Introducing IMatrix

INFOhio IMatrix – Tools to enhance deep, rigorous learning!

Today’s classrooms are focused on deeper, more rigorous learning at all grade levels. The Ohio Learning Standards are designed to help educators shift instruction to allow students to explore topics in greater depth and at more rigorous levels of learning.

Economic shifts are limiting career options for students who lack more than a high school education. Schools are focusing more on identifying the key skills that will allow students to leave K-12 education with an enhanced ability to be successful in a variety of college and career options.

Click on each of the questions below to guide your exploration of the IMatrix and discover links to a wide variety of tools that help busy educators quickly find the connections

What is the IMatrix?

Who should use the IMatrix?

Why use the IMatrix?

Can my building or district use IMatrix?

What is the IMatrix?

INFOhio’s IMatrix  is designed to help educators practice inquiry-based instruction that aligns to skills embedded within the content standards of the four core curriculum areas, English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. By searching the matrix, educators can more easily see how skills are scaffolded for students and find resources that will help them teach those skills, find interdisciplinary connections, and help plan quality instruction.

The matrix focuses on Inquiry as a unifying instructional model that is common to all four content areas. Teachers are being asked to help students develop the critical skills of Inquiry. Within the IMatrix, these skills have been arranged into six key Dimensions of Inquiry . These include:

  1. Questioning
  2. Locating Information
  3. Evaluating Information
  4. Applying Information
  5. Sharing Knowledge
  6. Reflecting on Learning

The identified skills have been linked to leading research models. The result is a set of linkages making key connections across grade levels, among content areas, and within instructional design easier to see.

Who should use the IMatrix?

IMatrix is designed to be used by educators at all levels, both in the classroom, and in curriculum planning at school and district levels. The matrix provides a comprehensive way to view key skills as they scaffold in a student’s learning from Kindergarten through the end of high school.

Classroom teachers will find tools such as planning templates and district leaders will find suggestions for planning, implementing and sustaining systemic implementations.

Why use the IMatrix?

One of the main objectives of the standards movement is to ensure that a student’s learning includes essential skills and knowledge. These are keys to college and career success.  The IMatrix helps teachers identify the key skills articulated in the standards that support the development of thinking skills. Inquiry-based instructional practices help student develop those skills, provide them with authentic content with which to practice the skills, and ask them to demonstrate their ability to use these skills as they discover connections, develop insights, and learn to articulate their understandings about what they learn.

No single content area can effectively develop these skills. Students develop a comprehensive understanding of how to form questions, work with information, share their knowledge and engage in reflection of their own learning through experiences embedded in all of the content areas. Helping teachers develop a clearer understanding of how these skills align to all of the content areas will provide them with a more confident understanding of how student learning in their classroom meshes with learning in other classes, and builds upon learning from earlier years.

Students benefit from a curriculum that is more clearly aligned and reflects intentional planning for growth of their skills.

Can my building or district use the IMatrix?

Absolutely! The most effective implementations of these skills provide a clear path of essential experiences that insure that all students have opportunities to learn, develop and apply the dimensions of inquiry throughout their K-12 educational experience. Scaffolded experiences that begin early, grow in complexity throughout a student’s school experience, and are sustained across all content areas are a critical piece of developing college and career readiness.

Many experts in application of the Common Core for Reading and Writing recommend that students all have a minimum of three or four, rigorous research experiences, embedded in multiple content areas, throughout each school year. Articulation of these learning opportunities requires interdisciplinary planning, coordinated assessment plans, and identification of appropriate content applications. IMatrix helps schools identify key vertical alignment and interdisciplinary alignment for essential student skills.

For more information on how to apply IMatrix to your district or building curriculum planning process, click on the IMatrix Guide.