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Essential Practice Frames for Teaching

EPF for teaching

EPF for teaching offers teachers, coaches and administrators a suite of tools and services to drive excellence in learning as articulated in College- and Career-Readiness Standards and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

SOAR Teaching Frames® powered by Frontline Professional Growth

A team of researchers led by Susan P. O’Hara and Robert Pritchard developed a series of Essential Practice Frames® (EPF), which enable teachers, coaches and instructional leaders to engage together in cycles of strategic observation and reflection to drive improvements in teaching and learning. These frames and associated rubrics are the result of more than eight years of research and development, and have been piloted and refined in collaboration with educators from more than 40 districts nationwide.

These Essential Practice Frames® include:

  • SOAR (Strategic Observation and Reflection) Teaching Frames® for Literacy, Grades TK-2
  • SOAR Teaching Frames® for English Language Development (coming soon)
  • SOAR Teaching Frames® for Math, Grades TK-2 (coming soon)
  • SOAR Teaching Frames® for Math, Grades 3-12 (coming soon)
Why choose to work with EPF for teaching and Frontline Education?

SOAR Teaching Frames® are designed to support instructional practices aligned to College- and Career-Readiness Standards and CCSS to increase student learning. SOAR Teaching Frames® provide language for fostering the professional growth of teachers and measuring progress toward state and national teaching standards, promote application and feedback centered on research-based high-impact practices and empower educators to use feedback data to increase instructional effectiveness.

SOAR Teaching Frames® powered by Frontline Professional Growth help districts develop a common understanding of high-impact instructional practices. Teachers, coaches and administrators can leverage the SOAR Teaching Frames® with Frontline Professional Growth to contextualize standards in everyday instruction and improve student learning outcomes.


  • ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN INTER-RATER RELIABILITY. Train and calibrate observers and educators in your district, ensuring a common understanding of research-based standards for valid, reliable best practice.
  • FACILITATE FEEDBACK AND COLLABORATION. Educators can use the SOAR Teaching Frames® powered by Frontline Professional Growth to conduct peer observations and provide feedback.
  • EARN TEACHER TRUST. Ensure accurate and fair assessment of professional and instructional practice that promotes buy-in and a growth mindset.

To help educators understand, implement and benefit from the rubric, EPF for teaching also offers in-person professional development services. To learn more about these and other services, please visit

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