EDU 6526: Classroom Instruction that Works

Within my school district works of Marzano have been a huge emphasis. Classroom Instruction that Works and the Art and Science of Teaching have all been used as a part of our professional development. Our district has adopted the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model that will be effective in Fall 2013.  As part of our current observation and evaluation, evaluators are looking for high impact strategies in our instruction. These include strategies from Classroom Instruction that Works: cooperative learning, advanced organizers, nonlinguistic representation, summarizing and note taking, identifying similarities and differences and generating and testing hypothesis.

The instructional framework presented in Classroom Instruction that Works provides a structure for incorporating all nine strategies into instruction. Dell’Olio and Donk (2007) propose three questions as an introduction to the philosophies of curriculum and instruction: “What is the purpose of schools? What should students be doing in school? What should teachers be doing?” (p. 25). Dell’Olio and Donk (2007) state, “Most educators will agree that their beliefs, values, and practices are a combination of the five different philosophies” (p. 47). As I reflect on these questions and consider the five philosophies, I think that teachers bring many of these philosophies to their instruction daily to create a culturally competent classroom that meets the needs and learning styles of all students. Many of these philosophies are embedded in the framework of the nine instructional strategies. The framework is designed for teachers to establish a motivating learning environment by recognizing effort. Teachers give students opportunities for students to be a part of the learning process through cooperative learning, setting objectives and use of feedback. Strategies are then used to help students understand material through multiple representations such as advanced organizers and nonlinguistic representations. Students are then taught how to apply and extend the knowledge so it is applicable to real life.

I think the framework is a valuable tool when designing instruction and all nine strategies are easily accessible across multiple content areas and lessons. For example, the first three strategies will create the learning environment for every lesson that is taught. Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone (2012) state, “When teachers create an environment for learning, they motivate and focus student learning by helping students know what is expected of them, providing students with opportunities for regular feedback on their progress and assuring students that they are capable of learning challenging content and skills” (p. xv). In the second component strategies are used to help students understand the learning and the third component helps them extend and apply their knowledge. This framework is a great scaffolding tool for teachers and students. Once a learning environment is established students know the learning objectives, receive feedback, and engage in cooperative learning. Gradually students are introduced to new strategies that help them initially understand the learning objective and later apply it to real-world contexts. This framework seems to support the essential components needed for a culturally competent classroom. With the use of clear learning objectives, rubrics, feedback, and cooperative learning all students are held to high expectations and involved in the learning process. Students have opportunities to apply the knowledge in context that will allow them to understand and remember the learning beyond the classroom.

My professional goal this year is to develop the strategy: Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback. Currently, I access student background knowledge and state the learning objective. At the end of the lesson, students complete an exit slip or independent practice. Students either demonstrate the skill and/or restate the learning objective in their own words at the end of the lesson. My goal is to use criteria to develop rubrics so students know the expectation and have specific feedback for improvement. So far, I have created a general rubric that can be used across content areas and a few specific rubrics related to writing and reading responses. Dean et al. (2012) states, “Teachers should provide examples of work at each level of performance to help students better understand what high-quality work looks like” (p. 14). This has been really helpful because students are getting better at assessing and revising their own work using the rubric.

Ceri B. , D., Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., & Stone, B. (2012). Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement (2nd ed.). Denver: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Jeanine M. , D., & Donk, T. (2007). Models of Teaching: Connection Student Learning With Standards. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc..

This entry was posted in Standard 01. Instructional Planning, Standard 02. Learning Environment, Standard 03. Curriculum, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to EDU 6526: Classroom Instruction that Works

  1. Tracy Williams says:

    Courtney, this is a great strategy. Are you collecting evidence in a systematic way to share with teammates and your administrative coach? I think that focusing on setting objectives and providing feedback is the bedrock and foundation. Kudos for working this aspect and deepening your understanding of how your students benefit from this.

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