Strategic Instruction Model


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About SIM

The Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) is a comprehensive, research-validated approach to adolescent literacy that addresses the needs of students to be able to read and understand large volumes of complex materials as well as their need to be able to express themselves effectively in writing. SIM was developed by the University of Kansas Center for Research and Learning and has been research-validated for over 25 years! SIM is currently employed in all 50 states in the U.S. and in 7 different countries. Check out the link below to find out more about SIM.

Content Enhancement Routines (CER's)

SIM utilizes Content Enhancement Routines, which are powerful teaching devices, to organize and present curriculum content across all courses in an understandable and easy-to-learn manner. Teachers identify content that they deem to be most critical and teach it using a powerfully designed teaching routine that actively engages students with the content. Teachers carry out instruction in partnership with students in a way that maintains the integrity of the content while meeting both group and individual needs.

All of the routines promote direct, explicit instruction. This type of instruction helps students who are struggling, but it also facilitates problem-solving and critical-thinking skills for students who are doing well in class.

How can I help my students study?

Teachers will email the Course Organizer home at the beginning of the school year. Furthermore, for each unit, teachers will email the Unit Organizer home. Students will receive copies of CER's in each class and will keep them in their composition books or binders. Have your students study their Unit Organizers and other CER's to make sure they learn the content. Quiz your students on the information in the CER's. On the Unit Organizers, ask your students the Unit Self-Test Questions to see if they get the big ideas of the unit. The teachers will be more than happy to send home extra copies of CER's, have students take pictures of them with their phones, or to email extra copies to you.

Course Organizer

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About the Course Organizer

This device is an overarching view, or map, of the entire course, either semester or year-long. At the beginning of the year, teachers go over this device with students. All students get a copy and are asked to reference it frequently. This provides students a roadmap of what they have studied and what they will study next, thus helping to make connections between the units of study.

In co-creating the Course Organizer, the teacher follows a specific set of steps to ensure that all content is covered.

  1. Cue course questions

  2. Outline critical concepts and units

  3. Uncover community principles

  4. Reveal learning rituals

  5. Share performance options

  6. Explain course standards

Unit Organizer

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About the Unit Organizer

This device provides students information on the meat of what they will learn and do within that unit of study. Again, teachers go over this device with students, who are asked to reference it frequently. This is a great study guide and many teachers email them out to parents. If you aren’t receiving them via email, please make sure that your child’s teacher has your correct email address. Also, you may request a paper copy be sent home with your child.

In co-creating the Unit Organizer, the teacher follows a specific set of steps to ensure that all content is covered. It usually takes several days to cover all of the material.

  1. Create a context- this allows students to see how information in this unit is connected to previous and future learning.

  2. Recognize content structures- here, information is presented to help students see how information in the unit is organized.

  3. Acknowledge unit relationships- students are asked to look for and identify possible relationships that might be important in understanding the information.

  4. Frame unit questions- the teacher leads students to co-create questions about the important relationships in the unit and the important information.

  5. Tie content to tasks- the Unit schedule of lessons, activities, quizzes, projects, and tests is shared with the students so they know what to expect.


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About the FRAME

The Frame is a way to organize important information about a particular topic being taught. It really helps the students break down the topic and understand it better. Also, it’s a great reference and study tool! Students keep these in their interactive notebooks or binders. You can always request that a copy by sent home so that you can help your student study!

In presenting the Frame, the teacher follows a specific set of steps to ensure that all content is covered.

  1. Focus on the topic- the teacher provides the students with the name of the key topic and a short explanation of the topic.

  2. Reveal the main ideas- the teacher introduces each main idea related to the topic.

  3. Analyze the details- specific details for each main idea are revealed and discussed.

  4. Make a “so what” statement- this is where the students get to address the question, so what is important to understand about this topic? Here, teachers try to get students to see the importance of the topic and how it can be used to understand or solve a real-world problem.

  5. Extend understanding- the teacher facilitates an activity where the students are given the opportunity to explore the topic further and expand their understanding of it.

What is the CLC?

The CLC is a comprehensive model of layered supports that focuses on helping all students achieve content literacy in all of their courses. All students receive core instruction through Content Enhancement routines. In addition, depending on the individual needs of students, there are added levels of support to meet their content literacy needs.
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Explaining the levels of the Content Literacy Continuum