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THE 8-STEP PROCESS DEFINED
 

Step 1 – Disaggregate the Data
Disaggregate is defined as “to separate something into component parts or to break apart.” Teachers and administrators break down standardized test data into individual student and classroom reports. The previous year’s test scores are arranged from lowest to highest so that teachers can group students and identify the students’ weak and strong objective areas. Teachers also receive student performance data for their previous year’s class so they can analyze the impact of their instruction and identify any areas on which to focus professional development. If needed, training in data interpretation and analysis is provided for teachers and administrators.

Step 2 – Instructional Focus Calendar
The Instructional Focus Calendar is created prior to the beginning of the school year using the results from Step 1. The Instructional Focus calendar states the Sunshine State Standards and benchmarks to be taught, the window of time when they will be taught, and the dates for which students will be assessed. The deficient skills are prioritized and all skills may be repeated throughout the year. It is best to allow at least two weeks for instructional focus for each skill. The calendar can be changed based on students’ progress toward mastering standards/benchmarks.

The Instructional Focus calendar is also used to identify content areas and concepts in which teacher training will be needed. Based on identified needs, professional development opportunities are scheduled to ensure that teachers have the necessary skills to effectively teach concepts related to the standards/ benchmarks to be taught.

SAMPLE CALENDARS:

Elementary Instructional Focus Calendar
Middle School Instructional Focus Calendar
High School Instructional Focus Calendar

Step 3 – Instructional Focus Activities
Instructional Focus activities are the backbone of the Eight Step Process. The objective is for all teachers in all disciplines to be teaching the same skills throughout the day, according to the Instructional Focus Calendar (Step 2). For a certain amount of time each day (e.g., 10 minutes each day at elementary level, 10 minutes each class period at secondary level), teachers will focus on the agreed-upon standard/benchmark. The Instructional Focus is a school-wide priority. This way a student sees the value of how a particular skill is applied across the entire curriculum. For example, finding the main idea in a reading selection in language arts and finding the main idea in a science or social studies selection are equally important. Elective classes can also incorporate the Instructional Focus Activity. For example, a physical education class could discuss the main idea of a particular game plan. By observing the same focus activity throughout the day, students receive consistent exposure and practice with the same skill.

Step 4 – Assessment
Once the Instructional Focus Activities have been delivered across the curriculum, it is necessary to assess students to see if they have mastered the skill. The assessments are modeled after the FCAT. The assessment results are analyzed carefully to note patterns identifying deficiencies or misconceptions that need to be further addressed. In this manner, the results of the assessments are used to make instructional decisions.

Step 5 – Tutorial
Using the data from the assessments, students who do not master the skill are targeted to participate in tutorials. The tutorial activities are closely aligned to the specified benchmarks and provide additional instructional time for students who are having difficulty mastering the standard/benchmark. After concepts have been re-taught, students are re-assessed. Ongoing tutorial sessions ensure that no student is pushed ahead too soon.

Tutorials can be developed and delivered in many different ways. Following, are three different models for tutorials used by the Goals 2000 8-Step Process Grant Schools:

Oriole Elementary School
Various teachers and administrators worked with small groups of students to help hone their skills. Students were separated into five instructional groups:

Foundation 0 – 29 percentile
Reteach 30 – 39 percentile
Bubble 40 – 51 percentile
System 52 – 75 percentile
Mastery 76 – 99 percentile
  • Foundation students received a second “dose” of Direct Instruction reading
  • Bubble students and Foundation students attended CCC labs for drill and practice of the instructional focus skills
  • Foundation, Bubble, and Reteach students participated in after-school academic math, reading, and writing camps
  • FCAT Chats and review of test scores with students were ongoing
  • Enrichment was provided in a variety of ways:
    1. the CCC Lab for Mastery students and System students
    2. an Advanced Placement Program for academically talented students
    3. a math pullout program for Bubble and System groups.

Lauderhill Middle School
Instructional videotapes were created for each instructional focus skill and were used for the tutorial, enrichment, and maintenance steps. All students were shown the series of videotapes and were provided with three levels of skill assessment. The unique nature of this system allowed the students to pick their own level.

Level One tutorial assessments included simple passages, asked questions that contained clues, and used a guided discovery model for asking questions that lead students to the correct answers.

Level Two assessments asked questions about the skill in a more traditional format that tested basic knowledge through multiple choice, short answer, and other lower level question formats.

Level Three assessments, designed for students who feel they already mastered the skill, asked more complex questions that required higher level thinking skills, hence the enrichment step.

The videos were made available to teachers to use over time as a way to perform the maintenance step.

Boyd Anderson High School
All 9th, 10th, and repeat FCAT 11th grade students were assessed (Foundation through International Baccalaureate). Those students who did not pass the assessment were scheduled into tutorials three times a week during their elective classes. Tutors, provided through a Broward Community College Grant, were trained in FCAT skills and the Eight-Step Process. No more than 15 students were scheduled into each tutorial session. Tutorials included review of completed instructional focus skills and test taking skills. Students were assessed bi-monthly. Those who mastered the skills and showed great improvement were released from the Tutorials. Those students who did not master the skills remained in the program and others were added during future school-wide assessments. Students earned grades for participation, test scores, and attendance. These grades were given to the elective teachers so that students would not be penalized for missing class. Students also attended Saturday FCAT Camps for additional practice.

STEP 6 – Enrichment
Students who have mastered the skill at the basic level and do not need to participate in Step 5 Tutorials are provided with some form of enrichment activity. Enrichment activities provide students with opportunities to deepen their learning and understanding of the concept. Enrichment activities can be extra-curricular activities or special assignments.

STEP 7 – Maintenance
Once students have mastered a skill, it is extremely important to help them maintain their understanding. The maintenance activities are a quick way to help students retain what they learned during the Instructional Focus lessons and allow teachers to identify students who are slipping. The maintenance step is mainly the responsibility of the classroom teacher. Instructional Focus Skills should be infused into daily lessons and repeated often. Eight Questions to Ask Every Class assists teachers in addressing skills on a daily basis.

STEP 8 – Monitoring
The monitoring component is probably the most important step of the 8-Step Process. Like the Sterling Process, the Eight Step Process cannot be successful if the leadership of the organization does not fully support it. Principals should visit classrooms on a regular if not daily basis to observe the implementation of the process, conduct meetings with teachers and students, and meet regularly with departments and teams to monitor the instructional progress of students. Department chairs, coaches, School Advisory Council, and others involved with the leadership team may also participate in the monitoring process.

What is Included on the CD? | Background and Project History | Why the 8-Step Process?
The 8-Step Process Defined | Instructional Focus Skillls | Videos for Tutorial and Enrichment
Eight Questions to Ask Every Class | Documents for Download | Multimedia Presentation