your students fall within these categories.  Please take the time to read through the categories to determine where your students may be when it comes ... Read More »

Computational Fluency, Algorithms, and Mathematical Proficiency

During a recent webinar, Computational Fluency, Algorithms, and Mathematical Proficiency were discussed.  Below you will find some important key notes from the webinar. According to NCTM, Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, computational fluency refers to having efficient and accurate methods for computing. Students exhibit computational fluency when they demonstrate flexibility in the computational methods they choose, understand and can ... Read More »

Strategies for Developing Mathematical Understanding

Making Math Accessible for All Students was a topic discussed in a webinar that fits our thinking about mathematics.  One strategy used to make mathematics accessible to students with learning difficulties is the Concrete-Representational-Abstract instructional sequence, also referenced as CRA. This is a research-based strategy with the purpose of ensuring that students truly have a thorough understanding of the math concepts/skills they are learning. When students who have math learning problems ... Read More »

Read Like a Detective Strategy #8: Speak the Text

NCDPI English Language Arts Consultants shared 40 Ways to Read Like a Detective during the 2013 Summer Institute Sessions.  Check out Strategy #8, Speak the Text. Description:  Use a speech to analyze the impact of certain words, meaning, and tone. Common Core State Standard Alignment:  R.CCR.4, L.CCR.3, and SL.CCR.6 Strategy:  Using a speech, have students insert line breaks anywhere they would ... Read More »

SIOP Strategies

students with pinwheels

How are you making sure that the ELL students in your classroom are learning?  Have you included SIOP strategies into your daily lesson plans?  Below you will find the steps for a SIOP lesson plan and some SIOP strategies to implement into the classroom. What is SIOP?  SIOP is a researched based lesson delivery model that links Content Objectives to ... Read More »

Do you Differentiate?


Differentiation has been a buzzword in education for more than two decades.  Educators often talk about differentiation, but the concept is somewhat difficult to define.  When we think about differentiation, most often we think of content, process, product, and learning environment.  Today’s classrooms are more diverse than ever before, and differentiation is no longer an option but a necessity. If ... Read More »

Capture Your Thoughts

kid thinking

If you are looking for a new formative way to allow students to summarize their learning, try Capturing Your Thoughts.  This tool allows you to capture students’ thoughts on four elements of your content of your choice. Use the template linked below to provide students an opportunity to respond to a passage, answer the Essential Question, list most important elements ... Read More »

EduCore: Tools for Teaching the Common Core


The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) has long been revered across our nation as a leader in education. If you are searching for resources to implement the Common Core State Standards, EduCore may help.   EduCore provides current, relevant, evidence-based tools, and professional development to smooth your transition into a new era of teaching and learning. Check out ... Read More »

Common Core State Standards and ELL Students


Have you ever wondered how to ensure that your ELL students are learning both language and content standards during your instructional lessons?  Now you can find the information in the WIDA bulletin.  The WIDA bulletin provides guidance for teachers of English Language Arts who are implementing the Common Core State Standards.  The new standards expect students to develop more complex ... Read More »

Whole-Brain Teaching


Chris Biffle introduced Power Teaching several years ago.  Since that time, the name has changed, but the concept remains the same:  engage students orally, kinesthetically, and holistically by allowing them an opportunity to be constantly part of the action in the classroom.  Watch this introductory video of Chris Biffle modeling how to use Whole-Brain Teaching with students.  YouTube is full ... Read More »