Characteristics of Highly Effective Teaching and Learning

Expand/Collapse Characteristics of Highly Effective Teaching and Learning


This collection illustrates high quality instruction as described in The Characteristics of Highly Effective Teaching and Learning, available at the Kentucky Department of Education website.

Characteristics for both teachers and students are divided into five sections: Learning Climate, Classroom Assessment and Reflection, Instructional Rigor and Student Engagement, Instructional Relevance, and Knowledge of Content.

Resources include documents, PowerPoints, templates, and videos for teachers to use as discussion starters or for individual study.

For more information about The Characteristics of Highly Effective Teaching and Learning, contact KDE.

  • Kentucky System of Interventions

    This resource guides schools and districts in developing a unique process for making decisions about interventions, using a variety of assessments for screening, progress monitoring, and diagnosis. The guide provides information about research-based programs to help meet their students’ needs. In addition, there is an Action Plan template to guide schools in setting short term goals as they develop their systems for intervention.

    Grades: 13+
  • Components of the Student Individual Learning Plan (ILP)

    This PDF informs educators about each component about the student part of the ILP. The Individual Learning Plan, or ILP, is a web-enabled tool that allows students in grades 6-12 to explore careers related to their interests and abilities as well as plan and prepare for their future careers. Additionally, the ILP is a component of the Program Review for Practical Living and Career Studies, part of the new assessment system in Kentucky. 

    Grades: 13+
  • Differentiation for Reading in Math

    In this video, Melissa Rohrer describes an approach to teaching geometry to a diverse group of eighth grade students. The lessons incorporate a SmartBoard©, which uses video and interactive exercises to engage the students. Melissa and Jennifer developed a resource booklet for students to take structured notes in a consistent manner. It also serves as a way for teachers to scaffold the material and differentiate when appropriate.

    Grades: 13+
  • Early Literacy Instruction for Middle-Level Learners

    In this video, viewers observe as D. Simpson teaches eighth grade students with very low reading abilities who need explicit reading instruction at an early literacy acquisition level. A typical lesson includes talking, manipulating, and writing.

    Grades: 13+
  • Fostering High Order Thinking

    In this video, viewers watch principal Dewey Hensley talk about schoolwide efforts to engage students in higher order thinking. Time is set aside daily for H.O.T.S. (Higher Order Thinking Skills) during which teachers at all grade levels engage their students in activities that challenge them to think at very high levels. Ongoing professional development and leadership supports teachers in asking questions that result in higher order thinking in authentic assessment and instructional activities.

    Grades: 13+
  • Four Part Vocabulary Instruction

    This resource for teachers features a four part vocabulary program providing information to assist teachers and schools as they improve their research based vocabulary instruction. The four parts of the program include fostering word consciousness, encouraging wide reading, teaching individual words, and teaching word learning strategies. This presentation describes each part, explains how to incorporate each into your classroom and create a vocabulary rich environment.

    Grades: 13+
  • Generating Questions To Aid Reading Comprehension

    In this video, teacher Debbie Clark guides her students in writing questions before they begin reading a text in order to promote active reading. During the reading, students pause to generate and write questions on their graphic organizers. After reading, the students generate questions that may lead to research.

    Grades: 13+
  • Guided Oral Reading for Diverse Abilities

    In this video, students work in simultaneous groups or at literacy work stations on specific skills identified by the teachers. Some have Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and other sudents need explicit comprehension instruction. The students are grouped according to specific skill needs, the assessment is continuous, and the groups are ever changing.

    Grades: 13+
  • Guided Reading Group

    In this video clip, viewers watch as the teacher scaffolds specific comprehension thought processes her fourth grade students need to synthesize what they have read.

    Grades: 13+
  • Hybrid Lesson Template

    This lesson template for teachers will enable you to efficiently organize a lesson or unit to accomplish the goal of incorporating a hybrid/blended lesson in the classroom. Blended learning combines online delivery of educational content with the best features of classroom interaction and live instruction to personalize learning, allow thoughtful reflection, and differentiate instruction from student to student across a diverse group of learners.

