RECOMMENDED INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES
R.S.U. No. 67 has been working to help teachers, PK-12, understand the importance of using research-based strategies to enhance teaching and learning. All curricula have been aligned to state standards (2007 Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction) or, in the absence of such standards, to national standards. In deciding where to place instructional emphasis, teachers have been encouraged to identify those concepts and skills embedded in the scope and sequence for a given content area, grade, or course that are most essential, but have been given autonomy regarding how to teach those concepts and skills—a practice consistent with the philosophy espoused by Richard DuFour and others in RAISING THE BAR AND CLOSING THE GAP: WHATEVER IT TAKES (2010):
To assist teachers in selecting appropriate strategies, the following information and links are recommended:
STRATEGIES FOR DIFFERENTIATING INSTRUCTION (a handout from Ideas That Work Clearinghouse provided on the Maine Department of Education website)
FOCUS ON EFFECTIVENESS: http://www.netc.org/focus/about/
"Focus on Effectiveness brings together two powerful resources to improve classroom results: research about effective instructional practices, and carefully selected technology tools and recommendations for their use. Research and technology play an increasing role in curriculum development and school decision-making. This website brings the two together in a context that is useful for teachers.
Thirty classroom examples highlight the use of research-based strategies supported by technology. The examples are composites, drawn from observations in hundreds of classrooms. Each example showcases the power of the individual teacher to improve learning results, while also acknowledging the common challenges that teachers face every day.
Focus on Effectiveness builds on the landmark work of educational researchers Robert J. Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jane E. Pollock, authors of Classroom Instruction that Works. Their meta-analyses and research shed light on effective strategies for improving teaching and learning. Their work can be found at the Mid-continent Research on Education and Learning (McREL):
Classroom Instruction That Works (Click here to locate specific strategies and classroom examples.)
Thoughtful Classroom (Click here to locate information about the strategies and tools provided via the official website of Thoughtful Education Press.)
R.S.U. No. 67 has spent considerable human and financial resources (using Title II-A funding) to equip 100% of the teachers, Grades 5-12, with the pedagogical understanding and material resources needed to implement the strategies and tools recommended by Thoughtful Education. In addition to a three-year continuum of coaching sessions facilitated by Thoughtful Education consultant, Susan Morris, all teachers have received the primary texts THE STRATEGIC TEACHER: SELECTING THE RIGHT RESEARCH-BASED STRATEGY FOR EVERY LESSON (Silver, Strong, and Perini, 2007) and TOOLS FOR PROMOTING ACTIVE, IN-DEPTH LEARNING (Silver, Strong, and Perini, 2001), as well as the professional portfolios and other supporting texts.
R.S.U. No. 67 Professional Library (Click here to access the database housing these resources.)
Additionally, R.S.U. No. 67 maintains an extensive, up-to-date professional library of books and audio-visual resources that teachers may use to keep themselves current. Those resources can be searched via the Ella P. Burr library database.
The Learning Pyramid
R.S.U. No. 67 teachers are also strongly encouraged to consider students' learning styles and the Learning Pyramid when making decisions about how best to present lessons from day to day in the classroom. The district has invested heavily in instructional technology to assist with making learning experiences active and engaging for students of all ages. Selecting the right teaching method and tools for a given learning goal and for the types of learners in the classroom at any given time is critical to helping students achieve proficiency.