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.

Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

Sign up for a free trial and get access
to our huge library of teaching materials!

Start Trial


Thanksgiving is just around the corner! It's (Thursday) November 26, this year. Use videos, lessons, and worksheets to teach the history and cultural significance of the holiday. Then, enjoy our crafts to celebrate and decorate!

December Calendar of Events
December is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: World AIDS Day (12/1), International Volunteer Day (12/6), Hanukkah (begins at sundown 12/6), Handwashing Awareness Week (12/6-12), Computer Science Education Week (12/7-13), Human Rights Day (12/10), Winter Solstice (12/22), Christmas (12/25), Kwanzaa (begins 12/26), Visit the Zoo Day (12/27), and New Year's Eve (12/31). Plus, celebrate Bingo's Birthday Month, Universal Human Rights Month, and Write to a Friend Month all December long!

Hour of Code
Introduce your students to basic coding and computer science! Celebrate Computer Science Education Week from December 7-13, 2015 with our Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Kids, Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Teens, or the Hour of Code resources provided by Code.org®

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: slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, the American Revolution, and the environment. Enjoy!

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.