    Grades: 13+
  • Ideas for Curriculum Implementation of ILPs

    This resource for teachers provides ideas for integrating the ILP across the curriculum. In order for Kentucky students to maximize college and career decisions, the ILP should be incorporated into daily and weekly lesson plans. The Individual Learning Plan, or ILP, is a web-enabled tool that allows students in grades 6-12 to explore careers related to their interests and abilities as well as plan and prepare for their future careers. Additionally, the ILP is a component of the Program Review for Practical Living and Career Studies, part of the new assessment system in Kentucky.

    Grades: 13+
  • ILP: Beyond Compliance

    This resource provides information about the ILP as it relates to minimum high school graduation requirements mandated by Kentucky law. Additionally, the resource explores how the ILP can positively impact school culture. The ILP, is a web-enabled tool that allows students in grades 6-12 to explore careers related to their interests and abilities as well as plan and prepare for their future careers. Additionally, the ILP is a component of the Program Review for Practical Living and Career Studies, part of the new assessment system in Kentucky.

    Grades: 13+
  • ILP Classroom Activities

    This resource features 14 activities that take students through each section of the ILP. The Individual Learning Plan, or ILP, is an online education planning tool that allows students in grades 6-12 to explore careers related to their interests and abilities as well as plan and prepare for their future careers. Additionally, the ILP is a component of the Program Review for Practical Living and Career Studies, part of the new assessment system in Kentucky.

    Grades: 13+
  • ILP Completion Guide

    This resource informs educators of the sections of The Individual Learning Plan, or ILP, students in each grade are required to complete. The ILP, is an online education planning tool that allows students in grades 6-12 to explore careers related to their interests and abilities as well as plan and prepare for their future careers. Additionally, the ILP is a component of the Program Review for Practical Living and Career Studies, part of the new assessment system in Kentucky.

    This resource includes 14 activities that take students through each section of the ILP.

    Grades: 13+
  • ILP Implementation Tools

    This resource for teachers serves to aid in incorporating an ILP into the course curriculum including multiple examples of implementation plans from schools throughout the state. The Individual Learning Plan, or ILP, is an online education planning tool that allows students in grades 6-12 to explore careers related to their interests and abilities as well as plan and prepare for their future careers. Additionally, the ILP is a component of the Program Review for Practical Living and Career Studies, part of the new assessment system in Kentucky.

    Grades: 13+
  • Integrating the Arts across the Curriculum

    The following resource is a lesson plan template created to support teachers as they consider how to integrate the arts into instruction. When the arts (drama, music, dance, etc..) are included to introduce, reinforce, or even extend a lesson within a content area, student motivation increases and often student learning improves as well.

    Grades: 13+
  • Introducing Vocabulary

    In this video, teacher Susan Christy describes and illustrates the strategies (scaffolding and differentiation) she uses to introduce new vocabulary in seventh grade social studies and address the needs of students with literacy challenges.

    Grades: 13+
  • Introduction to ORQs in Primary

    In this video, teacher Jenny Schuler introduces her first-graders to the open response question, or ORQ. She guides students through understanding what the questions is requiring them to do, writing developmentally-appropriate responses, and using a rubric to assess themselves.

    Grades: PreK-3
  • "I Wonder" Reading Comprehension Strategy

    In this video, teacher Patrice McCrary uses established routines that allow her kindergartners to function successfully as they learn how to use the "I wonder..." strategy. By generating questions, students become more aware of whether they can answer the questions and if they understand what they're reading.

    Grades: 13+
  • "Making Words" Phonics Literacy Instruction

    This video presents an instructional strategy in onset-rime phonics instruction in which children learn to identify the sound of the letter or letters before the first vowel (the onset) in a one-syllable word and the sound of the remaining part of the word (the rime). Teacher Felicia Cumings-Smith guides a small group of students in "making words," starting with two-letter words and building to five.

    Grades: 13+

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