Identifying the Core of Instruction (CRL Workout) (Jim Knight, University of Kansas)

November 29, 2010

9:00 a.m.
Presented by:Jim Knight, Kansas Coaching Project, Center for Research on Learning

In December, Jim Knight will travel to the Mufindi Highlands in central Tanzania, where he will train an instructional coach to help local schoolteachers implement effective teaching practices. In this CRL Learns: Workout session, participants joined Jim in brainstorming the skills that every teacher must know.

Jim and Noelle Kurth, another CRL staff member who has taught in the Tanzanian schools Jim will visit, described the setting: The Mufindi Highlands area has one of the world’s highest percentages of population living with HIV. Higher-level classes are taught in English, but teachers often don’t know English very well. Corporal punishment is accepted. Time on task is abysmal. Class sizes are enormous. Noelle had a kindergarten class of 50-60 students.

After discussing the educational challenges, CRL Learns participants recommended that Jim include the following effective teaching practices in his work with the Tanzanian instructional coach.

Please use the comments section to add your suggestions to the list.


Real world application of what’s learned
Insist on evidence-based procedures and collaborate on why they are used
Find ways to introduce higher-order thinking, term, and uses across grade levels
Assuming that they learn “some things” elsewhere, can their teachers “elsewhere” be involved in some way?
A teacher must show his/her students a tie between present learning and future rewards
Directly connect success in school to success after school
A teacher must care about his/her students’ academic growth and personal well-being
Possible Selves
Self-monitoring and goal setting

Relationship Building:

Change paradigm of teacher toward kids and learning
Trust factor
Treat kids with dignity and love
High positive interaction ratio
Relationship building with students – let them know you care
Engage kids – high response rate
Involve as many parents as possible – aide?
Gathering data – positive interaction to corrective
Digital camera – newsletter focusing on students
Cultural awareness
Instructional hooks to engage students
Relationship building with staff
Teacher relationship integrity
Partnership with charity to provide a safe environment for students
Team building among staff to encourage culture shift
Building student relationship

Instruction and Formative Assessment:

Engaging lessons – questioning, thinking devices
Check for understanding in a variety of ways
Keep content chunked in smaller units
Create quizzes and embed into instruction frequently or prompts of some sort
Variety of activities
A teacher must know his/her subject and love to talk about it
Kegan structures – team building
Learning styles
Cue, Do, Review
Anita Archer – engage students, group responses, slates
Checklist for modeling and other strategies
Basic effective teaching cycle, model, guide, practice, progress monitoring
Vocabulary instruction from Fusion
I do it, We do it, You do it
Use opportunities for active learning. Touch/move/engage/talk
Identify and use English terms that are international, not regional (as much as possible
Organize with end in mind: Unit Organizer, Course Organizer
Be crystal clear on instructional end goal
Be clear with end goal
Watch effective teachers
Positive feedback – 3:1
Peer teaching/practice
Setting up a classroom learning environment that allows for small group teaching, directed instruction
STOIC – Structure for success, Teach expectations, Observe behaviors, Interact positively, Correct fluently
Keep a regular classroom routine
Classroom expectations – Do they know how to do this?
Learning centers for independent practice
Peer editing
Mnemonics and memory devices
Reading theater
Direct instruction for reading and writing
Is there any possibility of using Each One/Teach One? Can those who can do so be identified?
Strategies for active responding