November 2015 Coaching Newsletter

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Updates and Reminders

  • Due to Thanksgiving, (no school Wednesday, Nov. 25 through Friday, Nov. 27) there will be no classroom visits or one-to-one meetings next week.
  • If our bi-weekly meeting would have been scheduled for the week of Nov. 23rd (Week B people), then we will meet the following week-- week of Nov. 30th. This means meetings for Week A people will be pushed back a week also.
  • I will resend Outlook meeting invites to reflect these changes. Please accept, and note the change. :)
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Strategies and Best Practices

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Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is an essential component of teaching and learning. It gives the teacher an idea of what students know & where they are, so that instruction can be adjusted to move the learner towards the learning goal(s). It also gives the student an opportunity to understand, evaluate, and reflect on his or her own learning.

Formative assessment can take many, many forms. Any strategy that you use to find out where students are in the learning process is considered formative assessment!

Listed below are just a few examples of formative assessment:

  • Student reflection log/question
  • Multiple choice question/quiz (polling)
  • Teacher observation
  • Discussion
  • Entrance Ticket
  • Exit Slip
  • Think, Pair, Share
  • Waterfall chat strategy
  • Everybody Writes
  • Project or Presentation (Create a ppt., timeline, video, audio recording, blog, etc...)
  • Self-Assessment


Cash, Richard M. Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century. Minneapolis: Free Spirit, 2011. Print.

We'll be diving deeper into formative assessment and looking at some examples during our Mini-PD session this Friday, Nov. 20th.

In the meantime, see below in the Resources section for some helpful websites/ideas!

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Teaching Highlights of the Month

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Lindsey Howe

Lindsey has a meaningful warm-up activity for students to complete at the beginning of the class session. Students assess their own progress on the research paper they have been working on, and use whiteboard tools to indicate where they are on the thermometer.

Students are also asked to recall their Essential Questions for their research papers. This is something they are referring back to again and again during the research process to help them stay focused.

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Jayme WIlliams

In Jayme WIlliams' class, objectives are communicated at the beginning of class and are carried throughout the lesson with multiple opportunities for students to show mastery of those objectives. To tie it all together, Jayme asks for students to write their own "I Can" statements. This is a nice reflection piece for students, and a great formative assessment!

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Denise Lijewski

Denise is communicating effectively with students and LC's with her class weebly. Here she communicates important updates and reminders about progress, schedules, and assignments. She also has tabs with links, resources, and some great general information for new and returning students! What an awesome tool!!

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Amy Chappelle

Amy is integrating nonfiction text from the 8th grade History course into her small group guided reading sessions! Students are engaged in the content, and are citing textual evidence to support inferences.

Click on the link to view the session recording.

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Progress Report Template

Amy Chappelle is sending out these wonderfully-detailed progress reports this week to ensure that students and learning coaches know where they stand.

If you are interested in using this template or modifying it to make it work for you and your students, click on the link below to download Amy's ppt.! Thanks for sharing, Amy!

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56 Examples of Formative Assessment

Credit goes to Kirstin Miller for finding this fantastic bank of ideas for formative assessment! Some may already have it, but I wanted to share it out again because it is so awesome!

10 Fun-Filled Formative Assessment Ideas

Check out this Edutopia article for some fun ways to check for understanding including writing Twitter posts, creating an advertisement, and composing a top-ten list.

15 Ways to Know When Your Students Aren't "Getting" It: A Guide to Formative Assessment

Looking for some insight on where to get started with formative assessment, or want some tips to refine your use of it in class sessions? This WeAreTeachers article provides some valuable tips for using formative assessment in the classroom.

Learning Target ppt. Template

Some of you may already have the ppt. template shown below from our standards and objectives Friday mini-PD back on Oct. 30th. I'd like to share it out again, just in case! Some teachers are really liking how this learning target template helps them focus their lesson plans, and also puts the objective in student-friendly language!

How to use it:

  1. The first arrow should contain something students are familiar with (prior knowledge you are hoping to activate).
  2. The second arrow should contain the objective.
  3. The third arrow should contain an example of what students will be able to do to accomplish at the end of the lesson. (Keep rigor in mind.)

Click on the link below to download.

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Around this time of year, many of us take the time to recount all that we have to be thankful for. DId you know that gratitude has many scientifically-proven benefits?

What are you thankful for? Take some time to reflect on our padlet if you'd like. It's good for our health!

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