How We Teach - Strategies for Our Classrooms

The classroom walk thru tool asks the leadership team to take a snapshot of how teaching is happening in its school.  Each week, leadership team members will visit classrooms throughout the school to gather data that allows them to see what strategies and learning are happening within the school.  This data will be analyzed by teachers and the leadership team and used to implement a school wide PDSA.

The CWT tool directly guides the leadership team's attention to what strategies and practices are happening in the clasroom.  More importantly, the strategies included on the CWT are tied to our transition to the Common Core Standards for all classrooms.  Below you will find research-based strategies and practices that connect to the CWT tool and the Common Core.  These strategies are also those that have been or will be modeled at Early Release Professional Development trainings.  If you are interested in modeling an effective strategy tied to the CWT and the Common Core, please contact Vikki Hogg.

High-Yield Instructional Strategies (HYIS)
- Marzano's HYIS: Robert Marzano identifies nine HYIS in his book Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement.  Combining the results of one hundred independent studies, Marzano and his colleagues determined that these strategies have the greatest impact on student achievement for ALL students, ALL subject areas, and ALL grade levels.
- For a summary and example of each of the strategies, check out this handout

Common Core Math Practices
- There are 8 mathematical practices that drive the Mathematics Common Core Curriculum.  We can address these 8 practices separately, but more often than not, we tackle them simultaneously.  These practices work toward the goal of encouraging mathematical or analytical thinkers in our classrooms and eventually in our communities.  Rather than approaching these as "things to do," consider them as habits of mind.

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving

2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively

3. Construct arguments & critique other’s reasoning

4. Model with mathematics

5. Use appropriate tools strategically

6. Attend to precision

7. Look for and make use of structure

8. Express regularity in repeated reasoning

Common Core Balanced Literacy Components
- The College and Career Readiness anchor standards focus on literacy in all curriculum areas.  There are several strategies that facilitate literacy study in the classroom including the following:

6. Writing workshop

8. Literature Study

9. Word Study

Word study and shared reading are two ways to embed literacy study into any subject area.

Reciprocal Think Aloud (Balanced Literacy).  This lesson addressed "Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them."  For more information on how to create a reciprocal think aloud lesson that addresses both the math practices and balanced literacy, please contact Vikki Hogg.

As we work to encourage text-based answers, we can address several of the CWT areas (use of informational text, student actions of reading and discussion, etc.).  We can encourage students to give text-based answers by using the synthesis and ACE tools.

Questioning with the Common Core/NC Essential Standards
The questioning demand of the Common Core and NC Essential Standards requires a shift in how we plan and implement questioning as well as a shift in student behaviors.
We can use Bloom's taxonomy as a tool to help us formulate quality questions.  Here are some resources for Bloom's taxonomy:

Technology Resources:
Diigo - collects online articles, pages, etc. and allows students to highlight key points
Edmodo - allows teachers to create class pages where they can send updates, post assignments, and create and administer assessments
Poll Everwhere - free text-based response system