Getting Started

How to Use The Instructional Framework

Teachers can use the IF documents to guide their instruction or as inspiration when lesson planning. In addition, they can use the best practices identified in the IF Rubric to support their professional growth. 

The IF can also be adopted for schoolwide use. 

Options for Schoolwide Use

Since quality curriculums and resources often vary from school to school, we have identified three options for school use of The Instructional Framework.


Full Use

School uses both The Instructional Framework — which applies backward planning to multiple standards — as the main guide for instruction and the complete IF Rubric.


Partial Use

School uses an existing curriculum that applies backward planning to multiple standards as the main guide for instruction along with the complete IF Rubric.


Minimal Use

School only uses select Instructional Framework ideas, resources and IF Rubric Indicators.

Backward planning is an integral element of the pedagogical approach advanced in Understanding by Design. Lessons have traditionally been planned by identifying content to be taught, developing a series of lessons introducing the content, and then developing a test to assess how well students have learned that content. As the term suggests, backward planning reverses that process. Teachers begin by identifying the knowledge and skills students should have, then developing an assessment to gauge their learning, and only then by developing a series of lessons designed to prepare students to do well on that assessment.

Contact Us

Please complete the form below if you have questions about using The Instructional Framework.

The Bainum Family Foundation has retained The Educator’s Helper to field questions about the Instructional Framework submitted via this form. The Educator’s Helper founder, Ginger Slaughter, is a former foundation employee and the principal author of the IF. The foundation does not provide IF implementation support, but those interested in IF coaching and implementation can talk with Ginger about retaining services from The Educator’s Helper.

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