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Adapt Lessons to Reach All Students

Principle Criteria/Feature
I. Big Ideas
Concepts, or principles that facilitate the most efficient and broad acquisition of knowledge
  • Focus on essential learning outcomes
  • Capture rich relationships among concepts
  • Enable learners to apply what they learn in varied situations
  • Involve ideas, concepts, principles, and rules central to higher-order learning
  • Form the basis for generalization and expansion
II. Conspicuous Strategies
Useful steps for accomplishing a goal or task
  • Planned
  • Purposeful
  • Explicit
  • Of medium-level application
  • Most important in initial teaching of concept
III. Mediated Scaffolding
Instructional guidance provided by teachers, peers, materials, or tasks
  • Varied according to learner needs or experiences
  • Based on task (not more than learner needs)
  • Provided in the form of tasks, content, and materials
  • Removed gradually according to learner proficiency
IV. Strategic Integration
Integrating knowledge as a means of promoting higher-level cognition
  • Combines cognitive components of information
  • Results in a new and more complex knowledge structure
  • Aligns naturally with information (i.e, is not "forced")
  • Involves meaningful relationships among concepts
  • Links essential big ideas across lessons within a curriculum
V. Judicious Review
Structured opportunities to recall or apply previously taught information
  • Sufficient
  • Distributed over time
  • Cumulative
  • Varied
  • Judicious, not haphazard
VI. Primed Background Knowledge
Preexisting information that affects new learning
  • Aligns with learner knowledge and expertise
  • Considers strategic and proximal preskills
  • Readies learner for successful performance


For a summary of the Six Principles of Effective Curriculum Design.

*Excerpted from Toward Successful Inclusion of Students with Disabilities: The Architecture of Instruction by Edward J. Kameenui, and Deborah Simmons(1999).

Council for Exceptional Children

Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.

Highlights

Teaching Racism & Discrimination in America
The issues of racism, prejudice, and discrimination have plagued the United States since it was founded, and racially motivated killings still occur with frequency today. Help your students understand the historical contexts of racism—with references on slavery, immigration, and the civil rights movement—to frame your conversation on modern instances of prejudice.

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com (and now in print!), will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.

July Calendar of Events
July is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: World War I Began (7/28/1914) and Author J.K. Rowling's Birthday (7/31/1965). Plus, celebrate Read an Almanac Month and Recreation and Parks Month all July long!

Videos
Interested in using different types of media in your classroom? We have a growing collection of videos, with related activities, for holidays and events, including: Independence Day, slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, and the environment. Enjoy!


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