Ed Focus Initiative

"Best Practices" Unit Planning

Move Beyond the Jargon!

Can poor teaching be fixed ? The quality of every school’s instructional program is only as strong as it least effective classroom.  Unless there are substantive improvements in classroom instruction, the adoption of new standards and Curriculum Maps or Pacing Guides is largely a waste of time.   More importantly, these changes are most effective and tend to endure longer when they are developed BY teachers in the context of their OWN teaching-learning activities.

EdFOCUS has developed a research-based planning format to help teachers organize the delivery and assessment of classroom instruction using techniques from the “best practices” research.  The EdFOCUS format specifies teacher behaviors (strategies and techniques) and student responses (how students process the information).   And unlike artificial workshops that focus on one or more “best practices,” the EdFOCUS training shows teachers how to build “best practices” into their own curriculum.

In contrast to conventional Unit Plans, the EdFOCUS Units rely on three essential components:

  • constructivism - - based on the research findings that students retain only when they construct meaning for themselves; this is in contrast to filling in blanks or circling correct answers
  • divergent problem-solving - - students deal with open-ended problems, using creativity to formulate and test possible and multiple solutions; this is in contrast to solving only textbook problems with canned solutions
  • planned-for differentiation - - anticipating different learning needs ahead of time; this is in contrast to “one-size-fits all’ and waiting until after-the-fact to provide remediation

Click here to see samples. They are easy to plan and easy to teach!