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Webinar on Instructional Rounds FOCUS ON THE CORE An Introduction to Instructional Rounds September 27, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Webinar on Instructional Rounds FOCUS ON THE CORE An Introduction to Instructional Rounds September 27, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Webinar on Instructional Rounds FOCUS ON THE CORE An Introduction to Instructional Rounds September 27, 2012

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3 The Team – Brian Osborne, Gail Davis, Victoria Kniewel, & Scott Thompson

4 Focus on the Instructional Core TEACHER STUDENT CONTENT TASK

5 Foci of the Webinar Reinforce the importance of the instructional core and its centrality to significant improvements in student learning. Sharing knowledge of the procedures of instructional rounds and their use in objectively observing and reporting on teaching and learning.

6 AN INVALUABLE RESOURCE

7 Closer look at the instructional core TEACHER STUDENT CONTENT TASK

8 Principles for the Instructional Core Increases in student learning occur only as a consequence of improvements in the level of content, teachers’ knowledge and skill, and student engagement. If you change any single element of the instructional core, you have to change the other two to affect student learning. “If you can’t see it in the core, it’s not there.” The task predicts performance. The real accountability system is in the tasks that students are asked to do.

9 Principles for the Instructional Core We learn to do the work by doing the work, not by telling other people to do the work, not by having done the work at some time in the past, and not by hiring experts who can act as proxies for our knowledge about how to do the work. Adapted from Instructional Rounds in Education by City, Elmore, Fiarman, and Teitel

10 Instructional Rounds: What it isn’t A program Evaluating teachers An implementation check/monitoring tool Training in supervision skills Passive What it is A process Learning to describe and identify effective learning and teaching An opportunity to dive into problems of practice and learn “Collaboration to create coherence” A community of practice -- learning from each other and pushing each other 10

11 The Four Elements of Rounds Distinguishing elements of Instructional Rounds include: 1. Identification of a problem of practice 2. Observation of practice Collecting data that is descriptive, not evaluative; specific; tied to the instructional core; and related to the problem of practice. Using a formal observation tool that focuses on, what students are saying and doing, what teachers are saying and doing and what the task consists of, all in the service of assessing the impact on student learning 3. Debriefing – identifying patterns and wonderings; avoiding the “culture of nice.” 4. Brainstorming next level of work

12 Video of the Process New Jersey Network of Superintendents is a professional learning community, with the attendant responsibilities. The video represents an early instructional rounds visit of the network to Fort Middle School in Pemberton, NJ. If the video doesn’t play, you can also view it at

13 Fort Middle School Problem of Practice What evidence do you see of students making connections to real-world experiences through problem solving activities, decision making, and investigative processes? What evidence do you see of students using and being asked to use high order thinking skills as defined by Bloom’s New Taxonomy? What evidence do you see of team teaching in the “inclusive” classrooms?

14 Pre-Planning Network visiting team –District provides data on the classroom or school – data, demographics, etc. –Network clarifies the problem of practice for the rounds visit with the principal and superintendent. –Network determines team compositions, the roles and responsibilities of team members - time keeper, looking at student work and questioning students, recording classroom structures and content (objectives on board, rubrics, student journals, etc.), observing what the teacher says and does.

15 Pre-Planning School Principal (and superintendent) –Engage staff in developing the problem of practice and related look fors. –Identify who (if anyone) will participate from the staff. –Identify which classrooms will be visited. –Identify who will meet with the instructional rounds team other than the principal. –Make sure faculty and staff understand the purpose of the instructional round (It is not evaluative!)

16 The Four Elements of Rounds Distinguishing elements of Instructional Rounds include: 1. Identification of a problem of practice 2. Observation of practice Collecting data that is descriptive, not evaluative; specific; tied to the instructional core; and related to the problem of practice. Using a formal observation tool that focuses on, what students are saying and doing, what teachers are saying and doing and what the task consists of, all in the service of assessing the impact on student learning 3. Debriefing – identifying patterns and wonderings; avoiding the “culture of nice.” 4. Brainstorming next level of work

17 Problem of Practice A rich problem of practice: Focuses on the instructional core Is directly observable Can be acted upon in real time Connects to a broader strategy of improvement Is high leverage From Instructional Rounds in Education by City, Elmore, Fiarman, and Teitel

18 Seth Boyden, South Orange-Maplewood Problem of Practice: Instructional practice too often positions some students as passive learners or lacks enough differentiation to engage each child at her level of cognitive development. The problem of practice that the school is grappling with is to design learning outcomes, tasks, and lessons that engage all students with content at the appropriate level of cognitive development of each individual student while moving each student along a pathway toward postsecondary educational success.

