Coaches' Corner

October Newsletter, Volume 3

In this Issue...

From the Principal's Desk

Kagan Update

We all know that if you use Kagan exclusively, you are pretty much operating in “Teacher C” mode. However, we also learned in our training that good teachers will know when to instruct as “Teacher A, B, or C.” Regardless of which, formative assessment during instruction should definitely be an integral part of the process. There are essentially three types of assessment:

  • Formative
  • Benchmark and
  • Summative

Formative is different from the latter for several reasons: (1) Formative assessments are not graded; (2) Formative assessments serve as practice; (3) Formative assessments check for student understanding along the way; (3) Formative assessments guide teacher instruction for future instruction; and, (4) Formative assessments provide real-time feedback to students to improve their performance (Retrieved from:

The National Forum on Assessment (1995) suggests that assessment systems include opportunities for both individual and group work and those include individual, partner, small group, and whole class--sounds like Kagan to me. My point is this, although we are heavily focusing on Kagan (as we should be), its implementation should not be with the absence of formative assessment. Lastly, when you are formatively assessing your students--whether it be individually, in partners, small cooperative groups, or as a whole class--as a teacher you should have some method of documentation to record what you discover during process of learning real-time.

-Mr. Colvin

Cool Tools

Five Strategies to Nurture Collaboration

When collaboration goes wrong, it can be toxic for learning and classroom culture. We are all familiar with the scene: a group of students that is supposed to be completing a collaborative project has splintered off into dysfunctional factions. Maybe it's one student who has sullenly separated her- or himself from the rest of the group, or maybe the group has become two non-communicative teams with separate visions. Sometimes these conflicts lead to resentments that have the potential for long-term damage to the classroom community.


EC Spotlight: Disability Awareness Month

Saturday, Oct. 1st, 12am to Monday, Oct. 31st, 12am

This is an online event.

This year’s theme is “Uniquely Capable.” A host of activities and lessons will dispel stereotypes and demonstrate how people with disabilities can achieve success in all facets of life. Click here to find out more.

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Baldwin

Administration chose Ms. Baldwin for the October spotlight! Ms. Baldwin has jumped right in with Kagan! Just last month, she fused Inside-Outside-Circle with speed dating as a classbuilder. Students each had a brown bag with items describing themselves. During Inside-Outside-Circle, students presented their brown brags to their partners while they took notes. Students switched roles to ensure PIES. After presenting to three different classmates, Ms. Baldwin used Instant Star to call on students to introduce the second person they interviewed to the class. Using these two Kagan structures, Ms. Baldwin increased student accountability and engagement.

PLT Next Steps:

  1. Join your PLTs' Google Classroom. Invitations were sent via email.
  2. As discussed in PLT Day 2, upload your strategy to Google Classroom to share for our next meeting.