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Farmington, CT 06032
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Farmington Public Schools

 Framework for Teaching and Learning

Introduction

The Framework for Teaching and Learning was developed by a team of teachers and administrators during the 2009-2010 school year as part of the district strategy to codify its instructional practices within a framework consistent with the new district Five Year Goals and standards based curriculum design.  The Framework for Teaching and Learning defines Farmington’s Core Principles of Learning and the expectations for teachers and for students.   The principles and expectations provide definition to the vision of teaching and learning that will guide our instructional improvement efforts.  They exemplify the kind of learning environments, teaching practices and student roles and expectations that foster the dispositions and learning skills at the core of the new Board of Education five year goals.  The Framework also provides a common point of reference for professional reflection and dialogue about instruction for teachers and administrators alike. 

Core Principles of Learning

FRAMEWORK FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING

 

 

Principle # 1:  ACTIVE LEARNING COMMUNITY

 

Students learn best when they have a sense of belonging to a positive learning community in which they have regular opportunities to work collaboratively.

Teachers…

  • Organize the classroom environment with clearly established routines and behavioral expectations
  • Create effective systems to hold students accountable for individual and group responsibilities
  • Model thinking and share learning as a member of the classroom community
  • Provide direct instruction and guided practice in the skills and dispositions of effective collaborative work
  • Encourage questions, nurture multiple points of view and value intellectual risk-taking
  • Facilitate student to student discourse, developing effective communications skills
  • Structure opportunities for students to share work publicly
  • Promote learning through engagement with others as mentors and critics

 

 

 

Principle # 1:  ACTIVE LEARNING COMMUNITY

 

Students learn best when they have a sense of belonging to a positive learning community in which they have regular opportunities to work collaboratively.

Students…

  • Establish and reflect on classroom and small group norms for respectful behavior and effective communication
  • Participate actively in discussions and collaborative tasks
  • Speak and write clearly to communicate with others
  • Exchange meaningful and constructive feedback
  • Clarify ideas by asking questions, listening to others
  • Investigate and appreciate multiple points of view
  • Share their work publicly and engage in dialogue about process and product

 

 

 

Principle # 2: CHALLENGING EXPECTATIONS

 

Students learn best when they understand performance expectations and are individually supported in meeting challenging standards.

Teachers…

  • Maintain high expectations for all students
  • Communicate learning goals clearly
  • Anticipate misconceptions and connect new learning to prior knowledge
  • Articulate performance expectations using rubrics and exemplars of quality work
  • Provide timely and specific feedback to students
  • Differentiate instruction using a variety of resources, materials and grouping strategies responsively 
  • Design opportunities for students to demonstrate understanding in a variety of ways

 

 

 

Principle # 2: CHALLENGING EXPECTATIONS

 

Students learn best when they understand performance expectations and are individually supported in meeting challenging standards.

Students…

  • Ask questions to clarify expectations and learning goals
  • Use and maintain organizational systems to support academic achievement
  • Persist in the face of challenging learning tasks
  • Evaluate and revise work using rubrics, models, and feedback
  • Overcome obstacles to understanding by seeking teacher or peer support
  • Seek new resources and strategies for learning

 

 

  

 

Principle # 3: MEANINGFUL KNOWLEDGE

 

Students learn best when they see content as meaningful and organized around big ideas and questions and can transfer learning to new contexts.

Teachers…

  • Provide a clear purpose for learning and focus instruction on essential understandings and essential questions
  • Make explicit connections between students’ prior knowledge to new learning
  • Link content knowledge to students’ personal experiences, real world events, and other disciplines
  • Develop tasks that require students to synthesize, transfer and apply their knowledge and skills to new situations
  • Use data to engage students in analytical and critical thinking about conceptual ideas
  • Expect students to support thinking with clear and compelling evidence

 

 

 

 

Principle # 3:  MEANINGFUL KNOWLEDGE

 

Students learn best when they see content as meaningful and organized around big ideas and questions and can transfer learning to new contexts.

Students…

  • Look for connections between what they are learning and what they already know
  • Articulate the purpose of their learning to themselves and others
  • Transfer learning skills and knowledge from one context to another
  • Recognize bias, values and beliefs and understand their impact on knowledge
  • Access, analyze and create data to understand conceptual ideas
  • Support thinking with clear, logical and relevant evidence

 

 

 

 

Principle # 4: PURPOSEFUL ENGAGEMENT

 

Students learn best when they are actively engaged in authentic learning tasks and given opportunities to construct meaning and develop understanding.

Teachers…

  • Structure learning tasks that engage students in authentic work of the discipline
  • Develop inquiry-oriented lessons in response to essential questions
  • Pose complex, intriguing and challenging problems for students to solve
  • Stimulate critical and creative thinking and model active listening
  • Use multi-media and technology tools to enhance learning outcomes
  • Seek and provide real audiences for student work
  • Act as coaches, facilitators, and guides to promote engagement and develop leadership in students

 

 

 

 

Principle # 4: PURPOSEFUL ENGAGEMENT

 

Students learn best when they are actively engaged in authentic learning tasks and given opportunities to construct meaning and develop understanding.

Students…

  • Actively seek answers to their own questions and explore their interests
  • Hypothesize, analyze, question, and evaluate ideas within the work of the discipline
  • Accept opportunities to assume partnership and leadership roles in the classroom
  • Take initiative to bring interesting ideas and resources into the classroom community
  • Think critically and use reasoning skills to develop understanding
  • Think creatively and use problem solving skills to develop innovative ideas

 

 

 

 

Principle # 5: INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY

 

Students learn best when they make choices about and take responsibility for their own learning goals and progress.

Teachers…

  • Design learning tasks that require students to be self-directed, make choices and manage time effectively to achieve their learning goals
  • Structure group tasks to ensure individual and collective accountability
  • Plan for regular opportunities for student reflection through discussion and writing
  • Foster a growth mindset helping students to see mistakes as learning opportunities
  • Celebrate resiliency and resourcefulness in the face of setbacks or obstacles

 

 

 

 

Principle # 5: INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY

 

Students learn best when they make choices about and take responsibility for their own learning goals and progress.

Students…

  • Evaluate the quality of their performances / work products
  • Set learning goals and reflect on progress 
  • Learn from their own mistakes and develop new strategies
  • Advocate for themselves by asking for help when needed
  • Learn to become self-directed to make choices that match interests and learning needs
  • Assume responsibility for good work habits
  • Develop leadership skills in areas of interest

 

 

 

 


Reproduction or use of the materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, without the prior written consent of the Farmington Public Schools, is a violation of copyright law.

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