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Effective Strategies to Help All Children Learn


High Leverage Concepts

High Leverage Concepts (HLCs) are key mathematical understandings that students will need to be successful in the following year of school. For example, all students need to demonstrate understanding of the HLC in first grade – adding and subtracting numbers to 120 – to be successful in second grade where they will be adding and subtracting numbers within 1,000. HLCs are the focus of most/all remedial efforts at a particular grade level.

Learn more about High Leverage Concepts (HLCs)

All Learners Lesson Structure

All Learners uses a workshop-style approach to lessons in order to leverage both inclusion and differentiation for optimal student learning. Instruction in ALN is focused on the use of conceptual models to facilitate individual student understanding. Multiple ways to solve (and understand) problems are encouraged. The elements of the All Learners Lessons include:

Launch. Also called Number Sense Routines, include Number Talks or a short problem.

Main Lesson. Focused on heterogeneous problem solving and student discourse.

Math Menu. A differentiated part of the lesson used for remediation and the presentation of “just right” practice and reflection.

Closure. A time for sharing, reflection, and formative assessment.

Review more about the All Learners Lesson Structure here.

Working with Systems

Instructional coaches and teacher leaders are the key participants in All Learners Network.

We provide tools to support the work and help instructional leaders develop their pedagogical skill and to interpret and use assessment data for better first instruction.

Instructional Leaders learn together through ALN's professional development so they can deepen their knowledge and skill in supporting all learners who struggle with math.

Rapid Cycle of Inquiry

The instructional leaders who participate in ALN are driven by what works for all learners. They focus on instructional practices that support all learners to demonstrate understanding of High Leverage Concepts.

ALN coaches try on new practices, revise tools (like the High Leverage Assessments), and adjust techniques (like Clinical Interviews).

As teachers and coaches in the field find success, results are shared throughout All Learners Network so others can benefit from these new practices.

Formative Assessment for Effective First Instruction

All Learners Network is focused on the success of every child. We believe children can only be successful in mathematics if they construct their own understanding from experience.

Since each learner has unique qualities, a big emphasis of our work is on understanding how students think in order to provide them with the kinds of experiences that will deepen their conceptual understanding or make it more efficient.

We use specific coaching tools like Formative Probes, Clinical Interviews, Collaborative Studies to help teachers and leaders get good information on what students understand.

This becomes on ongoing cycle of improvement to improve math instruction.

Our Story

Becoming Premier Provider of Professional Development for Math Educators.

In 2015, Dr. John Tapper was working with math coaches in a school district in northern Vermont. John and the instructional coaches were discussing spring math assessment results. The conversation had centered around what accommodations would have to be made for students who had underperformed. The sense was that this April assessment told us what we needed to know about the next year’s math groupings.

This wasn’t anything unusual. In school districts everywhere, leaders plan for those students who are not progressing. In some ways, this district was engaged in extra planning. But the act of acknowledging that in some sense, we had failed some students did not sit well with the group.

“Teachers always say, ‘All kids can learn’” one of the voices in the group said. “They even put signs that say that in the entrance to school buildings. Why is it we don’t act as if that’s true?”

In response to those words, the All Learners Project was born.

The All Learners Project involved John Tapper, three visionary district leaders in Vermont, Maine, and Maryland, and thousands of teachers and students in an ongoing project to explore ways to make mathematics accessible to every student. Each school district organized a cadre of coaches to help support teachers to make changes to their math instructional practices. The districts received professional development from John and colleagues. And an ongoing dialog to share important practices that worked in the field was started.

5 Key Principles

  • High Leverage Concepts to focus instruction.
  • A Main Lesson/Menu approach to foster inclusion and differentiation.
  • A systems approach to improve that included the use of coaches and implementation science.
  • Reliance on formative assessment practices to inform instruction.
  • A Rapid Cycle of Inquiry to encourage participants to look for in-the-field solutions to frequent problems.


The Learning Center

ALN launched a Learning Center located in the Chace Mill in Burlington, Vermont. Designed specifically to meet the needs of educators, it is a professional learning space unlike any other.

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All Learners Online (ALO) Membership

Don’t miss our professional development options designed exclusively for math teachers, administrators or district leaders, math interventionists, instructional coaches, and special educators!