Student-centered literacy instruction emphasizes student choice and ownership of their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

This focus area provides educators with the strategies and tools to create a student-centered literacy classroom that focuses on choice, collaboration, and ownership in order to increase student engagement and improve literacy outcomes.

Focus Area

Student-Centered Literacy

Learning Opportunities for Student-Centered Literacy

Student-centered literacy empowers students to practice literacy skills at their own pace as they encounter increasingly complex texts. We support skill development through personalized pathways built from BL ConnectWorkshops1:1 Coaching, and Learning Walks to achieve clear outcomes.

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Student-Driven Writing Systems

Outcome: I implement student-driven writing systems in my classroom.

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Oral Language Skills in Early Literacy

Outcome: I leverage early learners’ oral language skills to support reading and writing development.

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Foundational (K-3) to Comprehensive Literacy Instruction (3-8, 9-12)

Outcome: I plan high-quality lessons for all research-based components of foundational literacy instruction (PA, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension) that maintain high expectations for student performance.

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Language Domain Instruction (K-3, 3-8 or 9-12)

Outcome: I plan high-quality learning experiences that continue to develop students’ ability to elicit meaning from oral and written language by consistently providing all students access to the necessary exposure and practice with language domains covering grade-level content.

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Data-Driven Decision Making (K-3, 3-8 or 9-12)

Outcome: I monitor student learning on a continuous basis by analyzing both quantitative (i.e. Screeners, student work samples) and qualitative (i.e. Student conferencing) assessment measures that identify students’ strengths and needs.

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Inclusive Literacy Instruction (K-3, 3-8 or 9-12)

Outcome: I cultivate an inclusive learning environment that leverages the individuality of my students’ cultural and linguistic identities through informed selection and/or development of instructional practices, materials, and resources for literacy.

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Engagement and Motivation (K-3, 3-8 or 9-12)

Outcome: I develop engaging learning experiences for all my students by consistently incorporating student voice and opportunities for choice in my planning and daily literacy instruction.

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Differentiated Literacy Instruction (K-3, 3-8 or 9-12)

Outcome: I focus on the grade level expectations when planning differentiated learning experiences that target students’ strengths and needs.

“It is worthwhile to take a step back from the day-to-day routine to visit classes with colleagues and share what we are seeing, ensure that we have a common language and vision of teaching, identify trends, and develop schoolwide action plans.”

“This was one of the best PD experiences I have been to. The facilitators were very knowledgeable and made me think differently about my practices. I know I have grown as an educator.”

Learning Strategies From Our Library

Students reading together

Literature Circles and Book Clubs

Increase student reading and engagement with literature circles.

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Student reading book

Practicing and Self-Evaluating Reading Fluency

Support students in practicing reading fluently, assessing their own fluency, and reflecting on their reading with their teacher.

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Students creating poster

Socratic Seminar Discussion

Teach students to discuss complex texts or topics and build their speaking and listening skills with Socratic Seminars.

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A Focus on Student-Centered Teaching and Learning

We’ve identified four elements that are key for academic success and for building student-centered classrooms. BetterLesson guides teachers, instructional coaches, and leaders through focus areas within each element to lead their professional development journey.

Instructional Leadership icon Instructional Leadership Arrow

Instructional Leadership Focus Areas

Improve instruction and learning for teachers and students by building your skills as an instructional leader.

Leading Through Change Lead the improvement of teaching, learning, and overall school climate to enhance student achievement and success. Learn More
Instructional Coaching Provide teachers with personalized coaching cycles that support them growing and developing their teaching practice. Learn More
Collaborative Professional Learning Develop a collaborative professional culture to support student-centered teaching and learning. Learn More
Feedback and Observation Create an authentic, replicable observation and feedback cycle that promotes alignment of student-centered goals and non-evaluative conversation. Learn More
Principalship Equip new leaders to meet the specific demands that come with the first three years of serving as a building principal. Learn More
Inclusive and Responsive Practices icon Inclusive and Responsive Practices Arrow

Inclusive and Responsive Practices Focus Areas

Build an equitable learning community where all students can be supported, celebrated, and successful.

Social-Emotional Learning Prepare students with the self-awareness, relational, and decision-making skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Learn More
Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Develop learning communities that honor diverse student backgrounds and experiences. Learn More
Trauma-Informed Practices Approach learning with an understanding of the impacts of trauma and adversity on students. Learn More
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Create inclusive educational ecosystems by examining structures, systems, and beliefs informed by race and identity. Learn More
English Learners Support all English Learners to grow and thrive in their learning environments. Learn More
Students with Disabilities Support students with disabilities to learn and grow in their learning environments. Learn More
Flexible Instructional Models icon Flexible Instructional Models Arrow

Flexible Instructional Models Focus Areas

Find unique ways for all students to learn, communicate, and solve meaningful problems.

