What is the Teaching and Learning Cycle (WHHW)
You may have seen some stray consonants flying around the District in the last several months – W’s and H’s to be exact.
WHHW is an acronym that is being used to help explain and simplify what is known more globally as the “teaching/learning cycle.”
The teaching/learning cycle attempts to answer four questions, adapted from DuFour & Eaker (1998,2002,2006):
- What am I teaching? What do my students need to know, understand and be able to do?
- How am I teaching it? What best practices do I need to implement to ensure all students are learning?
- How do I know that my students have mastered the concept? How am I assessing their learning?
- What do we do when either students got it, or when they have not reached mastery?
Within these four questions, are many other elements of the teaching/learning cycle that are research based and are evident in high-performing schools and classrooms – elements such as learning targets and lesson design.
Assistant Superintendent Dave Lindenberg, Director or Curriculum Larry Brady, Director of Assessment and Special Programs Julie Knowles and educational consultant Ava Lanes have been in all schools assisting teachers, teacher-leaders and principals in learning more about WHHW. They are laying foundation work, and helping principals understand how to guide their teachers through this work. The time is intense on the front end of any initiative. As our teachers, teacher-leaders and principals become more comfortable with the information, our team will shift from intense coaching to more support. Our schools and staffs are in different places – some are moving forward quickly while others are moving more deliberately through the new structures.
The teaching/learning cycle isn’t new. It is based upon years of great instruction, and education research that, combined with creative and strategic instruction, can generate classrooms conditions to create highly motivated students, develop productive teacher/student relationships and engage students in learning for meaningful purposes.
As a District, we are working on putting the structures in place to provide ongoing support and coaching, adjustment of best-practices, and alignment of resources to ensure that all teachers, staff can be successful and students master Colorado Academic Standards.
We will continue to share information about the teaching/learning cycle in future editions of Connections.
Learn more about the teaching/learning cycle. Download the Colorado Department of Education's Teaching and Learning Cycle Handbook.