4 Formative Assessment Practices that Make a Difference in Classrooms
Research shows that keeping four practices at the core of instruction makes a big difference. This article discusses clarifying learning, eliciting evidence, providing feedback, and activating learners.
Publication Date: March 2016
Publisher: Northwest Evaluation Association

Academic Support
This article discusses the design and purpose of academic support programs and offers some representative examples of common forms of academic support.
Publication Date: Updated August 2013
Publisher: Great Schools Partnership

Adolescent Literacy Addressing the Needs of Students in Grades 4–12
This information discusses a growing body of work that is developing about how students in grades 4-12 learn to increase their reading and writing skills, why some struggle, and what effective instruction looks like.
Author: Joan Sedita
Publication Date: 2014
Publisher: Keys to Literacy

Bibliotherapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Making Inclusion Work
This report describes the evidence-based practice, Peer Mediated Instruction and Intervention, which increases interactions and meaningful communication in the inclusive classroom. Included is a list of books featuring children on the autism spectrum with classroom response activities. 
Author: Nancy D. Turner
Publication Date: Fall/Winter 2013
Publisher: Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education

Children Experiencing Reading Difficulties: What We Know and What We Can Do
The goal of this Literacy Leadership Brief is to share what is known from decades of research that provides more in-depth understanding of the complexities of reading difficulties and to help families, teachers, and policymakers make sound decisions.
Publisher: International Literacy Association
Publication Date: 2019

Coaching for Impact: Six Pillars to Create Coaching Roles That Achieve Their Potential to Improve Teaching and Learning
This brief discusses the state of coaching today and six pillars that must be built or strengthened to realize the promise of coaching for all teachers and ultimately, their students: system vision and commitment; recruitment and selectivity; shared responsibility; development and support; role clarity, time and culture; and compensation and sustainability.
Authors: Don Pemberton, Dorene D. Ross, Tracy Crow, Stephanie Hirsh, Bruce Joyce, Joellen Killion, Stephanie Dean, Bryan C. Hassel, Emily Ayscue Hassel, and Kendall King
Publication Date: August 2017
Publisher: Learning Forward

Communicating Learning Goals and Success Criteria with Students
This brief explains including students as part of the Learning Goals and Success Criteria assessment process through understanding the indicators and using them to monitor their own learning.
Author: Nancy Gerzon
Publication Date: October 2020
Publisher: WestEd

Connecting Formative Assessment Research to Practice
This brief defines formative assessment, examines the research, and outlines the components needed to develop a high-quality, research-based formative assessment plan in a state, district, or school.
Publication Date: 2009
Publisher: Learning Point Associates

Content Area and Disciplinary Literacy Strategies and Frameworks
This document defines the terms content area literacy and disciplinary literacy and their distinct approaches, what they mean, and how they are best combined in classroom literacy instruction.
Publication Date: 2017
Publisher: International Literacy Association

Cooperative Learning in Inclusive Classrooms: Students Who Work Together, Learn Together
This article explains cooperative learning structures and the benefits for students with disabilities, including the likelihood for them to be at instructional level and have positive learning outcomes.
Author: Lisa M. Emerson
Publication Date: May/June 2013
Publisher: William & Mary School of Education

Creating Timelines
Timelines are graphic representations of the chronology of events in time. While they are often used as a way to display information in visual form in textbooks as an alternative to written narrative, this article explains how students can also become more actively engaged in learning the sequence of events in history by constructing timelines themselves.
Author: Carole Cox
Publisher: Reading Rockets

Deeper Learning for Students with Disabilities
This research report reviews previous efforts to promote better educational outcomes for students with disabilities and describes research-based instructional strategies that can support them and other struggling learners.
Authors: Sharon Vaughn, Louis Danielson, Rebecca Zumeta, and Lynn Holdheide 
Publication Date: August 2015
Publisher: Jobs for the Future

