Making sense of the enormous amount of student data in any classroom or school is probably the biggest challenge we face individually and in our school communities. Authentic assessment of learning helps us plan quality instruction. Here you'll find everything from one-page templates of formative assessments created by literacy coaches to videos of staff teams poring over large summative data sets.
David Pittman tackles the "third rail" of literacy coaching: assessing instructional quality.
Jennifer Schwanke shares the challenges of having honest conversations with teachers during evaluative sessions, acknowledging that her performance is being judged as well.
Jennifer Schwanke finds she is jealous of a colleague attending a summer training session, so she attends herself. It's a reminder to her of how powerful professional development can be for school leaders.
Stella Villalba shares some simple strategies to foster more reflection and feedback with the teachers she coaches.
What's going well with literacy in your teaching community? What's getting in the way? Matt Renwick considers breakthroughs and barriers in making literacy instruction more of a priority in his school.
Cathy Mere finds that the last weeks of the school year are the best time for literacy coaches to reflect on long-term goals attained and missed, as well as to plan next steps.
In this video, Kathy Provost and Heather Fisher use exit slips to assess the success of a professional development session and plan next steps.
Melanie Quinn and the teachers she works with face the hard truth of low test scores in their school, and develop reflective practices to tackle the issue.
Melanie Meehan explains how she changed her demonstration lessons to include more of her own process in creating learning targets, and how sharing this assessment with students helped them focus their work.
Jason DiCarlo leads a first-grade study group as they discuss different options for young learners to demonstrate understanding beyond written responses.
Melanie Quinn begins the new school year with a list of habits she plans to develop, from spending more time with new teachers to greeting every child in the building by name.
Stella Villalba shares ideas for getting ongoing feedback after professional development offerings.
Matt Renwick explains how classroom walk-throughs and surveys can be powerful tools for assessing your impact—if you collect the right data.
Jennifer Schwanke considers what she and her district learned when they adopted an online digital skill and drill program that promised more than it delivered (don't they all?). The name of the program has been changed to protect the guilty.
Matt Renwick shares some of his favorite questions and strategies for promoting reflection and goal setting with teachers.
Kathy Provost writes about how her district moved from a physical to a virtual data wall, and the implications for talk about assessment and student needs.
Matt Renwick shares the challenges and benefits of using multiple measures to inform instruction with an example of the impact of a read aloud in a fifth-grade classroom.
The start of a new year is nearly the midpoint of the academic year, and it may be the perfect time to take the "literacy temperature" of your school. Jennifer Schwanke explains how to assess the health learning climate beyond test scores.
Melanie Quinn wonders if the "sit and get" agenda for a full-day inservice needs to be upended to acknowledge the struggles teachers are facing in meeting assessment demands in the district.
Literacy coach Melanie Quinn works with teachers to help them move beyond deficit-based thinking in analyzing assessments.