D2: Learner - Centered Instruction

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Domain 2. LEARNER-CENTERED INSTRUCTION
Rationale:
Effective teachers recognize that lessons should be developed that place the student at the center of the learning. By differentiating lessons by student interest, readiness and learner profile teachers can increase student learning.
While traditional instructional methods can be effective at times, Alamo Heights ISD recognizes that in preparing students to be 21st century learners, students must have opportunities to create, develop and actively participate in their own learning.

Below are the foundational components identified as Alamo Heights ISD best practices for ensuring that students are the focal point of meaningful instruction.




2a. Goals and Objectives

Things to Consider
The learning objective is communicated or implied.
The learning objective addresses a new skill or knowledge.
The learning objective connects to a central theme/concept of the discipline.
The learning objective addresses the TEKS, as appropriate.

Quantity
  • Objectives and goals reflect needs to all students.
Quality
  • Objectives and goals reflect important learning and conceptual understanding. Look for strength, impact, variety, and alignment of the learning objective to a central theme/concept of the discipline.
Quality Indicators
  • Students are consistently successful in learning that is constructed around central themes/concepts of the discipline.
  • Students consistently find their own strategies for constructing learning and for connecting/applying learning to other disciplines, their own lives, and/or issues in the world beyond the classroom.
  • Multiple strategies are consistently used to communicate the specific new learning objectives (skill and/or concept-interest based).
  • Learning is consistently constructed around concepts that are central themes/concepts in more than one discipline.
  • Students can articulate learning goals and objectives.
  • Goals and objectives correlate with the TEKS, appropriate grade level, and content/course expectations.
  • TEKS are clustered, as appropriate.
ahisd_logoSuggested resources for continued professional development:





2b. Learner-Centered Instruction

Things to Consider
Teacher relates instruction to the interest of students.
Teacher relates instruction to the needs of students.
Teacher relates instruction to the varied characteristics of students.

Quantity
  • Look for appropriate connections to all students.
Quality
  • Content is relevant to students and instructional goals. Lesson structure allows for different pathways to address student needs. Look for strength, impact, variety, and alignment of content with the varied characteristics of students.
Quality Indicators
  • Students are consistently engaged and successful in the learning.
  • Students consistently make their own connections between the learning and their unique needs, interest, and/or characteristics.
  • Instruction provides students with multiple pathways/approaches for new learning that meet their unique needs, interest, and/or characteristics.
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Suggested resources for continued professional development:

http://www.techlearning.com/article/8670 -- Bloom's Taxonomy changes explained

Differentiated Instruction Strategies
3rd grade Spelling Tic Tac Toe tictactoe 3rd grade.doc
1st grade homework menu1st grade Homework.pdf



2c. Motivational Strategies

Things to Consider
Strategies include elements of motivation, such as, level of concern, interest, knowledge of results
positive classroom climate and acknowledgements.
Instructional strategies are research-based.
Instructional strategies reflect current knowledge and practice within the discipline.
Quantity
  • Motivational techniques are used as necessary to engage students and produce learning success.
Quality
  • Motivational techniques produce active engagement of students in the learning process.Engagement in the learning process produces learning success. Look for strength, impact, variety, and alignment of the motivational techniques and the learning success.
ahisd_logo
Suggested resources for continued professional development:



willinghambk.jpgWhy Don't Students Like School by Daniel T. Willingham



2d. Alignment

Things to Consider
Instructional strategies are aligned with the lesson objectives.
Instructional strategies are aligned with activities.
Instructional strategies are aligned with student characteristics.
Instructional strategies are aligned with prior learning.
Instructional strategies are aligned with work and life applications.
Instructional strategies are research-based.
Instructional strategies reflect current knowledge and practice within the content area.
Teacher instruction of TEKS/TAKS objectives is connected to the subject matter and content.
Instructional planning reflects the inclusion of TEKS/TAKS objectives connected to the
subject matter and content.
Instructional planning reflects an analysis of TAKS performance data.
TAKS performance data is analyzed prior to beginning instruction.

Quantity
  • There is common practice of the alignment of instructional strategies to curriculum objectives. All classes receive instruction on appropriate TEKS/TAKS objectives.
Quality
  • Teacher connects critical attributes of the learning, personal lives, work, prior/future learning, content within the discipline, and with other disciplines. Teacher selects and organizes topics so students make connections between what is taught and what they experience outside the classroom.
  • Look for appropriate connections to the subject matter and content.
  • Look for strength, impact, variety, and alignment of instructional delivery to TEKS/TAKS objectives.
  • Individual student needs are addressed.         
  • Documentary evidence is used to support performance level.
Quality Indicators
  • The teacher uses unique, creative, and/or innovative strategies to make multiple connections between the critical attributes of the learning and students’ personal lives, work, prior/future learning, content within the discipline, and/or the content in other disciplines.
  • The teacher consistently selects topics, which are central themes and concepts of the discipline, and organizes academic content to focus on issues in the world beyond the classroom.
  • The students successfully make their own and/or multiple connections between what is being learned and other disciplines, their own lives, the world of work, and/or issues in the world beyond the classroom.
  • There is consistent evidence of student success in using/applying the skills supportive of the TEKS/TAKS objectives in the curriculum. TEKS/TAKS objectives are consistently integrated into regular subject matter and content.
  • Instructional planning consistently reflects that TAKS performance data has been analyzed in collaboration with other professionals prior to the beginning of instruction.
  • The teacher provides formal/informal leadership in instructional planning which consistently shows evidence of addressing individual student needs as identified in the campus improvement plan.

