Model of Mastery Learning

The Madeline Hunter Model of Mastery Learning
Dr. Madeline Hunter’s research showed effective teachers have a methodology when planning and
presenting a lesson. Hunter found that no matter what the teacher’s style, grade level, subject matter, or
economic background of the students a properly taught lesson contained eight elements that enhanced
and maximized learning. She labeled eight elements and began two decades of teacher training. The
elements, referred to as Lesson Design, Target Teaching, or Clinical Teaching, have stood the test of
time – still used today in many teacher colleges and as reference for judging teacher effectiveness in
many school districts.
Within each element of Lesson Design, there are many sub-skills, methods, and techniques – each
demanding training, practice, and review in order to attain mastery ofthe Hunter model. Simply
knowing about or reading about Lesson Design will not produce flawless performance, but will form a
basis for decision making.
Basic Hunter Vocabulary
(Each term has been defined using two related statements)
1. Anticipatory Set
The teacher focuses the students’ thoughts on to what will be learned. (Tie in yesterday’s lesson with today’s lesson.
Get them interested.)
Anticipatory set is defined as a short activity or prompt that focuses the students’ attention before the actual lesson
begins. Used when students enter the room or in a transition, anticipatory set might be a hand-out given to students
at the door, review question written on the board, two short problems presented on a transparency on the overhead,
an agenda for the lesson written on the chalkboard, etc.
2. Objective and Purpose
Students learn more effectively when they know what they are supposed to be learning and why. Teachers also
_teach more effectively when they have the same information. (Tell what/how/why/ the students are going to learn.)
The purpose or objective ofthe lesson includes why students need to learn the objective what they will be able to do
once they have met the criterion, how they will demonstrate learning as a result The formula for the behavioral
objective is: The learner will do what+ with what+ how well?

3. Input
The new knowledge, process or skill must be presented to the students in the most effective manner. This could be ·
through discovery, discussion, reading, listening, observing, etc.
Input includes the vocabulary, skills, and concepts the teacher will impart to the students, the information the
students need to know in order to be successful.
4. Modeling
It is important for the students to “see” what they are learning. It helps them when the teacher demonstrates what is
to be learned.
The teacher shows a graphic or demonstrates in a concrete way exactly what fit.:.nnished product looks like. ·
Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.
-“”‘~”‘., .
5. Checking for Understanding
It is important to make sure the students understand what was presented. One way this can be done is by asking the
students questions.
The teacher uses a variety of questioning strategies to determine
11Got it yet?” and to reflect on the pace of the
lesson: “Should I move forward or back up?”
6. Guided Practice
The students practice the new learning under direct teacher supervision.
The teacher leads the students through the steps necessary to perform the skill using a trimodal approach:
7. Independent Practice
When the teacher is sure the students understand the new material, they assign independent practice.
The teacher releases students to practice on their own based on learning that has occurred during the previous steps.
8. Closure
At the end of each lesson, the teacher review or wraps up the lesson by posing a question for the class: 11Tell me or
show me what you have learned today.
Closure is not necessarily an end point, but more of a final 11check for understanding” used at the end of a class
period. Closure for on-going laboratory activities may not be appropriate.

Teaching to an objective
(lesson objective–not a “step.” )
1. Objectives
2. Set [hook]
3. Standards/expectations
4. Teaching
o Input
o Modeling/demo
o Direction giving [see below]
o Checking for understanding
5. Guided Practice
6. Closure
7. Independent Practice
Behavioral Objective format:
Students will demonstrate their [knowledge, understanding, skill, etc.] of/to [concept, skill, etc.] by [activity
performed to meet the lesson objective] according to [standard]. ·
Example: Each student will demonstrate achievement of the skill of addition of whole numbers by adding
columns of figures with paper and pencil accurately nine out of ten times individually in class.
Four step instructional process
1. Watch how I do it [modeling]
2. You help me do it (or we do it together) [together]
3. I’ll watch you do it or praise, prompt and leave [guided practice]
4. You do it alone [independent practice].

