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Tools and Instructional Strategies

Page history last edited by Gayla S. Keesee 8 years, 10 months ago


4Teachers Family of Tools

4Teachers.org works to help you integrate technology into your classroom by offering online tools and resources. This site helps teachers locate and create ready-to-use Web lessons, quizzes, rubrics and classroom calendars and more. There are also tools for student use. Discover valuable professional development resources addressing issues such as equity, ELL, technology planning, and at-risk or special-needs students.



A rubric is an authentic assessment tool used to measure students' work. It is a scoring guide that seeks to evaluate a student's performance based on the sum of a full range of criteria rather than a single numerical score. A rubric is a working guide for students and teachers, usually handed out before the assignment begins in order to get students to think about the criteria on which their work will be judged. Rubrics can be analytic or holistic, and they can be created for any content area including math, science, history, writing, foreign languages, drama, art, music, etc...


The rubric is one authentic assessment tool which is designed to simulate real life activity where students are engaged in solving real-life problems. It is a formative type of assessment because it becomes an ongoing part of the whole teaching and learning process. Students themselves are involved in the assessment process through both peer and self-assessment. As students become familiar with rubrics, they can assist in the rubric design process. This involvement empowers the students and as a result, their learning becomes more focused and self-directed. Authentic assessment, therefore, blurs the lines between teaching, learning, and assessment (Pickette and Dodge).


Discussion Board Rubric (Lynnda L. Brown, 2002) 

Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators Assessment and Rubric Information

University of Wisconsin-Stout  Rubrics for Assessment

Kennesaw State University Assessment Rubrics: features, advantages, templates, samples



Graphic Organizers

Help your students classify ideas and communicate more effectively. A graphic organizer forms a powerful visual picture of information and allows the mind "to see" undiscovered patterns and relationships. Use graphic organizers to structure writing projects, to help in problem solving, decision making, studying, planning research and brainstorming.

Graphic Organizers from Education Place


Pomperaug Regional School District 15 (Middlebury/Southbury, CT) Graphic Organizers

Write Design Online Graphic Organizers (with teacher annotations) 

Web 2_0 Tools


Instructional Strategies

Active Learning Strategies (Illinois State University):


Chart: Traditional and Digital Approaches



QuestGarden is an online authoring tool, community and hosting service that is designed to make it easier and quicker to create a high quality WebQuest. No knowledge of web editing or uploading is required. Prompts, guides and examples are provided for each step of the process. Images, worksheets and other documents can easily be attached or embedded in the WebQuest, and users have complete control over the appearance of the final lesson. Register for a 30 day free trial.


Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it.

Kennesaw State University Resources

The Cooperative Learning Center at the University of Minnesota

Ted Panitiz's Cooperative Learning E-book

Cooperative Learning Websites and Articles


Problem-Based Learning

As defined by Dr. Howard Barrows and Ann Kelson of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, PBL is both a curriculum and a process. The curriculum consists of carefully selected and designed problems that demand from the learner acquisition of critical knowledge, problem solving proficiency, self-directed learning strategies, and team participation skills. The process replicates the commonly used systemic approach to resolving problems or meeting challenges that are encountered in life and career.


Case-Based Learning

Using a case-based approach engages students in discussion of specific situations, typically real-world examples. This method is learner-centered, and involves intense interaction between the participants. Case-based learning focuses on the building of knowledge and the group works together to examine the case. The instructor's role is that of a facilitator and the students collaboratively address problems from a perspective that requires analysis. Much of case-based learning involves learners striving to resolve questions that have no single right answer. (Queens University)



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