Search results: coaching data tracker

Coaching Data Tracker

One of my New Year’s resolutions as an instructional coach is to keep better track of the work I do with teachers.  I have a variety of “coaching tools” that I use with individual teachers throughout coaching cycles­ to document and organize our work, however nothing that provides a collective big picture.  In comes the “Coaching Data Tracker!”

Click to Download

I think this is an important document to create and maintain for a couple of reasons.  First, it can be passed on to your principal for the purpose of making sure that you’re both “on the same page.”  While I do have coaching check-ins with my principal, I knew she would just love to have a single go-to document that shows the complete coaching story at Tollgate.

Second, creating this Coaching Data Tracker is seriously great for your own reflection!  For example, in the process of creating mine it was rewarding to see the student and teacher growth I contributed to in my coaching cycles.  Additionally, it pushed me to think harder about how to achieve even better results in future coaching.

Reflecting on what we are doing well and how we can improve is an important part of our work as instructional coaches.  I hope this Coaching Data Tracker supports you in the process.

Instructional Coaching Tools

Last week I shared the instructional coaching data tracker I use to help organize and reflect on my work in coaching cycles throughout the year.  In the post I mentioned that I use a variety of other coaching tools to document and organize work with individual teachers.  Here are a two of my most important.

Coaching Kick-Off Meeting

At the start of instructional coaching cycles, two of the most important things we can do as coaches is to establish a respectful and trusting rapport with our coachee and also show that we honor them as an adult learner. You can work to implement these two practices in part by setting up a Kick Off coaching meeting.  The first purpose of this time is to get to know your coachee as a teacher and learner.  The second purpose is to work together to identify a goal for your coaching cycle. In having this kick off coaching conversation, you are establishing yourself as a “thinking partner” who is there to learn along with them. Additionally, you are setting routines and norms for your work together and clarifying logistics, which I have found helps in preventing potential misunderstandings down the road. Creating an agenda for this meeting helps to ensure that your time is purposeful and action-oriented.

Instructional Coaching Tools

Download your FREE Coaching Kick-Off Printable Here

Coaching Work Plan Tool

This is a great tool to help you craft a plan for your coaching goals, how you plan to arrive at these goals, and the results of your work.  After the Kick-Off meeting, I set-up a Goal Setting meeting with teachers and use this tool to guide our conversation.  I’ll revisit it throughout the coaching cycle to ensure that our work is staying on track.  In the final coaching wrap-up meeting I have with teachers, we review and document the results of our work using this tool.

Instructional Coaching Tools

Instructional Coaching Tools

Instructional Coaching Observation and Debrief Tool

This instructional coaching observation form is my go-to tool for all of my coaching observations and debrief conversations.  I record our coaching cycle goal at the top to ensure alignment between learning targets and look-fors in the lesson.  The listed debrief questions always serve as anchors for post observation conversations.  As far as instructional next steps, one thing I have learned is fewer is better!  Ensure that the teacher you are working with has identified and committed to 1-2 instructional next steps they feel will support student progress, but also feel manageable.

Instructional Coaching Tools

Instructional Coaching Tools

Download your FREE Coaching Kick-Off Printable Here

And for the complete
Simplified Coaching Planning Kit …

Simplified-Coaching-Planning-Kit-cover-image

Talk to you soon!

 

 

Like what you've read?
Sign up for updates. It's FREE!

You Asked: Principal and Coach Roles

I frequently get asked some pretty smart questions around the role and responsibilities of an instructional coach. And I always do my best to answer them all. As I was getting ready to respond to a recent question from a reader, it dawned on me {duh!} that I really should be opening up these question and answer sessions to all of you guys!

Because hey, we all want to be better and do more as coaches.

Well did you know there’s a great resource available to support us towards this goal?…each other!

We all have so much we can learn from each other’s questions and experiences.

So a big thanks to Cari for sharing her question, which is something that I’ll bet many of us can relate to:

Kristin,
I love your blog, your tips and tools are very helpful. I am a first year coach with a lot of PD and classroom experience. Since my principal hired me as an “extra” this year we have been kind-of winging my schedule and role. As we look forward to next school year we’d like to tighten up my schedule and responsibilities. Can you give me an idea of how you are accountable to your principal without sacrifying trust with the teachers. Do you meet with your principal weekly? Do you “hand in” a form? Are teachers required to work with you?
Thanks!
Cari
 

Ahhh….the delicate balance of building relational trust, accountability, and confidentiality.

trust-image

Building relational trust is so super important. It also takes effort and time.  An important first step is communication. When we began implementing coaching cycles at our school, we dedicated one of our afternoon PD sessions {agenda and support structures handout} to the topic of student centered coaching as a form of professional learning. This gave us an opportunity to share with all teachers the why, what, and how of coaching at Tollgate. In doing this, we were able to address the question of “Are teachers required to work with you?” and more importantly begin to build a culture of coaching. Once that culture is established, and you’ve worked to show yourself as a partner in learning to teachers rather than an evaluator, things are likely to go much more smoothly.

I currently meet with my principal at the end of every coaching cycle to fill her in on the work done and reassess where to head next with teachers. This schedule has worked well for us. I would say that I’m pretty fortunate in having a principal who fully trusts me and the work that I do. So I’m not required to send her weekly updates or track my time. I’ve also shared in the past how I’ve tried out coaching data trackers and our PD site as a way of keeping my principal informed.

In addition to my experience, I thought it would be helpful to see what the experts had to say on this topic:

Diane Sweeney shares a really helpful chart in her book Student Centered Coaching that defines how both roles can work together to create a culture of learning where coaching is embraced.

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 3.25.42 PM

Elena Aguilar has a whole section in her book The Art of Coaching dedicated to ten suggestions for building trust with teachers, which includes how to have an initial conversation with coachees that establishes confidentiality. She suggests using a coaching log as a tool that can be used to report to supervisors. 