This article defines differentiation, identifies the difference between differentiating and scaffolding, and illustrates the differentiation concept and its major components strategies.
Publication Date: November 2013
Publisher: Great Schools Partnerships

Do You See What I Mean? Visual Literacy Supports for Students with Disabilities
Many learners with disabilities are visual learners and are best able to understand and remember content when they can see it represented in some way; in other words, they need to “see what we mean.” Three visual supports helpful for teaching and supporting literacy development are described here: picture books, graphic notes, and story kits.
Author: Paula Kluth 
Publication Date: 2017
Publisher: Reading Rockets

Effective Coaching: Improving Teacher Practice and Outcomes for All Learners
This brief synthesizes research on coaching and offers a framework of effective coaching practices. It provides general information on coaching, including the need for coaching and the goals of coaching and describes critical coaching practices that are linked to improvements in teacher practice and learner outcomes
Publication Date: June 2016
Publisher: WestEd National Center for Systemic Improvement

Engaging Native American Learners with Rigor and Cultural Relevance
This Issue Brief explores three areas identified in the literature as promising strategies for improving educational outcomes for Native students: Instructional practices, Curriculum content, and School climate.
Authors: Abner Oakes and Traci Maday
Publication Date: August 2009
Publisher: Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement

ESSentials LogoESSentials: Cooperative Learning Strategy: Jigsaw Grades K-5
This resource explains a research-based cooperative learning technique that involves all students in active learning. It can be used across the content areas to enhance comprehension and participation of students on all reading levels. A demonstration video of students using the strategy is included.
Publication Date: May 2015
Publisher: Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services

ESSentials LogoESSentials: Cooperative Learning Strategy: Think-Pair-Share ~ Grades K-5
This resource explains Think-Pair-Share as a strategy where students work together to solve a problem or answer a question. A demonstration video of a teacher and her students using this strategy is included.
Publication Date: May 2015
Publisher: Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services

ESSentials LogoESSentials: Digging into State Testing Data for Grades 4-8
This activity provides a global picture of how students are doing in general and identifies specific areas that need
improvement. The data will be used to guide collaborative team actions leading to increased student achievement.
Publication Date: April 2018
Publisher: Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services

ESSentials LogoESSentials: Explicit Instruction
This comprehensive resource offers guidance to special and general education teachers for using techniques of explicit instruction based on the book, Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching. Included are two video demonstrations of Anita Archer working with students at an Arizona middle school.
Authors: Anita Archer and Charles Hughes
Publication Date: April 2015
Publisher: Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services

ESSentials LogoESSentials: Interventions and Enrichment
This resource demonstrates how Arizona’s Mesquite Elementary gives students the additional time they need to master core concepts and elevate their learning to the next level.
Publication Date: June 2015
Publisher: Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services

Five Formative Assessment Strategies to Improve Distance Learning Outcomes for Students with Disabilities
Formative assessment is particularly important for students with disabilities. This brief describes the use of formative assessment with students with disabilities during distance learning.
Publication Date: May 2020
Publisher: National Center on Educational Outcomes

Formative and Summative Assessments in the Classroom
This article defines formative and summative assessment and offers examples and strategies. It further discusses the importance of balancing assessments.
Authors: Catherine Garrison and Michael Ehringhaus
Publication Date: August 2013
Publisher: Association for Middle Level Education

Formative Assessment for Students with Disabilities
This report provides teachers, both special education and general education, with an introduction to the knowledge and skills they need to confidently and successfully implement formative assessment for students with disabilities in their classrooms.
Authors: Susan Brookhart and S. Lazarus
Publication Date: February 2017
Publisher: Council of Chief State School Officers

Formative Assessment That Truly Informs Instruction
This position paper discusses varied purposes of assessment and highlights the central importance of teacher decision making in the process of assessment that informs instruction and improves student learning. 
Publication Date: October 2013
Publisher: National Council of Teachers of English

Formative Assessment the Student Role
The rubric language of the Formative Assessment Dimensions is primarily targeted at educators. This document is intended to provide information specific to the important role of students in the process.
Publication Date: January 2018
Publisher: WestEd

