Westminster Public Schools has created a Learner-centered, Competency Based Instructional Model that ensures quality teaching while balancing the necessity of using data to understand the instructional needs of learners. The model was produced by a team of teachers, instructional coaches, building administrators, and central office administrators from across the district and is based on an existing model entitled The Art and Science of Teaching (Marzano, 2007).
The Instructional Model is intended to become the common language used throughout Westminster Public Schools to discuss and interact about effective teaching.
The Basic Design of the Model
At one level, the Instructional Model can be thought of as nine design questions teachers might use as they plan instruction. These design questions are reported in Figure 1.
Figure 1: WPS Design Questions
At another level, the Instructional Model can be used to examine and discuss the dynamic flow of activities in the classroom. When this is the purpose, the design questions are best organized into three broad categories or “segments” that address this flow. This organization is depicted in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Design Questions Organized into Three Broad Segments of Classroom Activities
|Lesson Segments Involving Routines
1. What will I do to establish and communicate learning targets, track learner progress, pace content, and celebrate success?
2. What will I do to establish and maintain classroom code of conduct and classroom procedures?Lesson Segments Addressing Content
3. What will I do to help learners effectively interact with new knowledge?
4. What will I do to help learners practice and deepen their understanding of new knowledge?
5. What will I do to help learners generate and test hypotheses about new knowledge?Lesson Segments Enacted on the Spot
6. What will I do to engage learners?
7. What will I do to recognize and acknowledge adherence or lack of adherence to classroom code of conduct and classroom procedures?
8. What will I do to establish and maintain effective relationships with learners?
9. What will I do to communicate high expectations for all learners?
The types of classroom strategies typical to each of these segments and each design question within the segments are reported in detail in the remainder of this manuscript.
Dr. Marzano’s Analysis
WPS Instructional Model Final Validity Report 2011
All learners need some level of instructional intervention or support during their learning journey from preschool through graduation. The level of intervention can be small or large depending on individual needs shown by the learner. In Westminster Public Schools, when a greater level of intervention is required it is often provided through a model we call the Interventionist Framework.
The Interventionist Framework is an instructional delivery approach – not unlike a Multi-Tiered System of Support – that addresses the academic needs of diverse learners (Focus Students) through six essential components:
- Shared Leadership;
- Blending services among Interventionists;
- Role flexibility among Interventionists;
- Collaboration and planning;
- Data-driven decision making & outcomes; and
- Research-based intervention practices.
The cornerstone of the Interventionist Framework is to intervene early with Focus Students so that the gap between their expected performance and their actual performance closes over time, with that hope that students can graduate on time.
Shared Leadership – A critical element for the implementation of the Interventionist Framework includes shared leadership between the principal and the Interventionist Leader to lead a process for addressing the learning and behavioral needs of Focus Students.
Blending Services – In an authentic Learner-centered, Competency Based System the focus has shifted from teaching to a focus on learning, from a reliance of individual teacher practice to group practices, and from an effort to deliver service to one of providing learner supports. Interventionists address needs, and de-emphasize labels which allows them to blur the lines professionally to address Focus Student needs flexibly within their school.
Role Flexibility – Flexible roles are important for Interventionists to adequately address the diversity of learner needs in every school. The roles may range from providing individual to small group support for learners through “push-in”, “pull-out”, “co-teaching” and/or “consultation” with colleagues.
Collaboration and Planning – Interventionists meet consistently to review learner data and to help identify Focus Students so that their targeted or intensive needs are addressed instructionally in collaboration with all their teachers.
Data-driven Decision Making & Outcomes – Interventionists use a variety of data to drive shared instructional decisions on behalf of Focus Students and to show increased achievement outcomes over time. The data come from multiple sources including, but not limited to DIBELS, Scantron, PARCC, ACCESS, diagnostic assessments, and progress monitoring tools.
Research-based Intervention – Schools use practices that are externally validated to show gains in achievement, particularly for Focus Students. All learners in our system are provided a guaranteed and viable curriculum that is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and the Colorado Academic Standards.
A diagram that describes our commitment to move away from siloed services to a more blended approach that meets the needs of the whole child: Paradigm Change.pdf
A diagram describing the types and levels of learner intervention is provided here: Diamond Student.pdf
A diagram showing the connected nature of the collaborative services among Interventionists is available here: Blended Services.pdf
This brief graphic presentation describes the approach Westminster Public Schools is using to address the needs of our Focus Students through the Interventionist Framework. We hope you enjoy.
More instructional resources can be found on the Westminster Public Schools wiki at: http://wiki.adams50.org/mediawiki/index.php/SBS:Main