Instructional Coach Weekly Update

Week of Jan. 18-22

Strategy Spotlight

As a continuation from last week's post about - Ten Strategies for Creating a Classroom Culture of High Expectations.

Last week I talked about: Strategy #2 - Develop instructional plans that facilitate bell-to-bell teaching. Maximizing the limited time teachers have with students and communicating high expectations for on-task behavior are the dual goals of this strategy. I CHALLENGE each of you to think about your day - do you plan and teach bell-to-bell? How much down time, transition time, "free work time," etc. do your students have throughout their day? Can we do better?

This week: Strategy #4 - Establishing High Expectations

This strategy addresses academic expectations. The suggested practices answer the essential question, “What does it take for me to earn an A or B on this assignment or in this class?” Students will work harder if they have a grasp of the big picture and examples of the final product(s) they are expected to replicate. Beginning with the end in mind means to plan and teach backward. Ways to establish high expectations include: „

  • showing students samples of well thought-out solutions to mathematics problems, thus providing them with models of good solution methods
  • letting students listen to a recording of an orchestra playing a new piece of music before sight-reading the music for the first time
  • letting students watch a video of an operating four-stroke engine before teaching about the individual parts
  • letting students hear a well-written essay read aloud and review copies of it before having them write
  • providing rubrics — or better yet, engaging students in the development of a rubric for an assignment.

Teachers must never accept F work! The formative grading norm of A, B, C and NY (Not Yet!) communicates volumes about what is expected from students and stresses how important it is for them to learn everything that is taught


  • Fun countdown timers for your classroom - students can better pace themselves when they have a visual reminder readily available at all times
  • Classroom posters - use this site to create posters for your room
  • If you need a pick me up - beware... this is a video for teachers to watch to remind you about why we teach, this is NOT a video to show your students (one word not for students ears in this video)

Last Week

- Attended Blended Learning Training on Thursday with the 4th grade team

- Attended the IC mid-year summit on Friday

- Worked on four new IRAs for 5th grade that tie directly to science kits and social studies units

- Gathered and created materials and resources for teams and teachers that requested things

- Met with Robyn Robbins to discuss all students that have been labeled as "students of concern" by their homeroom teachers and planned next steps

- Continued lead teaching a new SGR unit with a teacher

- Completed drop in observations

- Created more "standards check list books" for more teachers

The Week Ahead

- Monday - Inservice

- Thursday - All day IC training in North Liberty

- Friday - All day IC training in North Liberty

- Modeling small group reading lessons Tuesday, Wednesday

- Modeling a Write Tools note card lesson on Tuesday

- Modeling an intervention on Tuesday

- Drop in observations when my schedule allows

- Assist with FAST Universal Screening this week (please call or text 319.430.8150 if you are having any issues since it may be hard to get a hold or me any other way this week)

Thank you!!

I would like to thank everyone for a great Monday! The inservice was long, but it was nice to be together and the content will no doubt help us continue to improve how we teach ELA and interventions. Thank you also for taking the survey and getting your cards to me! Have a great week!