19 Seth Boyden (continued) Essential Questions/”Look-For”s: What is the task/content? Is it grade-level appropriate? How do you know? How is the student engagement structured? Groups, individual, whole-class, pairs, a combination? Does the structure help or hinder engagement of all students? Does the timing and pacing of the lesson/activity maximize student engagement with the content? Is student engagement simultaneous and continuous? How do you know? What is the quality of engagement of the students with the task/content? Is it just right, like Goldilock's porridge? Are the students curious? Are they determined/inspired? How do you know?

20 Your Questions Any questions or comments on identifying a Problem of Practice?

21 The Four Elements of Rounds Distinguishing elements of Instructional Rounds include: 1. Identification of a problem of practice 2. Observation of practice Collecting data that is descriptive, not evaluative; specific; tied to the instructional core; and related to the problem of practice. Using a formal observation tool that focuses on, what students are saying and doing, what teachers are saying and doing and what the task consists of, all in the service of assessing the impact on student learning 3. Debriefing – identifying patterns and wonderings; avoiding the “culture of nice.” 4. Brainstorming next level of work

22 During the Rounds Visit Network visiting team –Follow through with your roles. –Spend minutes in each classroom. –Look for evidence that supports (or not) the target (student work, student talk) –Record the evidence objectively – detailed, nonjudgmental observations –Debrief after every classroom visit (5 minutes)

23 Developing the Discipline of Seeing Detailed, Nonjudgmental Vs. Generalized and/or Judgmental

24 Developing the Discipline of Seeing Why? Because generalization & judgmentalism get in the way of clearly seeing what is taking place in the instructional core.

25 General Judgmental Description “The teacher read from a book that was not at the appropriate level for the class.” “There was too much time on discussion, not enough time on individual work.” “The students conducted a sophisticated lab experiment.”

26 Detailed, nonjudgmental description “Student 1 asked student 2: ‘what are we supposed to write down?’ Student 2 said, ‘I don’t know.’” “Students followed directions in the text to make circuit boards.” Prompt for student essays: “What role did symbolism play in foreshadowing the main character’s dilemma?”

27 Sorting Observations Is the following observation a)detailed, nonjudgmental or b)general and/or judgmental? “Fast paced.”

28 Sorting Observations Is the following observation a)detailed, nonjudgmental or b)general and/or judgmental? “Student 1 wrote in math journal: = =31 S2: =31 S3: 41-10=31 2+3X3+16=3”

29 Sorting Observations Is the following observation a)detailed, nonjudgmental or b)general and/or judgmental? “Students practicing higher order thinking skills.”

30 Sorting Observations Is the following observation a)detailed, nonjudgmental or b)general and/or judgmental? T: “How are volcanoes and earthquakes similar and different?”

31 During the Rounds Visit School Staff –Continue with the normal instructional plan. –Have student work, products, portfolios, etc., easily accessible

32 Your Questions Any questions or comments on classroom observations?

33 The Four Elements of Rounds Distinguishing elements of Instructional Rounds include: 1. Identification of a problem of practice 2. Observation of practice Collecting data that is descriptive, not evaluative; specific; tied to the instructional core; and related to the problem of practice. Using a formal observation tool that focuses on, what students are saying and doing, what teachers are saying and doing and what the task consists of, all in the service of assessing the impact on student learning 3. Debriefing – identifying patterns and wonderings; avoiding the “culture of nice.” 4. Brainstorming next level of work

34 After Classroom Observations Network visiting team –Organize individual observations and select relevant data –Debrief within small team and select a few patterns, wonderings and recommendations for next level of work to share with the larger network team –Select important patterns, wonderings and recommendations for next level of work and share with principal, staff and host superintendent.

35 Your Questions Any questions or comments on the debrief phase of rounds?

36 The Four Elements of Rounds Distinguishing elements of Instructional Rounds include: 1. Identification of a problem of practice 2. Observation of practice Collecting data that is descriptive, not evaluative; specific; tied to the instructional core; and related to the problem of practice. Using a formal observation tool that focuses on, what students are saying and doing, what teachers are saying and doing and what the task consists of, all in the service of assessing the impact on student learning 3. Debriefing – identifying patterns and wonderings; avoiding the “culture of nice.” 4. Brainstorming next level of work

37 Next Level of Work Components of the discussion: –Revisit the Problem of Practice in light of current supports and resources. –Avoid the “culture of nice.” –Be specific! –Base recommendations on evidence gathered in classrooms. –Get initial feedback from host(s). –Debrief next level of work at next meeting.

38 Your Questions Any questions or comments on Brainstorming Next Level of Work?

39 Balancing the Learning Host School’s Learning Network’s Learning

40 QUESTIONS?


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