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Tag Archives: instructional strategies

Reaching Illinois ELA Support Documents Ensure Alignment to Standards

The Illinois Department of Public Instruction has developed amazing resources for ELA teachers in grades K-12 that provide research-based instructional strategies directly aligned to the Common Core State Standards for both Reading Literature and Reading Informational Texts. If you scroll down through these documents, you will find each standard with research-based strategies to use when teaching each standard explicitly. K-5 Informational ... Read More »

The Frame Routine

The Frame Routine is a strategy designed to assist students as they organize topics, main ideas and details about reading assignments. This technique includes a basic hierarchic graphic organizer called a “Frame” that can be used to help students think and talk about the key topic and essential related information. Frames allow students to identify the main ideas and supporting ... Read More »

Squaring Off and Four Corners

Squaring Off and Four Corners are two instructional strategies that have been utilized and modified for years by good teachers.  These strategies coupled with opportunities for collaboration, high-level questioning, writing, and reflection can serve as powerful ways to engage your class in a new topic, an ambiguous concept, or a controversial subject.  These strategies can also be used as a means ... Read More »

Checking for Understanding

Checking for understanding is an integral part of differentiating for students and ensuring we meet their needs. Edutopia shared 53 ways to check for student understanding.  These formal and informal formative assessment strategies are great ways to provide students with some creative ways to gauge what they know about  your content.  How can you use these strategies in your classroom? Read More »

ELA Scoop for May Provides Great Strategies for English Language Arts Teachers

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NCDPI’s ELA team has published the May edition of “ELA Scoop.”  Scroll through the slideshow to see some great teaching strategies and real classroom examples from The Teaching Channel. Read More »

GIST: Teaching Summarizing Skills in a Strategic Way

When you ask students to summarize, has this ever happened?  1) Some students copy verbatim the first and or last sentence.  2) Students write summaries that are actually longer than the original text!  3)  Students create summaries and leave out some of the main ideas. If you have had any of these experiences, it may be time to use GIST ... 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 »

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 »

Predict-O-Gram: A Vocabulary Strategy for Pre-Assessment


Looking for a new way to introduce a concept, unit, or theme?  Provide students with a list of terms, vocabulary words, or concepts found in an upcoming reading. For example, if the students were preparing to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the teacher might share the following terms: depression, segregation, jury, trial, South, Alabama, lawyer, racial segregation, kids, jail, ... Read More »

Pre-Assessment Strategy: Brain Dump

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Whether you need a pre-assessment or quick focus and review, Brain Dump will provide you with information about how much information your students know or have retained about a specific concept or topic. Ask students to either dump all information they know on a sheet of paper or orally with a partner or group. Ask students to share information with the group ... Read More »