Wendy Ward Hoffer

An Overview of Phenomenal Teaching 

What does it look like to build students’ agency and understanding amidst shifting standards, changing assessments, waves of mandated curricula, and evolving educational policies? If, against that backdrop, we believe in fostering the unique promise inherent in each child, how might our classrooms look and sound? If we are devoted to celebrating the thinking and creativity of every individual, what might we do?

The PEBC Teaching Framework detailed in Phenomenal Teaching offers an overview of six teacher superpowers that, when taken together, can make all the difference for student learning.

  • Plan (Chapter 2)
    How can we design learning experiences that cultivate students’ understanding and agency? In this chapter, we will consider both yearlong and unit-level planning.
  • Community (Chapter 3)
    How can we develop classroom communities that support the agency and understanding of every learner? This chapter is all about supporting collective and individual efficacy, as well as productive identities in our classroom.
  • Workshop (Chapter 4)
    How can we facilitate learning experiences that support students grappling with challenging tasks in service of conceptual understanding? Here we will explore how workshop model teaching scaffolds students’ success as independent thinkers and problem solvers.
  • Thinking Strategies (Chapter 5)
    In what ways might we provide tools that increase learners’ agency and understanding? This chapter describes the research on thinking strategies and how effective teachers can bring them to life in service of learners’ understanding.
  • Discourse (Chapter 6)
    In what ways might we scaffold productive, engaged academic conversations? In this chapter, we will explore how to cultivate students’ speaking and listening across learning experiences.
  • Assessment (Chapter 7)
    In what ways might we monitor and support progress? Assessment for learning, as a tool in students’ hands, is the key idea of this chapter.

These practices, each powerful in their own right, work together to create an environment that fosters productive learning for students of all backgrounds. Remove one, and the others will stand, yet more weakly. Strengthen one, and all are fortified.

Excerpted from Phenomenal Teaching, just out from Heinemann.

To learn more about Phenomenal Teaching and the PEBC Teaching Framework, please join us for our forthcoming webinar series.

Upcoming Courses and Institutes

Thinking Strategies Institute (Spring 2023)

In this institute, educators will learn how to explicitly teach, support, and plan for deeper thinking with the thinking strategies within in the context of instructional best practices.
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Thinking Strategies Institute (Winter 2023)

In this institute, educators will learn how to explicitly teach, support, and plan for deeper thinking with the thinking strategies within in the context of instructional best practices.
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Reading and Writing Connections in the Literacy Workshop (2022)

Join us to discuss ways to enhance student engagement by integrating reading and writing. When teachers make these connections apparent, students comprehend more deeply, write more meaningfully, and develop individual identities as readers and writers in the world.
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