Updated: May 23
All students benefit from predictable classroom structures. For historically marginalized and underserved students predictable structures are a non-negotiable. You might be wondering why, and that explanation is below.
Short and Sweet
Date: You would be surprised at the message you communicate to your student or visitors when the date is correct (or incorrect)! Change the date every day, or better yet, assign this task to a student for the entire month or term or year.
Objective: Students will be able to ______________ (insert simplified grade level learning standard) by ______________ (insert Bloom's Taxonomy verb)
Write clear and measurable objectives to hold yourself accountable for teaching students what they need to know in order to meet the objective.
Agenda: 5-Part Reusable Instructional Template
Do Now (3-5min): Aligned with the objective or what students learned recently. Can be completed independently and silently
MiniLesson (5-7min *no more than 10min): The teacher presents the vocabulary, skills and/ or concepts students will need in order to successfully meet the learning objective. The presentation is clear and concise.
Classwork (15-20min): Students work independent of the teacher, either by themselves, with a partner or in a trio. Teacher is freed up to circulate, collect data, and work with a small group of students.
Summary (5-7min): Teacher strategically calls on 2-3 students to share the highlights of the classwork. Teacher has the last word, clearly stating the key takeaways for the day.
Exit Ticket (3-5min): 3 multiple choice, or 1 multiple choice and 1 short answer, or one show and explain question. The questions must be directly connected to the objective and classwork for the day. Must also be quick to "grade."
*Homework: Should only be on content students can complete successfully on their own (differentiate if necessary).
Why is this so important?
Historically marginalized, undeserved and undereducated students are often taught by inexperienced teachers, fresh out of college or a teacher preparation program. And this is no knock against our colleagues new to the profession, we are so grateful you have chosen the MOST IMPORTANT career in the WORLD!
Every seasoned veteran, myself included will shamefully admit that our first or first few years of teaching were quite the learning curve. And whilst we are learning our students are woefully NOT getting the best learning experiences that they deserve. Yes, it may be the best that the district can offer when there is a shortage of teachers who want to teach in poor performing schools, but it's not the best that our students deserve.
It is for this reason that I am sharing this Reusable Classroom Instruction Template. For novice and veteran teachers alike, when working with young people who have gotten the short end of the experienced-teacher-stick time and again, the structure and consistency provided by this reusable template will not only save you, the educator, time it will also provide your students with something to look forward to that is the same everyday. There is safety in predictability, emotional safety, that frees up brain space to engage in the work.
Below is a short video I created on this topic as part of the KISST Series ~ Keeping It Simple SuperTeachers
Be sure to leave your comments here and/or there (on YouTube) so we can learn and grow together in service of our young people, who are absolutely the future and our future.