Oregon Department of Education
Working Gears

Common Core State Standards - Instructional Strategies

The Common Core place more cognitive demand on students. Preparing students for the rigors of finding, synthesizing, and making meaning of information in the digital age will require shifts in instruction. Reading complex texts closely, writing, reflecting, speaking, and producing are vital to student success. The following activities help teachers across all content areas provide a framework for students to develop these skills.

  • Cornell Notes MS-Word   12/28/2012 (40.50 KB)
    This strategy teaches students how to take notes and organize information. It is useful for complicated texts, videos, instructional manual in any subject. Students will read informational texts more carefully and practice the important skill of summarization.
  • Directed Reading Thinking Activity MS-Word   01/02/2013 (40 KB)
    The Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA) is a comprehension strategy that guides students in asking questions about a text, making predictions, and then reading to confirm or refute their predictions. The DRTA process encourages students to be active and thoughtful readers, enhancing their comprehension. A DRTA may be used with an individual, a small group, or a whole class. It can be easily adapted for a variety of subjects, reading levels.
  • Fishbowl MS-Word   01/09/2013 (29.50 KB)
    The fishbowl is a classroom discussion strategy. The strategy is useful in engaging students in discussions, giving students autonomy, and modeling discussions. It is particularly helpful in large classes. The strategy helps build deep questioning skills, attention to detail, discussion etiquette and confidence.
  • Focused Free-Write MS-Word   12/28/2012 (32 KB)
    Focused Free Writes can be a great way for the teacher to assess their students’ understanding of a lesson or topic, especially students who may not talk a lot in class. It provides students with a time to reflect on what they have learned, activate their background knowledge, and organize their thoughts.
  • Gist MS-Word   01/02/2013 (33.50 KB)
    GIST is a great strategy because it teaches students how to paraphrase and summarize. It reminds students to listen for the “big idea” when reading text. It enables readers to learn quickly, extract important ideas, and recall text.
  • Giving a Speech MS-Word   01/09/2013 (33.50 KB)
    Giving a Speech can help students to communicate their thoughts to others in an effective format. It also provides opportunities for students to listen to others and provide feedback.
  • Graphic Organizers MS-Word   12/31/2012 (31.50 KB)
    Graphic organizers (some of which are also called concept maps, entity relationship charts, and mind maps) are a pictorial way of constructing knowledge and organizing information. They help students convert and compress a lot of seemingly disjointed information into a structured, simple-to-read, graphic display. The resulting visual display conveys complex information in a simple-to-understand manner.
  • Inquiry Charts (I-Charts) MS-Word   12/28/2012 (36.50 KB)
    Inquiry charts, or I-Charts, guide inquiry into reading by exploration of critical questions. Students gather evidence to support ideas from multiple sources of information. It is a graphic organizer that frames critical questions and catalogues evidence to support conclusions.
  • Journal Writing MS-Word   01/09/2013 (29.50 KB)
    Journaling is a powerful method for developing literate thinkers. It is different from note taking where students copy and summarize ideas from the text, because journaling encourages students to develop their own ideas and thinking.
  • RAFT MS-Word   12/28/2012 (44 KB)
    RAFT is a reading and writing strategy that helps students understand the role of a writer, the audience, varied formats for writing, and the topic they'll be writing/reading about. By using this strategy, teachers encourage students to write creatively, to consider a topic from a different perspective, and to gain practice writing for different audiences.
  • Research Interviews MS-Word   01/02/2013 (34.50 KB)
    Interviews are one way that students can gather information to use as background for reading, or as information to use when writing. The same strategies for interview questions can be used as students read biographies or other nonfiction pieces. Knowing what questions to ask, and how to use the information becomes key to the usefulness for the student.
  • Role Plays MS-Word   01/09/2013 (28.50 KB)
    Role Plays help foster spontaneous communication. They can be helpful in providing students opportunities to practice oral communication and quick thinking responses.
  • Socratic Circles MS-Word   01/02/2013 (44 KB)
    The Socratic seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader or facilitator asks open-ended questions. During this discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others, think critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts.
  • SQ3R MS-Word   01/02/2013 (37 KB)
    This framework helps students to successfully read and retain the information contained in their text by using strategies that good readers use: predicting, self questioning, clarifying, evaluating and synthesizing. It can be used whole group, small group, with partners, but most importantly it can be a strategy for students to use when studying independently.
  • Stump the Teacher MS-Word   01/02/2013 (35.50 KB)
    Students get the opportunity to quiz their teacher on the reading, resulting in them carefully reading and rereading the text without them even knowing it. This is a fun strategy to use for review. It adds an element of competition and fun to the classroom.
  • Three Level Study Guides MS-Word   12/28/2012 (32 KB)
    Three-level study guides are a great strategy for all levels of students because of the varying degree of skills required to answer the questions. Students are provided questions so the purpose for the reading is set before they read the text. During the reading, they are guided through the text by the three levels of questions. After the reading, the students discuss their answers as a class, providing an opportunity to reinforce what they have read and for clarification.