Use Observation Data to Reflect in Humble Inquiry

Our data shows some students are struggling in our lessons. Now what?

This is the pivotal moment.  Do we focus on providing supports to the students who demonstrate struggle? Or do we also focus on how to evolve our teaching? Are we using data only to sort students for services, or also to challenge our assumptions and change our approach?

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Observation Begins with Active Engagement

To get good observation data, we have to shift from traditional methods (like lectures and silent testing) to challenging, open-ended, collaborative tasks that actively engage students in processing and applying the new learning. If our learning is sit-and-get, there is nothing to observe but student behaviors of either compliance or disruption.

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Expectations Define What We See

For observation data to matter, we need to be clear on our learning intentions. For it to matter for equity, we need to be aware of our biases and intentional about disrupting defaults of low expectations for students from historically-marginalized groups. What do you see as students engage? How do you interpret the data? How do your lived experiences shape what you see?

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Albuquerque Teacher Leaders Open Doors to Observation Inquiry

“Instead of brushfires for excellence, we need infernos of excellence. Our project will do this.” In a packed hotel conference room in Albuquerque, New Mexico, teacher leader Maureen Torrez, NBCT, describes the observation inquiry pilot project she and her team of National Board Certified Teachers are leading to deepen how teachers and students learn in Albuquerque public schools.

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More important than any solution is our ability to understand the problem we are trying to solve, and our flexibility to adapt and change to solve it.

Tonya Ward Singer

Welcome!

Welcome teachers, administrators, and everyone invested in the future of public education.

This blog is about learning: student learning, teacher learning, and my own learning as a language and literacy consultant leading change in K-8 schools.

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