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Teachers can address these barriers and create better access to learning by providing accommodations—that is, adaptations or changes to educational environments and practices designed to help students overcome the challenges presented by their disabilities. Some of these can be relatively simple to address. For example, a student who struggles to hold a pencil because of poor fine-motor skills might require a pencil grip to help her complete written responses. In other instances, though, addressing the barrier can prove to be more complex.

“A means to check for student understanding of the learning targets or objectives.”

Backward Design

Teacher builds a lesson by, “identifying desired results, determine acceptable evidence, and plan leanring experienes and instruction.”

A ‘Do Now’ is a quick, independent or collaborative activity that typically involves no (or minimal) guidance from the teacher.  A ‘Do Now’ can be used to activate students learning for the lesson, surface prior knowledge, and familiarize students with lesson vocabulary.  A ‘Do Now’ works best if it is an established classroom routine as it signals to students that it is time to learn. Well written and well practiced ‘Do Nows’ result in less wasted time and more student engagement. Typically a ‘Do Now’ should take less than 10 minutes to complete and assess.

Brain-based Learning

“Refers to teaching methods, lesson designs, and school programs that are based on the latest scientific research about how the brain learns, including such factors as cognitive development—how students learn differently as they age, grow, and mature socially, emotionally, and cognitively.”

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Career and technical programs frequently offer both academic and career-oriented courses, and many provide students with the opportunity to gain work experience through internships, job shadowing, on-the-job training, and industry-certification opportunities. erm applied to schools, institutions, and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. It was formerly (and is still commonly) called vocational education.

“Generally applied to (1) students who are considered to be equipped with the knowledge and skills deemed to be essential for success in the modern workforce, or (2) the kinds of educational programs and learning opportunities that lead to improved workforce preparation.”

A learning center is a space set aside in the classroom that allows easy access to a variety of learning materials in an interesting and productive manner. Learning centers are usually designed to offer a variety of materials, designs, and media through which students can work by themselves or with others to operationalize the information learned in the classroom. Centers are designed to enhance the learning of concepts, skills, themes, or topics.

Checking for Understanding

Assessing what students know throughout a lesson

“Move strategically around the room during all parts of the lesson.”

Classroom Management

“Consists of the practices and procedures that a teacher uses to maintain an environment which instruction and learning can occur”

(1) students who are considered to be equipped with the knowledge and skills deemed essential for success in university, college, and community-college programs, or (2) the kinds of educational programs and learning opportunities that lead to improved preparation for these two- and four-year collegiate programs.

“(1) students who are considered to be equipped with the knowledge and skills deemed essential for success in university, college, and community-college programs, or (2) the kinds of educational programs and learning opportunities that lead to improved preparation for these two- and four-year collegiate programs.”

Competitive Goal Structure

“Students work against each other to achieve an academic… that only one or a few students can attain.”

Norm-referenced criteria evaluation

Consistent Classroom

“Predictable, reliable, dependable, stable”

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning. Criteria-referenced criteria evaluated.

Criterion-referenced Test

“Tests and assessments are designed to measure student performance against a fixed set of predetermined criteria or learning standards i.e., concise, written descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do at a specific stage of their education. In elementary and secondary education, criterion-referenced tests are used to evaluate whether students have learned a specific body of knowledge or acquired a specific skill set. For example, the curriculum taught in a course, academic program, or content area.”

Culturally relevant education is a conceptual framework that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural backgrounds, interests, and lived experiences in all aspects of teaching and learning within the classroom and across the school (Ladson-Billings, 1994, 2009; Milner, 2017). Culturally relevant education is viewed as critical in improving student engagement and achievement, and college readiness and success for all youth, particularly for youth of Color.

“Refers to the lessons and academic content taught in a school or in a specific course or program.”


“Refers to a wide variety of teaching techniques and lesson adaptations that educators use to instruct a diverse group of students, with diverse learning needs, in the same course, classroom, or learning environment.

Digital Literacy

“The ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”

School discipline refers to the rules and strategies applied in school to manage student behavior and practices used to encourage self discipline. School discipline addresses schoolwide, classroom, and individual student needs through broad prevention, targeted intervention, and development of self-discipline

“As you plan a lesson, plan what students will be doing at each point in class.”

English Language Learner (ELL) or English as a Second Language (ESL)

“Are students who are unable to communicate fluently or learn effectively in English, who often come from non-English-speaking homes and backgrounds, and who typically require specialized or modified instruction in both the English language and in their academic courses.”

Essential Elements of Instruction (EEI) or Elements of Effective Instruction

The Elements of Effective Instruction (EEI) is a framework that outlines five intertwined elements of instructional practice that complement and enhance one another. When integrated into learning experiences, these elements foster student engagement with the ultimate goal of improving student outcomes and achievement. The framework is grounded in the understanding that students are more interested and invested in their learning when they feel safe in their learning environment, understand what they are learning and why it matters, have opportunities to practice, receive clear feedback on their work, and engage in complex, meaningful thinking.

