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
• During discussion, using examples
• In English Language Arts and in writing,
citing text-dependent evidence.
• As a mathematician, justifying a solution
• As a scientist, testing a hypothesis by…
• Teachers and students use questions
that are relevant to content and disciplinary
• 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.
• 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
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
Our instructional focus is the foundational component for all of our partnerships.
Ensuring such consistency of teaching and