Be open Be open
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Build skills of network members by coming to a common understanding of effective practice and how to support it.
Participants today are not from the same district or school
Not limited to Instructional Rounds
“A problem of practice is something that you care about that would make a difference for student learning if you improved it.”
Focuses on the instructional core
If teachers intentionally plan lessons that include student engagement strategies, and teacher/student utilization of learning targets to formatively assess student understanding, then achievement and student ownership in learning will increase.
When you visit our classrooms, we ask that you look for:
You have been grouped into teams of 3-4 members.
Do not identify classrooms by teacher name on your observation form.
Descriptions are evidence-based.
Individually think about what evidence you might see related to the problem of practice. Jot down these ideas.
7. I take actions based on my beliefs
Strongly held beliefs
“By evidence, we mean descriptive statements of what you see … However, not all forms of evidence are equally valuable … So we speak of evidence as having large, medium, or small grain size – that is, being fuzzy or sharp.” (p. 92)
Relates to the level of specificity; fine-grained evidence is detailed and specific.
Students are working in pairs to solve a set of simple equations. One student is pointing to his paper and telling his partner the steps he used in solving the problem. The partner is looking as the speaker points to steps with his pencil. She asks: “Would you go back and explain that part again?”
Students are sitting on the carpet off task.
Students are engaged in a reading activity.
Teacher checks frequently for understanding.
What are you learning? What are you working on?
After making yourself comfortable in the classroom, complete identifying information.
“It is the relationship between the teacher, the student, and the content—not the qualities of any one of them by themselves –that determines the nature of instructional practice, and each corner of the instructional core has its own particular role and resources to bring to the instructional process.”
Listen; don’t interrupt.
1. Individual Reflection
Read through your notes, placing an asterisk next to descriptions that seem relevant to the problem of practice.
Classroom 1 = Blue
Each individual should select 3 pieces of evidence to share with their observation team.
Work silently as you use the “Affinity Mapping” protocol to place post-it notes on easel paper.
Individuals should place a ? on any note that contains “evidence” that is either
The facilitator leads discussion that will result in:
Duplicate any sticky note that relates to more than one category so that it can be placed in all relevant categories. This will become important as you move into the identification of patterns of practice.
The “evidence police person” continues to pose questions about proposed evidence that appears to be either evaluative or too large-grained.
Two (or more) teams will merge as directed by the group facilitators, moving affinity maps to their work area.
Paired teams review one another’s evidence displayed on sticky notes both to (a) familiarize themselves with their paired team’s evidence and (b) screen or “vet” the evidence.
One team leads by sharing any red-dot evidence identified. Team members ask questions to help partner team clarify and/or drill down so that the statement is more fine-grained and evidence-based.
Identify patterns of practice based upon “vetted” evidence from all classrooms observed.
FORM: A simple, declarative statement summarizing a pattern of evidence across a majority (4/6) of the classrooms observed by the combined team
SYNTAX: Needs to be “stated in such a way as to be accurate and exacting yet able to be heard by the intended audience” (Fowler-Finn, p. 137)
Teachers moved on after one correct response in 4/6 classrooms.
Look for practices that the group agrees are important to the POP but observed in less than half of the classrooms.
An attempt to establish cause-and-effect between teaching and learning
“If you were a student at this school and you did everything you were expected to do, what would you know and be able to do (in light of the patterns observed)?”
Students will take responsibility for and initiate their own learning.
Frame questions that your team believes can assist faculty in reflecting deeply about their own practice as it relates to student learning.
Designate one member of your paired team to remain at your team’s station to explain findings to others.
What evidence-based patterns and contrasts can we provide the host school about their identified problem of practice?
What positive or exciting things did you see and hear today that you would like to commend to the faculty?
Think back on your experience as an observer practicing evidence-based, descriptive observation.
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