Reflection #1: Instructional improvement cycle: A teacher's toolkit for collecting and analyzing data on instructional strategies

Name of the article, class, or workshop: 
Instructional improvement cycle: a teacher's toolkit in collecting and analyzing data on instructional strategies



18 November 2016

What I learned from the article, class or workshop (summary):

This article offers a research-based strategy for improving instructions of individual teachers or teacher teams. With this strategy, teachers are encouraged to collect data by administering tests prior to and after teaching two groups of students, which one receives a certain teaching strategy. The results of the assessment should give the teachers an idea if a certain approach works for the students or not. This instructional improvement cycle involves the use of three tools- a planning guide, an Excel spreadsheet, and a reflection guide.

How will I integrate my learning into my instruction (plan):

We team teach our 13 students. We teach only one group of students. Therefore, it may be a challenge on how to apply this strategy in our class. However, the idea is great. It will surely benefit teachers in many ways.

This instructional improvement cycle is a perfect fit for teachers who teach two groups of students (classes). But because we teach one group only, we can modify this strategy a little bit. I am thinking of dividing our class into two groups. One group will receive a certain instructional approach while the other group will not. For example, we will make the members of the first group to work with a classmate while the students in the second group will be required to work independently. We may have to try this approach a few times to find if it works for them or not.

In unit two, we will try this strategy in mathematics. Before the end of 2016, we should be able to assess a few strategies if they work for students or not.

Here are some strategies to be tried in our class.

  • Interacting with Peers (Think-Pair-Share)

  • Thinking Aloud

  • Visual Representations (Use of Manipulatives)


As mentioned above, this strategy might be fitting for two separate classes but covering the same lessons. The problem with having the two groups in one classroom is that students don't understand why teachers make them do different things. 

In our class, we allowed one group to work in pairs while the other group did their exercises individually. Some of them wanted to work with a partner as well. They solved division problems with no remainders.

Though the experiment is not very successful, we were able to see the advantage of making students work in pairs. Some of them are able to help their partners understand how to do the work at hand. This approach is more advantageous for students who struggle to learn concepts and skills. 

Maybe next time, we will do this experiment again but with two different groups to get more data. 

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