Motivation “TRICKS”
1. Feeling Tone
2. Reward [extrinsic/intrinsic]
3. Interest
4. Level of Concern
o accountability
o time to produce
o visibility
o predictability
5. Knowledge of results
6. Success
Ways of monitoring
1. Oral individual
2. Oral together
3. Visual answers, e.g., “thumbs”
4. Written
5. Task Performance
6. Group sampling
Questioning Guidelines
1. Place signal [get their attention], then ask question
2. Ask question before designating the person to answer
3. Do not repeat nor rephrase the student’s response. May ask for agreement by class or for others to
4. Ask question then wait for 50% of hands [or “bright eyes,” knowing looks]
5. Never ask a question of a student who you
know cannot answer.
6. If the student is confused or can’t answer, calmly repeat the same question or give a direct clue.

Retention, Reinforcement
I. Meaning/understanding (the most effective way to learn)
2. Degree of original learning. Learn it well the first time. [And don’t practice it wrong!]
3. Feeling tone. [positive or negative will work but negative has some undesirable side effects.]
4. Transfer [emphasize similarities for positive transfer and differences where there might be an
incorrect transfer.] [See Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives for levels of learning.
Transfer implies all of the higher levels. See Barak Rosenshine re. decontextualizing following this
summary of the “Hunter Model”–which is essential for effective transfer of knowledge and skills to
the real world.]
5. Schedule of Practice. [Mass the practice at first, then create a regular follow-up schedule.
Creating Directions
1. break down into parts/steps.
2. Give only three at a time, one if the behavior is new.
3. Delay giving instructions until just before the activity.
4. Give directions in the correct sequence.
5. Plan dignified help for those who don’t tune in. [no put-downs]
6. Give directions visually as well as orally (Visual representation of the task) [cf. Fred Jones’ VIP]
Giving Directions
• Give the planned directions [creation above].
• Check the students’ understanding [“Any questions?” does not check understanding.
• Have a student model the behavior. [I .e, on the board or orally.]
• If needed, remediate and recheck. [It is essential that students
do not practice error.]
The Madeline Hunter “Seven Step” lesson design may be used for more than just direct instruction
in the behavioral mode. It can be used as a shell for any instructional lesson or unit.

