Background on this Tool
The toolkit was developed by Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) at Marzano Research in collaboration with York Public Schools in Nebraska. Educators in York Public Schools were interested in helping teachers independently evaluate promising instructional practices. The toolkit was developed to provide the process and tools to help teachers use data from their classroom assessments to evaluate promising practices.
Guidance on How to Leverage this Tool
This toolkit provides a set of tools that can help teachers engage in an instructional improvement cycle of collecting and analyzing data on instructional strategies and student learning and adjust their instruction based on these data. The toolkit can be used either by individual teachers or by teacher teams. Individual teachers can implement the instructional improvement cycle to test a strategy and reflect on their practice, and teacher teams can test individual strategies and reflect on the results as a team.
The toolkit consists of two tools—a planning and reflection guide and an Excel analysis tool. The tools provide teachers with guidance on how to deliberately apply and study one classroom strategy over the course of an instructional unit and how to systematically document and compare results in order to consider the strategy’s impact on student learning.
Getting Started with the Instructional Improvement Cycle Toolkit
Before reviewing the toolkit, school leaders are encouraged to reflect on current practices and processes to improve instruction (see page 2 of the toolkit).
- What evidence based instructional strategies are you currently using?
- How do you know they are evidence based and positively impacting student growth and achievement?
- What assessments and data are utilized to inform instructional practice?
- How do you analyze and reflect on student assessments?
Based on the responses to these questions, school leaders will be better equipped to identify one or more specific tools in the toolkit that align to their school’s needs.