Instructional Management Toolkit
Here are free-to-use, top-quality materials. You may use these materials, but copyright remains with the original author. This is an Open Source license.
Although these instructional management materials can be used as is, the greatest amount of time savings can be achieved if you complete the yearly planning steps provided in our Planning Toolkit.
Instructional Management requires the use of tools from many areas:
Here are materials that you can download. These materials are in the Adobe Acrobat(TM) (PDF Format).
Thematic Units are an efficient way to teach students.
The idea behind this strategy is to connect information and ideas in meaningful ways…ways that make sense to children.
It is always useful when the collection of ideas are about things that children are interested in.
For example, young children are always interested in animals and pets.
Teenagers seem to be interested in action movies, video games, modern music (whatever their parents don't like).
The idea here is to connect instructional content area subjects (math, science, social studies, health, music, art, etc.) using a single theme.
Daily Oral Language (DOL) and related strategies (Daily Oral Math, Daily Oral Vocabulary) build on one component of efficient teaching... frequent repetition.
The challenge exists because grammar, punctuation and spelling are essentially boring. So, if the instruction is only a little bit at a time, and imbedded in an interesting story line, children can keep focused. Over a period of time, children's skills improve, and traveling by this method is enjoyable, not painful.
Daily Oral Math (DOM) and related strategies (Daily Oral Language, Daily Oral Vocabulary) build on one component of efficient teaching... frequent repetition.
The challenge here is that formulas and procedures are quickly forgotten if they are memorized.
But, if the instruction is given frequently, and imbedded in an interesting story line, these ideas and concepts can be developed in children's long-term memory instead of their short-term memory.
Over a period of time, children remember the formulas and procedures.
Daily Oral Vocabulary (DOV) and related strategies (Daily Oral Language, Daily Oral Math) build on one component of efficient teaching... frequent repetition.
The challenge here is that new words are quickly forgotten if they are memorized and not used.
But, if the new words are used frequently, and embedded in an interesting story line, these vocabulary terms, ideas and concepts can be developed in children's long-term memory instead of their short-term memory.
Over a period of time, children remember the formulas and procedures. One clue that vocabulary instruction is effective is when students use the words in conversation on the playground, in the cafeteria, and on the bus.
Drop Everything and Read or Sustained Silent Reading (DEAR/ SSR) represent another strategy for teaching. This strategy is often overlooked and undervalued. What is this strategy? Modeling.
Graphic Organizers are any diagrams, flow charts, or visual devices that connect ideas and concepts.
From Concept Maps, to Fishbone and Venn Diagrams; from Cause and Effect Charts to any kind of graph, the mapping of verbal thoughts and ideas onto visual representations connects the information at higher levels than mere memorization.
Graphic organizers are easy to create and customize using your computer and software that you probably already use. We show you how.
We also offer stock designs for you to download and use.
High impact, high outcome lessons that focus upon your thematic lessons are as easy to create as connecting a stock graphic organizer, say a Sequence Chart, with text from a newspaper, Weekly Reader, or Internet news story printout.
Link to Classroom Toolkit's Online Graphic Organizer eBook
Teachers that form the habit of asking questions that range along the learning hierarchy...
automatically increase their effectiveness with little increase in time.
The method of habit change that we recommend is one that Benjamin Franklin described in his autobiography.
For example, take the above list and map the working days of the week to it.
It is probably OK to skip focusing on the Knowledge Level since most teachers spend too much time on questions of this type, anyway.
|Daily Focus on Higher-Order Thinking Skills Questioning|
One way that teachers can save time and seem as though they are following administrative and NCLB directives to "teach to the test" is to write their own practice tests.
In this way, test-taking practice can remain connected to the time-saving thematic learning units, instead of being about random topics (whatever is found in the ubiquitous test-coaching blackline book).
Some of these test-creating templates allow teachers to "fill-in-the blanks" with a reading selection and with questions.
These test-creating templates vary in complexity on the following parameters:
- Standard Reading Goals and Objectives
- Higher-Order Thinking Questions
- Multiple Intelligences Modalities
A bilingual test-taking template is probably the only way that a Bilingual teacher will find enough test practice material in the non-English language.
This site contains several test-creating templates.
Whether the design of learning centers is physical (as it is in an elementary school classroom) or virtual (as it is in a secondary school classroom), the fact is that learning centers are both efficient and effective. Learning centers..
- Change the modality from "teacher-talks, students-semi-listen"
- Allow students to move around and decrease chair fatigue
- Stimulate students' talking and communicating
- Model real-life working environments
- Provide hands-on time on task
- Free the teacher to assess learning as it proceeds
- Allow the use of rubrics for grading and a tremendous escape from the paper-grading-grind
- Can be strategically designed to reuse the same learning task in creative new ways
- Represent opportunities to "integrate" technology into the instruction in curriculum centered (rather than technology centered) ways
Once teachers build their students' repertoires of learning center activities, new component skills are easily added to the work task. This represents a tremendous time-saver for teachers.
Student projects provide similar benefits as the learning centers strategy. In some cases, the boundaries between the two strategies are difficult to discern.
The benefit of student projects is that the project spans several days, even weeks... building long-term memory and association-type connections to information.
The benefit to teachers is that the design and planning of one project covers several days to a week or more of planning. Strategic and tactical planning also allows teachers to build "Design Once, Use Many Times" projects.
This site provides several templates that can be edited and re-used to save teachers a lot of time.