Instructional Practices

Category: Curriculum

The School will implement, with fidelity, the M-DCPS Competency-Based Curriculum established in 2000. This curriculum provides instructional goals, pacing guides and learning objectives for each grade and subject area.

The School’s instructional focus calendars will be driven by student achievement and mastery through application of NGSSS into real world situations. The cyclical nature of assessment and instruction will be highlighted in each classroom to keep student data current and to allow teachers to adapt instruction to meet each student’s needs in real time.

Teachers will employ the following research-based instructional practices to engage students in interactive and motivating ways that promote continuous improvement and achievement for all:


Standards-Based Instruction

• Focuses on outcome measures to promote student achievement

• Ensures student achievement


• Connects learning to individual student needs

• Engages and motivates students

• Enhances achievement by reaching all modalities

Interdisciplinary Instruction

• Creates a link between subject areas

• Enhances real-world situations in learning

• Increases achievement in all subjects

Inquiry-Based Learning

• Focuses on application of knowledge

• Promotes comprehension of abstract concepts

• Develops problem-solving skills

Direct Instruction

• Requires systematic and explicit instruction

• Maintains standards as the focal point of instruction

Student-Focused Approach

• Motivates students through goal-setting and achievement

• Allows for relevant feedback directly linked to current learning

• Promotes performance-based assessment through use of rubrics and portfolios

Scaffolding and Corrective Feedback

• Expands student mastery of standards

• Individualizes student instruction

• Supports student learning in real time

Advance Organizers and Graphic Organizers

• May include anticipation guides, thinking maps, webs, KWL and other charts

• Provides concrete structure for abstract concepts

• Encourages problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making

Cooperative Learning and Reciprocal Teaching

• Engages students in purpose-driven activities focused on the NGSSS

• Develops advanced communication skills

• Integrates literacy skills into all subject areas


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