Not only are we changing what we teach in Worthington with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, but we’re also changing how we teach. Our goal is to make every school in Worthington a FIP School—a school committed to improving student achievement through the use of formative instructional practices.
Formative instructional practices are the formal and informal ways that teachers and students gather and respond to evidence of student learning. Formative instructional practices are vital to improving student achievement and ensuring that every student is college and career ready.
The four major components of a FIP School are that:
LEARNING TARGETS ARE CLEAR: Clear learning targets drive the teaching and learning process. Everyone is focused on what students need to learn. Students can answer the question, “Where am I going?”
FEEDBACK IS EFFECTIVE: Effective feedback moves learning forward and fosters students’ independent thinking by guiding them in the right direction. Students can answer the question, “Am I on the right path?”
EVIDENCE OF STUDENT LEARNING IS COLLECTED AND DOCUMENTED: Teachers and students work together to collect and document evidence of learning. Teachers use evidence to guide student learning. Students use evidence to answer the question, “Where am I now?”
STUDENTS TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THEIR LEARNING: Students are able to accurately self-assess, give each other effective feedback, and set learning goals. They track, reflect on, and share their learning with others. Students can answer the question, “What do I need to do to be successful?”
In addition there are ancillary benefits of being a FIP School:
PARENTS UNDERSTAND WHAT STUDENTS ARE LEARNING: In a FIP School, parents are clear about the learning targets and understand what their child should know and be able to do. As a result, they can better support their child’s learning at home.
STUDENTS ARE ENGAGED: Students in a FIP School are fully engaged in their learning. They understand what they are learning and why. They see and are motivated by evidence of their progress.
TEACHERS WORK TOGETHER: FIP Schools embrace a collaborative culture that supports teachers’ efforts to improve their practice. Teachers work together to embed formative instructional practices in their classrooms, learn from each other, and develop shared expectations of what students should know and be able to do.
In addition to becoming proficient in Formative Instructional Practices, we are insisting that all lessons be infused with the skills necessary in the 21st Century. Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication and Innovation. These skills are often taught using inquiry but can be infused in other ways.
It’s critical that we’re teaching our students the right things (Common Core State Standards with fidelity) and it’s equally critical that we’re teaching our students in the right way (using Formative Instructional Practices and infusing 21st Century Skills.) When these two things are aligned we are certain that students will achieve at high levels.