Keep the Pace

Instructional Strategies


Because I service both Eastwood and Westlane as an Instructional Coach, and there is never enough time to meet and collaborate, I wanted to try out this format to provide instructional strategies and to share ways that I can help you in the classroom

In addition I am looking for a few guinea pigs to help me practice a formal coaching cycle. If you are interested in growing as a teacher and helping me grow as a coach, please email me so we can set up a time to plan for an instructional coaching cycle.

Linka Pace

Eastwood and Westlane Instructional Coach

Instructional Coaching

Instructional Coaching

How can an Instructional Coach help me?

What is the role of the Instructional Coach? The role of the instructional coach is to provide academic/instructional support for instructional staff in a non-evaluative manner by

  • conversing and reflecting about teaching and learning
  • modeling and/or co-teaching lessons
  • assisting with curriculum and assessment development
  • locating and navigating resources
  • analyzing, providing, and synthesizing data
  • Providing non-evaluative feedback
  • Leading, finding, gathering, setting-up professional development based on the needs of the staff
  • Supporting the RtII process
  • Assisting teachers with the development of International Baccalaureate Unit Planners
  • Analyzing data and reviewing it with teachers
  • Assisting with lesson planning and reflection
  • Assisting teachers with the implementation and evaluation of curriculum
  • Modeling and/or co-teaching lessons
  • Participating in PLCs and Data Team meetings
  • Attending district meetings, department meetings, and professional development activities
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I read it, but don't get it!

Have you ever heard students make that statement? What happens when you need students to learn new information, but the content text is too difficult? Do you ever just give up and find yourself spoon feeding the material to students?

Problem: Mary Lou Cox and Chad Wallace at Eastwood were recently faced with this dilemma. Both Mary Lou and Chad recognized the content included many new concepts and vocabulary words for students. Mary Lou and Chad thoughtfully constructed a guided reading packet for students to complete but soon realized their high performing students could fill in the packet without reading the text while their lower performing students had hard time completing more than one page.

Problem Solving:

Chad and Mary Lou did not want to give up! So back to the drawing board we went. Through our discussions Chad and Mary Lou realized that students really do not know how to approach reading their science textbook.


Instead of creating a guided reading packet, Chad and Mary Lou tried a different approach. They modeled for students their own metacognitive conversations about reading the section by scanning the material, noticing the structure, making connections, facing distractions, or confusion, and so on.

Teaching students about their metacognitive process give students the chance to learn "to be strategic about using cognitive tools to refocus or solve reading problems, becoming active agents in their own learning."

Instructional Strategy-Studnets Practice Thinking Aloud (This is a great activity to do in DD)

Purpose: To give all members of a class a low-rust opportunity to practice thinking aloud and to see how available their thinking is to them, model and then have partner take turns describing their thinking as they engage in a non-threatening cognitive task.


  • Model thinking aloud metacognitively during the pipe cleaner task that follows (or another of your devising), and have a partner make notes on what you say.
  • Display these notes for all to see an ask students to identify and explain examples in the notes that demonstrate metacognition.
  • Give each student four or five pipe cleaners and a piece of paper. Assign partners.
  • Instruct students that one partner will create a pipe-clears creature that can stand on two feet; the other partner will observe and record the creature creator's thinking aloud. Encourage student to be inventive with the pipe cleaners. Set a time limit of tow or three minutes.
  • Some ideas of rate creature creator to think aloud.

--What do I predict will be tricky about creating a creature that won't fall over?

--What do I want my creature to look like and why?

--What am I thinking and feeling about each step of joint and shaping the pipe


--What am I going to do next and why?

  • Have the partners trade roles.
  • Ask the partners to choose one or tow comments from their combined notes to share with the class.
  • Lead a class discussion focusing on metacognitive elements of the comments.