Formative Assessment: An Enabler of Learning
This article explains formative assessment as a powerful practice of collaboration between teacher and students to move students’ learning forward while their learning is still in the process of developing.
Author: Margaret Heritage
Publication Date: Spring 2011
Publisher: Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation

Formative Assessment: Examples of Practice
The purpose of this document is to share some examples of the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) definition of formative assessment in practice.
Author: E. Caroline Wylie
Publication Date: 2008
Publisher: Council of Chief State School Officers

Fostering Powerful Use of Technology Through Instructional Coaching
This report shares the results of a pilot year of instructional coaching that drove increased student and teacher success through more effective use of technology.
Authors: Mahsa Bakhshaei, Angela Hardy, Aubrey Francisco, Sierra Noakes, and Judi Fusco 
Publication Date: August 2018
Publisher: Digital Promise

Fundamentals of Learning
This publication provides a framework to assist teachers in transitioning to the classroom practices called for in the College and Career Ready Standards. The content of this resource is drawn from leading theory and research about learning and assessment.
Authors: Margaret Heritage, Barbara Jones, Glory Tobiason, Sandy Chang, and Joan Herman
Publication Date: Updated August 2016
Publisher: Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation 

Graphic Organizers: Guiding Principles and Effective Practices
This Considerations Packet presents strategies and approaches for incorporating specific elements of this instructional tool, along with outlining the primary categories and uses for graphic organizers. 
Publication Date: Updated 2015
Publisher: William & Mary Training & Technical Assistance Center

This free service makes it easy to discover the best apps, games, websites, and Common Core aligned products for classroom use. Tools have been thoroughly reviewed by our expert educators and received numerous teacher reviews.
Publisher: Common Sense

High-Leverage Practices and Evidence-Based Practices: A Promising Pair
High-leverage practices (HLPs) and evidence-based practices (EBPs) when used together can become powerful tools for improving student outcomes. This brief is designed to show the promise of these practices in advancing educator preparation and practice and, subsequently, outcomes for students with disabilities and those who struggle.
Authors: Erica D. McCray, Margaret Kamman, Mary T. Brownell, and Suzanne Robinson
Publication Date: October 2017
Publisher: CEEDAR Center

How Classroom Assessments Improve Learning
This article explains three ways teachers need to change their approach to assessment in order to use assessments to improve instruction and student learning.
Author: Thomas Guskey
Publication Date: February 2003
Publisher: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

How Teachers Can Use Scientifically-Based Research to Make Curricular Instructional Decisions 
This paper offers a primer for those skills that will allow teachers to become independent evaluators of educational research leading to more effectiveness in teaching.
Authors: Paula J. Stanovich and Keith E. Stanovich
Publication Date: May 2003
Publisher: RMC Research Corporation

Implementation Guide for Effective Coaching of Teachers
This guide outlines key questions to consider when using coaching as a pathway toward improving teaching and learning. Further, the guide specifies actions that should be taken to appropriately structure the system in which coaching occurs.
Publication Date: June 2016
Publisher: WestEd National Center for Systemic Improvement

Increasing Student Opportunities to Respond
This article discusses the benefits of providing a high rate of opportunities for students to respond during instruction and offers examples of easily to implement strategies.
Author: Elaine B. Gould
Publication Date: Updated September/October 2013
Publisher: William & Mary School of Education

Learning Progressions: Supporting Instruction and Formative Assessment
This paper offers how learning progressions can support instructional planning and formative assessment. It includes several examples and three different approaches to constructing learning progressions.
Author: Margaret Heritage
Publication Date: 2008
Publisher: Council of Chief State School Officers