Instruction practice framework
Learning environment
Clear, shared outcomes
Varied content, materials, and methods of instruction
Feedback and practice
Complex thinking and transfer

“Explicitly assessment of your objective that you can use to evaluate your (and your students) success.”

“Is information about how we are doing in our efforts to reach a goal.” – Grant Wiggons

“Feedback must tell students how they can master learning targets of objectives.”

Formative Assessment

“Rubrics or scoring guides are used to inform students of learning progress and determine the success of a lesson.”

Funds of knowledge

“A student’s funds of knowledge can be described as: academic and personal background knowledge;
accumulated life experiences; skills and knowledge used to navigate everyday social contexts; and
world views structured by broader historically and politically influenced social forces. [Teachers can] us[e] them as a resource to enhance their students’ academic progress.”

“General rules spell out the teacher’s overall expectations for good work and good behavior within the classroom.”

Gifted and Talented

“’Gifted pupil’ means a child who is of lawful school age, who due to superior intellect or advanced learning ability, or both, is not afforded an opportunity for otherwise attainable progress and development in regular classroom instruction and who needs appropriate gifted education services, to achieve at levels commensurate with the child’s intellect and ability.”

A theory by Carol Dweck that, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.”

Hidden Curriculum

“Refers to the unwritten, unofficial, and often unintended lessons, values, and perspectives that students learn in school.”

Individualistic Goal Structure

“Students work by themselves to accomplish learning goals unrelated to those of the other students.”

Criteria-referenced criteria evaluation

Instructional Activities

Instructional Activities are small, routine segments of instruction that specify how the teacher and students will participate and how they will interact with materials and content. These short lessons serve dual purposes; they are designed to both engage students in rich content work as well as provide teachers scaffolded engagement with the practices and principles of ambitious teaching.

By structuring the interaction between teacher and students around content, Instructional Activities limit the range of interactions, materials, and content that a novice must manage, rather than the full range that classroom teaching demands. This provides novice teachers an entry point into the practices of the profession in real settings and allows them to learn from teaching.

Learning Goal

“A learning goal is a desired future state of demonstrating competence or mastery in the subject area being studied.”

Learning Progressions

“There are two main characteristics of learning progressions: (1) the standards described at each level are intended to address the specific learning needs and abilities of students at a particular stage of their intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development, and (2) the standards reflect clearly articulated sequences—that is, each grade-level learning expectation builds upon previous expectations while preparing students for more challenging concepts and more sophisticated coursework at the next level.”

Learning Standards

“Learning standards are concise, written descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do at a specific stage of their education. Learning standards describe educational objectives—i.e., what students should have learned by the end of a course, grade level, or grade span—but they do not describe any particular teaching practice, curriculum, or assessment method (although this is a source of ongoing confusion and debate).”

Learning Teams

Grade level teachers who work together to “analyze student work with the purpose of improving student learning.”

Lesson Mastery

“Refers to how well a student demonstrates that a concept has been comprehended, or performs at a certain level of proficiency”

Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one’s thinking. More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one’s understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one’s thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner.

Motivational Goal Structure

“The goal structure specifies the ways in which students will interact with each other and the teacher during the instructional session.”

Ie. Cooperative, competitive, or individualistic

Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS)

“MTSS is a framework that many schools use to provide targeted support to struggling students. It focuses on the “whole child.” MTSS supports academic growth and achievement, but it also supports many other areas. This includes behavior, social and emotional needs, and absenteeism.”


“Refers to any form of education or teaching that incorporates the histories, texts, values, beliefs, and perspectives of people from different cultural backgrounds. Generally speaking, multicultural education is predicated on the principle of educational equity for all students, regardless of culture, and it strives to remove barriers to educational opportunities and success for students from different cultural backgrounds.”

National Board Certification (NBC)

Considered the “gold standard” of teaching, the NBC “engag[es] teachers in the development of standards for accomplished teaching and in the building of an assessment – National Board Certification – that validly and reliably identifies when a teacher meets those standards.”

“Are what a student is to learn, accomplish, and master.” Must be measurable.

These teachers can multitask several activities smoothly without being sidetracked from, or preoccupied with, one activity or student. These teachers help a student or a group of students, while staying alert for possible disturbances and tending to special needs for certain students when necessary. Students are more likely to stay on task if they perceive that the teacher is aware of what they are doing and can help them when needed.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS)

A three-tiered method to identify and support behaviors in a school setting through positive encouragement of positive behaviors to impact school climate.

Positive Consequences

“What students receive for appropriate behavior.”

Positive Expectations

“The teacher believes in the student. The teacher expects that the student can and will learn.”

“A routine that students do repeatedly without prompting or supervision.”

Professional Development (PD)

the term professional development may be used in reference to a wide variety of specialized training, formal education, or advanced professional learning intended to help administrators, teachers, and other educators improve their professional knowledge, competence, skill, and effectiveness. When the term is used in education contexts without qualification, specific examples, or additional explanation, however, it may be difficult to determine precisely what “professional development” is referring to.

Professional learning is the key component to improving educator practice and providing new perspectives on an ever-changing profession. professional learning should resemble a variety of unique threads that make up the fabric of an educator’s professional career.

