Professional Practice Study

Fall 2017 TLC: Instructional Design to Maximize Student Learning

Course leader:

Teacher Quality Standards

  • QS I: Teachers demonstrate mastery of and pedagogical expertise in the content they teach.
    • Element A: Teachers provide instruction that is aligned with the Colorado Academic Standards and their district’s organized plan of instruction.

This set contains all of the resources used in the Fall 2017 TLC Instructional Design to Maximize Student Learning.


Standards-Based Instructional Design

In this activity, you will consider what standards-based instruction is and is not. As you read, implement, and reflect, think about how standards-based instruction is the same or different from the instruction you have seen or delivered. How might standards-based instruction maximize student learning?

Collaboration and Instructional Alignment

In order to create vertical (between grade levels) and horizontal (within a grade level) alignment within your school, you have to collaborate with both your colleagues within your own grade level and those at other grade levels, and you have to have collaborative conversations about the standards students are expected to master at each of those grade levels. In this activity, you will look at what is required of the grade levels above and below you and think about how collaboration and instructional alignment might benefit student learning. This activity is a bit lighter on reading to give you an opportunity to spend time collaborating with a colleague on the standards.

Student-Friendly Learning Targets

In this activity, we will explore the starting point of effective lesson planning - identifying what you want students to know and be able to do. Effective lesson planning involves tying lessons to state standards, making these standards digestible for students, and ensuring that students have a deep understanding of what it means to be successful in meeting these learning targets.

Assessment That Guides Instruction

Teacher Quality Standard 1A requires teachers to plan lessons that reflect student assessment results; although this practice is listed as Level 1, it is an incredibly complex task that every teacher can improve upon. In order for a teacher to be rated as level 4 and above, students must “demonstrate new skills based on standards.” In this activity, we will explore assessment practices that will help you to support students. These practices include ongoing assessments that are aligned to standards, providing students feedback, and giving students opportunities to apply the feedback to demonstrate their learning. We invite you to consider the purposes of the assessments you use in your classroom and how you might improve students’ learning through high-quality assessment.

Students as Leaders of Their Own Learning

Teacher Quality Standard 1A says that in order for a teacher to be rated at a level 4 or 5 students must “demonstrates new skills based on standards” and “can provide a purposeful connection to standards in their own words.” In this activity, you will explore ways for students increase ownership of learning by reflecting on, articulating, and demonstrating their learning.