Results
Looking Back and Planning Forward

When I was a classroom teacher, I had two things on my mind when the calendar turned to spring: a strong finish with my students and the changes I wanted...

Developing Life Skills vs. Teaching to the Test

My principal winced in trepidation while simultaneously nodding in agreement when I suggested last fall that we tackle our low test scores head-on. We started our inservice day meeting like...

Exit Slips for Reflection and Planning

In this video, Kathy Provost and Heather Fisher use exit slips to assess the success of a professional development session and plan next steps.  

Assessing Our Impact

Our students have heaps of data about their learning progress: screener scores, benchmarks, quizzes and tests, teachers’ anecdotal records, grades, and portfolio assessments. These results offer a bevy of information...

Learning Targets

For me, one of the most frustrating things about teaching is when I give a great lesson, or one that I think is great, and then none of the work...

Learning Land

I swear it feels like I get an email every five minutes from someone trying to sell me something for our school. Assemblies, puppet shows, field trips, author visits, motivational...

New Year Resolutions

Are you idealistic like me and pledge to do your job SO much better at the beginning of every year? Perhaps you’ve just finished an “off” year . . ....

Getting PD Feedback

Theoretically, I knew feedback was important. But in reality, I struggled with feedback. How does a coach even begin planning professional development sessions based on feedback? How could I synthesize...

Questions for Reflection and Goal Setting with Teachers

We start the school year, and all of a sudden it’s spring. Where did the time go? Even when a fast pace is the result of students experiencing deep learning,...

The Students Behind the Numbers

Data is everywhere. From the digital speed displays as we drive our vehicles, to the number of calories for each option at a restaurant, we are immersed in information. This...

The Evolution of Data Meetings

Years ago as a reading specialist in one building, I began the data-wall journey with a giant data wall made out of pegboard with hooks and different-colored shapes for each...

It’s All About Perception

Life is all about perception. Positive versus negative. Whichever you choose will affect and more than likely reflect your outcomes.                                                                   Sonya Techlai The blessing of first-of-the-year assessments is that...

Taking a Literacy Temperature

I am the principal of a different school this year. Although I was devastated to leave my previous building—I loved it, and it truly felt like home to me—part of...

One Task Fits All

Teachers, often and with good reason, get exasperated by all the demands on their time that don’t connect with their daily work in the classroom. The day-to-day planning of instruction...

The Common Core and Parents: Building Bridges, Not Walls

One of our challenges at our school is parent involvement. We are paying particular attention to the feel and tone of our parent conferences. Holding up the mirror is not...

Goal Setting with Google Spreadsheets

Early in the school year I was contacted by a fifth-grade teacher asking for a way to help her students keep track of their own learning and to set goals...

Coaching Logs and Daily Reflective Routines

As a classroom teacher, I was intentional—one could even say obsessive—about reflecting on the effectiveness of my work.  Almost nightly, I would spread a pile of work across my living...

Math, Literacy, and RTI

For several years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with the brilliant Amy Simmons, an instructional support teacher and “administrative intern” (a fancy name to describe an assistant principal). Part...

Assessment and Response to Intervention

Lisa is a third grader who has been in intervention for two years. She was placed in intervention based on the results of a universal screener. This screener determined her...

Creating Flash Continuums

It is part of my work to guide teams of teachers to create standards-based learning continuums. A continuum is a way to generate a common understanding of a selected standard...

Rethinking End-of-Year Assessments

If an assessment is not lifting the quality of our instruction or helping us understand the needs of readers, we believe we need to question why we are giving it....