Honors Instruction a middle school perspective

"Honors courses will substantially exceed the content standards, learning expectations, and performance indicators approved by the State Board of Education."

Supporting this framework in middle schools is beneficial for those students that will take honors coursework in high school for weighted GPA points.



What it's not.

Just more.

What it is.

Deeper understanding and more independent exploration of the content.

Honors courses are distinguished by a difference in the quality of work expected rather than quantity of work in alignment with the grade specific standards. It is important to restate that the standards in honors courses are taught within the appropriate course level. The designated grade specific standards are taught in greater depth or connected to standards across themes.

An Honor's lesson should include several of the following:

Students processing academic ideas in writing that requires complete sentences

Students discussing ideas using content vocabulary.

The teacher asking why and how questions.

Students consistently giving evidence for their answers.

Students reading challenging text and answering text-dependent questions about it.

Teachers consistently asking students to improve and develop their own and their classmates’ initial answers.

Students doing cognitive work (writing, reading, problem solving) for at least half of the lesson.


Turn to the person next to you. Take 5 minutes to share out about how you have differentiated the instruction for your Honors students from your on level instruction.

Inquiry-Based Learning

Project-Based Learning

Challenge-Based Learning

Flipped Classroom

Document Based Questions

Question Formulation Technique


Record the one strategy you would like to try to differentiate the instruction in your honors classroom in the answer garden below.


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