It's Elementary!

         an online forum for information from the Director of Elementary Education, Kelly K. Cartwright, Ed.D.

October 4, 2011

Marzano’s Nine

In April, we were introduced to Dr. Robert Marzano’s framework and The Art & Science of Teaching. Through many years of research, Marzano has identified three components of an effective school: well articulated curriculum, safe and orderly environment, and – the most influential component – individual teachers. In addition, Marzano identified three characteristics of effective teaching: effective curriculum design, use of effective instructional strategies, and use of effective classroom management strategies, all of which he addresses in his Instructional Design Questions.

Marzano also identifies nine categories of high probability instructional strategies which have been proven, when used deliberately, to improve student achievement. The strategies are only part of a comprehensive view of teaching: Teachers must rely on knowledge of their students, their subject matter, and their situations to identify the most appropriate instructional strategies. The nine categories of high probability instructional strategies are listed below. Each category contains a number of specific strategies to utilize to meet certain objectives.

  • Identifying Similarities and Differences
  • Summarizing and Note Taking
  • Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition
  • Homework and Practice
  • Representing Knowledge
  • Learning Groups
  • Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback
  • Generating and Testing Hypotheses
  • Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers.

Like Anne Beninghof in her Engage ALL Students through Practical Differentiated Strategies sessions last summer, Marzano places great import on generating high levels of student attention and engagement as a result of deliberate planning and execution of specific strategies.

We have intentionally chosen to utilize Marzano’s strategies in order to continue our emphasis on the use of best practices and a common instructional language across the district. Throughout the 2011-2012 school year, we will focus on Design Question 2: What will I do to help students effectively interact with new knowledge?, Design Question 3: What will I do to help students practice and deepen their understanding of new knowledge?, and Design Question 4: What will I do to help students generate and test hypotheses about new knowledge?. These three design questions align directly with and support the concepts of Acquire, Make Meaning, and Transfer, respectively, from our previous Understanding by Design training.

As we return to the high probability instructional strategies after almost six months since our introduction and prepare for our first Professional Education day devoted to exploring the categories and strategies more deeply, I’d like to thank Mr. Matt Trout, Mr. Randy McCarty, and the elementary leaders group for helping us advance our goals with their involvement and investment of time and energy. Much planning has occurred to make Monday, October 10 valuable and meaningful for all staff members.

The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.

Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899 – 1977)

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