Developing an Instructional Strategy Checklist
Educator creates, uses and shares a checklist for an instructional strategy to improve professional practice and advance student outcomes.
The educator effectively creates a checklist for an instructional strategy, uses the checklist to improve or strengthen professional practice, and shares the checklist with their students (or a colleague) to advance student outcomes.
“Checklists remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit. They…instill a kind of discipline of higher performance.”
Gawande, A. (2010). The checklist manifesto: How to get things right. New York: Metropolitan Books.
Why Would I Develop an Instructional Strategy Checklist?
Checklists seem simple and are sometimes hard for us to accept as a necessity when we’re in high-powered jobs that rely on our skills and knowledge. But using a checklist can improve our performance and help us achieve more consistent results in the following ways:
- Instructional Strategy Checklists support teachers in replicating an instructional strategy they are unfamiliar or inexperienced with through specific, step-by-step written instructions.
- Instructional Strategy Checklists can help teachers truly understand all components of an instructional strategy, the purpose of the strategy and how to use the strategy within the cycle of instruction.
- Developing and using an Instructional Strategy Checklist can help an educator clarify their thinking about the instructional strategy and resolve any confusion or frequently missed steps in implementation.
- Educators can create an instructional strategy checklist for any strategy, but ideally is developed for high yield, “go-to” instructional strategies that are used frequently in instruction.
Components of an Instructional Strategy Checklist
- Has 5-9 items. If it is too long, steps are often skipped or the checklist becomes a distraction rather than a tool
- Includes all “critical steps”
- Uses simple and precise language
- Is on one page, free of distracting fonts and colors.
- Uses a sans-serif font and standard typography. (ALL CAPS DO NOT MAKE IT EASIER TO UNDERSTAND.)
- Must be field-tested in actual practice
- Is refined after field-testing
- Is dated
- Is used consistently See Resources section for a sample Instructional Strategy Checklist
Suggestions for Developing an Instructional Checklist
A good checklist:
- Uses precise and efficient language
- Easy to use (formatted for quick use)
- Provides reminders of only the most important steps, rather than trying to spell out everything—after all, a checklist can’t do your job for you.
- Most importantly, is practical and useful
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