Innovation is synonym for best practices. Whether it is sound technology integration, proper grouping systems, or simply revamping your curriculum design and distribution. Best practices are certainly key elements that every teacher and leader wants in their classroom. All too often, we do not know where to start. We do not know which direction to take, or how to begin this journey. This post will highlight the three basic steps you need to take to make a lasting difference in your classroom.

Understand your Standards
  • This HAS to be the first step when looking at changing the practices in your classroom. Without a deep understanding of your standards, you cannot ensure that you are delivering them in a manner that reaches your students, and also allows for custom pathways in your delivery. There are many tactics to start this process. I would recommend you find the standards you are responsible for, and copy them into a more friendly format that allows them to be in one spot. This will create an easily accessible document that is readable. 
Find a Model
  • Innovation today has countless shapes and forms. It takes shape in one classroom, and may morph into something completely different by the end of the lesson. Being flexible from the beginning in how this will look is a great first step. After the initial "let go" of control, you can explore the many structures that establish innovation in schools. Example structures include: PBL, STEM, 1 to 1, Blended, Flipped, Paperless...

Make Connections
  • Once you have a model you like, and a deep understanding of the standards, it is time to make connections between the learning. Find standards that lend themselves to each other, combine strands of learning to create deep, rich learning environments for your students. I have two documents that may help you in connecting these learning.

When you complete these, you can truly deliver excellence! Allow the traditional model to fade away, and make room for learning that makes a lasting difference in the lives of your students. Take time to do this carefully and slowly. 

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