Annual Plan

Annual Plan for 2020 – 2021

Focus: Critical Thinking, Complex Problem Solving and High-Order Reasoning

Green Valley focuses  in teaching critical thinking, complex problem solving and high-order reasoning. A clear link between these skills eventually given success in college and in the workplace. Critical thinking is the acquired skill of gathering, organizing, testing and using information – is the key to understanding and navigating today’s global community.

The 5 Teaching Protocols

Every day in our classrooms, our teachers use a system of proven best teaching practices to help students reach their fullest potential. These techniques include:

Differentiated Instruction

Every child learns differently and brings his or her own unique skills, interests and knowledge to the task. Differentiated Instruction focuses on actively engaging students by teaching to each child’s interest and ability level every day and in every lesson. Not to be confused with “tracking” or grouping by ability level, differentiation ensures that each student masters the appropriate skills and concepts before moving on. Differentiated instruction expects teachers to work with students from their Personal Learning Plans (PLPs), and effective differentiators make ongoing adjustments in the areas of content, process and product to meet the needs of each student.

Essential Questions

Essential questions do not lend themselves to a singular, factual answer. Instead, they are designed to make students think and encourage them to consider a wide range of approaches and possible answers. Each day, essential questions for every lesson are posted in the classroom and serve to stimulate thought and focus for that day’s lesson. These high-order questions help not only to shape the lesson, but also to focus students’ minds and stimulate their thinking.


Almost all new learning includes unfamiliar language or suggests alternative definitions for familiar words. For this reason, Green Valley teachers make a habit of posting the unfamiliar words associated with the day’s lesson and employ many instructional strategies to facilitate the acquisition of new vocabulary. By writing vocabulary on the board, teachers and students are reminded of the central role that vocabulary plays in effective instruction, learning and communication. Teachers will know that new learning has taken place when students begin using the new words appropriately when framing their own questions and answers.

High Order Assessment

Green Valley class instruction works toward deeper understanding in academic areas that are measured by high-order assessments. These daily assessments take many forms (quizzes, short writing assignments, group projects, oral reports, etc.) and are the basis for differentiated instruction the next day. They also help ensure that students are progressing against their PLPs. This type of assessment helps demonstrate how deeply students have been able to think about the lesson’s essential questions and whether the teacher has been successful in building their understanding of the subject and targeted thinking skill, or if changes are needed.

Writing Mastery

Writing is a skill which, just like playing a sport or musical instrument, isn’t acquired over night. We think in language, and language and thought are so intimately connected that it is impossible to imagine one without the other. Writing mastery requires continual practice from an early age, and all Green Valley students are expected to write for every class every day. Written work should be an integral part of each day’s lesson, and will continue to play a role in students’

Curriculum Mapping

Curriculum mapping is a method of writing and managing school curricula that guides teacher lesson-planning, identifies gaps and repetition in instruction, and ensures that skills and concepts are being introduced in the right order to achieve cumulative and efficient effect.

Global Awareness Touch points

Touch points is a unique program developed to bring students to understand, debate and propose solutions to complex problems facing societies around the world. For example, fourth graders spend the year studying the challenge of bringing nutritious food to market; eighth graders examine the plague of drugs.

Individual Growth Assessment

Individual Growth Assessment is an objective measure of a student’s growth in seven key skill domains over the course of a year. For this purpose, Green Valley plans to uses the CTP4 test of critical thinking and problem solving skills developed by ETS.   Green Valley  is committed to seeing that all of their students score above their average independent school cohort growth rate.

Student Portfolios and Personal Learning Plans

The Personal Learning Plan is an individually tailored plan focused on achieving unsurpassed student learning and personal growth. Based on objective testing results and teacher observations, PLPs contain focused and specific learning goals accompanied by plans to achieve them. Just as all of our students are unique, no two PLPs are the same. Each PLP not only addresses skills needing improvement, but also offers challenges in areas of student strength and interest.

Student-Led Parent-Teacher Conferences

All Green Valley Teachers meet with parents and their student three times a year to review the child’s progress against his or her PLP. The student leads the final two of these three discussions. Students who feel engaged in their education, enjoy school more and outperform their peers. Students, aided by their teachers, present their work portfolios and review their progress against their own PLP, suggesting changes as needed.

Scroll to Top