Leadership magazine May/June 2015 V 44 No 5 - Page 18

mentors and coaches from the county’s Learning and Leadership Services division. As a result of our networked practices, we developed the following core instructional focus and strategies: n Instructional strategy n Instructional focus n Instructional strategy markers Students can demonstrate deep understanding by making and defending a claim with evidence: • During discussion, using examples from… • In English Language Arts and in writing, citing text-dependent evidence. • As a mathematician, justifying a solution by… • As a scientist, testing a hypothesis by… • Teachers and students use questions that are relevant to content and disciplinary practices. • Teachers and students are using probing questions/statements to elicit thinking and understanding, such as “Say more; what is your thinking; what is your evidence; how did you derive; what makes you say that?” n Instructional focus marker • Tangible models: Teacher-developed examples of expected writing; sentence stems to scaffold students making meaning and defending claims orally and in writing; co-constructed examples of quality work over time; industry- and academia-created exemplars. 18 Leadership • Teachers will use intentional and effective questioning strategies to facilitate academically rigorous talk, writing and thinking within their content area. n Essential Questions All students and adults know and are able to respond to these questions in relation to their learning and planning: • What are we learning? (knowledge) • How are we learning it? (understanding) • Why are we learning it/Why does it matter? (reflection and relevance) • How do we know we have learned it? (assessment) • Where and when will we use this learning again? (application and transfer) n Essential Questions markers • Teachers are planning with the Essential Questions and answers to the Essential Questions in mind. • Students are provided multiple opportunities and ways to articulate their thinking in relation to the Essential Questions. n Learning conditions 1. Clear learning target(s) understood and known by students for each lesson(s) each and every day that lead to accomplishing a rigorous standard. 2. Classroom culture and environment co-constructed to support student interdependence for learning. 3. Evidence of scaffolds and resources for students to access and receive differentiated support for their learning needs, including digital literacy. Our instructional focus is the foundational component for all of our partnerships. Ensuring such consistency of teaching and