Tag Archives: Good to Great

#SOL19: Day 7 SOLSC


Lucky Day 7

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On Day Seven . . . Using the Throwback Time Machine . . .

Quality Instructional Practices

  • How do teachers improve?
  • How do they know what to improve?
  • How can teachers be given an opportunity to rethink, reflect, and revise with support?

This post began four years ago today, March 7, 2015. But the content remains pertinent.

What is the source of teacher improvement?  Is it “Professional Development”? Is it “Professional Learning”? Is it time for “Reflection”? Are there some features that should be present for all teachers?

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Doug Fisher, Visible Learning

 

Collective Teacher Efficacy – John Hattie – effect size of d=1.57 (approx. 4 years growth)

Feedback – effect size of d=0.72 ( half of Collective Teacher Efficacy)

The message seems to be clear: together teachers can achieve more, especially if they collectively believe that they can do so!

How Leaders Inspire Teachers . . .

But what if . . .

These discussions / conversations were a part of “regular business” in all our schools . . .

How do I know I am using my instructional time wisely? 

How do I know my students are learning?

One professional filter might be Good to Great Teaching: Focusing on the Literacy Work that Matters . . .

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Good to Great Teaching by Dr. Mary C.Howard

Where is the learning?

Are pendulum swings the result of information overload or the lack of solid grounding in the research/understanding WHY?

A search for FUN?

A search for the EASY button?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum in March from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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Focus: #TCRWP, Books, and Professional Reading


NYC

It’s real!

I’m in NYC!

So excited to be back, with friends, literally from around the country, to learn, live and celebrate writing this week! (Can you guess my favorite punctuation?)

The Saturday before #TCRWP Writing Institute found several “slicers” meeting up at Bank Street Bookstore.  Our goal, Julieanne Harmatz (@jarhartz) and I, was to meet Sally Donnelly (@SallyDonnelly1), a fellow slicer up from the Washington, DC area.  We had met Sally, oh so briefly at the March Saturday reunion, and were interested in longer conversations.  We all found ourselves purchasing Cynthia Lord’s A Handful of Stars that had been highly recommended by fellow traveler Allison Jackson (@azajacks). (sidenote:  What’s up with the @?  Those are twitter names to follow.  If you aren’t following these three, why not?  Oh, not on Twitter; well, why not?  You should be!)

a handful of stars

Amazing book.  A dog balancing a blueberry on his nose should “hook” you right into this book!  Bank Street Bookstore was also the site of an amazng toddler read aloud with parents, toddlers and accompanying strollers filling the aisles.  And that’s all I have to say about that topic because of another book that I purchased that I will be gifting soon. (Hint – book is by Jimmy Fallon; yes topic connected to the new addition to my family.)

We adjourned to the Silver Moon Bakery and cafe for some coffee and much, much, much conversation.  Sally is returning to a third grade classroom after years as a reading specialist.  We had advice about techonolgy, blogging, professional books (Good to Great: Focusing on the Literacy Work that Matters by Mary Howard) and fellow bloggers for additional advice.

Good to Great Teaching cover

My one little word is “Focus” so I am thinking about my own professional reading for this summer.  This book and my all time favorite What Readers Really Do are my re-reads for this summer along with Colleen Cruz’s, The Unstoppable Writing Teacher,  and Jennifer Serravello’s, The Reading Strategies Book,  as my two new books.  Only four – but rich, savory texts that will feed my soul and brain for the year to come.

what readers

the unstoppable writing teacher

the reading strategies  book

What professional reading will you FOCUS on this summer?

#SOL15: March Challenge Day 7 Quality Instructional Practices


five

The story of Thursday’s professional development session continues here. Yesterday you saw a fun activity with Instructional Strategies Brackets. Today’s post provides a window into “quality” of instruction!

Quality Instructional Practices

  • How do teachers improve?
  • How do they know what to improve?
  • How can teachers be given an opportunity to rethink, reflect, and revise with support?

I have a solution for you . . .but as the author of this wonderful work warns . . .”This is not for the faint of heart!”

QUALITY?

What is it?  How do we recognize it?

One way:  Look for great, good and bad instruction as defined by Mary Howard in her book Great Teaching: Focusing on the Literacy Work that Matters. Chapter 1 is available free when you click on the sample tab HERE!

Good to Great Teaching cover

We used the window into classrooms where teachers guide us through a process of evaluating, adjusting, and elevating their teaching.  This grade 5 example of an initial teaching sequence (from the free chapter one) began our conversation.

one

two

Teacher leadership teams time read the scenario, recorded some examples in columns for “Great, Good, and Bad” and then discussed their thinking with colleagues. Conversations were rich with text examples often cited (close reading!).

We then looked at “What did this teacher define as “Great, Good and Bad” in her initial teaching sequence?”  (You will note that we have flipped the form as we want everyone to reread the GREAT column many times.)  The teacher columns looked like this and we made sure to note that the learning includes the conversations about the instruction and not an evaluation.

three

Teacher Reflection

Because the teacher in this scenario was going to use the lesson with another group of students, she wanted to improve it and she had the good fortune to be discussing her lesson with Mary Howard.  After reflection the teacher decided to change several things to make her instruction more effective that included:

  1. “Teach vocabulary at a different time.

  2. Check in at mid-point with small groups

  3. Make an interactive anchor chart.

  4. Add sentence starters to thinking and anchor charts

  5. Teach a whole group Mini-Lesson to teach the “form” to everyone and free up more group time

  6. Use a National Geographic magazine for students at lower level to access same work

  7. Record 3-5 details at end of day for reminders the next day”

Follow-Up Teaching Sequence

There is an “after” narrative in the chapter that we asked our folks to read and then discuss what changed for the students and the learning.  Here is the teacher’s view of the follow-up instruction.

four

Please note that this activity was not about “putting the right descriptor in the right column” as the learning focused on “how do you define and describe great” and what changes were implemented in order to improve instruction? As well as, “How do you planfully work to increase the quality of instruction every day in your classroom?”

Focus questions:  How are you using the time instructional time that you have?  How are you increasing the GREAT Quality Instructional Practices in your classroom?

And remember Chapter 1 of Great Teaching: Focusing on the Literacy Work that Matters is available free when you click on the sample tab HERE!

Slice of Life

Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work.

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