IE Team Weekly Update

Edition #1 January 4-8

Happy New Year!

This weekly newsletter will be sent to the IE team with segments to include professional learning around Coaching for Excellence, Comprehensive Balanced Literacy and Instructional Excellence. You'll also find upcoming events and key dates. At the beginning of each newsletter you'll find the 411 important NEED to KNOW information. The purpose of this newsletter is to reduce email and provide resources and information all in one place.

the 411 - Things to Know

  1. If you're participating in the Teaching Reading in Small Groups course, please complete session 3 prior to our workshop on January 6th. (See below for more details regarding this workshop.)
  2. Take a moment to watch the video below of Ashley Bakke modeling shared reading in an Oak Point Kindergarten class. Upload your video highlights to the Instructional Excellence Playlist (directions here).
  3. View the NEW IE website for easy access to resources around CBL, coaching and instruction.

IE Team Highlights

Ashley shared reading 2

Professional Learning Section

Coaching for Excellence

Would you define our coaching program in Eden Prairie Schools as surface coaching or deep coaching? In Jim Knight's Radical Learners blog, he describes the difference. What do you think will make the biggest impact on our learners?


When instructional coaches do surface coaching, they provide teachers with resources, offer supportive comments, model lessons, provide quick observations and share quick feedback. Surface coaching does not involve teachers in the deep work of setting student focused goals and collaborating until those goals are met. It usually only involves superficial reflection and little change.


When instructional coaches do deep coaching, however, they guide teachers through a reflective process that involves setting goals. They identify teaching strategies to be implemented to reach those goals and the collaboration and adaptation of teaching and learning that is required until the goals are met. Deep coaching is coaching that follows a proven model for change similar to that I described recently.


Take a moment to read about the coaching cycle here. We will be discussing this more at our next Instructional Coaches meeting on January 15th.

Comprehensive Balanced Literacy

As we continue to work with teachers around increasing the use of informational text within their use of Interactive Read Alouds, this article Making Sense with Informational Texts: The Interactive Read Aloud as Responsive Teaching provides information on selecting and using culturally relevant texts to promote purposeful talk during the lesson.

Instructional Excellence

In Eden Prairie we have tech rich classrooms but we must ask ourselves is our instruction in this digital learning environment innovative? Alan November suggests teachers asks the following 6 questions when designing lessons. Read the full article for details.


Transformational Six

  1. Did the assignment build capacity for critical thinking on the web?
  2. Did the assignment develop new lines of inquiry?
  3. Are there opportunities for students to make their thinking visible?
  4. Are there opportunities to broaden the perspective of the conversation with authentic audiences from around the world?
  5. Is there an opportunity for students to create a contribution (purposeful work)
  6. Does the assignment demo “best in the world” examples of content and skill?

IE districtwide PLC

Tuesday, Jan. 5th, 4-5:30pm

ASC - Eagles Development Center

Teaching Reading in Small Groups Session 1-3

Wednesday, Jan. 6th, 12-4pm

ASC - Eagles Development Center

Jan 6th 12:00-4:00pm Workshop Details

We will be collaborating and learning from one another around the content from sessions #1-3 of the Teaching Reading in Small Groups online course. Please think about key learnings, questions and/or ideas which are challenging your thinking and opportunities for coaching around the content.


Please bring:

1. Notes you took and possibly your online responses for sessions #1-3. You may want to refer back to them during our discussions.

2. We will be using Twitter during the workshop please bring your login credentials.

3. Laptop/iPad


We will start promptly at 12:00pm, feel free to bring your lunch if you need to.