Ten Elements of Effective Instruction

Demonstrates content knowledge
  • Shows understanding of the relevant content 
  • Uses the structure of the content to guide teaching and learning 
  • Communicates content in age-appropriate ways

Shows empathy and commitment
  • Establishes culture of respect 
  • Promotes a culture of fairness
  • Builds positive relationships
  • Shows commitment to student wellbeing
  • Fosters/reinforces positive interactions
  • Teaches/supports students to practice social-emotional skills

Invites ideas and promotes discussion
  • Meets with individual students and small groups to understand thinking and provide feedback
  • Asks follow-up and probing questions and encourages reflection
  • Actively facilitates peer-to-peer comments and response (not just teacher-student)
  • Validates different points of view and approaches to solving problems

Inspires curiosity and interest
  • Uses a wide range of well-chosen effective instructional strategies 
  • Uses questions, materials, technology and groupings to foster student learning
  • Involves students in active thinking, discussion, and use of the ideas/skills being taught
  • Responds to students’ interests and encourages students to make connections

Establishes purpose for learning and cultivates understanding
  • Establishes a clear sense of purpose for each learning activity – students know what they are doing and why
  • Uses appropriate language and examples when presenting content
  • Uses probing and follow-up questions to ensure understanding of the task at hand or the content being learned
  • Articulates expectations and provides differentiated instruction and scaffolding as needed to support success  for all students

Fosters innovative thinking and problem-solving
  • Encourages brainstorming and creative out-of-the-box thinking
  • Promotes use of movement and the arts, including to learn academic content
  • Creates purposeful opportunities for students to choose how to demonstrate learning
  • Supports opportunities for students to create and/or explore new content/solutions

Integrates ideas and checks for understanding
  • Checks in frequently to assess understanding during learning 
  • Expects students to make and share connections to life and other learning 
  • Asks students to summarize and reflect upon what they have learned verbally/in writing 
  • Asks students how they would apply what they have learned in a different context (real-life situations, future opportunities, “what if…”)

Presses for rigor, persistence and excellence
  • Communicates and reinforces high expectations
  • Teaches and then integrates complex reasoning skills into all units of study
  • Provides models/exemplars and ongoing, specific feedback
  • Promotes growth mindset
  • Asks higher order questions to facilitate engagement with learning

Sustains order, respect and focus
  • Consistently reinforces high standards for behavior
  • Teaches routines and has students maintain them
  • Addresses most discipline issues before they become a problem 
  • Exhibits confidence as a facilitator of learning

Uses specific high impact instructional practices