Practice is Teaching Always Action

 In Tips for Teachers

Practice. The Teaching ALWAYS Actions are ‘must do’ behaviors or essential teaching practices teachers must do every day in their classrooms to ensure students are engaged and therefore, learning. See earlier posts from this week for Action 1: Procedures and Action 2: Targets.

Action 3: Practice

Provide many opportunities for students to practice learning tasks aligned to the targets.

Alignment to Evidence-Based Practice: Hattie’s Meta-Analysis Research (2009)

Model problem-solving steps.

Apply interactive small groups.

Engage in dialogue between teacher and students to make meaning of learning.

To help students achieve at their best academic levels teachers need to provide students with opportunities to practice. Think about an athletic coach and team. During practice the coach teaches a skill, demonstrates what the skill looks like when well-performed, observes players practicing the skill, recognizes accomplishments of each player and team, and offers feedback to improve performance. The coach engages with the team during practice for the sole purpose of helping each player achieve at a high level.


Transfer this example to the classroom. What teachers expect students to accomplish (learning target) must align to learning tasks (things students do in class). As students perform the task(s) teachers provide specific feedback to recognize what students do well and assist them to overcome learning gaps. Teachers engage with their students during practice sessions to coach every student to achieve the target.

We invite you to share your classroom stories on our Facebook page at


Hattie, John. (2009). Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. New York, NY: Routledge.

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