Teaching practices from America`s best urban schools

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Transcript Teaching practices from America`s best urban schools

Teaching Practices from America’s
Best Urban Schools
Authors: Joseph F. Johnson Jr., Lynne G. Perez, Cynthia L. Uline
Dr. Joseph F. Johnson, Jr.
National Center for Urban School Transformation
San Diego State University
December 12, 2014
AVID National Conference, Orlando, FL
Excellence & Equity
Are Attainable!
• There are outstanding schools that defy stereotypes and trends:
Schools where every demographic group achieves at high levels on
multiple measures.
• In particular, there are schools where every demographic group
served achieves proficiency at higher rates than the state average for
all students.
• NCUST has studied and awarded 76 impressive schools that
exemplify both equity and excellence. Equity without excellence is just
mediocrity. Excellence without equity is an oxymoron.
The Center sponsors the National Excellence in
Urban Education Award Program, annually
identifying some of the nation’s highest performing
urban elementary, middle, and high schools, and
alternative schools.
Since 2006, we have awarded 92 schools from 21
states. Many of these schools have featured AVID.
Instruction Makes a
• In high-performing urban schools, many factors influence
student success.
• The quality of instruction, however, is a key factor in
influencing student success rates.
• This session will focus upon eight instructional practices
that we find frequently in high-performing urban schools.
Focusing on
• Jointly committing to ensuring that every student learns specific
concepts or skills in each lesson
• Ensuring that all students will have a high likelihood of learning
rigorous standards (guaranteed curriculum)
• Attending to depth of understanding vs. coverage of a multitude of
standards (viable curriculum)
• Before instruction begins, deciding what mastery should look like
• Not just posting an objective, but being objective-driven, relentlessly
Teaching Clearly,
Logically, and Concisely
• Determining what students need to understand in order to attain
• Anticipating student misconceptions (planning ahead)
• Avoiding long lectures
• Teaching thinking strategies, note-taking skills, graphic organizers,
and research skills so students will be able to access information
when they need it
• Scaffolding learning experiences
• Teaching students to use rubrics to guide their work
Checking for
• Frequently checking to determine what students understand (using
oral, written, and non-verbal strategies) – continuously assessing!
• Requiring feedback from all students
• Using small group instruction to maximize opportunities to check for
• Using student feedback to refine instruction
• Engaging in continuous formative assessment
• Refusing to allow students to fall behind
• No chicken feeding
Building Essential
• Pre-identifying the lesson vocabulary that will be the gatekeeper to
• Assuming that much of the “teacher vocabulary” associated with a
lesson needs to become part of students’ spoken vocabulary
• Providing students plentiful opportunities to use the key vocabulary
in original sentences with confidence
• Helping students “talk math,” “talk science,” and “talk other
disciplines” (explain, describe, relate, justify, teach, etc.) so that
teachers know how students are understanding concepts.
Appropriate Practice
• Assigning work that students are likely to complete successfully
(Gradual release of responsibility: I do, we do, you do WHEN I know
you are likely to do it well)
• Instructing more/assigning less
• Differentiating assignments (including homework)
• Employing grading policies that encourage students to strive toward
• Monitoring student completion of assignments
• Stopping assignments when student work indicates that more
instruction is needed
Students to Content
• Knowing students well
• Tapping into student motivations, interests, backgrounds, prior
knowledge, culture
• Using culture/background as a tool to teach rigorous academic
• Helping students perceive the foreign as familiar
• Making academic concepts REAL for students
Helping Students Feel
Valued & Respected
• Demonstrating courtesy and respect in all interactions
• Expressing a genuine interest in each student’s ideas
• Maintaining a classroom that instills pride in students
• Expressing a genuine interest in each student’s ideas
• Demonstrating that the content students are being taught will
lead them to post-secondary education and worthwhile
• Posting high-quality student work frequently
Leading Students to
Love Learning
• Demonstrating enthusiasm and helping students understand the
importance of the content to be learned
• Providing opportunities for students to use technology and/or
manipulate objects to reinforce lesson objectives
• Integrating other disciplines to teach lesson objectives
• Providing students leadership opportunities
• Encouraging student-to-student interaction
Great Schools Make These
Practices Commonplace
Building Collaboration
and Trust
• Creating a culture in which teachers feel they are part of
a team focused upon supporting each other as they help
students master critical learning goals
How can you, as an AVID leader, influence collaboration so
that your colleagues are more likely to be objective-driven,
avoid chicken feeding, promote ownership of lesson
vocabulary, provide appropriate practice, and make lessons
Making Teaching
• Ensuring that administrators observe classrooms frequently and
provide constructive feedback
• Ensuring that teachers observe each other’s classrooms frequently
and provide constructive feedback
How can you, as an AVID leader, model openness and encourage
critique of your work as you try to demonstrate effective instructional
practices? How can you support your colleagues as they work to
improve the effectiveness of their instruction?
• Keeping focus on the real goal: changing students lives
• Celebrating progress and small victories regularly
• Visiting and collaborating with positive educators who achieve
outstanding results for diverse populations of students (See
How can you, as an AVID leader, help your colleagues keep their eye of
the prize: excellent educational outcomes for every student?
Learn more at our annual symposium on
high-performing schools
May 20, 21, & 22, 2014
Dallas, Texas
Register now at:
Johnson, J.F., Perez, L.G., & Uline, C.L. (2012) Teaching practices from
America’s best urban schools: A guide for school and classroom
leaders. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education
Dufour, R. & Marzano, R. J. (2011). Leaders of learning: How district,
school, and classroom leaders improve student achievement.
Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
Gay, G. (2010). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and
practice (2nd ed). New York: Teachers College Press.