Jim Knight’s book Unmistakable Impact is another great resource for this question. A few key take-aways include:

  • The greater the lack of trust initially, the more important confidentiality usually is. What is most important is that principals and coaches clearly delineate what they will and will not discuss, communicate that policy across the school, and act consistently with the policy.
  • Eight researchers and I visited five of the best coaches in Florida, drawn from a pool of 2,600. In each case, we discovered that each effective coach worked in close partnership with his or her principal.

Cari {and anyone else grappling with this question}, I hope this collection of thoughts and resources above has been helpful.

If you have a question/topic/challenge that you’re wondering about please send it my way! Remember, we’re often each other’s best resource for support.

Thanks for reading,

ms-houser

Facilitating a Peer Classroom Visit

One of the best ways to really “get” good teaching, is to see it in action.

You can listen, learn, or read about what it’s supposed to look like all you want, but it doesn’t really click until you actually experience it — teaching that has a bang and makes a difference.

As I’ve shared in the Coaching Workshop, that’s one of the reasons why I think model lessons and classroom visits can be so impactful in building foundational understandings of teaching strategies, that you can then work with teachers on implementing themselves.

Now, when you can make this happen for a group of teachers, support it with a visual of the lesson plan beforehand, link your look-fors to specific teacher moves, follow-it up with a descriptive review protocol, and add in teacher commitments to next steps…well, then you’re really talkin’!

Peer Classroom Visit

This week I wrapped up a 4 week “deep dive” PD with our 3-5 teachers during which we learned about “Using Data to Sharpen Curriculum Implementation.”

It’s been pretty awesome, and I credit much of its success to our Peer Classroom Visit Kick-Off.

Let’s walk through the plan of action, shall we?

First things first. Start with your final outcome in mind, and plan backwards from there.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • What is your main goal/purpose for arranging this visit?
    • Will this lead into a sequence of follow-up PD sessions?
    • Will this visit support individualized coaching goals?
    • Will this visit kick-off a grade level coaching cycle?

Next up – recruit. Here’s who you’ll need:

 

 

 

OK, sweet. Now that I had the WHO all set-up, I needed to get my materials organized.

Knowing that the purpose of this classroom visit was to “kick-off” a series of future PD sessions, I wanted to help teachers stay organized with all the materials I would be giving them over the course of the next 4 weeks. Plus I wanted to spruce things up a bit, and help it feel more like an “experience” for teachers.

So I made a folder for each teacher, which greeted them on the morning of the visit. (logistics note: our Assistant Principal got coverage for all 12 teachers on this morning, so we were all able to go in together!)

 

 

After a pre-brief with teachers (overview of the Learning Target, self-assessment on target tracker, review of materials and observation norms), we were ready to head in!

 

Since teachers had to head back to their classrooms straight after the visit, I arranged for a follow-up debrief later that week.

There’s a lot of different forms/protocols you can use to structure a classroom visit debrief, but here’s one that can be found in my Coaching Kit.

 

 

Now coming back to the original purpose of this particular classroom visit…as I mentioned earlier, the learning that took place in observing Dina’s lesson was intended to kick-off a series of 4 follow-up PD sessions. The host of the visit, Dina, supported in facilitating these sessions and helped teachers apply the different pieces we had put into place around assessment to arrive at the tightly planned lesson they observed (logistics note: Dina is a teacher who I’ve coached actively this year. She was well prepared for the visit and the instructional practice we modeled for teachers.)

I’ve actually never set-up PD in this way, but I found that teachers were really engaged in the work and learning as a result of seeing it in “action.”

 

And there ya have it! Hope this post provided some inspiration for you as you think about organizing classroom visits within your own school to support teacher learning.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

P.S. Bonus tip: Listen to fun music when you plan. Sometimes I’ll even turn some tunes on for teachers at the start of PD! This one will get you feeling “Good as He**!”

P.P.S Excited about this year’s TTP?! (Time & ToDo Planner) – get signed up here for updates. Cool new cover design, binding, and….a folder this year! You won’t want to miss it.

Keep me posted about the Time & ToDo Planner

Running Records: Why We Should Be Doing Them

I’ve just started a new coaching cycle with a Kindergarten teacher who is interested in building his understandings of guided reading.  We’ve planned to work with a group of A/B level readers and will be using running records throughout the next six weeks to ensure that our work is supporting students progress as readers.

During my first few years in the classroom I rarely, if ever, gave running records outside of the required district reading assessments.  With everything else I was trying to keep up with, these just seemed like one more thing “to do.”  However, now after having done countless running records, I can confidently say that they provide reliable, relevant data.

Running records are an assessment given to guide teaching, assess text difficulty, and capture progress.  The procedure is simple and straightforward.  When analyzing what is recorded, you’re really challenged to think with greater clarity about the progress of your beginning or struggling readers.  As a result, you adjust your instruction as needed and then guess what…your readers get moving!  Running records make sense and are well worth your time.

To support my coachee with giving and analyzing these assessments, I created a running record form and progress tracker to use alongside of it.  The running record form is user friendly with a space on the bottom for recording notes on student’s comprehension of a text.  You can either type your notes directly into the document or record as you go on a blank form.  The progress tracker form will help you visually capture a student’s progress over a period of time.  The one featured below reflects the K-5 Fountas and Pinnell Levels.  You can easily delete any unnecessary rows for the particular grade level you are working with.  I have also included an example of what a completed progress tracker form might look like.

Download Running Record Form Here

Download Progress Tracker Here

If you’d like to know about running records in more detail, Marie Clay’s book “Running Records for Classroom Teachers” is a great resource.

I’m also happy to answer any questions.  Just send them my way!