eWalkThrough Fuel

May 2018 Vol. 4 No. 6

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Curating Your District Data Story

Each look-for is a touchstone for a district priority. By curating the elements that comprise your tool face, you can ensure that your time is well-spent and that your data will effectively tell the story your district is writing.


In essence, that simply means making sure that the look-fors make sense specifically for YOUR district. For example, you may want to ensure that some new check-for-understanding strategies are being incorporated into classrooms. Perhaps you are collecting data for school accreditation - do the data points in your tool reflect this priority?


These are the top 5 current trends in eWalkThrough® customization!

1) KESA CONNECTIONS

With the current implementation of the newly designed KESA accreditation system across the state of Kansas, many eWalkThrough® users are identifying various elements with the 5 Rs.


When moving toward a system that is evidence-based, eWalkThrough® provides easily accessible proof of Rigor, Relevance, Relationships, and Responsive Culture in the classroom. Many districts simply outline the connections between their existing elements & add descriptors pertaining to the 'R' that coordinates with that element.

2) ARCHIVING NON-ESSENTIAL DATA POINTS

One of the many benefits of a custom designed eWalkThrough® system is that data points can be archived when they are no longer relevant. Power eWalkThrough® teams spend time each spring making sure each section within their tool is important to the mission of their district.


It is important to identify WHY each look-for is on your tool face--what story does that data point tell? Is it still a focus area of your district? Does it serve as a touchpoint for feedback to the teacher? If not, it's easy to archive data elements that no longer serve a purpose.

3) SPECIFIC SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LOOK-FORS

As districts focus on creating atmospheres where Relationships can thrive, adding look-fors that reflect that priority is a great idea.


Many district tools now include elements that allow the observer to answer the question, "How does this classroom feel?" Growth in social-emotional character development can be measured! By adding in look-fors that allow observers to 'check the temperature' of the classroom right as they arrive, the data story will show strengths, as well as areas where more professional learning or mentoring might be needed.

4) THE POWER OF SUB-ELEMENTS

Did you know that custom eWalkThrough® systems now have the ability to tell a deeper data story through the use of sub-elements?


For example, many tools now include a section that has a checkbox pertaining to support personnel or paraprofessionals.

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This deeper-level section tells a different story by adding in two extra choices, that only appear if the first element is marked, and these graphs will calculate as a percentage of when that first box is checked. By asking the observer a further question, a sub-element can take a sharper snapshot of what is happening in classrooms.

5) PROBING QUESTIONS AS FEEDBACK FOR GROWTH

One powerful component of the eWalkThrough® system is the Comments section. This area can be preloaded with comments or question stems.


Districts that put the potential for communication between observer and teacher at the forefront utilize this area as a communication pathway. Instead of generic comments, many schools have moved toward a model of probing questions that begin a conversation between the observed and the observer.

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