The ASOT Reflection

Region 9 High Reliability Schools-December 2020

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Are We There Yet?

Christmas break is just around the corner, and you deserve the time to relax and recharge after facing a challenging fall semester. We know it's hard, but please know that you aren't alone in this! Keep reading for how we can help!

R9 Support

The Priddy Foundation grant that provides High Reliability Schools here in Region 9 also allows for support in The New Art and Science of Teaching for any teacher who has attended the training. It's one of the best parts! We know it's easy to put what you've learned during professional development aside once you're back in front of your class and in the trenches of daily lesson planning and teaching. That's why we are excited to be able to provide ongoing support in NASOT!

How can you provide support?

We can provide this support virtually or face-to-face, whatever you prefer (or your district/campus requires).

What kind of support do you provide?

That's a great question! Our Region 9 HRS Team can do so much to help you utilize the elements of NASOT. For example, we can...

  • help you plan a lesson incorporating a new strategy
  • research resources you might need to use a new strategy
  • observe a lesson (either in person or using a video) to watch for strategies
  • give feedback based on our observations
  • help you set and track goals (both yours and your students')

How do we get this support?

It's easy! Just ask :) Seriously, your Region 9 rep is eager to help. If you aren't sure who that person is, let any one of us know, and we'll find out for you. Typically, your R9 rep will be emailing you updates or information (such as newsletters like this one), so all you have to do is respond to one of those emails.

Before we move on to the strategy spotlight, here's a little something, just for fun...

Twas the week before Winter Break (Teachers)

Strategy Spotlight: Organizing Students to Interact

According to Marzano, this element involves the teacher organizing students to interact in a thoughtful way that facilitates collaboration to aid them in understanding, practicing and applying new knowledge. In our current times, it might seem like this wouldn't be possible. However, regardless of whether your instruction in face-to-face or remote, synchronous or asynchronous, there are ways to accomplish the goal of student collaboration.

Before we dig into some of those ways, there are certain aspects of this element that can and should take place regardless of the method of instruction.

Group norms

It is always helpful to establish group norms for any type of collaborative activity. If you have a social contract, that's a great place to start. These norms act as a set of expectations regarding students' behavior within a group. Students can help develop these through a simple brainstorming process (which can easily be facilitated through the use of a shared document, form, etc.). A template like this one can help (found in the free reproducibles for The Handbook for the New Art and Science of Teaching at Solution Tree).

Job cards

Another tool that can help facilitate collaboration is to assign jobs for students in groups. An example from Solution Tree can be found here. These roles help hold students accountable for their actions with the group setting.


Having a structured reflection process allows students to reflect on their learning process, the activities they have completed, or on a piece of work a group has produced. In doing so, students are able to share what they've learned, encourage each other, and identify ways to grow in their learning. An example template from Solution Tree can be found here.

Different Strategies for Students to Collaborate

Some ways to incorporate student collaboration in your classroom, according to the Southern Regional Education Board, include the following:

  • Breakout rooms
  • Shareable documents
  • Discussion boards
  • Interactive digital whiteboards

While not all of these are suitable for all situations, they are viable options.

Below you will find additional resources for incorporating student collaboration and interaction in all types of settings.

How to Keep Kids Collaborating Remotely
Student collaboration in shared Google Slides

Resources by the Element

We've recently revamped this resource for you to make it even easier to use. Now, instead of seeing old newsletters with outdated information, you'll find only the information pertaining to the elements. This should help you use this resource with your colleagues, in PLC meetings, at staff meetings, etc. We will continue to add resources until all of the 43 elements are covered.

Resource: R9 HRS Site

Don't forget about our website, which you can find at There is a tab just for you as an ASOT teacher complete with files and documents that will help you reach your goals. We are constantly updating the site are especially proud of the Resources by Element document that you can find under the Resources tab (or click the document above). This is a great way to find ideas for how to implement the goal you set for yourself for this year.