G.R.E.A.T. Instruction


    What are the Characteristics of G.R.E.A.T. Instruction?

    The G.R.E.A.T. Instruction framework outlines five intertwined elements of instructional practice that complement and enhance one another.  When integrated into learning experiences, these elements support each individual student with the goals of improving outcomes, building confidence, and instilling a sense of belonging.


    The G.R.E.A.T. Instruction framework is grounded in the understanding that effective instruction is: 

    Guided by the Curriculum:

    • identifiable learning goals linked to the standards that are clearly communicated
    • strategically pre-planned lessons that focus on content grounded in uncovering new ideas that have students thinking deeply (not just memorizing & practicing)
    • students understand, apply, create and evaluate

    Rigorous & Relevant:

    • curriculum & instruction center on meaningful performances in real-world contexts
    • content is interesting and involves intellectual challenges as students apply essential concepts and skills to real-world, complex, and open-ended situations
    • success with these tasks creates new, meaningful, and valuable learning in contexts beyond the curriculum unit or classroom setting

    Engaging & Exciting:

    • teachers intentionally create organized and cohesive experiences to assist students to make connections to key concepts while students are directly involved and invested in the discovery of their own knowledge.
    • collaboration is present as students engage in experiential learning that is authentic, holistic, and challenging
    • students are empowered to use prior knowledge to construct new learning and develop higher-order thinking

    Assessment FOR Learning:

    • formative assessment that “forms” your instruction
    • collecting information on student progress toward a learning goal and using it to adjust instruction to increase student understanding
    • not an add-on to instruction but rather an integral component of instruction to identify needs and close the learning gaps

    Tailored to the Individual Student:

    • planning for and teaching to differences among learners in the classroom
    • designed to ensure all students acquire the essential grade-level concepts and essential skills, concepts, and understandings housed within the curriculum
    • requires the use of data to guide instructional decision-making, students are provided core, supplemental, and intensive levels of support

    (Modified from the work of John O'Conner:  Turning Average Instruction into Great Instruction: School Leadership's Role in Student Achievement, 2009)