Instructional Coach Weekly Update

Week of January 30 - February 3

Strategy Spotlight

In our Friday Learning meeting last week we shared our rubrics and talked about FEEDBACK. Feedback has an effect size of 0.75 and is one of the top 10 teaching strategies with the highest effect size.

Feedback is designed to close the gap between students' current level of understanding or performance and the expected level of performance (a.k.a. - the success criteria you provide your students). I have pulled the following from the book, "Visible Learning for Literacy," by Fisher, Frey and Hattie. According to Wiggins (1998) feedback must have four dimensions:

1. Timely: Timing of the feedback is critical. Giving feedback while students are initially exposed to new knowledge may be premature, and re-teaching may be more effective. When students have acquired surface level knowledge and are beginning to rehearse and practice that is when feedback is essential.

2. Specific: We've all been buried in an avalanche of feedback that exceeded our present level of knowledge. Nancy recalls getting an overwhelming amount of feedback from her driving teacher. Looking back, the feedback the driving teacher gave her was specific about what to do next, but it was too much at one time, and well beyond Nancy's ability to listen to, process, and execute.

3. Understandable to the Learner: Useful feedback needs to be aligned to the level of the learner's knowledge. Hattie (2012) calls this "just in time, just for me" feedback, further nothing that "feedback is most powerful when it is related to the student's degree of proficiency."

4. Actionable: Feedback that is withheld until the summative assignment has been submitted, and with no possibility of revising and resubmitting, is neither timely nor actionable. Feedback that is vague ("Good job!") is not specific - and further, not understandable or actionable - as the student speculates on what exactly made it "good."

Does your rubric meet all four dimensions of feedback?

Instructional Coach Book Study

The four instructional coaches began reading the book, High Impact Instruction by Jim Knight a couple of weeks ago. According to Knight, "The key to helping teachers achieve their personal best is providing them with effective instructional practices." In this book, Knight presents the high-leverage strategies that make the biggest difference in student learning. It focuses on four areas of high-impact instruction:

1. Content planning, including using guiding questions and learning maps.

2. Formative assessments that enable teachers and students to monitor progress.

3. Instructional practices such as the use of thinking prompts, effective questions, stories, and cooperative and authentic learning.

4. Community building, in which you shape a classroom culture that promotes well-being, creativity, learning, and high expectations.

I look forward to including our weekly learning topics in my SMORE from time to time.

This week


  • 8:35 - Covering during para meeting
  • 10:15 - 5th grade team planning meeting
  • 12:10 - Continue teaching narrative unit in writing (3rd grade)
  • 12:55 - Modeling an intervention
  • 1:45 - Visible learner lesson in 3rd grade
  • 3:15 - Blended team meeting
  • 7:00 - Meeting with Jon
  • 8:15 - Meeting with Dilyn about interventions
  • 10:10 - Visible learner lesson in 4th grade
  • 11:30 - Visible learner lesson in 5th grade
  • 12:10 - Writing unit in 3rd grade
  • 12:55 - Modeling an intervention
  • classroom observations
  • 3:30 - 3rd Grade Team planning


  • I will be out of the building this day attending my grandfather's funeral


  • 7:45 - Staff meeting before school
  • 8:40 - 3rd grade intervention meeting
  • 10:55 - modeling a lesson in 5th grade SGR
  • 12:00 - triad meeting (Jon and Jennifer)
  • 1:00 - math meeting with Susan Parker
  • 3:30 - 4th grade team planning


  • 7:30 Special education meeting
  • Learning meetings with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teams
  • 10:55 - modeling a lesson in 5th grade SGR
  • 1:30-3:30 - IC meeting
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