Coaches Corner

2.8.16

What do you want to be the transferrable learning for students?

Ways to Increase Cognitive Engagement during Shared and Close Reading

  • Thoughtful order of accounts
  • Having students analyze an illustration prior to reading the text increases comprehensible input and gives all students an opportunity to engage in the reading creating confidence. Here are some tasks to asks students to do: circle details in the illustration, write questions, discuss with table group
  • All texts you can touch standard RI 4. Prior to reading, establish what words you need to teach and what words students can figure out using context clues
  • Reading each paragraph with a purpose and focus questions (for example, the 5Ws)
  • Capturing thinking on anchor charts
  • Think about differentiating format of text (font, spacing, etc.)
  • Have students follow along and ask DOK 1/2 questions to formatively assess student understanding
  • Revisit learning target multiple times
  • Annotating the text
  • Exit ticket: What strategies did I use today to help me read this text?

"Focus" in Grade 4

RI. 6 Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the difference in focus and the information provided).


  • Focus= point of view, the lens of the author For example, if I wrote about the Superbowl, my focus may be Von Miller and another focus may me Cam Newton crying. *Here is what the author was paying attention to based on the event

"The move toward rigor places students squarely at the center of the classroom, where they will grapple with challenging content individually and collaboratively, and where they will be expected to actively demonstrate their learning" -Marzano

The Seven Stages of Professional Learning Teams

What stage would you describe your team as? How could you be a lead teacher and push your team to the next stage?



  • Stage 1 Filling the Time: Teams in this stage believe in the PLC concepts but lack clear guidelines or experiences regarding what they need to focus on during collaboration time. Teams in this stage typically struggle to fill time or move to the other extreme and try to accomplish too many things too quickly. This stage is characterized by frustration, bewilderment, and a desire to go back to what is comfortable.
  • Stage 2 Sharing Personal Practice: Teachers in this stage may be genuinely interested in what other teachers are doing, hoping to pick up new ideas. Talking about teaching feels like collaboration to the novice teacher but does not include the in-depth look at learning. Conversations about practice are comfortable at this stage but there is a danger in never really taking a step toward talking about student learning.
  • Stage 3 Planning Planning Planning: Teachers utilize the team approach to plan together. Rather than each teacher individually planning every lesson, different members take responsibility for sets of lessons and share their planning work with others. Unfortunately, teams often grow comfortable with shared planning and fail to focus on results. Teacher attention remains centered on teaching rather than learning.
  • Stage 4 Developing Common Assessments: Shared assessments force teachers to define exactly what students should learn and what evidence is necessary for documenting success. Novice teams may work to avoid common assessments, thereby steering clear of difficult conversations, but common assessments are essential if teams are to shift their focus from teaching to learning.
  • Stage 5 Analyzing Student Learning: Professional learning teams begin to shift their focus from teaching to learning. Teachers spend time looking and dissecting student work, analyzing the strengths and areas of improvement for each student. Teams can be very motivated in this stage and can be driven by results. However, teachers are also put in a delicate position of publicly facing results of their classroom which may pose an intensely personal response. Collective intelligence provides a never-ending source of solutions for addressing shared challenges.
  • Stage 6 Adapting Instruction to Student Needs: Teachers, teacher leaders, and school leaders collectively commit to helping all students improve and learn. Behaviors in the teams represent commitment. Teams are typically performing at high levels taking collective responsibility for student success rather than responding as individuals.
  • Stage 7 Reflecting on Instruction: Which practices are most effective with our students? This question brings the process of professional learning team development full circle, connecting learning back to teaching. Teams are engaged in deep reflection, tackling innovative projects such as action research and lesson study. In this stage, you will find teachers observing other classrooms, video taping instruction, intentionally inviting others into the group and "growing" the success of the team into a school culture.



Adapted from the National Staff Development Councils Journal on Staff Development, "One Step at a Time," by Parry Graham and Bill Ferriter. Summer 2008. Vol 29. NO3 p. 38

Las Tres Amigas

Coronado Hills Elementary