Learning Strategies as a Key to Student Success
This research report discusses how principals can help ensure that students receive the necessary instruction by educating teachers about the importance of learning strategies, especially for struggling students. In addition, they can work with their teachers to develop a schoolwide approach that provides ongoing and explicit instruction in the use of key strategies.
Authors: Nancy Protheroe and Suzanne Clarke
Publication Date: 2008
Publisher: National Association of Elementary School Principals

Making Connections
This strategy guide explains how to model how students can make three different kinds of connections (text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world). Students then use this knowledge to find their own personal connections to a text. Sample lesson plans are included.
Author: Cathy Allen Simon
Publisher: National Council of Teachers of English

Making Sense of Data-Driven Decision Making in Education
This occasional paper seeks to clarify the ways in which multiple types of data are being used in schools and districts by synthesizing findings from recent research conducted by the RAND Corporation.
Authors: Julie A. Marsh, John F. Pane, and Laura S. Hamilton
Publication Date: 2006
Publisher: RAND Corporation

Memory Strategies for Students: The Value of Strategies
This article provides a sampling of strategies to help students enhance their learning experiences.
Author: Regina G. Richards
Publication Date: 2008
Publisher: National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities

Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning
This practice guide offers a set of actions that teachers can take that reflect the process of teaching and learning and that recognizes the ways in which instruction must respond to the state of the learner.
Authors: Harold Pashler, Patrice M. Bain, Brian A. Bottke, Arthur Graesser, Kenneth Koedinger, Mark McDaniel, and Janet Metcalfe
Publication Date: September 2007
Publisher: National Center for Education Research

Pre-Assessment to Plan Instruction for Students with Disabilities During Distance Learning
Pre-assessments can focus on prerequisite knowledge and skills or current knowledge and interests. Teachers can use pre-assessments to serve instructional planning needs, to identify concepts to emphasize, or to determine most effective learning activities and differentiation needs.
Publication Date: December 2020
Publisher: National Center on Educational Outcomes

Principles of Instruction: Research-based Strategies that All Teachers Should Know
This article presents 10 research-based principles of instruction with suggestions for classroom practice.
Author: Barak Rosenshine
Publication Date: Spring 2012
Publisher: American Educator

Professional Learning for Culturally Responsive Teaching
This practitioner brief presents six research-based principles to guide professional learning experiences that foster culturally responsive teaching and four key arenas that have been at the forefront of teacher learning research.
Authors: Kathleen A. King, Alfredo J. Artiles, and Elizabeth B. Kozleski
Publication Date: July 2009
Publisher: Arizona State University

Providing Instructional Supports: Facilitating Mastery of New Skills
This module explores the importance of scaffolding and modeling for students as they learn new skills and strategies.
Publisher: The Iris Center

Quality Performance Assessment: Harnessing the Power of Teacher and Student Learning
The purpose of the Quality Performance Assessment (QPA) Framework is to provide guidance to teachers and administrators on how to design a performance assessment system that include the elements of aligned instruction, task design, and data analysis.
Authors: Christina Brown and Pascale Mevs
Publication Date: February 2012
Publisher: Center for Collaborative Education

Reciprocal Teaching for the Primary Grades: "We Can Do It, Too!" 
This article illustrates modifications to use this research-based strategy in primary grades that include cue cards with pictures and scripts, group work interspersed with whole class follow-up, and an independent written component for individual student accountability.
Authors: Paola Pilonieta and Adriana L. Medina
Publication Date: October 2009
Publisher: The Reading Teacher

Removing Barriers to Effective Distance Learning by Applying the High-Leverage Practices: Tips and Tools
This brief outlines how high leverage practices can be employed to strengthen distance learning instruction for a diverse range of students by providing strategies to address common challenges students experience. It is designed to support all teachers who are striving to ensure students of all backgrounds and abilities are provided equitable access to high-quality instruction in distance learning environments.
Authors: Debra Herburger, Lynn Holdheide, and Donna Sacco
Publication Date: Seprember 2020
Publishers: CEEDAR Center and NCSI

