Teaching and Learning

Teaching and learning are the cornerstones of the K-12 education system. A broad range of instructional methods, curriculum materials, and tools can be used to support learning at school, home, and in the community. Use the navigation on the left to take a deeper dive into this topic.

Bright Ideas Across the Network

Did You Ask the Students?

R17CC teamed up with the Montana Office of Public Instruction to build adult workgroups geared toward students’ needs and went directly to the source to learn whether their efforts were making an impact. They developed a system to support the conversation and encourage youth voice with a three-part learning series which included the Youth Voice Continuum. Download the Youth Voice Continuum and discover more ways R17CC is engaging youth voice.

Read the blog from R17CC here

Supporting Integrated English Learner Student Instruction

This guide from R15CC and REL West is comprised of two tools, the Teacher Self-Reflection Tool and the Classroom Observation Tool, and outlines a 10-step process to identify the most beneficial professional-learning decisions for districts so teachers can gain the skills they need to instruct their multilingual learners.

View this guide from R15CC

High-Quality Instructional Materials: What are They, and How can We Support Implementation?

In this blog post, R7CC stresses the value and importance of using high-quality instructional material (HQIM). In fact, teachers identified HQIM as part of their top-five funding priorities. Using a top-ranked instructional program has been shown to raise percentile points, increase standard deviation, and boost success levels similar to smaller class sizes.

Read the blog from R7CC here

 

Getting Oriented to Teaching and Learning

Below you will find research evidence and other helpful resources to orient you to this topic. Use the navigation on the left to take a deeper dive.

 

Research Evidence and Policy

The U.S. Department of Education has issued non-regulatory guidance on using evidence-based strategies to support students under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and the What Works Clearinghouse offers a searchable database of evidence on curricula and programs. Additional teaching and learning resources are included here.

CCNetwork Resources

Supporting Students in Poverty with High-Impact Instructional Strategies Toolkit

The Supporting Students in Poverty with High-Impact Instructional Strategies Toolkit provides teachers, principals, district staff, and state agencies with evidence-based, high-impact strategies and supportive actions that have the potential to decrease the negative impacts of poverty on student achievement. The toolkit identifies five high-impact instructional strategies that teachers can implement with the support of their principals.

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State Policy Levers for Improving Literacy
The disappointing results of the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress--a dip in trajectory of reading proficiency for all students except those at the highest level of ability--are prompting states to consider new reading-related policies and actions. In State Policy Levers for Improving Literacy, Barbara Foorman describes the validated non-negotiable steps for ensuring Grade 3 reading success and offers advice about policies that SEAs can implement to guide and support actions at district and school levels.

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Literacy Priorities in Local District ARP Plans
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) has created opportunities for school districts to address students’ learning challenges originating from the pandemic by improving and augmenting existing programs. Literacy Priorities in Local District ARP Plans is an interactive template intended to guide state-level staff as they review, strengthen and monitor LEAs’ plans for accelerating literacy learning. The guide includes important questions to consider along with tips and relevant links for more information.

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Reimagining Education
The Reimagining Education: Strategies for Innovative Systems Change paper series spotlights three innovative, evidence-based educational strategies that hold the potential to transform student experiences, leading to additional choices, deeper engagement, and increased preparation for students’ postsecondary opportunities.

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External Resources

Literacy and Early Learning

High-quality early learning is one of the most powerful and effective strategies for promoting success in school and in life.  Early learning standards and guidelines help parents and educators identify the developmental and learning goals and outcomes that children should achieve during early years.

Whether in the classroom, at home, or in other remote learning situations, literacy remains a key component of education.

Tips

Share early learning standards widely for teachers, families, school systems, communities, businesses, and other stakeholders to understand child learning and development and to inform their work with young children.  

Equip parents as reading partners:

  • Provide information on selecting appropriate reading material
  • Outline strategies to check for comprehension
  • Describe fun ways to practice reading at home

CCNetwork Resources

Literacy Leads, Learning Follows, Students Succeed: Advice for Grades 1–3 Literacy Leaders
This guide, developed by the National Comprehensive Center, is part of a series of online multimedia resources that provide advice for literacy leadership teams. In addition to information about instructional priorities, the guide includes suggestions for planning efficient use of instructional time, relieving the burden on teachers, centralizing support for parents and engaging community resources. Links to evidence-based resources are provided throughout the text.

