Instructional Coach Weekly Update

Weeks of Mar. 7-18

Strategy Spotlight


When students receive effective feedback about their learning, their speed of learning DOUBLES.

To make feedback effective, teachers must have a very clear idea of where students are and where they are meant to be and then they should aim to provide feedback that reduces this gap.

1. When students are learning something they need a lot of TASK FEEDBACK - This is the most common type of feedback we see in classrooms. It is more information-focused and aims to help students build their surface knowledge. Examples including telling a student when an answer is correct or incorrect or asking the student to provide more of or different information

2. As students become more proficient, they need more PROCESS FEEDBACK - This type of feedback is geared toward helping the student improve the process used to create the product. This feedback can help the student develop learning strategies, detect errors, or recognize relationships between ideas. For example, feedback might include, “You’re asked to compare these ideas. For example, you could try to see how they are similar, how they are different… How do they relate together?” Feedback at this process level enhances deeper learning than at the task level above.

3. And when students have a high degree of proficiency, more SELF-REGULATION FEEDBACK is required - Feedback at this level is more focused on helping the student to monitor his or her own learning process. This type of feedback may serve to enhance the student’s confidence to engage further with the task and to encourage the student to seek and accept feedback. This feedback is usually in the form of probing or reflective questions. An example of a comment might be, “You checked your answer with the resource book [self-help] and found that you got it wrong. Do you have any idea why you got it wrong? [error detection] What strategy did you use? Can you think of another strategy to try?

Past Two Weeks

- Small group reading lessons in 5th grade

- Writing lessons in 4th grade

- Math lessons in 4th grade

- Assisting with Blended Learning- PBL in 4th grade

- Modeled Jot Dots Summary writing

- Check in's with teachers

- Planning and preparing resources and materials for teachers

- Watched Susan O. model a new intervention

- Meetings with Math Data Team leaders to select priority standards

- Half day spent with the other ICs looking at Write Tools opinion writing

The Week Ahead

- Teaching/Co-teaching daily writing lessons in 4th grade

- Teaching/Co-teaching daily math lessons in 5th grade

- Teaching/Co-teaching daily small group lessons in 3rd grade

- Data team meetings

- Team planning meetings

- Helping with reading assessments in 5th grade

- Helping start a new intervention in 5th grade

- NTC tool updates

Resources and Ideas

Vocabulary - if you are looking for vocabulary words for a novel study you are doing try When you get to the site there's a search box on the upper left hand side where you can type in book titles to pull up vocabulary lists that other teachers have created to go with the book you are looking for. I have recently used this site to find vocabulary words for each chapter in the books Hatchet, The River, and Sounder.

Math Videos - is a learning platform that combines video lessons, assessments, and progress reporting. Each lesson highlights a Common Core standard, starting, starting with math in grades 3-9. I have not explored this site very much yet, but they have some really great videos that can be accessed for free.

Imagination Soup Blog - Melissa Taylor is a passionate advocate for literacy and higher education. Imagination Soup shares fun learning ideas, activities, and products for kids ages 3-13. I have found many great book lists - by age, student interest, etc. Some of her recent posts: "23 Reasons to Read" printable colored poster, "Engaging Multiplication Dice Game," "26 Exceptional Non Fiction Books for Kids." Here are a couple of other recent postings:

Are you EXPLICITLY teaching FLUENCY?

There are many components to fluency and the majority of our students at this point in the year have mastered the skills of decoding, but some are still struggling to make progress with their words correct per minute. One thing to look at is how much explicit instruction is taking place teaching students the specific skills needed to improve their fluency. Here are the components of fluency that need to be explicitly taught:

  • phrasing (punctuation, pauses, etc.)

  • accuracy and self-correction

  • stress

  • intonation

  • rate

  • expression

Many teachers have some kind of daily fluency practice, but the majority are doing some kind of basic fluency flagging with partners with no explicit instruction before or afterwards. Next week I will provide some video links that will show you how to embed more direct instruction during your daily fluency practice.