Right to Supportive Learning Environments and High-Quality Resources
This research brief discusses every child’s right to literacy-rich learning environments that provide high-quality, open educational resources such as accessible books, texts, and digital resources for all to use, manipulate, and learn from.
Publisher: International Literacy Association
Publication Date: 2019

Self-Questioning - Teach with Tech
This strategy guide discusses best practices for using a self-questioning strategy that can encourage struggling learners to monitor their understanding of the text. Clear explanations can highlight critical features of the self-questioning approach, especially when you integrate a range of technology tools.
Publisher: Power Up What Works, American Institutes of Research

Special Education Resources for General Educators
This website provides general classroom educators with quick access to information and professional development about addressing the needs of students who have disabilities and special education.
Publisher: Council of Chief State School Officers

SRSD: Using Learning Strategies To Enhance Student Learning
This module features the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) model, which outlines the six steps required to effectively implement any instructional strategy and emphasizes the time and effort required to do so.
Publication Date: February 2012
Publisher: The Iris Center

Steps of Interactive Modeling
This article describes how interactive modeling incorporates key elements of effective teaching: modeling the skill or procedure, engaging students in active learning, and immediately assessing their understanding.
Publication Date: 2017
Publisher: Center for Responsive Schools

Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Inclusive Settings: Rethinking Instruction and Design
This paper provides suggestions for practical UDL support recommendations to enhance the utilization of research-based practices to promote academic achievement through multiple forms of engagement, representation, and expression for children with ASD.
Authors: Christopher B. Denning and Amelia K. Moody
Publication Date: Fall/Winter 2013
Publisher: Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education

“Teach Reading? But I’m not a Reading Teacher!”
This article provides a structure that any teacher, regardless of content area and training in reading instruction, can use to help students hone the literacy skills necessary to explore, develop, and expand content area knowledge.
Authors: Beth Hurst and Cathy J. Pearman
Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: Academy for Educational Studies

Teach Up for Excellence
This article discusses the principle of classrooms that teach up function from the premise that student potential is like an iceberg—most of it is obscured from view—and that high trust, high expectations, and a high-support environment will reveal in time what's hidden.
Authors: Carol Ann Tomlinson and Edwin Lou Javius
Publication Date: February 2012
Publisher: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Teacher Digital Learning Guide
This guide provides key considerations, guiding strategies, resources, and reflection questions to help guide your digital learning in a way that will be specific to your unique situation and the unique needs of your students.
Publication Date: January 2021
Publisher: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology

Teachers Know Best: Making Data Work for Teachers and Students
This study explores what teachers believe about data-driven instruction and the tools that support it, how teachers use data to tailor instruction, key challenges teachers identify with the tools that support data-driven instruction, and what teachers need to make data work to drive instruction in the classroom.
Publication Date: June 2015
Publisher: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Teaching Vocabulary Explicitly
This discussion of the meaning of vocabulary and why it is important to teach explains the effective components of explicit vocabulary instruction. From there, it delves further into two of the components, how to teach individual words explicitly and how to teach word-learning strategies.
Authors: Susan Hanson and Jennifer F.M. Padua
Publication Date: 2014
Publisher: Pacific Resources for Education and Learning

The Classic Study on Poor Children's Fourth-Grade Slump
This research study examines the critical transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn." The skills and abilities of a low-income population were examined to determine why some might meet the challenge of “reading to learn” whereas others might not.
Authors: Jeanne S. Chall and Vicki A. Jacobs
Publication Date: 2003
Publisher: American Federation of Teachers

The Effects of Comprehensive Vocabulary Instruction on Title I Students’ Metacognitive Word-Learning Skills and Reading Comprehension
This study examined the effects of a multifaceted, metacognitive vocabulary intervention on the reading comprehension and vocabulary achievement of fifth-grade children in a low performing Title I school.
Authors: Shira Lubliner and Linda Smetana
Publication Date: June 2005
Publisher: Journal of Literacy Research