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Literacy Leads, Content Follows, Students Thrive: Advice for Grades 4–8 Literacy Leaders
The guide, developed by the National Center Literacy Work Group, provides guidance to help teachers adapt to working in multiple modes with increased flexibility and inventiveness while focusing instruction on the essential literacy skills needed to learn subject area content. Resources with evidence-based practices are linked throughout the document, providing “one stop” access to seminal documents.

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Evidence-based Literacy Instruction within Remote and Blended/Hybrid Learning Environments
This professional development package, produced by the National Comprehensive Center, shares information from an expert roundtable event held at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The event showcased evidence-based guidance to state policymakers and educators about remote and hybrid learning in literacy. The package includes short videos, researchers’ answers to question posed by participants, and links to training resources.

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Considerations and Models in Presenting Early Learning Standards: Prepared for the Indiana Department of Education
This brief from Region 8 Comprehensive Center summarizes findings on how states provide access to early learning standards. The author describes strategies for using and aligning their state early learning standards.

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Evidence-Based Practices for Improving Adolescent Literacy
In partnership with the Idaho State Department of Education (ISDE), the Region 17 Comprehensive Center developed this toolkit to help instructional leaders deliver consistent, effective training to teachers across Idaho on evidence-based strategies for improving literacy in grades 4-8. The toolkit is based on four recommendations in the practice guide from the Institute of Education Sciences. For each recommendation, there is a facilitator’s guide, PowerPoint presentation, and handouts.

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Comprehensive Centers' Support for Implementing Literacy Programs
Troubling results of the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) should trigger action on the part of state-level policymakers. This virtual conference from the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA) featured presenters from the Comprehensive Center Network who discussed several validated steps states can take in prekindergarten through grade 3 to ensure reading success. The program included several implementation questions for states to consider for their work, examples of state initiatives to improve literacy outcomes, and additional resources forthcoming from the CCNetwork.

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Assessment, Instruction, and Intervention to Accelerate Learning for Students with or At Risk for Disabilities that Impact Literacy Skills

A presentation for the National Comprehensive Center’s Accelerated Learning Work Group.  Presented on February 28, 2022 by Dr. Nancy J. Nelson, NCIL Deputy Director and Professional Development & Technical Assistance Lead and Assistant Professor, Boston University

This presentation provides information on key issues for learning recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.  It describes what accelerated learning is, what it is not and how schools and state agencies are addressing learning loss within each of the 3 tiers of intervention (RTI tiers).

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External Resources

Online/Distance Learning

Online/distance learning is a useful instructional delivery method and may have a greater impact than in-person models for some students.

Tips

  • Include breaks between classwork that allows students to move and re-focus
  • Use activities that can be completed away from the screen to reduce fatigue and boost engagement

CCNetwork Resources

Evidence-based Literacy Instruction within Remote and Blended/Hybrid Learning Environments
This professional development package, produced by the National Comprehensive Center, shares information from an expert roundtable event held at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The event showcased evidence-based guidance to state policymakers and educators about remote and hybrid learning in literacy. The package includes short videos, researchers’ answers to question posed by participants, and links to training resources.

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Student Engagement in Online Classes: Tips for Teachers Based on Trauma-Informed Approaches and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Strategies
As schools pivot to online teaching, student engagement in the virtual classroom environment has become an urgent and important topic to be addressed. This tip sheet provides concrete strategies that teachers can incorporate into their online teaching to increase engagement with students of middle and high school. The authors present a framework based on trauma-informed (TI) approaches and social and emotional learning (SEL) strategies to ensure students feel safe, connected, engaged, and ready to learn.

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District Metrics for Quality Remote/Hybrid Learning: Student Engagement and Teacher Working Conditions and Well-Being
A community of practice led by the Region 1 and Region 9 Comprehensive Centers tackled the challenge of measuring the effectiveness of remote and hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project uncovered three key learnings and developed two tools that can inform implementation of remote and hybrid instruction now and into the future.

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High-Dosage Tutoring

High-dosage tutoring is an effective strategy for accelerating learning and improving outcomes for students of all ages. Effective programs provide high quality instruction to very small groups of students (3-4 maximum) at least three times per week.

Tips

  • Use a consistent set of teachers, paraprofessionals, and volunteers
  • Provide tutors with training and support to strengthen the student-tutor relationship and help tutors grow more attended to student needs

CCNetwork Resources

3, 2, 1! High-Dosage Tutoring Takes Off with Mission Acceleration in Mississippi

This blog from Region 7 focuses on learning acceleration, highlighting Mission Acceleration, a high-dosage tutoring program in Mississippi that is generating results for its participants. The Region 7 team breaks down what exactly "high-dosage" tutoring means and provides evidence to support its effectiveness.

