BetterLesson Instructional Strategies

BetterLesson Instructional Strategies provide ready-to-use resources and step-by-step guidance to help education professionals grow in their practice.

Classroom Culture and Design

Develop a collaborative classroom culture in which all students feel safe, respected, and empowered to drive their own learning
Circle Up supports students to engage in structured conversations that promote character development and classroom community
By defining student roles in group work, the teacher can support each student to be successful and support a steady work pace for each group
Utilizing student input to develop shared work time expectations is key to successful learning task management
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Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning

Ensure students from all cultures and perspectives have full and equitable access to learning
Being culturally responsive involves learning about your own perceptions of students & then creating equitable learning experiences for them
Effective classroom management creates a welcoming learning environment that supports all learners, even when they experience challenges
In order to enjoy truly collaborative learning communities, students need identify blind spots and develop proactive responses to bias
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Social-Emotional Learning

Prepare students with the self-awareness, relational, and decision-making skills needed to succeed in school and in life
Teach students to talk about themselves and their work using a growth mindset
Have a conversation with a student to collaboratively identify solutions to prevent challenging behavior
Students use self-regulation strategies like mental breaks, body and movement breaks, fidgets, and self-talk to maximize their learning
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Mastery-Based Progressions

Create personalized learning paths that allow students to progress toward goals and demonstrate mastery in flexible formats
In a self-paced or mastery based learning environment, building a mastery map and a network of student experts can help
A pre-assessment is the foundation of a Mastery-Based Progression as it allows students and teacher to focus on what is most needed
A Mastery-Based Progression unleashes students to work at their own pace so creating and monitoring a simple pacing calendar can help
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Project-Based Learning

Engage students in real-world, inquiry-based tasks to develop deep content knowledge, critical thinking, and communication skills
Driving questions initiate and focus the inquiry and learning throughout a project while creating an interest and challenge for students
Want to assess both content mastery and design thinking/process skills during project based learning? Try the comprehensive PBL rubric!
Starting a unit or project with the end goal in mind helps teachers to authentically integrate all content and plan the steps to achieve the
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Formative Assessment and Feedback

Provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding, track their progress, and guide their future learning
Microgrouping to Provide Feedback supports students to receive targeted feedback specific to their learning needs
Provide students with clear criteria to self-assess effectively
This strategy supports students to create a plan for remediating their missed mastery objectives and work towards re-taking the assessment
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Student Ownership and Agency

Build opportunities and systems that empower students to take ownership and agency over their learning process
Choice boards give students autonomy and choice in their learning while allowing teachers to differentiate, observe, and assess in real time
By defining student roles in group work, the teacher can support each student to be successful and support a steady work pace for each group
Engage students in kinesthetic learning opportunities where they see, think, and wonder as they circulate the room
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Collaborative Professional Learning

Develop a collaborative professional culture to support student-centered teaching and learning
Change teaching and learning one step at a time using the BetterLesson coaching model
In the months leading up to a coaching year, so many details can be planned ahead of time for a successful launch into coaching
Regular analysis of student work puts the spotlight on what's actually happening in a school's teaching and learning
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Newsela Learning Domain

Supercharge reading engagement across content areas using Newsela tools
A Gallery Walk heightens engagement by allowing students to move around the room, engage in discussion, and have choice in their learning
Each student becomes an expert on an article then teaches the group so that the group can draw connections based on what they have learned
Explicit, individualized feedback allows students to more effectively develop central ideas and support them with text evidence
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Leading Through Change

Lead the improvement of teaching, learning, and overall school climate to enhance student achievement and success
Transform student data into educator action
Setting group work values first leads to more productive and satisfying meetings
Do more by collaboratively sharing the guidance and direction of a school
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Instructional Coaching

Provide teachers with personalized coaching cycles that support them to grow and develop their teaching practice
Coaching observations focus on using objective classroom data to identify the impact of a teacher's actions on student learning
Change teaching and learning one step at a time using the BetterLesson coaching model
To improve our coaching practice we must reflect and develop next steps
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Student-Centered Literacy

Develop students' literacy skills by supporting student ownership of evidence-based reading, writing, speaking, and listening
Students need explicit norms, processes, and models to participate in productive classroom talk
Engage students in kinesthetic learning opportunities where they see, think, and wonder as they circulate the room
Deepen student comprehension asking students to teach what they have learned to their peers
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Student-Centered Math

Create engaging mathematics classrooms where students discuss frequently, problem-solve creatively, and think critically
Use Anticipate, Monitor, Select, Sequence, and Connect to plan, organize, and facilitate productive mathematical discussions
Fill in the gaps supports students to review assessment data and set goals for improvement over two days in which they work to fill the gaps
2,4,6,8 Collaborative Problem-Solving supports students to engage in independent and collaborative thinking to effectively problem solve
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Meeting the Needs of All Learners

Support students' diverse strengths and needs so they can grow and thrive in their learning environments
Plan and support student discussions about mathematical ideas, representations, content, and strategies
Choice boards give students autonomy and choice in their learning while allowing teachers to differentiate, observe, and assess in real time
Genius Hour supports students to choose learning experiences based on personal interests while targeting skills like critical thinking
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Curriculum Implementation

Implement a new curriculum strategically to support rigorous student-centered learning
Explore these templates to begin the process of differentiated planning in your classroom
Students need an inclusive curriculum in order to enjoy a full learning experience
Identifying and celebrating strengths equips students to effectively adopt a growth mindset and set learning goals
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Blended Classroom Design

Leverage technology tools and strategies in the classroom to support personalized pathways for learning
Empower students to think like a historian using Newsela
Help students identify relevant research and evidence from primary and secondary sources
Students create their own videos to reflect on their progress and practice their speaking skills
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