Decontextualization for transfer and general application
Barak Rosenshine, in a presentation to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Development, Spring 1990, reported on recent research on direct instruction.
Direct instruction
(as addressed by Rosenshine) applies to skills, not to the teaching of content.
Most of the research on teaching effectiveness has been on the teaching of well-structured skills:
how to add, how to focus a microscope. His new work addresses research on
how effective
teachers teach less-structured skills: how to summarize, how to take notes, how to ask
appropriate questions, etc.
Other continua that are similar/parallel to well structured-less
structured are: explicit-implicit, algorithm-heuristic, and concrete-abstract.
The strategies he has recently reported provide
scaffolds for learning the less-structured skills.
o Regulate the difficulty [escalate after learner gets it]
o Anticipate difficult areas [then provide lots of support]
o Model: talk out loud about the process you are going through.
o Provide procedural facilitators [procedural facilitators are to content as advance organizers
are to process]
o Provide appropriate student practice in varied contexts.
All of these apply to the teaching of well-structured skills as well but they are specifically indicated
for the teaching of less structured skills: things for which discrete procedural steps are hard to
identify. They are less relevant to the teaching of content because prior/background knowledge is
key to the teaching of content.
Learning takes place in the
zone of proximal development [ZPD] where the student’s
development is advanced enough for the pupil_to learn but will need help to get there.
A scaffold[outline, model, visual instruction plan (VIP), diagram, or figure that provides an image to
hang ideas on] makes it easier for the learner to “get it” in developmental skills subjects where
background knowledge is not key and so is not applicable for non-progressive content like social
studies or literature. ZPD is not critical for
most content in English or social studies but is more so
in science or math. [Note: writing an essay, at least in the initial learning stages, is a less-structured
skill that has steps that can be taught, e.g., start with an attention-grabber, then a topic sentence,
then a statement followed by supporting information, then another statement with support, then a
third statement with support, then a summary statement tying the three statements to the topic.]
Most things in math and science, especially skills, are taught in a context. For transfer to broader
applicability it is necessary to
decontextualize the learning. One way to do this is in guided
practice by giving attention to decontextualizing the skill by providing lots of varied practice and
spaced practice. [Ed.note: And to have students manipulate the ideas/skills, e.g., “Have you ever
seen something like this down town?” or “How many ways can you think of to use this
concept/skill?” or “Can you explain how you arrived at that answer” (metacognition).]
[Ed. note: It is likely that decontextualization of learning is the most important and least
practiced function of teaching for latter application. The lack of transfer of
knowledge/skills to “real life” is likely the main reason why graduates do so poorly on
state-wide and national tests [even when they “know” the answers: the questions aren’t
asked in the context in which they were learned. It is important that we present and rerepresent the material to be learned in as many different ways/contexts as we can…and
~t the. hinhc.r lc./ nf Rlnnm’c T~vnnnm/ nf l=rl11r-~tinn~I ()hic.,-.ti/c.c 1
Summary of the Summary:
You told them what you were going to tell them with set, you tell them with presentation, you
demonstrate what you want them to do with
modeling, you see ifthey understand what you’ve told them
with.checking for understanding, and you tell them what you’ve told them by tying it all together with
closure. [For a detailed treatment of this topic, see Cooper et al, Classroom Teaching Skills, 4th ed.,
o._c. Heath ~Co., Lexington, Ky.]
The Madeline Hunter “seven step lesson plan.” The basic lesson plan outline given above contains
the so-called “Hunter direct instructio·n lesson plan elements:” 1) objectives; 2) standards·, 3) anticipatory
set, 4) teaching [input, modeling, and check for understanding], 5) guided practice, 6) closure, and 7)
independent practice. If you count input, modeling, and check for understanding as three steps, there are
nine elements…not the seven in the usual title.
Madeline Hunter did not create a seven step lesson plan model. She suggested various elements that
. might be considered in planning for effective instruction. In practice, the~e elements were compiled by
others as the ;,Seven Step Lesson Plan, “taught through teacher inservice, and used as a check list of
items ·thatmust -be. contained in each lesson. This application is
contrary to Dr. Hunter’s intent and its
misuse i~ large_ly ~sporisible for objections t_o “direct instruction” and to Madeline Hunter’s
system ofclir1_i~I supervision. Used as Or. Hunter intended,
the steps make a useful structure for development of many lesson plans…including non-behaviqi;al ones.
Not all elements belong in every lesson although they will occur in a typical unit plan composed of
several lessons. [Those who have an evaluator who use$ the elements as a check list and records a fault
for each elem~nt missing from a lesson are referred to Patricia Wolfe, ‘What the ‘Seven-Step Lesson
Plan’ lsn’t,””Educational Leadership, pp. 70-71, Feb., 1987.] ·

