Principals Leading with a Coaching Lens

Principals Leading with a Coaching Lens

Before becoming building principals, we were instructional coaches, each of us having coached either mathematics or ELA. Instruction was always the focus of our coaching work. After several years as principals, we realized that though supporting teaching and learning was a component of our work, it was no longer the focus. Once we came to that realization, we knew that we needed to make some changes.

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The Principles of Learning in Action

The Principles of Learning in Action

The Guilford Public Schools’ vision is that of a professional learning community where instruction invites effort and supports academic rigor for all students and educators. To that end, our daily work in classrooms is rooted in and supported by the Principles of Learning (POLs).

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Building an Improvement Network

Building an Improvement Network

Networks that engage educators in continuous improvement have the potential to harness the power of collaborative work to accelerate learning and solve complex problems. District leaders have the opportunity to build improvement networks within their organizations, but they vary in some distinct ways from networks typically seen in K-12 education.

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What PLCs Get Results?

What PLCs Get Results?

A growing number of schools focus on some form of communities of practice as a key to improving their performance. Schools typically refer to communities of practice as professional learning communities (PLCs). These work in a variety of ways and have different goals, but only some achieve their intended results.

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Implementing Accountable Talk® discussions in math

Implementing Accountable Talk® discussions in math

“It definitely makes my heart smile when I hear a teacher say, ‘I just stopped what I was doing because the student knew more than I did and just took over!’ or ‘I began to feel frustrated because we were not able to work through the content the way that I originally planned, but I learned so much about what they know and have experienced by re-framing some of my questioning and allowing them to create the questions too.

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Increasing High-Quality Student Talk

Increasing High-Quality Student Talk

The Institute for Learning (IFL) and Schenectady City School District have worked collaboratively for several years, and this year, we continued our ongoing partnership with a focus on using improvement science methodology to “get better at getting better.” District-wide, there is a focus on using improvement science to work on persistent problems of practice.

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District Uses Improvement Science Principles to Increase Math Scores

District Uses Improvement Science Principles to Increase Math Scores

When a district successfully shifts their trajectory of students’ performance, many people ask how they did it. New Brunswick Public Schools’ use of strategic decision-making, grounded in improvement science principles, and greater collaboration across role groups resulted in impressive gains in mathematics scores across the district.

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Searching for the Root Cause: An interview with Bridget Goree, NSI Coordinator for North Dallas High School

Searching for the Root Cause: An interview with Bridget Goree, NSI Coordinator for North Dallas High School

Campus Network for School Improvement (NSI) coordinators learn to discover and understand the root causes of a problem of practice and find that understanding the problem takes time and requires a cultural shift. In this interview, Bridget Goree, an instructional coach at North Dallas High School, shares her own experience learning to approach this work. She discusses three considerations—what to stop doing, what is important to do, and what they are learning to build.

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Cognitively Challenging English Language Arts Instruction

Cognitively Challenging English Language Arts Instruction

We have known about harmful effects of high-stakes state testing on students, teachers, and the curriculum for decades, yet we continue to perpetuate the belief that they test what students know and can do. Daniel Koretz (2017) demonstrates that they have become ends in themselves and take valuable time away from instruction designed to grow students’ intelligence rather than their test-taking abilities.

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Math, a Journey of Understanding

Math, a Journey of Understanding

Recently, the Institute for Learning was selected to bring its expertise and extensive experience with instructional coaching to mathematics educators in the state of Tennessee. More specifically, IFL provided instruction around coaching moves that support high-quality teaching, resulting in improved student learning.

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PDSA Cycles Reveal Hard Truths About Deep Science Instruction

PDSA Cycles Reveal Hard Truths About Deep Science Instruction

Paterson Public School’s Guiding Coalition, a working group in academic services composed of content area senior staff, began its journey with improvement science in the fall of 2016. As we examined the various issues that we faced in curriculum and instruction, one flash point was the extraordinarily low state achievement test scores in science on the Grade 8 and high school biology assessments.

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How Can Network Leaders Design for a Strong, Productive Network?

How Can Network Leaders Design for a Strong, Productive Network?

Networks have always been a mechanism for improvement; as social learning theory reminds us that, when well organized, opportunities to learn together can be more powerful than individual learning. We know that bringing people together to work on a common goal can be exciting, but to enact real change we must push beyond a sharing network—a collection of educators who share their practice—to a scientific professional learning community—one in which a diverse set of individuals engage in disciplined inquiry to solve a common problem of practice (Russell et al., under review).

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Educative Curricula and When a Little PD is Just Not Worth It

Educative Curricula and When a Little PD is Just Not Worth It

Decades of research in mathematics, English, and science education have made it clear that students make substantial progress only when they experience rich learning tasks in their classes that require the students to engage in sense making; it is very difficult for teachers to arrange for strong student learning outcomes when the curriculum for students is weak.

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When Does Coaching Improve Student Achievement?

When Does Coaching Improve Student Achievement?

Coaching is a powerful approach to increasing student learning, but only when certain conditions are met. Here we describe lessons learned from research about the essential “ingredients” and implementation of effective coaching programs.

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