Accelerating Growth Accelerate student growth and provide differentiated support for all learners. Learn More
Formative Assessment and Differentiation Provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding, track their progress, and guide their future learning. Learn More
Meaningful Tech Integration Leverage technology in the classroom to maximize student learning and growth. Learn More
Hybrid and Virtual Learning Deliver equitable, engaging, and student-centered instruction and create supportive learning communities in a remote or hybrid model. Learn More
Project-Based Learning Engage students with real-world, inquiry-based tasks. Learn More
Competency-Based Learning Create personalized learning paths that allow students to progress toward goals and demonstrate competency in flexible formats. Learn More
Teachership Empower new teachers to become high-quality educators through professional learning, mentorship, and leadership support. Learn More
Curriculum and Academic Content icon Curriculum and Academic Content Arrow

Curriculum and Academic Content Focus Areas

Use learning tools and curriculum to create a student-centered classroom.

Student-Centered Math Create transformative mathematics classrooms where students engage in problem-solving, discourse, application, and critical thinking. Learn More
Student-Centered Literacy Develop students’ literacy skills by supporting student ownership of evidence-based reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Learn More
OUR K-5 / IM K-5 Math Integrate the instructional routines and resources embedded in the OUR K-5 / IM K-5 Math curriculum. Learn More
OUR 6-8 / IM 6-12 Math Strategically implement the OUR 6-8 / IM 6-12 Math curriculum. Learn More
EL Education Strategically implement the EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum to support student-centered literacy instruction. Learn More
Newsela Supercharge reading engagement and infuse literacy skills across content areas using Newsela. Learn More
OpenSciEd Help students make sense of scientific phenomena by harnessing the full power of the OpenSciEd platform. Learn More

Instructional Leadership Focus Areas

Improve instruction and learning for teachers and students by building your skills as an instructional leader.

Leading Through Change Lead the improvement of teaching, learning, and overall school climate to enhance student achievement and success. Learn More
Instructional Coaching Provide teachers with personalized coaching cycles that support them growing and developing their teaching practice. Learn More
Collaborative Professional Learning Develop a collaborative professional culture to support student-centered teaching and learning. Learn More
Feedback and Observation Create an authentic, replicable observation and feedback cycle that promotes alignment of student-centered goals and non-evaluative conversation. Learn More
Principalship Equip new leaders to meet the specific demands that come with the first three years of serving as a building principal. Learn More

Inclusive and Responsive Practices Focus Areas

Build an equitable learning community where all students can be supported, celebrated, and successful.

Social-Emotional Learning Prepare students with the self-awareness, relational, and decision-making skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Learn More
Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Develop learning communities that honor diverse student backgrounds and experiences. Learn More
Trauma-Informed Practices Approach learning with an understanding of the impacts of trauma and adversity on students. Learn More
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Create inclusive educational ecosystems by examining structures, systems, and beliefs informed by race and identity. Learn More
English Learners Support all English Learners to grow and thrive in their learning environments. Learn More
Students with Disabilities Support students with disabilities to learn and grow in their learning environments. Learn More

Flexible Instructional Models Focus Areas

Find unique ways for all students to learn, communicate, and solve meaningful problems.

Accelerating Growth Accelerate student growth and provide differentiated support for all learners. Learn More
Formative Assessment and Differentiation Provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding, track their progress, and guide their future learning. Learn More
Meaningful Tech Integration Leverage technology in the classroom to maximize student learning and growth. Learn More
Hybrid and Virtual Learning Deliver equitable, engaging, and student-centered instruction and create supportive learning communities in a remote or hybrid model. Learn More
Project-Based Learning Engage students with real-world, inquiry-based tasks. Learn More
Competency-Based Learning Create personalized learning paths that allow students to progress toward goals and demonstrate competency in flexible formats. Learn More
Teachership Empower new teachers to become high-quality educators through professional learning, mentorship, and leadership support. Learn More

Curriculum and Academic Content Focus Areas

Use learning tools and curriculum to create a student-centered classroom.

Student-Centered Math Create transformative mathematics classrooms where students engage in problem-solving, discourse, application, and critical thinking. Learn More
Student-Centered Literacy Develop students’ literacy skills by supporting student ownership of evidence-based reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Learn More
OUR K-5 / IM K-5 Math Integrate the instructional routines and resources embedded in the OUR K-5 / IM K-5 Math curriculum. Learn More
OUR 6-8 / IM 6-12 Math Strategically implement the OUR 6-8 / IM 6-12 Math curriculum. Learn More
EL Education Strategically implement the EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum to support student-centered literacy instruction. Learn More
Newsela Supercharge reading engagement and infuse literacy skills across content areas using Newsela. Learn More
OpenSciEd Help students make sense of scientific phenomena by harnessing the full power of the OpenSciEd platform. Learn More

Let’s Connect

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