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LKSD Best Practices

LKSD Best Practices is a pedagogical approach to K-12 instruction specifically designed for our students in the YK Delta. The graphic below demonstrates the main goals central to our district's curriculum and instruction. 

On this page you will find a library of resources that indicate how, through these strategies, students will be met where they are and learn through a series of hands-on activities and authentic learning experiences. 

Take a Deeper Look at Each Best Practice

Click on the individual practices for more information
  1. Teacher creates student-centered classrooms

  2. Teacher instructs all students at the level of the top 25% of the class

  3. Direct teaching is limited to no more than 20 minutes at a time

  4. Lessons go from comprehension level to application or higher in all content areas

  5. Grade level instruction to ALL students during core content time

  6. Use of district provided curriculum and supplemental materials

  7. Planned lessons result in challenging, interactive and authentic instruction

  8. Teachers utilize conceptual refinement (CR)

  9. Teacher is primarily a "facilitator" versus a "teacher"

  10. Increase use of Project-Based Learning (PBL) and/ or inquiry- based instruction

  11. Students are immersed in language both through instruction and classroom environment

  12. All instruction is "sheltered" with use of visuals, objects and hands-on learning (SIOP)  

  13. Lessons are interesting, meaningful, culturally relevant and relate to real life (authentic)

  14. Robust vocabulary development through:

    1. Elementary: classroom labels, student generated alphabets, word walls, content boards​

    2. Secondary: word walls and content boards

  15. Student generated work ( i.e. blank paper, foldables) 

  16. Students engage in writing in all subjects, everyday

  17. Teacher and students communicate in complete sentences (when capable)

  18. Extensive use of cooperative grouping (minimize use of ability grouping)

  19. Extensive use of bilingual/ academic pairs or groups throughout the entire lesson

    1. Pairing students (H/M, M/L)

    2. Students asked to share what their partners said in pair/share opportunities

    3. Students asked to explain their rationale for answers

    4. Students provide "guided-practice" to each other

    5. Pairs support each other; teacher maintains role of facilitator  

Click here to view a list of our references 

Questions from Annual Fall Conference

1. How long until Rubicon is gone?

  • Rubicon will officially be gone on January 1, 2023

2. Do you have recommendations for reflective writing times?

  • That depends on your population of students. Try starting with about five minutes and see how they do. You can always shorten or extend times as needed!

  • At Annual Fall Conference we used the structure of 15 second think - 45 second discuss- 2 minute independent write. You're welcome to modify according to the needs of your classroom, but it's important to maintain consistency. 

3. Does the lesson plan cycle sometimes extend beyond one day?

  • Yes, and it is okay if that happens. 

4. What do we do when student pairs are silent? 

  • This issue could be handled in a number of ways:

    • Students may not know how to have academic conversations with each other, in which case they will need some additional supports, such as sentence starters. If you need to give students a script of sorts to begin with, that is fine.

  • If they are being silent because they do not get along, you may want to consider assigning new partners.

  • If it’s a matter of shyness, consider how else the pairs might communicate (such as via writing) until they become more comfortable with each other. 

5. Can we use writing as our exit ticket? 

  • Absolutely! However, exit tickets are more of a quick assessment and we still want to see writing incorporated throughout the lesson. 

6. How do all- day pairs work with rotating classes? (i.e. secondary)

  • Just because students are with partners all day does not necessarily mean that they are with the same partner. It is perfectly acceptable for them to have a different partner for each class/subject especially at the secondary level with different teachers.  

7. How do BP 2 & 5 co-exist? Specifically, are they to be accomplished simultaneously or one at a time?

  • They do exist simultaneously. If the concern is that the top 25% of a given class may still be reading below grade level, it should be noted that “grade level instruction” doesn’t mean that there can be no scaffolding; teachers should scaffold as needed. 

8. What do you do with odd numbers or chronic absences? This seems like a major detriment to medium-long term pairing. 

  • Our recommendation is that students with a history of chronic absenteeism be made part of a triad instead of a pair. Then, if they are absent, the other two students can still work together. 

  • If you have an odd number of students in your class then you will have at least one triad as well.



9. Are we grading journals? 

  • Yes, students should get a grade for their journals, but it would be something akin to a participation grade. Teachers should focus more on the content rather than the grammar, spelling, and punctuation, though they should be using their observations from reviewing journals to inform their instruction (i.e. “I noticed that a lot of us haven’t been capitalizing the first letter of a sentence, let’s review that”).

10. Do you have any chances to model this best practices through demonstration teaching?

  • Yes! Our session at AFC was planned very carefully with LKSD Best Practices in mind. Not every LKSD B.P. was applicable to our session, but most of them were present in some capacity.

11. Is there a recommended order for who should be the face partner for each academic/ bilingual pair? 

  • We recommend that pairs be changed every 4- 6 weeks. With that, we understand that some class sizes are larger than others, which means students may be partnered together more than once throughout the year and that’s okay! 

  • You can visit the BP19 page that discusses the components of pairing. Please note that all three components- academic skill, language proficiency and personality should all be taken into consideration when determining pairs. 

12. What do we do if a student absolutely does not want to work with others? What do we do with students who refuse to do pair/ group activities? 

  • If a student wants to work alone, let them. Explain to them that if they choose to work without a partner they are also giving up the benefits of partner work and accepting that they will be responsible for completing all of their work alone. 

  • It should also be noted that while students may decide when they want to work alone, they should not be allowed to decide when they get to come back to their partner. Once the student indicates that they are ready to work with their partner again it is up to the teacher’s discretion to decide when they are allowed to come back to the group. The reasoning behind this policy is to really let the students feel the weight of having to do the work alone without a partner to lean on. 

13. Do you have any available quantifiable data that supports your claim that these best practices are effective and efficient? In what way?

  • Our LKSD Best Practices are derived from the extensive work of Dr. Richard Gomez. For more information, you can view a list of our additional references. 

Check back soon to review more Q&As! 

In this library are a series of videos that highlight LKSD Best Practices as well as the SIOP protocol.

Scroll through to view videos from our teachers across the district. 


Best Practices Overview

Best Practices Overview

Best Practices Overview
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Immersed in Language LKSD

Immersed in Language LKSD

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Lessons are Authentic LKSD

Lessons are Authentic LKSD

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Component 2: Building Background

Component 2: Building Background

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