55 Chapters
Medium 9780983351238

Chapter 4 Engaging in Focused Practice

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research ePub

At an intuitive level, most people commonly think of practice as performing an action multiple times. As we saw in chapter 1, simply doing something over and over again does not necessarily increase one’s skill with it. What we refer to as focused practice goes well beyond the common conception of practice. As the name implies, focused practice involves repeating a specific strategy with attention to improving detailed aspects of the strategy. A golfer involved in focused practice would choose to practice a specific type of shot (for example, putting, driving, or chipping) using a specific type of club (putter, driver, wedge) in a specific situation (uphill, downhill, or across a slope). A gymnast might focus practice on a specific part of a move (for example, landing a cartwheel) on a specific apparatus (like the balance beam). Pilots often use a simulator to replicate specific weather conditions (such as dry, windy, rainy, or snowy) in which they can practice specific elements of specific flight sequences like taxiing, taking off, approaching an airport, or landing.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780983351238

Chapter 3 Setting Growth Goals

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research ePub

Reflective teachers systematically set annual growth goals for themselves. For example, during a given year, a particular teacher might decide to work on one element from each of the three broad categories (lesson segments involving routine events, lesson segments addressing content, and lesson segments enacted on the spot) described in chapter 2. From the category of routine segments, the teacher might work on tracking student progress. From the category of content segments, the teacher might work on engaging students in cognitively complex tasks. From the category of on-the-spot segments, the teacher might work on noticing and reacting when students are not engaged. Strategic selection of what to work on begins with an audit of a teacher’s strengths and weaknesses.

Conducting a self-audit involves determining one’s level of competence for each of the forty-one elements described in chapter 2. To do this, a teacher needs a rubric or scale for each element. Scales for the forty-one elements are provided in appendix B (page 185). To understand the nature of the scale, consider its generic form shown in table 3.1.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781935249191

Epilogue

Robert J. Marzano Solution Tree Press ePub

In his best-selling book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, University of California–Los Angeles anthropologist Jared Diamond (2005) reports his conclusion from a study of societies that failed, after surviving for long periods of time, in close proximity to societies that prospered. Among the societies he studied were the Anasazi Indians of the southwestern United States, Easter Island in the Pacific Rim, and the Norse Villages in Greenland. After surviving for centuries, each of these societies failed. They failed not because they were conquered by dominant competing societies or because they succumbed to new and unknown diseases. These societies failed because their members, particularly their leaders, perpetuated practices that led to their own demise. Typically, these were practices grounded in unexamined and deeply held beliefs. Quoting one of Diamond’s seminal conclusions, “perhaps a crux of success or failure as a society is to know which core values to hold on to, and which ones to discard and replace with new values, when times change” (p. 433). Diamond arrives at this conclusion after examining numerous artifacts of these societies and recognizing the many opportunities leaders in them had to introduce new, adaptive, and more productive practices. Unfortunately, the fates of these societies were sealed by leaders who were unwilling to thoughtfully examine both beliefs and practices and consider more adaptive and effective alternatives. In each of these societies, beliefs distorted vision to the degree that leaders ignored evidence that could have “saved” their societies.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780990345893

Appendix B: Strategies for Setting an Effective Context for Learning

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research ePub

Noticing When Students Are Not Engaged and Reacting

A teacher notes which students are not engaged and takes overt action to re-engage those students. Specific strategies include scanning the room, monitoring levels of attention, and measuring engagement.

Using Academic Games

A teacher uses inconsequential competition to maintain student engagement. Specific strategies include Classroom Feud, turning questions into games, and vocabulary review games.

Increasing Response Rates

A teacher maintains student engagement by using response-rate techniques during questioning. Specific strategies include response cards, paired or choral response, and elaborative interrogation.

Using Physical Movement

A teacher uses physical movement to keep students engaged. Specific strategies include body representations, drama-related activities, and asking students to stand up and stretch.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781943360130

Chapter 6 How Will Reporting Facilitate Student Learning?

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research ePub

Like scheduling, reporting in a PCBE system can involve significant changes from current practice. One of the biggest changes is that it is difficult to assign overall (omnibus) grades or scores to students. As is the case with scheduling, there is no single best way to report learning in a PCBE system. In this chapter, we present multiple examples of reporting systems or report cards. While they all share commonalities, each example has some unique features. Here, we discuss four options: (1) levels, (2) grade levels and courses, (3) pace, and (4) standards-referenced reports.

One option is to report students’ current status of progression through levels as opposed to grade levels and courses. See figure 6.1 (page 156). Figure 6.1 represents a school system that has gotten rid of traditional grade levels. Note that most subject areas include levels 01 through 10. Level 10 represents mastery of a subject area sufficient for a general high school diploma. However, not all subject areas include ten levels. For example, art has six levels, technology has seven levels, and personal or social skills has five levels. Each content area, then, contains as many or as few levels necessary to describe progression up to high school graduation. Also, note that some subjects contain levels above and beyond that required of a general high school diploma. For example, mathematics has three advanced levels, as do language arts and science. Art has one advanced level, and technology has two.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters