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Crete Instruction Routines December 4, 2013. Toby Boss ESU 6. Purpose. Review the MRL instructional model Focus on Routines Practice Observations with Videos Plan activities for the next session. Resources. home

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  • Review the MRL instructional model
    • Focus on Routines
  • Practice Observations with Videos
  • Plan activities for the next session
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Alvin Toffler 2001

An American writer and futurist

great educators
Great Educators….
  • Are first and foremost learners who have a teachable spirit.
  • Are constantly looking to improve their skills in the craft of teaching and learning.
effective teachers are made not born
Effective teachers are made, not born.

Do you agree or disagree?

What’s the role of talent?

What’s the role of deliberate practice?

even small increments in teacher effectiveness can have a positive effect on student achievement
Even small increments in teacher effectiveness can have a positive effect on student achievement.

an 8% average improvement in student achievement

10 years

a 2% improvement in teaching skillful-ness per year



the reality of our business
The reality of our business…
  • There is rarely, if ever, a perfect day of teaching…
the complexity of teaching
The Complexity of Teaching
  • “After 30 years of doing such work, I have concluded that classroom teaching … is perhaps the most complex, most challenging, and most demanding, subtle, nuanced, and frightening activity that our species has ever invented. ..The only time a physician could possibly encounter a situation of comparable complexity would be in the emergency room of a hospital during or after a natural disaster”
  • Lee Shulman, The Wisdom of Practice

“What Matters Very Much is

Which Classroom?”

“If a student is in one of the most effective classrooms, he/she will learn in 6 months what those in an average classroom will take a year to learn. And if a student is in one of the least effective classrooms in that school, the same amount of learning takes 2 years.”

Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Dean of Education, University of Michigan

three critical interventions commitments
Three Critical Interventions (COMMITMENTS)
  • A system of clear learning goals connected to student feedback and evaluation at the classroom, school, and district levels
  • Ensuring effective teaching in every classroom.
  • Building background knowledge for all students.
  • Math Class
what must a district or school do
What must a district or school do?
  • Develop a common language of teaching.
  • Provide opportunities for focused feedback and practice.
  • Provide opportunities for observing and discussing effective teaching.
  • Require individual teacher growth and development plans on a yearly basis.

The Highly Engaged Classroom, 2011 pages 17-18

Fixed mindset:

Talents are carved in stone

Growth mindset:

Qualities are things to be cultivated through effort and can change through application and experience

Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,2007

where should a school or district begin
Where should a school or district begin?
  • Develop a common language

of teaching


The Art & Science of Teaching 10 “design questions” teachers ask of themselves as they plan a unit of instruction.

art and science by the numbers1
Art and Science by the numbers
  • 41 instructional elements within…
  • 9 lesson design questions embedded in…
  • 3 segments for every lesson.


Student Engagement


Learning Goals and Feedback

Rules and Procedures


Teacher/Student Relationships

Adherence to Rules and Procedures

Interacting With New Knowledge

Generating/ Testing Hypotheses

Practicing and Deepening

High Expectations


The Art and Science of Teaching

Learning Goals and Feedback

Interacting with New Knowledge

Practicing and Deepening

Generating and Testing Hypotheses

Student Engagement

Establishing Rules and Procedures

Adherence to Rules and Procedures

Teacher-Student Relationships

High Expectations

Page 7, The Art & Science of Teaching

lesson segments
Lesson Segments

“We use the term lesson segment, because it defines a unit of analysis that is particularly useful when providing feedback to teachers.”

lesson segments1
Lesson Segments
  • “Thin slices” of instruction
    • Those involving routines
    • Those involving content
    • Those enacted on the spot
  • What made sense?
  • What questions might you have?

The Art and Science of Teaching

Routine Segments


Learning Goals and Feedback

Rules and Procedures

segments that are routine components of every lesson
Segments that are routine components of every lesson
  • Rules and procedures (Q 6)
  • Communicating learning goals (Q1)
  • Tracking student progress (Q1)
  • Celebrating success (Q1)

Do Some Solo Thinking Please

What are some key routines and procedures teachers need to establish in a classroom?

Make a list of some you think are critical for a successful learning environment.

did you list any of these
Did you list any of these?
  • Attention and Refocus Signal
  • Transition Signal
  • Strategies to group and re-group learners
cognitive routines
Cognitive Routines
  • Critical for getting students to interact with content we want them to learn…
  • Cognitive routines are critical routines for learning at all ages…
age attention span
Age = Attention Span
  • Change of state needed…
  • Tops out at 18-20 minutes…
  • Adult learners need change also…
attention and refocus signal
Attention and Refocus Signal
  • I will move to the front and center of the room.
    • Common Location and Visual Clue
  • Announce 30 seconds remaining in the activity.
    • Verbal Clue
  • Count down from 5to 0
    • Verbal Wrap-Up
  • At 0 everybody is seated and ready to continue
    • Clear Expectation
  • If anyone isn’t ready, We Will Wait
    • The Power of Silence and Peers
examples close partners across the room partners table family department

ExamplesClose PartnersAcross the Room PartnersTable Family - Department

Grouping and Regrouping


close partners
Close Partners
  • When I say go….(Transition Signal)
  • Form groups of 2 or 3 with other colleagues who are sitting near you in the room but not at your table.
  • Share your lists of rules and procedures.
  • What as common and what was different?
what routines do you see
What Routines do you see?
  • Instructions
  • Grouping
  • Attention Signal
  • Sixth Grade Math
according to recent studies
According To Recent Studies
  • What is the balance of teacher talk to student talk during a typical class period?
  • Studies show that teachers talk in a regular classroom between 80% and 90%of the time.
  • What effect does this have?
what is the effect
What is the effect?

Assuming a 50 minute class period

Teacher talk = 40 minutes

Student interaction with content/language = 10 minutes total for the class.

30 students in class

  • = 20 seconds (or less) per student

Boosting Retention

Average Retention Rate

after 24 hours









Discussion Groups



Practice by doing


Teach others/immediate use of learning

Adapted from David Sousa’s figure 3.8

in his text, How the Brain Learns

discussion topic
Discussion Topic
  • What cognitive routines do you use or see being used in classrooms at your school?
  • Use the form to conduct a video walkthrough.
  • What routines did you see?
  • Walkthrough Form (also on the wiki)
next step
Next Step
  • Look for routines your teachers use in their classes.
  • Be ready to report next time.
  • ESU 6 YouTube: