January Coaching Newsletter
Happy New Year!
Updates and Reminder
We are all getting back into the swing of things. I have begun my 7th (Really?! Wow!) round of classroom visits and 1:1 meetings this week and am very much enjoying being back in your classrooms. Everyone should have received an Outlook invite for their next 1:1 meeting with me. I am looking forward to continuing to engage in meaningful conversations and to witnessing some more great teaching in 2016!
Please be sure to check your latest Outlook meeting invite which outlines the dates of the weeks in which we will meet for the remainder of the school year. With scheduled breaks, testing, etc... there are some interruptions to our meeting schedule, but the break-down in that invite should help clarify future meeting dates. Mark your calendars, and please let me know if you have any questions! (**Some invites with these details are still forthcoming.)
Teacher Action Needed: Mid-Year Self Score
- The Mid-Year Self Score link is ready! You may complete this Self Score at any time in the next few weeks, but it will need to be completed before the end of the month. Here is the link: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2506179/Teacher-Self-Score-Observation-Form
- You will need to use the "Coaching Rubric" to see the descriptors for each indicator as you score yourself. Here is the link to that document: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzUuvvt7PRxlRHBYWWNRU0VUb28/view
- Out of respect for your time (I know you are all VERY Busy - especially this time of year), 'Week A' teachers will a "week off" from coaching meetings the week of Jan. 18th and 'Week B' teachers will have a "week off" from coaching meetings the week of Jan. 25th. This is intended to allow for some extra time for each of you to dedicate to completing this task. (Outlook meeting invites reflect this "skip" week.)
- Please have your Mid-Year Self Score completed by Friday, January 29th. You may complete the self score anytime before close of business on that date. It takes approximately 20-25 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your time, and your thoughtful reflection!
Teaching Highlights: December 2015
Lisa Walkenbach- 8th Grade Math
Liz Sidebotham- HS World History
Jay Schreur- HS World History
DeeDee Englehart- 5th grade Guided Reading
Here are a few questions to consider this month: How important is fostering student-inquiry? How do student-generated questions impact a lesson? How do they impact student interest in content? Student ownership? Student learning and student success (in school and in life)? What do your students want to learn more about? Do we encourage our students to be curious? How can student questions lead to meaningful discovery of (standards-based) content? Why is it beneficial for a person to be able to successfully formulate a meaningful question? How often will they use this skill in the real world? How might student-generated questions impact a lesson or a class discussion? How might this shift the balance of the classroom? How might asking questions help to make students more aware of their own learning? How might it impact engagement?
As we move into the New Year and soon a new semester, consider the opportunities students have to ask questions in class sessions. When you do give your students opportunities to formulate questions in class, are they able to do so? If not, how do you help them practice this skill and get better?
Many of you already require your students to ask questions in CC's. If you want to grow in this area, start small by including one opportunity per session. Try giving your students a specific Question-Focus to pique their curiosity, and see where it goes from there!
10 Tips for Launching an Inquiry-Based Classroom
QFT: A Strategy to Help Foster Inquiry
The Question-Formulation-Technique "QFT" (created and run by a nonprofit called The Right Question Institute) might be worth a try! The website boasts that it "makes it possible for all people to learn how to ask better questions and to participate more effectively in key decisions". I know that I have shared it already with a few teachers, so any feedback from anyone who has tried out any component of this strategy is welcome in the comments!
The website offers a plethora of free resources & handouts that guide teacher and students in implementing this technique. You have to create an account (I know, another user name and password...), but it's quick easy and worth your while!
Here's the link to the website:http://rightquestion.org/
Here's the link to some of the introductory QFT resources I've downloaded and compiled: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BzUuvvt7PRxldzVHUGNYekFsUUE&usp=sharing
There are various versions & templates, but here is one downloadable PDF. :)