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

Components of 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 workshops1:1 coaching, and learning walks to achieve clear outcomes.

Student-Centered Literacy in a Flexible Learning Environment

Outcome: I can implement student-centered literacy practices in a flexible learning environment by adjusting instruction and deliberately selecting strategies that work in synchronous and asynchronous learning environments.

Tech Tools for Literacy

Outcome: I can identify and implement specific tech tools that focus on organization, collaboration and feedback in order to create student-centered literacy lessons.

Student-Driven Writing Systems

Outcome: I can implement student-driven writing systems in my classroom by providing students with opportunities to own the writing process, provide meaningful feedback, and engage in collaboration.

Oral Language Skills in Early Literacy

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

“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

Literature Circles and Book Clubs

Increase student reading and engagement with literature circles.

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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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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 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.
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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.
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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: 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 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
Blended Learning: 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
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
Open Up Resources 6-8 Math: Strategically implement the Open Up Resources 6-8 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
Labster: Support student engagement in authentic investigative science lab simulations using Labster.
Learn More
Derivita: Cultivate targeted, responsive math practices using Derivita’s question and feedback tools. 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

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: 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
Blended Learning: 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

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
Open Up Resources 6-8 Math: Strategically implement the Open Up Resources 6-8 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
Labster: Support student engagement in authentic investigative science lab simulations using Labster.
Learn More
Derivita: Cultivate targeted, responsive math practices using Derivita’s question and feedback tools. Learn More

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