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Thoughtful Classroom Rubric

Are you looking for a simple but deep rubric for evaluating the teachers in your school or district? If so, the Thoughtful Classroom Teacher Effectiveness Framework might be what you are looking for. Developed by Silver, Strong and Associates, the rubric has 40 years of research behind it and was created based upon input from over 250 teacher, administrators and union reps. The framework was developed to be manageable based on realities of the classroom. Improving effective instruction and creating a common language about high-quality teaching are the two main goals of the framework. 

What makes it simple but deep? 

The rubric is built around 10 dimensions of effective teaching, split into three different components. The first component is the Four Cornerstones of Teaching. These four foundational dimensions are the universal elements of quality instruction that must be present for high quality student learning. It includes Organization, Rules and Procedures, Positive Relationships, Engagement and Enjoyment and finally, a Culture of Thinking and Learning. Once the classroom is built on these four cornerstones, instruction can be concentrated on.  

The 5 Dimensions

Next are the 5 dimensions of effective instruction, which will lead to deep learning and high-quality lessons and units when done effectively. These include Preparing Students for Learning, Presenting New Learning, Deepening and Reinforcing Learning, Applying that Learning, and finally Celebrating the Learning. Each of these dimensions builds upon one another and are all parts of a high-quality lesson. 

The final component is Effective Professional Practice, where it is looking beyond the classroom. This section looks at the teacher’s commitment to Professional Growth, School Community, and Professionalism.  Each dimension has an Essential question which is used to drive discussion which helps focus on what is important and fosters common language for instruction, also has teacher indicators and student indicators. The teacher indicators are what evaluators look for as to what the teacher is doing in the classroom and includes the planning, instruction, and assessments the teachers are doing. The student indicators help determine the impact on student achievement the lesson has.  

The framework is simple because it is created on 3 components that include ten dimensions to create one organized framework. It is deep because the essential questions, teacher indicators and student indicators all lead to enhanced student learning when used effectively. If you are interested in the Thoughtful Classroom, please contact us and we can assist you.  


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