Common Instructional Framework
Based on Research by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, North Carolina New Schools Project, and Mary Catherine Swanson's AVID
A Common Instructional Framework is a set of powerful and effective teaching and learning practices that are constant and consistently implemented with fidelity in every classroom in a school. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested immensely in research to define the overarching instructional practices that produce the highest levels of academic excellence and promote college readiness. Schools that have implemented these with fidelity have experienced significant gains in student achievement, high levels of student growth, and increased graduation rates with preparedness for college and/or career readiness. Research has also shown that the instructional practices of a common instructional framework are built on high expectations for ALL students.
System-wide Common Instructional Framework
Common effective instructional practices implemented with fidelity school-wide. Provides constant and consistent use of best-practice, research-based instructional strategies that are student-centered.
Common Instructional Framework Strategies
• Common Instructional Framework was first implemented school-wide at University Park Campus School in Worcester, MA.
• A common instructional focus and language used by everyone in the school
• Focus on distinct instructional strategies and best practice strategies that are research-based to increase student academic achievement.
• These strategies give all students of all skill levels access to the complex information needed to meet state and college-ready standard and engage all students, requiring each to take an active role in their own learning.
• Every student reads, writes, thinks and talks in every classroom every day.
• A common framework for instruction drives the instructional practice at partner schools and has supported their success because it defines common practices that are used consistently from classroom to classroom.
Scaffolding helps students to connect prior knowledge and experience with new information. Teachers use this strategy to connect students with previous learning in a content area as well as with previous learning in an earlier grade. Scaffolding also helps facilitate thinking about a text by asking students to draw on their subjective experience and prior learning to make connections to new materials and ideas.
Classroom Talk creates the space for students to articulate their thinking and strengthen their voices. Classroom Talk takes place in pairs, in Collaborative Group Work, and as a whole class. As students become accustomed to talking in class, the teacher serves as a facilitator to engage students in higher levels of discourse. Teachers introduce and reinforce the use of academic language and encourage students to use that language in their classrooms.
Writing to learn is a strategy through which students can develop their ideas, their critical thinking ability and their writing skills. Writing to learn enables students to experiment every day with written language and increase their fluency and mastery of written conventions. Writing to learn can also be used as formative assessment and as a way to scaffold mid- and high-stakes writing assignments and tests.
Questioning challenges students and teachers to use good questions as a way to open conversations and further intellectual inquiry. Effective questioning (by the teacher and by students) deepens classroom conversations and the level of discourse students apply to their work. Teachers use this strategy to create opportunities for students to investigate and analyze their thinking as well as the thinking of their peers and the authors that they read in each of their classes.
Reading is the foundation of education. Reading is a skill required by everyone at some point throughout life. Literacy groups provide students with a collaborative structure for understanding a variety of texts and engaging in a higher level of discourse. The specific roles or discussion guidelines may vary for different content areas, lengths of texts, or student level of sophistication using this strategy, but the purpose of literacy groups is to raise student engagement with texts by creating a structure within which they may do so.
In many schools, significant percentages of students are performing below grade level. Many of the student have prior learning deficits in the area of reading/literacy. We focus on three distinct literacy/reading strategies that have been proven through research including:
1. Reading for Meaning
2. Ink Think (Annotating Text)
3. Vocabulary CODE
Research shows that ALL students can achieve and growth at a high level. This is at the heart of the Effective Schools Research. The Common Instructional Framework is student-centered instructional facilitation with high expectations in terms of learning for all. These strategies are integrated, blended, differentiated, and have multiple exposures within the teaching practice. These are effective practices at any level of instruction (elementary, middle, high, early college, post secondary).
"The person doing the work in the classroom is the person doing the learning, too many times that person is the teacher instead of the students. It shouldn't be!" - Marcia Tate
Common Instructional Framework Strategies Alignment with High Impact Instructional Strategies
The Common Instructional Framework is the "what" and the High Impact Instructional Strategies are the "how" of effective teaching and learning in a simple to implement, monitor, and coach.
- 231 Common Instructional Framework strategies
- Includes an overview of the Common Instructional Framework
- Strategies organized into sections (Classroom Talk, Scaffolding, Questioning, Literacy Groups, Collaborative Grouping)
"The goal of education in America must be for the purpose of teaching ALL of our students to the highest levels - for lifting up ALL people." - Mary Catherine Swanson (AVID Founder)
There’s something unique about an AVID classroom including more conversation, structured movement, and student-centered activity. Teachers shift from delivering content to facilitating learning, resulting in an inquiry-based, student-centered classroom.
The AVID system incorporates Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading. This research-based system has proven results over decades of implementation across the United States.