BetterLesson Instructional Strategies

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

Formative Assessment and Differentiation

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
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
Self-Assessment Conferences encourages students to reflect individually on how their work meets the goals of learning targets and skills
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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
Students use self-regulation strategies like mental breaks, body and movement breaks, fidgets, and self-talk to maximize their learning
Self Awareness Moments help students navigate strong emotions and difficult situations to make better decisions
Teach students to talk about themselves and their work using a growth mindset
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Culturally Responsive Teaching

Create learning communities in which all students can be seen, heard, and valued
Effective classroom management creates a welcoming learning environment that supports all learners, even when they experience challenges
Forming authentic, trusting relationships with your students' families is a foundational part of building an inviting learning community
When students learn about social justice at an early age, they are more likely to apply a lens of social justice to their interactions with
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Blended Learning

Leverage technology in the classroom to maximize student learning and growth
Blended learning teachers deliberately design all elements of their students' experience to meet desired learning outcomes
Taking intentional steps to launch new digital solutions in your classroom will lead to effective implementation for student success
Students conduct research and examine digital resources for credibility to develop digital literacy and digital citizenship
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Competency-Based Learning

Create personalized learning paths that allow students to progress toward goals and demonstrate competency 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
When students are involved in defining what mastery look like for a process or a product, chances of buy-in and success increase
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Project Based Learning

Engage students with real-world, inquiry-based tasks
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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Student-Centered Math

Create transformative mathematics classrooms where students engage in problem-solving, discourse, application, and critical thinking
Support students to enter the content by engaging in the I Notice/I Wonder protocol
Number talks support students to increase fluency by discussing and critiquing structure, patterns, and mathematical properties
Support students to reason mathematically by determining which figure, diagram, graph, or expression does not belong
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Student-Centered Literacy

Develop students' literacy skills by supporting student ownership of evidence-based reading, writing, speaking, and listening
Literature Circles are a great way to increase student reading and engagement
Support students to practice reading fluently, assess their own fluency, and then reflect on it with their teacher
Socratic Seminars support students to discuss complex texts or topics, and are forums for them to build both speaking and listening skills
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Leading Through Change

Lead the improvement of teaching, learning, and overall school climate to enhance student achievement and success
Do more by collaboratively sharing the guidance and direction of a school
Facilitate the instructional community in identifying the most pressing goals and defining their role within the school's structure
Setting the course to succeed in a specific learning goal in your school means knowing the direction
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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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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
These three steps support Instructional Leaders to create more personalized and purposeful workshops for their teachers
In a Professional Learning Community, many hands make light work
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Open Up Resources 6-8 Math

Strategically implement the Open Up Resources 6-8 Math curriculum
Identify key elements of an OUR Math lesson to focus on scope and depth, anticipate student responses, and to plan instructional routines
Use Anticipate, Monitor, Select, Sequence, and Connect to plan, organize, and facilitate productive mathematical discussions
Several quick structured discussion opportunities help students revise and refine their ideas, making them stronger and clearer each time
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EL Education

Strategically implement EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum to support student-centered literacy instruction
Utilizing student input to develop shared work time expectations is key to successful learning task management
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
An Interactive Word Wall helps students build conceptual understandings between words and meanings using words, visuals, and graphics
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Supercharge reading engagement and infuse literacy skills across content areas using Newsela
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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Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning: Master Teacher Project

Ensure students from all cultures and perspectives have full and equitable access to learning
Teachers should reflect on how their decisions and discretion impact students' views of themselves and others
Shared classroom values are a first step toward understanding what students value and need to feel safe in your classroom
Strategically plan to ensure all students have equal access to advanced courses
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Hybrid and Virtual Learning

Deliver equitable, engaging, and student-centered instruction and create supportive learning communities in a remote or hybrid model
Students receive timely, personalized, and actionable feedback as teachers utilize digital assessment tools
Creating a backchannel and empowering students to own it requires careful planning but helps to build a student-centered classroom culture
Teacher-created learning videos support students to work at their own pace, with personalized embedded supports and checks for understanding
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Empower students to think creatively and communicate expressively with Adobe tools
Students develop a deep understanding of semicolons and colon by creating an Adobe Spark Post
Students create a how-to video from scratch that demonstrates knowledge of a given subject area
Students design a destination poster highlighting local attractions without naming the destination
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Meeting the Needs of All Learners: Master Teacher Project

Ensure that teachers can equitably meet the needs of all of the learners in their classrooms and at a distance
Welcome English Learner student newcomer students into the school with a personalized photo book
Discussion tools to support students to develop, revise, and reframe personal and collective connections to a text
Level the playing field by introducing content prior to the lesson
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Empowering Algebra for All

Inclusive and equitable algebra strategies created for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Algebra 1: Balance the Equation Grand Challenge
Use the CRMT-TM Lesson Analysis Tool to reflect on strengths and areas for improvement in how a math lesson promotes thinking and equity
Integrate social justice into mathematics
Small moves that help challenge societal beliefs about math and ability help create a culture of equity
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Feedback and Observation

A replicable and authentic observation and feedback cycle that promotes aligned student centered goals and non-evaluative conversation
Mastering a step by step coaching conversation structure like GROW will help create a foundation for consistent coaching practices
This protocol helps to structure a reflective conversation aimed at improving the impact of coaching
Both observer and observed learn when colleagues collaboratively observe
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Trauma-Informed Practices

Approach learning with an understanding of the impacts of trauma and adversity on students
Greet students as they enter your classroom to build relationships and provide consistency
Embed mindfulness practices into the classroom to help students focus and relax
Want to build a culture of learning and empathy driven by students? Make a Positive News Board for students to recognize their peers!
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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Create inclusive educational ecosystems by examining structures, systems, and beliefs informed by race and identity
Being culturally responsive involves learning about your own perceptions of students & then creating equitable learning experiences for them
Teachers and school leaders can use the social discipline window as a tool to determine how often they are restorative or punitive
Students need to see themselves in the curriculum and learn about others in order to understand and appreciate multiple perspectives
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English Learners

Support all English Learners to grow and thrive in their learning environments
Scaffolding is an essential practice to support English Learners and can be grouped into three categories: Sensory, Graphic, and Interactive
Genius Hour supports students to choose learning experiences based on personal interests while targeting skills like critical thinking
Low-stakes speaking activities for ELs to encourage the accurate use of the target language
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Special Education

Support students with disabilities to learn, grow, and thrive in their learning environments
A general educator can unpack a student's IEP to help them meet their goals and a special educator can support them to do so
Level the playing field by introducing content prior to the lesson
This conceptual strategy will support you to develop an understanding of the Universal Design for Learning.
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Accelerating Growth

Close academic gaps and provide differentiated support for all students
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
Level the playing field by introducing content prior to the lesson
This conceptual strategy will support you to develop an understanding of the Universal Design for Learning.
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Support students to engage in authentic, investigative science lab simulations using Labster
Support students to ask for support from their teacher during a Labster simulation by using colored cards
Addressing a standard with the end goal in mind supports teachers to meaningfully integrate a Labster simulation into a unit or lesson
Assess student understanding of a Labster simulation with a verbal lab report which provides an alternate mode to demonstrate mastery
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Cultivate targeted, responsive math practices using Derivita's question and feedback tools