Instructional Shifts


    Shifts in E.L.A./Literacy


    Shift 1

    Balancing Informational

    &  Literary Text

    Students read a true balance of informational and literary texts.

    Shift 2

    Knowledge in the Disciplines

    Students build knowledge about the world (domains/ content areas) through TEXT rather than the teacher or activities

    Shift 3

    Staircase of Complexity

    Students read the central, grade appropriate text around which instruction is centered.  Teachers are patient, create more time and space and support in the curriculum for close reading.

    Shift 4

    Text-based Answers

    Students engage in rich and rigorous evidence based conversations about text. 

    Shift 5

    Writing from Sources

    Writing emphasizes use of evidence from sources to inform or make an argument. 

    Shift 6

    Academic Vocabulary

    Students constantly build the transferable vocabulary they need to access grade level complex texts.  This can be done effectively by spiraling like content in increasingly complex texts.


    Shifts in Mathematics

    Shift 1




    Teachers significantly narrow and deepen the scope of how time and energy is spent in the math classroom. They do so in order to focus deeply on only the concepts that are prioritized in the standards.


    Shift 2




    Principals and teachers carefully connect the learning within and across grades so that students can build new understanding onto foundations built in previous years.


    Shift 3




    Students are expected to have speed and accuracy with simple calculations; teachers structure class time and/or homework time for students to memorize, through repetition, core functions.


    Shift 4





    Students deeply understand and can operate easily within a math concept before moving on. They learn more than the trick to get the answer right. They learn the math.


    Shift 5




    Students are expected to use math and choose the appropriate concept for application even when they are not prompted to do so.


    Shift 6


    Dual Intensity


    Students are practicing and understanding. There is more than a balance between these two things in the classroom – both are occurring with intensity.