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Instructional Practice Guide

Grades K–High School

The purpose of the Instructional Practice Guide suite is to help teachers and those who support teachers to make the Key Shifts in instructional practice required by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  The Instructional Practice Guide suite includes resources for coaching, lesson planning, and training support. These resources are designed to work together and are organized around three Core Actions that encompass the Key Shifts in instructional practice. Each Core Action consists of individual indicators that describe teacher and student behaviors that exemplify Common Core-aligned instruction.  

Coaching Tool

The Coaching Tool (available in both print and digital versions) helps teachers, and those who support them, build understanding about CCSS-aligned instruction. Previously known as the Instructional Practice Guide (IPG), the purpose of the Coaching Tool is to encourage the conversation between the coach and teacher in a non-evaluative setting.  The Coaching Tool offers:

  • Guides for ELA/Literacy and Math, K-12
  • Training materials and activities
  • Beyond the Lesson Discussion questions for extending the coaching conversation over the year

Teaching the Core

The Teaching the Core Video Library is a free, searchable database of bell-to-bell lessons that are annotated to highlight moments of exemplary Common Core-aligned instruction. Each videotaped lesson includes:

  • The lesson plan and materials
  • Example student work
  • An interview with the teacher
  • Descriptive educator-authored annotations that identify specific CCSS lesson elements, as defined by the Coaching Tool

Lesson Planning Tool

The Lesson Planning Tool (digital version only) guides teachers through a series of prompts about the lesson content, structure, and activities to ensure the Shifts required by the CCSS are central to the lesson.

  • English Language Arts teachers will be guided through the process of creating a close-reading lesson.
  • Math teachers will focus on grade or course-level standards while developing lessons.

These lessons can be easily shared with a coach in advance of a non-evaluative observation focused on Common Core-aligned classroom instruction.  Learn more about using the Lesson Planning Tool.

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