Instructional Coach Weekly Update

Week of April 18-22

Strategy Spotlight

The "Gr8 8 Conditions for Learning" - How Youth Learn


We watched this short video at my two day training with NTC on the above topic. Here's an overview of the 8 conditions laid out in the video about how our youth learn. How do you address these in your lessons?


1. Make sure I'm ok


  • Not hungry, sleepy, lonely, sick, distracted, threatened, humiliated, or stressed


2. Make it matter


  • provide student choice
  • make it about the real world
  • students have personal interest in the topic
  • have the information come from a great teacher


3. Keep it active!


  • Hands on, fun, work with partners, something active


4. Challenge us


  • Has to be doable
  • Rewards before they're done

5. Act like a coach


  • Need someone to help along the way, answer questions
  • Time to make mistakes AND support when mistakes are made


6. Get us to use it!


  • Use it or lose it
  • Have us teach it or turn it into something


7. Give us time to reflect


  • What would we do differently next time?
  • We get smarter as we learn


8. Have us build on it


  • Plan next steps

Next Week

- Monday I will be at GWAEA for Blended all day

- Grade level and special ed. team planning meetings

- Meeting with ELA data team leaders to discuss end of year writing assessments and writing priority standards for next year

- Modeling math lessons in 3rd grade

- Modeling math lessons in 4th grade

- Work on IRA writing

- Observe interventions

- Modeling writing lessons in 3rd grade

- Modeling writing lessons in special ed

- Social thinking meetings

"Failing to plan is planning to fail."

This is a quote we discussed at my two day training with New Teacher Center this week.


We know effective teachers write lesson plans and when teachers write lesson plans it forces us to think about ways to maximize learning, plan next steps, determine what students already know, identify the things they need to be successful within a lesson, plan formative assessments and re-teaching opportunities for those that need it.


In my group we discussed how many teachers write out their weekly plans ... "On Monday, I will teach lesson 6.8, do worksheet 238, etc." but little planning occurs in terms of what explicit instruction and/or instructional strategies will be used to teach each lesson. We will have to be very mindful of planning this out in the future as we must ensure that we explicitly teach standards.


We also discussed the question of, "How much of a lesson should be independent student work and what is the teacher's role during students' independent work time?" What are teachers learning about their students progress when teachers sit at their desk during independent work time? How could that be structured differently to reduce the number of minutes where teachers sit at their desk and students work quietly (no teacher-student interaction)? What kind of feedback are students getting during independent work time to ensure they are on the right track and aren't doing the work wrong? Can all students in your class truly work on that skill independently or would pulling some kids over to a table to work in a small group better meet their needs? The idea of, "I teach my lesson at the front of the room and then the kids work quietly at their desk practicing," truly does not meet the needs of most students - how are you providing gradual release and guided practice of the concepts you are teaching each day?