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Content Standards & Resources


Instructional Materials and Best Practice Selection Guidance

New! Please visit the All About Evidence-Based Instruction page for guidance on instructional best practices for the 2021-2022 school year!

Instructional Materials Guidance Documents

Guide for Selecting Instructional Materials Aligned to Montana's Content Standards (word version

Criteria for Selecting Instructional Materials (word version

Acceleration Guidance

A Guide to Planning and Implementing Acceleration 

ESSA Tiers of Evidence

Evidence-based activities, strategies, or interventions are those that demonstrate a statistically significant effect on improving student outcomes or other relevant outcomes based on the listed criteria. When selecting evidence-based instructional materials, you may want to reference the ESSA tier of evidence for the resources in your selection process.

All tiers require ongoing efforts to examine the effects of such activity, strategy, or intervention.

Evidence Levels:

Tier I: Strong Evidence- Strong evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented experimental study.

Tier II: Moderate Evidence- Moderate evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented quasi-experimental study.

Tier III: Promising Evidence- Promising evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented correlation study with statistical controls for selection bias.

Tier IV: Demonstrates a Rationale- Demonstrates a rationale based on high-quality research findings or positive evaluation that such activity, strategy, or intervention is likely to improve student outcomes or other relevant outcomes.

Evidence-Based Resources:

For a quick reference on evidence-based definitions, districts can use this large-print definition provided by the IES. This tool provided by the Midwest REL provides a crosswalk between ESSA levels of evidence and existing clearinghouses, such as the WWC commonly used by educators.


New Standards Interactive Integration Activities and Resources 

On July 1, 2021, the Montana Administrative Rule will include five new or revised content area standards: Social Studies, Library Media, Tech Integration, Computer Science, and Career and Technical Education (CTE). 

As districts begin to plan professional learning opportunities for the five new/revised sets of standards the Office of Public Instruction is here to support! Below are a few Professional Learning resources, presentations, and activities that can be used in your own professional development and/or school/district wide planning for implementation of the new/revised standards. 

In addition, each content area page above links to the newly adopted standards as well as resources specific to those standards. 


Teacher Learning Hub Course: New Standards for 2021: Overview and Planning for Implementation Now Available! 

April 2021 ASCD New Standards for 2021 Overview and Planning Power Point: This presentation was presented to Montana ASCD summarizing the standards revision process and each of the five new/revised sets of standards. 

Like all standards, these new standards are two-fold:  What students should "do" (skills, practices, and anchor standards) and what students should know, (grade level standards).  Sometimes the skills are embedded in the standards and sometimes they are not, yet each component is equally important. The two activities below, provide educators an opportunity to engage meaningfully with these two pieces to the new standards. 

Each activity can be used as a standalone or in succession with the other. We recommend that you start with the Part 1: Skills, Practices, and Anchor Standards: What Students Should Do Jamboard Sorting Activity and then move to the Part 2: Part II: Standards Comparison, What Students Know Google Spreadsheet Activity.  These activities can be done as a group or individually, in person, or remotely using Google Jamboard and Google Sheets. This activity takes at least 30 min. We also encourage educators to complete these activities in small groups.  For an example, please see the video posted below.

Practices-Skills-Anchors: What Students Do! Jamboard: This Jamboard activity provides an opportunity for educators to work with the skills from each set of new/revised standards. Using the interactive features of the Jamboard, educators will explore ways that the various skills sets overlap and can be used simultaneously.  Educators are encouraged to think creatively and non-linearly to develop patterns and structures that show how the various skills, practices, and anchor standards connect to build meaning in the classroom.  We encourage educators to consider their local curriculum and already established units of study to organize and group the various content area skills, practices and anchors.  An example is provided on the first slide of what this may look like when looking at math, ELA and science standards. 

Grade Level Standards Interdisciplinary Connections: What Students Know!: This Google Sheets activity provides educators with a deep dive into the grade level language of the revised/new standards. The spreadsheet includes sheets (tabs) for each grade level or grade level bands (6-8 and 9-12). Working in small groups, educators should choose one grade level tab to work on. Each sheet (tab)  is set up with the grade level language of all five of the revised/new content standards side by side. The goal is to find commonalities and connections that provide options for integration in classroom study.  The written directions provide instructions on how to search in page (ctrl+f) for key words and connecting ideas.  Educators then color code common themes that run throughout and across content areas. The final step is to brainstorm ways that the connections they found might be used in a classroom activity or unit of study. 

Learn more about the Montana Literacy Project and Grant Application process on the MT Literacy Projects Homepage

For questions, contact 

To import Montana Standards to an Infinite Campus student information system use these resources.

The Board of Public Education (BPE) approved the Career and Technical Education, Computer Science, Library Media and Information Literacy, Social Studies, and Technology Integration Standards at their November 5, 2020 meeting.  The implementation date for the new standards is July 1, 2021.  See individual content area pages to access documents and other helpful information.

NEW Webinar: New Standards for 2021: Overview and Planning for Implementation (February 8, 2021)

Districts should consider their 5-year curriculum review cycle in order to plan for a staggered approach to aligning to new standards.

To learn about the standards adoption process and how to get involved, take the Montana Content Standards 101 course on the Teacher Learning Hub (1 renewal unit)


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Standards, Instruction and Professional Learning Contacts

  • Colet Bartow, Senior Manager, Teaching and Learning Department, 406-444-3583
  • Stephanie Swigart, English Language Arts and Literacy Coordinator, 406-444-0736
  • Michelle McCarthy, Science Coordinator, 406-444-3537
  • Sonja Whitford, Mathematics Coordinator, 406-444-0706
  • Rachel Gott, Montana Comprehensive Literacy State Development Program Manager, 303-552-1332
  • Carli Cockrell, Professional Learning Coordinator, 406-444-0769
  • Allyson Briese, Teacher Learning Hub Coordinator, 406-444-0716
  • Marti Paugh, Teacher Learning Hub Coordinator, 406-444-3557