When I hear teachers describe their work with Formative Instructional Practices, it often occurs to me that no two stories are exactly the same. Teachers often take different modules, almost always set different goals, and inevitably take away slightly different messages from all of these experiences. It might be a silly example, but it reminds me a lot of the Hershey’s slogan “There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s.” As long as teachers are open to change, allow themselves to try new things, and are passionate about improving their practices, there’s no wrong way to experience FIP.
But with the myriad tools and modules available to you through FIP Your School Ohio, it might be easy to become overwhelmed or miss a resource that could be most beneficial to your professional learning journey. Let us help you come up with a plan that best suits your needs and your experiences. As you read, it may be helpful to pull up the FIP Your School Blended Learning Page located here. You can then review the different modules under the tab by type and decide which ones will be best for you.
Many teachers begin their work with FIP in each of the 5 Foundations of Formative Instructional Practices courses. From that point, they may take a course in Creating Clear Learning Targets for their subject and grade level before adding on some of the FIP in Action modules to see how it plays out. Other teachers decide to start out with the FIP in Action modules and work their way back into the clear learning targets and each of the foundations courses. Either way works, and we encourage you to select the courses you think will be the best use of your time. After taking these courses, one teacher noted, “Now I realize the importance of using the objectives to be a more clear teacher. The students need to understand where we ultimately want to end up in the learning process, and why." Take a minute to review each section and choose several additional courses that you might be interested in taking.
Additionally, review the new Reaching Every Student module series for work with gifted students, English language learners, and students with disabilities. After taking “Reaching English Language Learners”, one teacher reflected that all of her colleagues “…could truly benefit from the module. It would help if they get an ELL student now or in the future. This year we have 6 first-graders who have ‘other than English’ as their home language.” Responding to student needs and differences is so universal, and all teachers can learn something new from each of these modules related to special populations. Add one or two of these modules to your list, maybe to deepen your learning about a familiar group or to gain new knowledge about working with an unfamiliar group.
Scrolling through the Blended Learning Page, you’ll also likely stumble upon Measuring Student Growth in Classrooms and the Designing Sound Assessment series. As a FIP teacher, you know how important it is to monitor student learning accurately. If you want to learn more about these practices, we encourage you to take these modules.
Ready for another challenge? Some teachers take modules that are outside of their grade level or content area knowledge to see how FIP applies to other areas in order to stretch their thinking beyond their own experiences. Typically, teachers walk away learning how to apply familiar practices in entirely new ways because they see FIP in a new light.
Whether you’ve been using FIP with your students for several years or you’re completely new to the practices, it’s worth it to take a step back and review some of the resources we have to offer to add to your repertoire. If you have questions about which modules are best for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to support you in your learning journey.