What the ”Seven-Step ~n
Plan” Isn’t!
It’s not a rigid formula but a set of useful elements.
The have poused mstruct10nal gamed by such Madeltne practtces wide Hunter accept­ esance over the past 20 years that one
begins to believe they may escape the
“tlus too shall pass” svndrome that has
plagued so many educauonal mnovauons However, as ts often the case
with popular concepts, Hunter’s practices have suffered abuses as well as
successes Perhaps the most m1Sunderstood component of her work 1S one
has been labeled the “Seven-Step
Lesson Plan,” a term that Hunter
never used
The “trouble” began m 1976 when
Hunter and Doug Russell, the lead
teacher at University Elementary
School, UClA, wrote an arttcle called
Plannmgfor Fffectwe Instructron Lesson Design, m which they descnbed
seven elements that should
be ccmsrdered when des1gnmg a lesson They
wrote that the following elements, 1f
used appropriately,
will mcrease the
probability of student success
reaclung the lesson ob1ect1ve anuopatory set, ob1ect1ve, mput, modeling,
checlang for understanding, guided
practice, and independent practtce
Hunter and Russell do not list them
steps, nor do they mdtcate that the
elements are to
be earned out m
order In the arucle they state their
behef “that a systematic constderatton
of seven elements, which research has
shown to
be influential m learningand
wtuch therefore should be debberately mc/uded or excluded m planrung
lllStructton, will make the cWference m
learners’ success or
lack of tt” (Russell
and Hunter
1976) Taken separately,
each of these elements ts a sensible
mstruCtJonal practtce with which few
would dtsagree However, on the way
to implementation, something
happened that has caused thetr efficacy to
be quesuoned
It could be that educators are
fasanated with numbers or that overworked teachers were looking for an
all-purpose lesson plan Or tt may
have been the fault of staff’ developers
who dtd not completely understand
what Hunter and Russell were saying
Whatever its ongm, the “Seven-Step
“The ‘dissidents’ are
right! Those seven
elements are not
a recipe
to be
followed step,
1by step in
every lesson.”
Lesson Plan” soon became a common
phrase m schools all over the Umted
States Teachers began to try to fit all
elements of the “plan” mto every lesson they taught Adnurustrators who
were newly tramed m cbrucal supervts10n began to look for all seven
as they observed m classrooms, often fuulung teachers tf a step
was mISSmg Behmd the scenes, a few
rumbbngs began to
be heard Soaal
studies teachers m secondary schools
felt that the “Seven-Step Lesson Plan”
as they understood 1t, didn’t work well
for a d1SCUSS1on of democracy Elementary teachers began to complam
that there were umes when one or
more of the steps d1dn’t seem
The “dissidents” are nght
1 Those
seven 1nstruCtJonal elements are not a
recipe to
be followed step by step m
every lesson, they
are elements to be
constderedwhen plannmg mstructton,
regardless of
what form that mstrucuon takes Ifwe agree with Hunter that
teaching is deaslOn making, use ofthe
elements becomes much clearer
teachers prepare to mstruct, they need
to consider many .ractors the content,
their students’ previous knowledge
and learning
styles, thetr own teachmg
styles, and
so on A thorough understanding of ant1etpatory set, of modelmg, or of any of the other elements
allows the teacher to select those strat
egies that will best enable students to
reach the ob1ecuve of the lesson
At tunes all seven elements nught be
used m order m a smgle penod or
session, but on other occasions
would be appropmue to reorder the

“Thank ;yow for ;your cwmcu!um.
We’re seeingdramatic changes

all of owr students
-Evelyn Martin

not to tell them the obJeettve at the
begmnmg of the lesson During anoth­
er lesson, the teacher might determme
that the students need addtttonal input
and would therefore postpone guided
and mdependent pracuce There are
no absolutes m the complex world of
The key to usmg the elements of
mstrucuon appropriately
IS a deep
rather than superficial
of each one Bruce Joyce and Beverly
Showers (1983) call thtS kmd of un­
derstandmg “executive control ” What
appears to have happened
m many
cases is that the trammg ·n these m
structtonal practices has not mcluded
sufficient pracuce for educators to ob­
tam such control, to know when the
use of–an element is mdtcated and
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how to adapt it to specific situattons
and students
The elements ofeffecuve mstructton
(mcludmg the use of mottvation, rem­
forcement, transfer, rate and degree of
learmng, hemisphencity, and reten
tton) generally contamed
m trammg m
Hunter’s practtces might be better un­
as “generic” mstrucuonal
processes that underlie effecuve teach
mg and whose use needs to be
ered m every teachmg s1tuatton With
this understanding, we could eltmt­
nate the terms “Seven-Step Lesson
Plan” and “Hunter Model” and see
these mstructtonal elements
as they
were mtended
as research-validated
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elements or to omit certam elements
altogether For example,
tf students
are having difficulty with a leammg
task and 1t might interfere with their
learrung tf they know they are to work
on it agam, the teacher nught deade

