School evaluation research has found the biggest difference between typical schools and exemplary schools is how and when teachers plan. Learning-Focused Lessons provides teachers with a framework for planning purposeful lessons that are engaging and challenging for all students. The Learning-Focused Lesson plan provides teachers with an instructional model for planning challenging learning goals and instruction that intentionally connects the most effective research-based strategies and exemplary practices for maximizing learning. Teachers plan for learning rather than content coverage, which is the method for planning in exemplary schools.
Learning-Focused Lessons Professional Development
Learning-Focused Lessons Books and Flipcharts
Learn More about Learning-Focused LessonsLearning-Focused is the fundamental workshop that provides schools with a common planning framework that increases teacher effectiveness and accelerates learning by focusing instruction on how students learn and whether students learn. The framework ensures that the top research-based strategies and exemplary practices are purposefully connected in every lesson.
Workshop Essential Question: How do you use exemplary lessons to increase teaching effectiveness?
Participants will Learn the… Participants will Understand… Participants will Apply what they Learn to…
- Characteristics of effective teaching practices.
- Rationale for using a common lesson planning framework.
- Importance of connecting specific research-based strategies and exemplary practices in lessons:
- Higher Order Thinking Strategies
- Summarizing Strategies
- Essential Question
- Vocabulary Strategies
- Advance Organizers
- Non-Verbal Representations
- Formative Assessments
- Activating Strategies
- Distributed Guided Practice
- Distributed Summarizing
- Engagement Strategies
- Lesson plans are written for instructional purposes: to be followed when delivering instruction.
Exemplary lessons are purposefully planned in order to provide students with engaging and challenging instruction.
Essential Question: Why plan Learning-Focused Lessons?
- Plan and implement effectiveLearning-Focused lessons that connect research-based strategies and exemplary practices.
- Develop Lesson Essential Questions from learning goals to guide instruction and provide students with a purpose for their learning.
- Plan Activating Strategies that engage students, link prior knowledge to new concepts, build background knowledge and preview key vocabulary.
- Select and use Graphic Organizers to guide students with learning new concepts, organizing information, and completing writing assignments.
- Plan and implement learning activities that integrate research-based strategies, collaborative pairs, formative assessments, and assignments to actively engage students with recalling and representing new concepts.
- Select and use distributed Summarizing Strategies to collect evidence of learning throughout the lesson and at the end of the lesson to answer the Lesson Essential Question.
- Participants will identify the components and the underlying purpose of each component of the Learning-Focused Lesson Plan.
- Participants will develop Lesson Essential Questions that communicate learning goals.
- Participants will select and plan an Activating Strategy for a lesson.
- Participants will organize their Lesson Instruction using graphic organizers, Learning Activities, Collaborative Pairs, assessments for learning, and assignments.
- Participants will select and plan a Summarizing Strategy for a lesson.
The Four Dimensions of Exemplary Practice provide the framework, knowledge and skills required for truly effective teaching and deep learning by students. Learning-Focused Lessons is the cornerstone of the Effective Teaching Dimension. Learning-Focused Lessons connects the most effective strategies and practices for learning in each and every lesson.
- Participants will review the lesson to ensure that the top five research-based strategies that impact achievement are planned and connected.
Learning-Focused Lessons is the fundamental workshop that provides schools with a common planning framework that ensures that the top research-based strategies and exemplary practices are planned for and purposefully connected in every lesson. It provides teachers with a common vocabulary and thought process for planning effective lessons. Each subsequent professional development builds on and enhances effective use of this planning framework. Without the planning framework, research-based strategies may be implemented randomly with little effect on learning.Learning-Focused Lessons direct planning and instruction on HOW students learn and WHETHER students learn the concepts and skills they are expected to acquire. Teachers become more effective by purposefully connecting the top research-based learning strategies and exemplary practices in every lesson. Through consistent and pervasive implementation, teachers will accelerate student learning with Learning-Focused Lessons through higher engagement, research-based learning activities, and grade level appropriate expectations.The new generation of standards require students to have access to high levels of learning expectations and requirements for analyzing and applying thinking skills. Learning-Focused Lessons equips teachers with a framework and instructional strategies to make that vision a reality for all students.
To be successful in college and careers, all students must be taught complex academic content, taught to analyze content using higher order thinking strategies, and taught to apply what they learn to build new understanding. Learning-Focused is the foundation for planning exemplary lessons that challenge and engage students. With the expectations of the 21st century workplace, students are expected to analyze and apply their learning to real-life situations, problems, and challenges. The learning activities teachers plan in Learning-Focused Lessons integrate research-based strategies that teach students to recall and represent new concepts successfully, requirements for being able to analyze information and apply their knowledge to solve problems and generate new ideas.
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