Cancellations      Contact Us      Educators      GWAEA Staff      Home      Parents/Students      Search      Site Map      Translate      
Grant Wood Area Education Agency

Iowa Core


Iowa Core Components Adobe PDF

Universal Constructs Essential for 21st Century Success (click for explanations)

Critical Thinking
Complex Communication
Flexibility and Adaptability
Productivity and Accountability

Iowa Core Content – Use I-CAT (Iowa Content Alignment Toolkit)

English Language Arts
Social Studies
21st Century Skills

Characteristics of Effective Instruction

Student Centered Classrooms

Educators support all students in making connections to construct new learning in order to make decisions and solve problems.

Educators facilitate opportunities for students to be metacognitive.

Educators and students are partners in learning.

Educators facilitate time for students to learn collaboratively.

Educators use meaningful and authentic assessment in a real world context.

Teaching for Understanding

Instruction facilitates the construction of deep conceptual and procedural knowledge.

Instruction facilitates the development of representations and conceptual models.

Instruction inducts students into the discipline.

Instruction facilitates the application of new learnings and understandings in new and novel situations (transfer).

Assessment for Learning

Educator utilizes K-12 learning progressions along which students are expected to progress in a domain.

Student learning goals are clear, focused on the intended learning and communicated so all students understand the criteria for success.

Instructional modifications for students are planned from carefully elicited evidence of student learning.

Descriptive feedback identifies for students the specific knowledge and skills needed to reach learning goal(s).

Self and peer assessment is planned and structured by educator and students in order to develop life-long learning skills.

Educator facilitates the development of a collaborative classroom climate.

Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum

Higher order thinking (HOT) is performed by students during instruction.

Deep understanding and mastery of critical disciplinary concepts and skills are demonstrated.

Concepts and skills are applied to situations, issues, and problems in the world beyond school.

Teaching for Learner Differences

Instruction is focused on “big ideas” – the essential concepts and skills within the content.

Instruction is designed and delivered to match students’ needs based on assessment data of students’ prior knowledge, readiness, individual interests and learning preferences.

Educator provides flexibility within content, instruction and product to allow for variances in students’ acquisition and demonstration of learning.

Educator provides clear instruction about how to learn, making the various strategies and skills of the learning process conspicuous to all students.

Instruction includes opportunities for students to practice and review their learning and receive feedback.

Educator regularly monitors each student’s progress related to the acquisition of the essential skills and concepts and adjusts instruction.