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Learning Recovery: How to Develop and Implement Effective Tutoring Programs
The National Comprehensive Center presents a tutoring package that provides timely, useful, and relevant information on how to use tutoring in learning recovery efforts. This resource offers a collection of best practices that can be applied immediately to classroom practice and to district or state policies. It also provides best practices for planning the expansion of tutoring programs to the district or state level, including national cost estimates and how program design efficiencies may lower the cost of implementation.

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The Potential of Future Educators as Tutors
This blog expands on the recent R7CC brief, The Mutually Beneficial Partnership: Using Short-Term Disruptions from COVID-19 to Improve Partnerships Between Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) and Districts. The blog uses research to highlight the importance of tutoring to decrease learning loss and the potential impact that preservice educators can have when serving as tutors.

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External Resources

STEM and Computer Science

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and Computer Science (CS) education are an important part of designing for equity and preparing students for college and careers. STEM/CS disciplines helps students:

  • Solve problems
  • Make sense of information
  • Gather and evaluate evidence

Tips

  • Provide STEM/CS teachers with tailored professional learning experiences
  • Connect with the STEM Teacher Leadership Network, which:
    • Is funded by the National Science Foundation
    • Is a professional learning community
    • Works to improve schools
    • Networks to effect policy
    • Re-envisions the future of STEM teaching and learning

CCNetwork Resources

Welcome to InformCS

InformCS, a National Comprehensive Center project, provides guidance and resources that can be used by district-level instructional coordinators and teacher leaders to deepen computer science educators’ content and pedagogical knowledge through focusing on formative assessment literacy. InformCS offers a five-step approach to support teachers in using formative assessment tasks to identify student challenges on specific computer science concepts and to adjust instruction accordingly.

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Building Teacher Capacity in K–12 Computer Science by Promoting Formative Assessment Literacy
This whitepaper, from the National Comprehensive Center. presents a call to action for states and school districts to support Computer Science (CS) teacher capacity-building through standards-aligned, sustained, scalable, and reusable teacher professional development (PD). This strategy promotes teachers’ CS formative assessment literacy as a way to improve their ability to effectively teach CS.

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Practice Guide: Applying a Principled Approach to Develop and Use K–12 Computer Science Formative Assessments
This practice guide from the National Comprehensive Center walks the reader through a five-step process for developing and using formative assessment tasks aligned to a specific computer science (CS) standard. The practice guide is designed to be used with the corresponding white paper, Building Teacher Capacity in K–12 Computer Science by Promoting Formative Assessment Literacy.

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Considerations for Developing Effective Math Coaches: A Content-Driven Perspective
This resource from Region 7CC examines some limitations of current mathematics instruction and provides key considerations for coaches of mathematics teachers.

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External Resources

Post-Secondary Preparation

Work-based learning, career and technical education, and accelerated college credit offer students a variety of pathways to satisfy graduation requirements and pursue educational and career goals.

Tips

  • Begin career awareness programming in elementary school
  • Pair knowledge of career options with opportunities for students to increase their awareness of their own interests and talents
  • Host learning opportunities in college and career settings 

CCNetwork Resources

Portfolio of Choice: Dual Enrollment
This brief provides an overview of dual enrollment programs, including a discussion of key policy design elements and an overview of student enrollment, demographics, and outcomes. The brief includes a discussion of the policy approaches and a set of best practices to support policymakers in designing high-quality dual enrollment programs.

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College and Career Readiness and Access Brief
This brief describes traditional education before colonization, educational values for Native students, and how to support students’ future goals without asking them to compromise their cultural identity. The authors provide an overview of inequity and barriers to Native student academic success and ways to address them. Topics include how gifted and talented programs and advanced placement courses have impacted Native students; education strategies and career awareness in students from rural tribal communities; and how to access career pathways beyond locally available options.

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Reimagining Education
The Reimagining Education: Strategies for Innovative Systems Change paper series spotlights three innovative, evidence-based educational strategies that hold the potential to transform student experiences, leading to additional choices, deeper engagement, and increased preparation for students’ postsecondary opportunities.

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Preparing Future Educators and Youth Workers in Michigan
The Regional Center 8 is supporting the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in making changes to expand secondary learning opportunities for all students. Under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), Career and Technical Education (CTE) curricula will be directly tied to credentials that allow employment upon graduation. Students in the Education & Training career cluster will be able to work toward the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential or the Michigan Youth Development Associate (MI-YDA) Credential.

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