A Handbook for Classroom Instruction That Works

A Handbook for Classroom Instruction That Works

A Handbook for Classroom Instruction That Works

A Handbook for Classroom Instruction That Works


This new edition of A Handbook for Classroom Instruction That Works will help you explore and refine your use of the teaching strategies from the 2nd edition of Classroom Instruction That Works. Discussion of the nine categories of strategies that have the most positive effect on student learning is supplemented with the following:

• A detailed explanation of the strategy, including why it has a positive effect on student achievement, how it fits within a high-quality instructional plan, and what research indicates is best practice for its use.

• Reflection questions that help you consider how and why you currently use the strategy.

• In-depth classroom examples that help you see how the strategy is supported by and supportive of other strategies in a well-designed lesson.

• Teacher rubrics and student checklists that can be used to measure the effectiveness of your instruction and how it improves student learning.

• Tools, templates, and protocols that help you assess your current practice and build a professional growth plan.

Perfect as a guide for self-study or professional learning communities, the handbook is designed to help you begin using effective instructional strategies immediately. Although implementing any of the ideas in this book can benefit your students, the power to help your students excel is found in intentionally using all the strategies together. With this handbook, you'll develop your skill in coordinating the strategies and learn how to more effectively use them to help students get more out of every lesson.


Students learn most efficiently when they know the objectives of a specific lesson or learning activity. This makes intuitive sense. If students are aware of the intended outcome, then they know where their focus should lie. When setting objectives, teachers simply give students a target for their learning. Students can gauge their individual starting points in relation to the learning objective and determine what needs their attention and where they might need help from the teacher or others. This clarity helps decrease anxiety about their ability to succeed. in addition, students build intrinsic motivation when they set personal learning objectives.

Why This Strategy?

The process of setting learning objectives begins with knowing the specific standards, benchmarks, and supporting knowledge students in your school or district are required to learn. Common Core State Standards and curriculum documents are generally the source for this information. If your school or district does not have a curriculum that is clearly aligned with an established set of standards, then this is an essential step to ensure students receive the same important content from teacher to teacher. the content that is taught should not be dependent on the teachers to whom students are assigned. Teaching the wrong content well does not, obviously, lead to robust student achievement gains. Likewise, teaching the right content poorly does not result in positive development. Schools and districts need to look at both the “what” and the “how” of instruction to maximize student achievement.

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