“1) proficiency levels, scales, and cut-off scores on standardized tests and other forms of assessment, (2) students achieving or failing to achieve proficiency levels determined by tests and assessments, (3) students demonstrating or failing to demonstrate proficiency in relation to learning standards (for a related discussion, see proficiency-based learning); and (4) teachers being deemed proficient or non-proficient on job-performance evaluations.”

Project Based Learning (PBL)

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.

Response to Intervention (RTI)

“With RTI, schools identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a student’s responsiveness, and identify students with learning disabilities or other disabilities.”

“A well-rehearsed response to a teacher’s directive.”

Serves as an assessment of subject matter, behavior, organization for students to know “how they will be measured and how to measure themselves.”

Rubric Criteria

“The category or trait that will be assessed.”

Rubric Performance Expected

“Definitions and examples of performance levels with point values so students can see what they need to do to raise their own work and make progress.”

Rubric Point Value

“The most common numerical range of performance level of 1 to 4, with No Score (NS) instead of zero.”

“What students are expected to follow.”

“Refers to a variety of instructional techniques used to move students progressively toward stronger understanding and, ultimately, greater independence in the learning process.”

Is typically an individual hired to advise a school on how to improve its academic program, instructional effectiveness, and student performance. While a school coach acts much like a consultant, the use of the term “coach” is usually intentional—i.e., it’s meant to distinguish the school coach’s role from those of other professional educational consultants.

School Community

“Refers to the various individuals, groups, businesses, and institutions that are invested in the welfare and vitality of a public school and its community—i.e., the neighborhoods and municipalities served by the school.”

The scope refers to the areas of development addressed by the curriculum. Scope includes both the breadth and depth

The scope and sequence statement describes what skills and content a student should have mastered by the end of the curriculum and the progressive order in which he encounters those skills and content objectives.

“An expectation that leads to actions or behaviors causing the expectation to become a reality. A student who understands the material but believes they will fail a test, acts as if they will, and therefore does.”


The sequence includes plans and materials for learning experiences to support and extend children’s learning at various levels of development. A sequence of learning experiences progress from less to more complex, with the goal of supporting children as they move through the developmental progressions.

Small group instruction

The purpose of small group instruction is to address learning deficits. Students are placed within groups of two to six by providing direct instructional support. Small group instruction is especially beneficial for special populations of students such as English language learners, special education students, at-risk students, and students of poverty. Especially helpful for English Language Learners (ELL).

Smoothness and Momentum

These teachers move through a lesson smoothly without being diverted or interrupting student seatwork. There is steady pacing, a smooth flow, and momentum to the lesson so that learning moves forward. Effective teachers have the ability to scan the room and give directions, encouragement, and correction to keep the learning environment humming.

Social justice is recognizing and acting upon the power that we have for making positive change. Teachers do this every day in many ways. And, in order to take that idea to the next level, teachers might include classroom practices that will make this dynamic explicit. It’s a good idea to give students opportunities for seeing how positive change happens and how they can be both actors and leaders in creating change. Social justice is not an “add on” for classrooms. This is a both/and proposition.

Socratic Seminar

“In a Socratic Seminar activity, students help one another understand the ideas, issues, and values reflected in a text through a group discussion format. Students are responsible for facilitating their group discussion around the ideas in the text; they shouldn’t use the discussion to assert their opinions or prove an argument. Through this type of discussion, students practice how to listen to one another, make meaning, and find common ground while participating in a conversation.A Socratic Seminar activity often begins with the discussion leader, a student or the teacher, asking an open-ended question.”

Specific Rules

Rules should be stated in precise, jargon-free terminology. Regardless of what grade level they’re created for. However, classroom rules should be specific, observable, positively stated, and convey expected behavior.

Student Engagement

“Refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education.”

Student Growth

“Indicates quantity or progress over time, such as acquiring more information and skills, and being able to synthesize and apply to the information and skills”

“Refers to a wide variety of educational programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic-support strategies that are intended to address the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds of individual students and groups of students.”

Summative Assessment

“Tests are used, to sum up for the lesson and determine a grade.”

“Is commonly applied to teachers who have taken on leadership roles and additional professional responsibilities.”

Teacher Mastery Stage

“Teachers who know how to achieve student success employ effective classroom management and lesson mastery practices. These teachers know how to manage their classroom with procedures. They teach for Mastery with objectives and assessments, and they have high expectations for their students. Student learning is their mission and student achievement is their goal.”

Teacher Survival Stage

“Teacher has not yet developed instructional skills. They spend their time looking for busywork for students to do… anything to keep their student quiet. Student learning and achievement are not their goals; they teacher because it’s a job…. They survive from day to day.”

The Learning Triangle

“Every lesson must have the three components: objectives, instruction, and assessment.”

Turn and Talk

“Encourage students to better formulate their thoughts by including short, contained pair discussion.”


Effective teachers have a gift called “with-it-ness.” The “with-it” teacher knows what is going on at all times in the classroom. Importantly, Kounin found it is not necessary for the teacher to actually know what is going on, but merely for students to perceive that the teacher knows what is going on.