SchooVCompany _____________________
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Russell, D , and M Hunter Planrung for FJ[ectwe /nstruawn Lesson Design Los Angeles, Cahf Seeds Elementary
School, 1976
Patricia Wolfe is Dtrector of Instrucuon,
Office of the Supenntendent, Napa County
Schools, 4032
Maher St, Napa, CA 94558- 2296
F1!BRuARY 1987
~ Fish Bone Organizer of Lesson Design
At the start of the chapter you were invited Organizer below illustrates the components
to think about the components that would of the strategy of Lesson Design.
be part of most lessons. The Fish Bone
Models Input/
Mental Set 1*
Demonstrating Information
Sharing the
Objective and
~ ~ Lesson
/ / Design
Closure/ 2*
Reflection Practice
Ask yourself whether or not you agree
with those instructional ideas. We did.
We asked ourselves:
• Is linking to the past experiences of
students important? (Mental Set)
• Is actively and meaningfully involving
students important? (Mental Set)
• Should students have a say or
opportunity to discuss or debate the
learning objectives? (Sharing the
Objective and Purpose)
• Should we be sensitive to the variety of
ways in which students can obtain
information? (Think about Multiple
Intelligence and Learning Styles.) (Input)
• Is modelling or demonstrating or role
playing a useful process?
• Should teachers and students check to
see they understand?
• Should students practise or simply be
able to explain? Is a tutor or a mentor
sometimes useful? (Guided and
Independent Practice)
Checking for
• Is a summary of the key learning and
integration with previous learning a
worthwhile idea (Closure and Extension)
Beyond Monet I Barrie Bennett I Carol Rolheiser
Mental Set Bri~.lJ)escription
Mental Set is an instrqf;i~nal ·tg~P’ept~a . ” ,,.
teacher invokes to get stl(el’e.µts’·’focusect:;n’d )
actively involved in leaping’. Another la~el~;,-·/
could be “lesson introlfuction” or the
i ‘f, .~”‘-··” ‘
“hook.” This insttjicton~lifO!l,cept is often)
initi~ted i~ a lesson
~6~tb.J teachef~”‘”­
playmg with three criti~J~ribRftSithe=-
essential characteristics d(§_~’€~h}li”il,,
course, if students run through yo:1.r·i;:,;,,·”‘
classroom doors with palpitating hearts,
passionately demanding to begin your class
work immediately, then you can most likely
dispense with Mental Set.
(See Examples on Web site)
1. Linking to the past experiences of the
students through questions or activities.
2. Having
all Students (or as many as
possible) actively involved.
3. Connecting Students’ involvement to the
learning objective.
Usually at the beginning of a lesson or to refocus the students after an interruption in the
lesson (e.g., someone at the door).
Remember though, that the learning may
be so intrinsically interesting that you do
not need a Mental Set. This is no different
from art.
If you don’t need a colour, you
don’t use it.
To increase the chances all students are
meaningfully connected and involved in the
learning. We often think students are not
~nterested in learning; not true. They are
mterested in learning-they are just not
interested in what and how it is being
presented. Remember that students have an
intense and demanding life outside of the
classroom. Other things are often on their
mind (e.g., birthdays, competitions, divorces,
new puppies, deaths, falling into or out of
love). Mental Set must attend to those
competing demands.
Mental Set can occur in a matter of seconds
or, if students don’t have the experiences, it
may take as long as a film, a story, or a field
tri~the time needed to create the
experiences. At times the Mental Set can
have a complete lesson embedded inside it.
Si~ply said, Mental Set is about getting the
mmd learn. Mental Set is also a
place to invoke the power of the skills that
enhance motivation.
The fascinating aspect of MENTAL SET is
that like a puzzle piece, it has receptor sites.
Those receptor sites allow other tactics such
as Mind Maps and Word Webs, as well as
other strategies such as Inquiry, Concept
Attainment, Role-Playing, and Inductive
Thinking to become the Mental Set. The
Set ~an be pointedly precise or mythically
magic. Regardless of what you do, it will
set the tone for the students’ involvement in
the lesson.