The Impact of Formative Assessment and Learning Intentions on Student Achievement
This brief begins with an analysis of current research linking formative assessment to academic performance and then moves into a discussion of learning objectives’ impact on student outcomes.
Publication Date: August 2014
Publisher: Hanover Research

The Instructional Hierarchy: Linking Stages of Learning to Effective Instructional Techniques
This article discusses the four stages of a learning hierarchy and includes instructional and intervention strategies for each stage.
Publisher: Intervention Central

The Power of Evidence Use in Formative Assessment
This brief discusses how the process of eliciting, interpreting, and responding to evidence of student learning creates the conditions for teachers and students to shift their conception of learning itself to be one that arises out of and promotes collective knowledge.
Authors: Barbara Jones and Nancy Gerzon
Publication Date: October 2020
Publisher: WestED

The Role of Learning Progressions in Competency-Based Pathways
This report captures key findings for the potential of learning progressions research to transform instructional practice and what is being done to translate that research into training and tools for educators.
Publication Date: July 2015
Publisher: Achieve

The Student Role in Advanced Formative Assessment Practice: Self-Assessment, Peer Feedback, and Discourse
This paper identifies three critical components of the student role in advanced formative assessment practice and discusses how implementing self-assessment, peer feedback, and discourse help students gain confidence to be able to make decisions about the status of their own learning, to extend that learning, and to envision next steps.
Authors: Nancy Gerzon and Barbara Jones
Publication Date: October 2020
Publisher: WestED

UDL Guidelines: Examples and Resources
Each guideline includes examples and resources that clarify what is meant by each of the UDL checkpoints 
and gives teachers ideas of ways to implement UDL in their classrooms.
Publication Date: 2018
Publisher: CAST

Using Data to Improve Schools: What’s Working
This guide explains how to use data to drive school improvement by building a districtwide culture of inquiry that values the use of data for sound decision-making.
Publisher: American Association of School Administrators

Using Mnemonic Instruction to Facilitate Access to the General Education Curriculum
This article describes the mnemonic strategy and how it gives students with mild to moderate cognitive or learning disabilities the tools to better encode information so that it will be much easier to retrieve it from memory at later points.
Publication Date: 2007
Publisher: The Access Center 

Using Student Achievement Data to Support Instructional Decision Making
This guide offers recommendations to help educators effectively use data to monitor students’ academic progress and evaluate instructional practices. It also recommends teaching students how to use their own data to set learning goals.
Authors: Laura Hamilton, Richard Halverson, Sharnell S. Jackson, Ellen Mandinach,Jonathan A. Supovitz, and Jeffrey C. Wayman
Publication Date: September 2009
Publisher: Institute of Education Sciences

Using the Formative Assessment Rubrics, Reflection and Observation Tools to Support Professional
Reflection on Practice (Revised) 

The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines and resources for use in observations and reflections on
formative assessment practices.
Author: Caroline Wylie and Christine Lyon
Publication Date: February 2016
Publisher: Council of Chief State School Officers

Using the Think-Pair-Share Technique
This strategy guide will teach you a technique to organize students and classroom topics to encourage a high degree of classroom participation and assist students in developing a conceptual understanding of a topic.
Author: Cathy Allen Simon
Publisher: National Council of Teachers of English

Using Universal Design for Learning to Design Standards-Based Lessons
This article presents a process that teachers can use as they develop standards-based lesson plans. By applying UDL during the lesson planning process, teachers can identify clear goals and develop flexible methods, assessments, and materials that address the needs and preferences of varied learners. General educators and special educators can use this process to develop inclusive lesson plans that address all learners, with and without disabilities.
Authors: Kavita Rao and Grace Meo
Publication Date: November 2016
Publisher: SAGE Journals

What Every Teacher Needs to Know to Teach Native American Students
This article discusses the culture and learning styles of Native American students and offers educational practices that will likely aid this group of students to work to their potential.
Author: Hani Morgan
Publication Date: 2009
Publisher: Institute of Education Sciences