Instructional Design

Imagine a school where students are excited to learn, where they feel safe and belong to a caring community. What if this place emphasized deep learning rather than memorization? What if it encouraged students to reflect on how they learn, and viewed perseverance through struggle, as an opportunity for growth?

There is such a school! We invite you to explore The Community for Learning to see how an education which honors students’ choices and focuses on personal development, ultimately prepares students for the 21st century.

We recognize that students learn in a variety of different ways and at different rates. Therefore, teachers make skillful use of differentiated and personalized instruction to develop lessons that meet the needs of all our students. Some of the strategies that we use include:

Creating a “Culture of Thinking”

Teachers and students alike are encouraged to wonder, ask questions, and pursue their curiosities. Students engage in debate and discussions, responding to and further developing what others in the group have said. The art of questioning and debating requires knowledge that is accurate and relevant to the issue under discussion. 

Project‐Based Learning

Teachers use well‐designed, well‐supported, and carefully monitored projects across different core subject areas. Students are engaged in authentic, real‐world application that promotes a deeper grasp of learning.

Spiderweb discussion



Spiderweb Discussions

A spontaneous but structured “Q&A” approach to instruction is an effective way of getting students to reflect and discover knowledge for themselves.



Focused Direct Instruction

Direct instruction is provided through short mini-lessons of no more than 15 minutes. This practice hones our students’ attentive listening, questioning and note‐taking skills.

“Workshop” Style Classes

During class time students are actively engaged in hands-on activities which allow them to discover information and apply their learning. At TCFL we believe strongly that students learn by doing. Students do most of their work in class where they have the ongoing support of their teachers.