Sharing the Objective and
This is the place in the le,s~Oii ~here,-the .
teacher decides whethe:ldr not to.’.’.share
;.,,’,{ ,.,,..o· .•:
and/or discuss wi~9.=th~!i§Jgg~nts wh”tthey
will be learninwtt term~
of ~J1e cogntt,ive,
affective, or psyc;,9tctrtlomains. In··..,.:
addition, a discu;s1p9 often occurs a~Jt6-why
it is importanr,,.J~frtheI]J..,,t.Q inquirv-·1hto this
particular are~
a~~ hjtfit(;OJ}l”fe~ts to their
lives. Shared [email protected]~es ·1a,,9,€VShared Purposes
represent the statements that assist students
in understanding how to meet learning
outcomes or bench marks. As Madeline
(1994) states: “It is not the pedantic:
At the end of today’s lesson you will be able
to …”. Although that objective is in the
teacher’s mind as a guide, the objective is
in student language. “Today we are
going to extend our thinking about the types
of energy you have explored.
I thought we
might employ a Mind Map to assist us to
pull the ideas together and then we can see
how you respond to some questions that will
come out of your thinking from your Mind
(See Examples on Web site)
1.The objective is stated in student language
and states what will be learned and how
the students will demonstrate that learning.
It can also include the level of performance
re the assessment of the learning (say
accuracy) and the conditions (given 30
minutes). (For example: Given 30 minutes
and the opportunity to work with a
partner, the students will construct at least
three arguments that communicate their
understanding of both sides of the issue re
the conflict of clear cutting.)
2. The objective is clear, and if required,
3. The objective is specific i.e., the level of
thinking is considered.
4. The objective is meaningful or relevant.
Usually the objective is shared near the
beginning of the lesson-unless the objective is
to be discovered through student involvement
in an Inquiry-oriented lesson. In this case,
you might want the student to identify the
objective and purpose for the lesson as part of ·
the summary or Closure to the lesson.
If students know where they are going it
increases the chances they will get thereespecially if the purpose
for the objective has
meaning and interest.
As teachers, we often have a passion for our
subject … a passion that is not always shared
by the students. Although that passion is
useful to us, we must remember that our
students seldom walk through the door with
that same level of appreciation. It’s not that
they are not interested, they are simply not
interested in what we want them to be
interested in.
If we as teachers are not
sensitive to the learner’s disposition to the
content being learned, then we increase the
chances students
will not be sensitive to ours.
Note that an objective might be relevant, but we need to ask if it is also meaningful
and relevant. Is working on worksheets in math an example of brain-friendly learning?
If a learning objective is lacking authenticity and relevance the human brain is more
likely to reject it. The brain is designed for survival; not boredom.

Input or Informa,tion.·,
A Brief Description… ·
Input or information !”ct:£~,rs}to ’h~!}.he’. _:,
students receive to fablitate the learnfrig. . …
That information
s,~n :~merge froni•.~ ht1;;ber
of sources: l ••c .
• from other sihderi~{;for ex~pl,e”;”in.’ .,l’- ,.
Cooperative Learning-Jes·s~n} –
• the teacher
• computer searches
• a video,
film, slides, pictures
• guest speakers
• field trips
• a trip to the library
• books
• the student’s_ own experiences and thinking
• activities such as drama or role playing
• other instructional strategies such as
Mind Mapping, Concept Attainment,
Inductive Thinking, Inquiry, Group
Investigation, etc.
Although stated previously, as many of the
senses (auditory, visual, tactile, kinesthetic,
taste, and smell) should be stimulated as
appropriate to accommodate the sensory
strengths and weaknesses of the students.
(See Examples on Web site)
1. The Input relates to the learning to be
2. The Input supports/encourages an
appropriate level or area of thinking.
3. The Input should facilitate a meaningful
and interesting inquiry.
Of course, the other decision the teacher
must make about the use of information
relates to the percentage of time students will
work individually, in small cooperative
groups, or in large group discussions. The
authors believe that no single approach is
best; variety and balance is the key.
Obviously Input is not as simple as Input.
All of the above can be situated on a
continuum of teacher-influenced to studentinfluenced or postivist to constructivist. The
options are richly complex.
Stepping back to other literatures that
inform or guide Input we must also
consider the literature/research on:
• gender
• culture and ethnicity
• learning disabilities
• the human brain
• children at risk
• multiple intelligence
• emotional intelligence

