Friday, April 8, 2011

A Common Language?

This past year, we have started to lay the groundwork for a common curricular language through the mapping process: Content, skills, assessments.


 Next year, we will "go live" with the implementation of our curriculum mapping tool, Curriculum Connector. As we map our courses, we will broaden our curricular vocabulary and we will improve our ability to talk about curriculum in a common way. We'll be better able to discuss what we want students to learn, and identify if those topics are actually being taught. Better yet, we will implement a system to constantly refine our curriculum across the district.


But what about a common language of instruction? Below I've posted a video of Robert Marzano, who has spent his career investigating what research says about good instruction. In this short video, he discusses his framework for instruction, The Art and Science of Teaching. In that book, he suggests that teachers should use 10 questions when designing instruction.



  1. What will I do to establish and communicate learning goals, track student progress, and celebrate success?  
  2. What will I do to help students effectively interact with new knowledge?  
  3. What will I do to help students practice and deepen their understanding of new knowledge?  
  4. What will I do to help students generate and test hypotheses about new knowledge?  
  5. What will I do to engage students?  
  6. What will I do to establish or maintain classroom rules and procedures?  
  7. What will I do to recognize and acknowledge adherence and lack of adherence to classroom rules and procedures? 
  8. What will I do to establish and maintain effective relationships with students?  
  9. What will I do to communicate high expectations for all students?  
  10. What will I do to develop effective lessons organized into a cohesive unit?  


Within these questions, there are specific research-based strategies to help teachers design effective instruction.  




There are other frameworks of instruction, such as Charlotte Danielson's, so I'm not necessarily pushing Marzano's product. However, I think he brings up a good point about building a common language of instruction.

My question is: do we have a common language of instruction at Leyden? Are we able to discuss what good teaching is across departments? Across buildings? Within departments?

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