Lucky Day 7
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?
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!
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 . . .
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.
I’m still reeling from the information on goals in Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris’s post about the 1% of the population that set goals and regularly review them. It’s a short post. Go read it here. The numbers are staggering and the consequences for learning are dire if teachers are NOT setting goals in their classrooms.
Let’s Review: How important are clear learning targets for students?
Hattie, Fisher and Frey say that their effect size is .75 for “Teacher Clarity”. Teacher clarity could easily transfer to deeper student understanding of the desired learning target. Clarity in knowing what the target looks like would make the target easier to meet..
What kind of goals should teachers be setting for writing instruction?
“Teach the writer, not the writing.
Teach strategies for elaboration and development.
Teach for transfer.
Teach for increased student independence.”
What could goal setting look like?
One way it could go is through the use of the goal and technique cards from this post. As a writer I could pull out the techniques that I have already taught for the writing types this year. I could list them in descending order by the frequency with which students are using the techniques. Then I could check the on-demand writing for the new unit and see which techniques are present. This is one example of using data to determine goals.
Another way it could go would be to set up an inquiry study. Students could have the technique cards and could self-assess their use and / or understanding of the writing techniques. Then these students could use the goal cards to set some writing goals for themselves. Maybe the goals will be about structure, development OR transfer! Maybe students can begin to be “better than the 1%” if they have:
to practice using the techniques
and goal-setting to improve writing across the text types.
Win/Win in Student Goal-Setting and Teacher Clarity!
Are goals for the day, month, or year?
Won’t there be a variety of goals and time lines? Perhaps there will be an over arching goal that all students will love to write that will have its own steps or mini-goals. Perhaps it will be to improve the quality of the students’ narrative writing during this unit. Perhaps it will be the goals for this week. But without clear goals . . . what learning path are you on?
How could you use the techniques cards, goal cards and teacher clarity of work to improve your own writing and/or student writing?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Join the #DigilitSunday authors at Margaret Simon’s blog here.
Welcome, old friend.
My #OneLittleWord for 2015.
So enough said?
Not so fast! Let’s reconsider “Focus” with a different lens – or two!
Focus on Who?
Simple . . .
Focus on Students
Who will focus?
The teachers and the school community
This two-fold approach ensures that students are the center of the work. And as teachers and the school community focus on students, the teachers will collaboratively work together as they learn, grow and share ideas and techniques to best meet the needs of students.
Maintain status quo?
Teachers and schools are constantly considering what is working and what is not. It’s 2016 so schools and “learning” don’t look the same as they did in the 1960’s, 1980’s or even in 2000. The adults in the community have already “DONE” school and years of schooling don’t make them experts. The students currently in the building are the FOCUS.
Focus on What?
Learning . . .
How does an educator decide “WHAT” to focus on? There are many lists/features that are all “research-based” and even appear to have “gold stickers”.
Which one is best? There’s no “clear cut” answer for the best or even the “one” that will have the greatest impact because many of the “whats” that teachers can work on can also be combined for even greater student results. Instead of searching for the best, look within. What can you the teacher, add to your repertoire to increase your impact or effect?
What happens when a teacher uses data to study what is working currently in the classroom with the current students and then decides to change one variable and measure that effect?
Any of these could be a target of district or personal teacher study (and could overlap):
- Hattie’s effect sizes,
- Art of Comprehension via Trevor, Rich, Donna, & Justin’s graphic, or
- questioning (DOK).
Art of Comprehension, Bryan, Donner & Dolci #40CF “Art of Comprehension” Voxer Conversation
The key is using several data points (never just one) to determine where a change needs to occur, developing a plan and then working that plan! Quality instruction, quality teachers, and a quality use of time!
Focus on How?
How are decisions made about instruction, learning and teaching? How is technology involved? (I know you were waiting for the “DigiLit” connection!) How can technology be a TOOL that allows equitable access for ALL students? How can technology level the playing field for students and for student learning? How can technology allow students to APPLY their learning outside of school settings?
Methodology varies from classroom to classroom, building to building, and district to district. Some have local choice and some have state mandates. Within all situations one factor remains, professional responsibility! The professionals in the classroom have a responsibility to provide the environment and instructional opportunities that enable ALL students to learn at high levels!
And now I’ve gone full circle. The answers to Who? What? and How? have brought me to the Why? which brings me back to my 2016 #OneLittleWord: Joy.
There is JOY for students when students are the focus. There is JOY for students when learning is the focus. There is JOY for students when teachers are growing, learning and sharing those practices that have data to support that they increase students’ desire to learn and their learning. There is JOY for teachers when students and teachers have learning as the focus. Teaching is NOT for the faint of heart; teaching is FOR the students! All students must be growing and learning every day and that’s no easy task!
Joyful Learning Every Day!
What do you focus on? How do we know that is your focus?
And what if?
What if . . .
Teacher Clarity (Hattie), The 6 Things We Teach Every Day (coming soon in a book by Trevor Bryan) and Questioning at higher levels (DOK) were all strengthened simultaneously? How would that look for the students? How would that make a difference for students?