A BriefDescriptj.oin,__ · -< • , -. ·· ·
t.,-._,.:-..•t-Je.”~· ··, – .
Modelling usually refers_tpcthe visual ,<· –. ·
representations of yvh;_afis being learned Ui~e
a model of the huflal he,(r>t can ~lso_~,~!.er
to “hearing” or “f~g-” ~~¢sentat1<j>fiSsuch as a poem or piec(:<‘?l,musi5r–0_zthe.~_?ea
of rough or cold respecti:yel’~:r/’”[·
<( _)
Demonstrations usually refer to a’n.~a6tr6n or
simulation or a process (as in an experiment

or solving a math problem).


(See Examples on Web site)
1. The Model/Demonstration contains the
critical elements or steps to be learned.
2. The Model/Demonstration is not confusing
or ambiguous.
3. The students can see and, if necessary, hear
or touch the attributes.
4. The students can talk about what they see,
hear, or touch related to the critical
Note: a student cannot
‘see’ all the attributes
(characteristics) of a
mammal by analyzing a
picture (life, birth, hair on body, warm
blooded); so we must be sensitive to
what is ‘discernable.’
In most cases, Modelling comes after or
along with the information being presented.
At times it can occur at the beginning of the
lesson as part of the Mental Set to generate
input or information. As well, it can also be
applied in the process of Checking for
Understanding, Practice, and Closure.
Modelling helps students remember what
was learned by acting as a visual check on
what was presented orally. As well, it
provides variety and interest and, if possible,
hands-on experience.
Note that if you
integrate the Concept
Attainment or Inductive
Strategies into the lesson, the
Modelling occurs in the presentation of
the data sets. Also, when using Mind
Maps, the drawings completed by the
students are one of the factors that make
Mind Maps effective in assisting students
to retain information.
When teachers are encouraging divergent
thinking or creativity, they must be
thoughtful about whether or not to employ
Modelling-it can control or encourage
students to replicate the model and work
against divergent/creative thinking.

Checking for Unc)erst4nding:

· ‘ — ·.
A Brief Descriptiori•·•,;(>~;: .,,,__-

This is a process that assj,sts·:teichers in
“· .· ·can also occur in the Mental Set to check
what students know before starting the

monitoring the learninfa~d d~t:e-r.{?ining if

students have attained 1:1,.~pptbpr~rte leve~9j:-c
lesson or in the Closure to summarize the

competence related to tltctti.r~eted’ le~~~ing_:,_
key ideas in the lesson.

Based on that finding, a che;cl< ‘fpr /<, .- _)

understanding helps teacher~m;R~ (” >,~•’””
adjustments in their teaching. Adjustments
can include actions such as re-teaching the
same way; break into simpler steps and re
to trying a different approach; leaving
it until later; or, if successful, to go on to the

A Check for Understanding increases the
·chances the students will experience success
rather than frustration or confusion during
the Practice. Successful students are more
likely to be motivated to continue learning
discouraged children are not so apt to
become a management problem because their,
concerns are being picked up and resolved.

next step.

The use of rubrics or benchmarks is one

way for students to check their own
understanding. Rubrics can also involve
_student self-assessment, which is another

·· •· t]sually the Check for Understanding is used
Le ,r–b:efore the students are asked to Practise. It
process that allows students to take more
responsibility for checking their
(See Examples on Web site)
1. It involves all the students (the concept of
active participation).
2. The teacher asks for an overt response.
3. Students get specific feedba.ek.
It relates to the objective and the desired
type or level of thinking.
5. The teacher responds appropriately to the
students’ efforts. (e.g., if a student is asked
a question and gives an incorrect, partially
correct or correct response).


