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LDC Vocabulary Decoded: Most Frequently Used Terms Explained

September 26th, 2017

Nicole Barrick Renner supports the ongoing development and improvement of LDC’s core content, including task templates, rubrics, curriculum resources, and student work. Prior to joining LDC, Nicole worked as a performance assessment and ELA content specialist at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), focusing on building educators’ assessment literacy through professional development and technical support.Always an English teacher at heart, she began her career teaching high school English with a focus on PBL and Paideia Seminar at East Nashville Magnet School in Tennessee. Nicole holds an M.Ed. in Secondary English Education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. She also holds an M.A. and a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Virginia.

Like many organizations, LDC has a lexicon filled with unique vocabulary. Take a look at the list below to dig into some terms that might be more-than-meets-the-eye!


LDC is full of specific vocabulary and sometimes this is confusing or gets in the way when you’re trying to work quickly. Here are the important things to remember:

  • Instructional Cycle: The process of planning, teaching, and reflecting on instruction. This process typically follows a pattern of:


  • Module: A one-to-three-week writing in response to reading assignment that includes preparing for the task, reading, synthesis, and writing. Also called an LDC Task or LDC assignment.


  • Task: Refers to two things:

    • An LDC module; or

    • The task prompt that is the foundation for that module.

  • Task Template: The fill-in-the-blank assignment shells that authors use to write their LDC Tasks. These templates are based on the cognitive demands found across the new academic standards—such as define, describe, explain, analyze, evaluate, and compare. LDC has task templates for argumentative and informational/explanatory writing.


  • Task Prompt: The task prompt is the filled-in task template—the prompt you will give students that anchors their work during the module. Once you have filled in your template and made decisions about which focus standards, text, content, writing product, and writing mode to include, you now have a task prompt.

  • Skills List: The list of skills you will explicitly teach your students during the module. The skills list articulates the skills your students need to use in order to complete their final writing product.


  • Instructional Sequence: The set of mini-tasks that describe the explicit instruction of the module. The instructional sequence lays out the instruction you will provide so your students learn the skills on the skills list.

  • Mini-Task: Scorable daily lesson used to build a module’s instructional sequence. Mini-tasks include a product, a prompt, and a scoring guide and function as formative assessments of your students' skills as they build to their final writing products.

LD5_Minitasks-Modules_Cards-Graphic Organizers.jpg


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