Common Language

Common Board Configuration (CBC)
an area on the classroom board that outlines key elements of daily instruction.     
Essential Question


questions that have more than one answer and are often times not answerable with finality in a brief sentence.  Their aim is to stimulate thought, to provoke inquiry, and to spark more questions – including thoughtful student questions.


Learning Goal


 is what students should understand and be able to do by the end of a unit of study.


are an outcome statement that captures specifically what knowledge, skills, and attitudes learners should be able to exhibit following instruction.  They concrete steps and lead students toward the learning goal.
SMART format
Specific Content, Measureable Outcome, Attainable Action Verb, Resources, and Time


is the progression of learning that leads to the learning goal.  It includes indicators (deconstructed  standards) and is utilized for planning, scaffolding, and differentiated instruction.  It contains 4 levels.  Level 4 are extensions and in-depth inferences and applications that go beyond what was taught. Level 3 is the learning goal.  Level 2 contains less complex indicators, simpler details and processes.  Level 1 contains lower level indicators and those indicators that the student needs help with. The scale is often referred to as the learning progression scale.




is a tool utilized to assess a specific performance task that is aligned with the scale.  It is also used to give specific formative feedback on student work.


Depth of Knowledge (DOK)
 the complexity or depth of understanding required to answer or explain an assessment related item (Meador, 2014). 

Complex Tasks
 are formative assessments which shift control of the learning from the teacher to the student.   They allow the student to demonstrate understanding of the content within a real-world context.  They require students to use multiple processes, make multiple connections, collaborate, and explain and justify their reasoning.    It is important to note that the level of complexity lies within the task, not in the ability of the student. It is the teacher’s role to provide differentiated scaffolding to make the task attainable for all students.
Decalrative Knowledge
what students will be able to understand
Procedural Knowledge
what students will be able to do

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