Puzzled about FIP in Action? How the Pieces Fit Together

Educators across Ohio are working to implement new standards, assessments, and teacher evaluation processes. As I talk with educators, I keep hearing the same question: Where does FIP fit into our current school reform puzzle? Educators seem to agree that the four core components of FIP are good practice, but what does the image look like when we put the puzzle together? What does a FIP classroom look and sound like?

The answer is that it looks and sounds different in different settings. There is no one “right” way to use formative instructional practices. Context and content matter. Your students’ needs matter.  Though at times it seems contrary to our expectations and experience, there is no one right way to put this puzzle together.

In response to this big question of what FIP looks like, the Ohio Department of Education, in partnership with Battelle for Kids, is developing FIP in Action modules to share examples of how FIP can be used in the context of Ohio’s New Learning Standards and other improvement efforts. Each FIP in Action module illustrates a different classroom, with selected content and students, to highlight how the four core components of formative instructional practices can be used in that setting. Rather than step-by-step instructions for recreating a lesson, these modules are intended to show multiple ways FIP can be implemented and generate ideas among teacher-based teams.

Each module will introduce you to a teacher or team of teachers, the grade, subject, and context in which they teach, and some of their students—all of which are integral to putting the pieces of FIP into action. For example, in the newest module, FIP in Action: ELA, KindergartenOpinion Writing you’ll meet Mrs. Davis and five of her students as they use formative instructional practices to work on writing opinions at various times of the year. She uses different strategies to help Kindergarteners understand that there are steps in their learning. She also teaches them how to self-assess. The educational choices Mrs. Davis makes are based on not only the content she is to teach, but the students she is teaching as well. The practices she uses fit together with the students she is teaching—they are all part of the puzzle.


FIP Your School Ohio currently has seven FIP in Action modules available to help you envision how formative instructional practices can be applied in your setting. And, there are many more modules on the way. Best of all, these modules are written by Ohio educators and are based on real stories from the classroom. As you work through the FIP in Action modules, look for practices that you can commit to trying in your classroom. Look for ideas that can help you use stronger instructional practice in your context with your students. There is no one way to put this puzzle together—it’s up to you and your students to determine what FIP looks like in your classroom.   

Click here if you are an Ohio educator interested in enrolling in the FIP in Action modules.