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Suggested resources for continued professional development:






2e. Pacing and Sequence

Things to Consider
Teacher varies activities.
Teacher maintains pacing.
Teacher sequences instruction.

Quantity
  • Activities are challenging for most students. Teacher demonstrates a variety of strategies, as appropriate. The focus is on the number of students that are successful.
Quality
  • Look for appropriateness of activities, pacing and sequence of instruction. Learning Activities are relevant to students.       
  • Transitions occur without loss of instructional time. Sequence of instruction reflects recent research and/or current knowledge and practice within the content area.
Quality Indicators
  • Students consistently complete transitions and administrative tasks quickly, with little or no direction from the teacher-procedures are in place and students follow them.
  • The teacher consistently adjusts and/or allows students to adjust the sequence of activities and/or the pace to meet the individual needs/characteristics of students.
  • The teacher consistently uses interesting, fun and/or relevant activities so that students are engaged in the learning process.
  • The teacher is consistently proactive in ensuring that prior learning experiences are in place.
  • The teacher consistently monitors students’ understanding at every stage of the learning before moving to the next stage




2f. Value and Importance

Things to Consider
Teacher stresses value of the activity.
Teacher projects necessity for content into future learning objectives.
Teacher communicates importance of content in the lives of students.

Quantity
  • Focus on the number of students that make the connection to the learning.
  • Quality
  • Teacher conveys genuine enthusiasm for the content. Students demonstrate commitment to the value of the activity/content. Look for strength, impact, variety, and alignment of connection to the activity/content.
  • Quality Indicators
  • Student consistently demonstrate an understanding if the value/importance of the learning.
  • Students consistently are eager and excited about the activity/content.
  • The students consistently make their own connections between the new learning and prior learning, future learning, learning other disciplines, their own lives, and/or the world beyond the classroom.
  • The teacher consistently uses a variety of creative, unique, and/or innovative strategies to demonstrate the value/importance of the content/activity.
  • Students consistently apply new learning and/or produce products that demonstrate the value/importance of the content/activity.
  • The teacher consistently communicates genuine excitement and enthusiasm for the content/activity.



2g. Appropriate Questioning and Inquiry

Things to Consider
Teacher uses questioning strategies that challenge students.
Teacher uses questioning strategies that engage students.
Teacher varies questioning strategies.

Quantity:
  • Focus on the number of students sampled. Students consistently and successfully initiate extensions of the questions/answers and/or the inquiry process.
Quality:
  • Look for evidence of student progress and/or success. Look for students initiating probes and making appropriate contributions. Look for strength, variety, impact, and alignment of questions with content.
Quality Indicators
  • All students consistently participate in challenging questioning and/or inquiry techniques.
  • Instruction is consistently student-centered, inquiry-based, and focuses on students as thinkers and problem-solvers.
  • Students consistently and successfully initiate extensions of the questions/answers and/or the inquiry process.
  • Students consistently initiate contributions to the questions/answers and/or the inquiry process
  • Building on the ideas of others and extending the conversation.
  • Students appropriately challenge/question the teacher and/or their peers as part of the inquiry process.
  • Students consistently design their own guiding questions/inquiry process.
  • The teacher consistently uses a variety of creative, unique, and/or innovative strategies for questioning and/or for guiding the inquiry process.
  • Teacher and/or student questioning/inquiry strategies consistently promote successful critical thinking, problem solving, and connectivity within the discipline, with other disciplines, to the world of the student, and/or to issues in the world beyond the classroom.
  • The teacher allows ample wait time.
ahisd_logo
Suggested resources for continued professional development:

Marzano-Questioning Section
Classroom Instruction that Works, by Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jane Pollock. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001.
Brain Matters, Translating Research into Classroom Practice by Patricia Wolfe, published by ASCD, www.ascd.org
Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain by Renata C Geoffrey Caine, stock no. 611-91025, $15.95
Teaching with the Brain in Mind by Eric Jensen, ISBN 1-4166-0030-2, ASCD stock no.104013, $27.95






2h. Use of Technology and Tools

Things to Consider
Technologies (computers, calculators, telecommunication, multimedia, document cameras, projection systems, Promethean boards, Interwrite Mobi, Moodle, ePals,) are used as instructional tools, when available and appropriate.
Tools (manipulatives, measurements, graphing, calculators, and probes, motion detectors, lab equipment, etc.) are used, when available and appropriate.

Quantity
  • Focus on the utilization of technology and other appropriate equipment as instructional tools.
Quality
  • Technology is suitable to the instructional goal. Technology engages the students mentally. Look for strength, impact, variety, and alignment of instructional process and technology.
Quality Indicators
  • The use of available technology and tools are appropriate and aligned with the instructional goals.
  • Students are highly engaged and enthusiastic as a result of the use of the technology and tools.
  • Students consistently use technology and tools to: promote depth and complexity of learning, connect learning to other disciplines, their own world, and the world beyond the classroom; produce products that represent complex learning.
  • The teacher consistently utilizes a variety of technology resources and tools, whenappropriate and available.
  • The teacher consistently seeks out and secures available and/or new technology and tools.

ahisd_logo
Suggested resources for continued professional development:
by Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering, Jane E. Pollock


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