Indicator 2

Teachers’ instructional practices support the achievement of the school’s 21st century learning expectations by:

• personalizing instruction
• engaging students in cross disciplinary learning
• engaging students as active and self-directed learners
• emphasizing inquiry, problem solving, and higher order thinking
• applying knowledge and skills to authentic tasks
• engaging students in self-assessment and reflection
• integrating technology.
 

What to Look for:

  • personalizing instruction
    • teachers meet regularly with individuals or small groups of students to address individual learning needs
    • teachers select and employ the appropriate instructional approaches to address various learning styles
    • teachers call home to talk with parents/families to enlist support
    • teachers show respect, positive rapport in day-to-day conversations with students
    • teachers act as advisors/mentors (See Standard 5, Indicator 3)

  • engaging students in cross disciplinary learning
    • students are involved in thematic studies that helps them study topics that transcend more than one content area and make connections across the content areas
    • teachers regularly help students to see how a given topic/lesson extends across the content areas
    • school-wide instruction is planned around a theme
    • see Standard 2: Curriculum for related topics

  • engaging students as active and self-directed learners
    •  students take on an active role in learning and are not sitting passively at their desks
    • students are engaged in hand’s-on, project-based learning and discovery lessons
    • teachers are actively facilitating lessons and acting as coaches by asking students to do independent research, work in cooperative groups, apply knowledge to real-world

  •  emphasizing inquiry, problem solving, and higher order thinking
    • teachers focus students on key themes, concepts, and essential questions
    • teachers spend sufficient time on a unit/theme/topic/essential question to allow students to understand the concepts or information in depth
    • teachers emphasize skills that extend beyond acquisition of knowledge and skills on Bloom’s Taxonomy
    • teachers regularly ask students to apply knowledge, to analyze what t hey have learned, to synthesize concepts, to compare/contrast, and to evaluate
  • applying knowledge and skills to authentic tasks
    • teachers ask students to write for audiences beyond the classroom
    • teachers ask students to share portfolios with parents and critical friends
    • teachers ask students to engage in meaningful project work that leads to formal presentations, often involving audiences beyond the school
    • students participate in internships and school-to-career opportunities
       
  • engaging students in self-assessment and reflection
    • teachers routinely ask students to reflect on their work and to self-critique (e.g., through the use of portfolios and with the application of rubrics)
    • teachers clarify for students that assessment is part of the learning process, not simply an evaluation at the end of an activity, relating assessment to the school’s core values, if applicable
    • teachers routinely and regularly ask students to reflect on their own work, to write about how they would make improvements or changes, to critique their own work as well as their peers

 

  •  integrating technology
    • teachers use appropriate technology to enhance instruction
    • all teachers have had professional development which provides them with knowledge to employ technology as a means of involving students in inquiry, problem-solving, and higher-order thinking
    • all teachers are expected to use technology to enhance learning
    • teachers routinely involve students in using appropriate technology to extend learning (e.g., students know how to use presentation software such as PowerPoint; they would be seen using presentation software to draw conclusions about what their discovery process taught them and to illustrate the newly-drawn concepts to classmates)