What Does a Grade Mean?

I’ve spent the past week prepping to facilitate an upcoming workshop about grading for high school teachers. I thought I’d share some of the information I found, as it seems to me a valuable conversation for administrators to explore at a faculty meeting, coaches to examine with teachers, facilitators to discuss with PLCs, and mentors […]

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Motivating Students

As a classroom teacher I discovered early in my career that when I met with a learning specialist regarding special needs of one of my students, the strategies shared for me to try almost always had payoff with additional students. When she told me a student needed movement between activities to increase his focus, I […]

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PLC Development- “Where are we?” and “What’s our next step?”

I have had several opportunities in the last few weeks to observe and coach PLC sessions. In most cases I was looking to identify where the PLC was functioning in a developmental process and then provide suggestions, payoffs, and encouragement for movement to a stronger learning system, continuously increasing its positive impact on student achievement. […]

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Student Paired Talk

During a recent PLC observation, where I was invited to provide coaching, teachers, their instructional coach, and principal were observing a video clip of a teacher’s writing lesson. In the section they were observing, the teacher had students on the floor around her as she reviewed writing components and connected them to a recent activity […]

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A Learning System

This past week I was involved in a few central office interviews and writing proposals concerning future trainings and consultations I might be providing. In each case the topic of educators learning and creating a culture of adult learning emerged. As most often happens, connected writing by others appeared. Peter Senge defined learning organizations as: […]

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Defining Student Achievement

Many of the readers of this blog who have worked with me in trainings for instructional coaching, designing professional development, or facilitating professional learning communities are aware that I focus on a backwards planning process that begins with identifying desired student outcomes. (See earlier blog.) I stress that it is critical for the definition of […]

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Pondering Topics