DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Standard Four: Classroom Practice


Teachers create instructional opportunities to encourage students’ development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.  (RIPTS #5)


Teachers create a learning environment that encourages appropriate standards of behavior, positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.  (RIPTS #6)


Teachers use effective communication as the vehicle through which students explore, conjecture, discuss, and investigate new ideas.  (RIPTS #8)


Teachers use appropriate formal and informal assessment strategies with individuals and groups of students to determine the impact of instruction on learning, to provide feedback, and to plan future instruction.  (RIPTS #9)


A.Teacher Presentations

In what ways does the student teacher:

  1. plan presentations that are structured with the unique and diverse learning needs of the students in mind?

  2. inform students of the purpose of the lesson?

  3. use different modes of presentation with the diverse learning needs of the students in mind? (for example: oral, written, visual, tactile) and a variety of materials as integral parts of direct teacher presentations?  (RIPTS #8.2)

  4. demonstrate or model what is expected of students during the activity phase of the lesson?

  5. build “comprehension checks” and evaluation criteria into lessons?  Is the teacher candidate sensitive to the pacing of the lesson, making sure all students are engaged and following?

  6. reinforce the objective of the lesson at the conclusion?

B.Collaborative Activities

In what ways does the student teacher:

  1. create small learning groups in which the students learn to work collaboratively and independently?  (RIPTS #6.5)

  2. pre-teach the group process skills necessary for students to complete the assignment successfully?

  3. hold each student responsible both as an individual and as a group member?  How is that accomplished?  (RIPTS #6.5)

  4. emphasize oral communication through instructional use of accountable talk – discussion, listening and responding to the ideas of others and group interaction?  (RIPTS #6.4, 8.4)

  5. firmly structure a variety of group activities (e.g., role plays, simulations, debates and collaborative, small group work) with adequate directions, clear goals, time limits and accountability criteria clearly stated?

  6. provide all students with the materials and information they need to succeed at their tasks?

  7. have a good sense of which objectives are best accomplished using collaborative activities?



In what ways does the student teacher:

  1. use questions to determine if students understand and can perform the purpose of the lesson?  (RIPTS #8.1)

  2. include key questions in the lesson plan?  Does the student teacher “script” an arc of questions for a lesson?  (RIPTS #8.1)

  3. use different types and levels of questions, depending on the lesson’s objectives and the diverse needs of the class?  (RIPTS #8.1)

  4. ask questions for a variety of purposes: e.g. summarizing, analyzing, synthesizing, comparing, etc.?  (RIPTS #5.2, 8.1)

  5. use questioning and nominating techniques, such as wait-time, probing, rephrasing, connecting responses to previous contributions etc., effectively?  Does the student teacher use strategies that demonstrate awareness of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and gender preferences in student participation?  How does the student teacher gauge the effectiveness of these strategies?  (RIPTS #8.1)

  6. employ a variety of strategies (restating ideas, offering counter examples, etc.) to engage students in discussion and learning?  (RIPTS #8.1)

  7. emphasize oral and written communication through the instructional use of discussion, listening, and responding to the ideas of others and group interaction.  (RIPTS #8.4)

  8. make instructional decisions about when to provide information, when to clarify, when to pose a question, and when to let a student struggle to try to solve a problem.  (RIPTS #5.3)


D. Development of Student Skills

In what ways does the student teacher:

  1. design thoughtful, sequenced assignments that break complex undertakings into manageable steps?

  2. instruct students in oral presentation and listening skills?  Does the student teacher make criteria for excellence in these skills available to students?

  3. closely monitor and record individual skill attainment and progress, and provide students with timely feedback?  (RIPTS #9.5)

  4. use technological advances in communication, including electronic means of collecting and sharing information, to enrich discourse in the classroom and the school?  (RIPTS #8.3)

  5. design learning activities that extend beyond factual recall and challenge students to develop higher level cognitive skills?  (RIPTS #5.1)

  6. encourage students to generate knowledge, test hypotheses, and explore methods of inquiry and standards of evidence?  (RIPTS #5.4)


E.Elementary Subject Areas

  1. instruct in multiple forms (artistic, literary, historical, scientific, mathematical) of expression (orally, in writing, through reading, via visual modalities, manipulatives and technology)? (RIPTS #8.4)

  2. engage learners in generating knowledge, testing hypotheses, and exploring methods of inquiry and standards of evidence?  (RIPTS #5.4)

  3. design “workshop” tasks that engage learners in exploration, discovery and hands-on activities?  (RIPTS #5.5)

  4. instruct students how to read for understanding and enjoyment, how to use a variety of reading strategies to retrieve relevant information from texts, how to write more clearly and coherently?  Are students given models or exemplars to guide their work?

  5. instruct students in developmentally appropriate concepts of numeracy?  Are students instructed in mathematical problem solving using a variety of techniques including manipulatives, mental math, estimation, and written communication of problem solving strategies and understandings?  Are students instructed in basic computation as well as underlying mathematical concepts?  (RIPTS #3.1, 8.4)

  6. provide students with regular tailored feedback? Does the student teacher conduct conferences with appropriate questions to scaffold student learning?  Is homework and written work checked and responded to in a timely fashion?

  7. encourage students to extend themselves beyond their range of comfort in carrying out a variety of classroom tasks and activities?


Meeting Standard Four at the End of SummerPrep:

The teacher candidate exhibits an emerging control over a variety of approaches to classroom pedagogy. In direct presentations, s/he understands the importance of pacing, timing, amount and sequencing of material and form of presentations, and eliciting appropriate student contributions and interaction. The teacher candidate begins learning to apportion instructional time by reducing teacher talk and increasing student doing and discussion. Questioning strategies are thoughtful, aware of the need for a range and arc of questions that develop logically from simple to complex and help scaffold knowledge construction. Group work is used regularly and appropriately and students are coached on the purpose and strategies for collaboration. Work required of students reinforces basic skills (reading, writing, math, oral presentation, listening) and builds toward higher-level cognitive demands in a variety of subject areas.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.