“I lift, you grab was that concept jµst a
little too complex, Carl?”
THE FARSIDE Gary Larson(). 1991 Far Works, Inc. Used with permission_ All Rights Reserved.
——— ————————————————
Practice: Guided &
Independent: A Brief
Practice is the time giv~1ti~,Jhe 12i~on- or
outside the cla.~sf6om”-fitg:: homewcirk) to
l,· ;,__ ‘.· . __,_ ..
allow the studt:pf”tq trf-o:ut’,,or expeden,,ce
what was learn~cl’>(lY,
1is an opportuntryto
apply their ung~tsfa’nding. Two ty,pes of
{” ;:,; _…,.~”): ;”‘
practice that ~xl~! onfei,:tfi’el end·bf a
continuum are,,~pri'<‘ingt_ilnf>letely alone
(Independent Practice) or having intense help
(Guided Practice). Practice can also be
massed (intense period, then finished) or
distributed (shorter periods that occur over
Guided Practice – the student receives or can
ask for assistance from the teacher, parents,
other students, etc. The idea of peer tutors,
coaching, and mentoring also relate to this
type of practice, as would aspects of
Cooperative Learning. In Guided Practice
you are intending to make sure the student is
comfortable with the ideas before allowing
her to work more independently.
Independent Practice – the student completes
a task with no help from another source.
Homework usually falls into this category.
Note that some students
will need more Guided
Practice than others.
well, some students will
prefer to be totally independent.
(See Examples on Web site)
1. Amount. How much should be practised?
(suggestion: a small, meaningful amount)
2. Duration. How long should they practise?
(suggestion: a short, intense period)
3. Frequency. How often should they
practise? (suggestion: a variety, from
massed to distributed)
4. Feedback. How will they find out how
well they did? (feedback or knowledge of
5. Timing. Is the practice to be massed for
immediate use (a lot of practice with no or
little other learning between practices) or
distributed for long term retention?
6. Appropriateness. Does the practice relate
to the objective (the intended learning) and
the appropriate level of thinking?
Practice usually occurs after what has been
learned has been Modelled or Demonstrated
and the students understand what they are to
apply during the Practice.
Practice is used to increase the chances that
students not only remember what they have
learned, but also that they transfer that
learning to new situations. “To know
something is to act on it-to act on it is to
remember it.”

Closure: A BriefDe’$cription
Closure is often a final slrin,mJ;.;_,of’”thi , .
lesson that occurs
in ,,.the,.mirids of the …,·•·~,-,. –4:.-.· · ····,::
learners, not the mincis.,_of the teadier.; It,,,,e~n-_
be similar to a Cq.e¼½;Jir Understlnciilig

although it usuaJfr t f-;; .,~”·”·••ci on the major. –.f,.•··•• f )
learning of the lesson;;,-{~ can 9.~~ sii]ipf,e’: ··It
can be complex. It can J1so’-en:(outag~”tp.e
students to extend their thinking, tqdn.a·ke
connections to what they have alie;dy
learned, or will be learning next…like a
transition phase.
Usually at the end of the lesson or a phase of
the lesson.
Closure brings the major ideas in the lesson
into a sharper focus. It provides tim,e for the
student to gel the learning. It might be as
simple as explaining the major ideas in a
lesson, or as complex as having students
argue the value of what was learned. At
times it invites the students to be creative
with what was learned or to apply it in a
different situation. Somehow, during the
lesson the students must obtain what David
(1986} discusses as Knowledge as
Design. That is, have they…
1. understood the structure of what was
2. discussed the purpose of that learning?
3.experienced model cases of that learning?
4. inquired into the arguments or value of
that learning?
If not…then of what value was the learning?
(See Examples on Web site)
1. Closure actively involves all the students.
2. The Closure relates to the objective (often
by extending the objective).
. . : . . . .
Caution: Often the teacher
does the summary or checks
with one or two students
and asks “Now does everyone
understand?” and assumes that because
no student responds, that all students do.
When in fact the hidden response is: