Below, find a quick overview of some key ideas regarding evidence-based strategies. If you need to start quick, consider reading Mike Bell's The Fundamentals of Teaching. Mike Bell describes the process he recommends as combining the best strategies common to Marzano, Hattie, and other sources of research. That process is also a "description of the process by which long-term memories are formed in the brain."
You might also take a look at the Amazing Lesson Design Outline (ALDO). It tries to capture the Magic Formula for lesson design, including some elements that Bell didn't go into detail about (e.g. Culturally Responsive Teaching, for example, or Social and Emotional Learning).
Defining Evidence-Based Strategies
“We have no right to teach in a way that leads to students gaining less than d= 0.40 within a year,” says John Hattie (Visible Learning, 2009). Or, as Mike Bell puts it in The Fundamentals of Teaching, the question isn't what works (everything does).
Rather, "What strategies work well?" This page is a primer on strategies that work well. The Amazing Lesson Design Outline (ALDO) tries to blend all these approaches into one.
Evidenced-based practices are those “effective educational strategies supported by evidence and research” (ESEA, 2002). When teachers use evidence-based practices with fidelity, they can be confident their teaching is likely to support student learning and achievement (source).
What and When
Strategies you use are more effective when they match the your learning intention and students' phase of learning(Source: Hattie, Fisher and Frey. Visible Learning for Mathematics, 2017.
Want to maximize student growth? Select instructional strategies that work best for different phase of learning your students are in.
"What and when are equally important when it comes to instruction that has an impact on learning.
Approaches that facilitate students' surface-level learning do not work equally well for deep learning, and vice versa.
Matching the right approach with the appropriate phase of learning is the critical lesson to be learned."
- Hattie, Fisher and Frey (Visible Learning for Mathematics, 2017)
The Formula: High Yield Lesson Design
Is it possible to derive a high yield lesson design formula for student engagement? If so, it might look like this:
(BBL+ TCM&SEL + HESIS + EdTech) * Coaching –> Accelerated Student Growth for All Learners
Amazing Lesson Design Outline (ALDO)
Get the Outline and Choice Board!
Amazing Lesson Design Online (ALDO) (left),
a tool for guiding lesson design for diverse learners.
Use the choice board (right) to get you started on designing. It features four choices for each of the lesson design stages in ALDO.
Remember Brain-Based Learning
You may want to catch up on brain-based learning (see books at bottom of page), but this blog entry has a nice summation.
Engage students’ brain with these approaches:
Start positive and cultivate physical and emotional safety in the class
Inject suspense into your lesson. Try adding suspenseful pauses.
Movement activates the brain. Incorporate movements that support learning activities relevant to content.
Chunk learning to scaffold comprehension and processing
The new and unusual are of high interest to the brain. Create situations or demonstrations that break students out of their learning routine.
Take advantage of Think-Pair-Share type activities
Teach with Culture in Mind (TCM)
Connecting to children's culture and teaching in ways that taps into culture can scaffold student learning efforts. This isn't new. Bilingual/ESL teachers have been doing this for awhile (more here). These connections help students access rigorous curriculum and develop higher-level academic skills.
"When the brain encounters information, especially during the act of reading and learning, it's searching for and making connections to what is personally meaningful and relevant.
What is relevant and meaningful to an individual is based on his or her cultural frame of reference."
(Source: Zaretta Hammond)
(Source: Zaretta Hammond)
This is their schema.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
In a large-scale review of 213 SEL programs for K-12 students, Loyola University Chicago’s Joe Durlak and his colleagues found that students who participated in SEL programs, compared with those who didn’t, not only improved in their social and emotional skills, attitudes and behaviors, but they also had an 11% gain in their academics.
Some key lessons include:
Focus on relationships between teachers and students.
Use “Who am I?” activities, ask students to list their favorite books, activities, food, memories.
Greet students at the door, connect with them before class by name with a handshake, fist bump or nod generate greater student engagement in learning and fewer class disruptions
Explicitly teach SEL competencies since it helps students identify emotions (e.g. Edsby Social, Emotional Check-Ins).
Incorporate SEL programs such as from CASEL
Try standalone activities, such as SEL Kernels, including games, routines, storytelling, and more
Address teachers' well-being through self-care, SEL support, supportive relationships, and online resources (Committee for Children, Second Step, Transforming Education, Panorama Toolkit)
Use the Best Strategy at the Right Time
What Phase of Learning Are Your Students In?
Strategies that you can use anytime, regardless of learning intention or what phase of learning your students are in.
Teacher Credibility (1.09)
Success Criteria (.88)
Teacher Clarity (.76)
Content focused. This is where students learn ideas/vocabulary/procedural skills, and explore concepts. Introduce students to concepts, skills, and/or strategies.
SOLO Taxonomy: Uni/Multi-Structural
Student has a lack of understanding or knowledge of concept. Or, student has an idea of what it is but not what to do with it or how it connects to other ideas.
Direct Instruction (.59)
Self-Verbalization and Self-Questioning (.64)
Explicit Teaching Strategies (.57)
Interactive Video (.54)
Relationship in and among content. Students consolidate their understanding, applying and extending surface learning after building requisite knowledge.
SOLO Taxonomy: Relational Level
Student can link ideas together to see the big picture.
Jigsaw Method (1.20)
Classroom Discussion (.82)
Reciprocal Teaching (.74)
Concept Mapping (.64)
Metacognition Strategies (.58)
Transfer of newly learned skills to novel situations or tasks.
SOLO Taxonomy: Extended, Abstract Level
Student can look at ideas in new and different ways.
Transfer Strategies (.86)
Problem-Solving Teaching (.68)
Service Learning (.58)
Peer Tutoring (.53)
Ready to see other digital tools and how the align to high-effect size instructional strategies?
- See a sample lesson using Weston Kieschnick's approach
Design a High-Yield Lesson
A quick review of how to design a high-yield lesson appears below. As you can see, it seeks to combine a variety of approaches, strategies, and ideas into a simple process (of course, that's not as as easy as it looks).
Work to build a learning partnership with each student, focused on creating a safe, positive learning environment that aligns to the diverse, deep culture backgrounds of students.
Ask yourself, "Where are the students now?" How many are 1) emerging, 2) developing, 3) meeting or 4) exceeding expectations? Determine what formative assessment you will use to assess students. (Source: Diane Sweeney)
Based on the phase of learning your students are in, select a high-effect size instructional strategy and digital tool that will speed learning.
Repeat the assessment you used earlier. Chart student progress towards learning objective. Adjust your existing approach.
Use this choice board to get you started on designing. It features four choices for each of the lesson design stages featured in the Amazing Learning Design Outline (ALDO).
As you look it over, ask yourself, "What would I add?" to each of the columns? Use the Share Your Own option to add your options, choices, and ideas.
Speed Your Learning
Take a moment to fill out this 50 question exit ticket.
(Pssst...it's not really 50 questions)