Building Allyship Among Educators

Building Allyship Among Educators

As educators our goals are to inspire, motivate, and empower the students we interact with every day. Can any of these goals be truly accomplished when we have educators in our schools that feel disenfranchised, alone, and unsupported by their colleagues? Becoming an effective educational ally is a journey that requires substantial self-reflection, a strong sense of self-identity, and a willingness to step up and advocate for a colleague.

read more
Mathematical Representations: A Window into Student Thinking

Mathematical Representations: A Window into Student Thinking

Representations are windows into student thinking and reasoning. In a time of virtual classrooms, using visual representations is more complex, but as important as ever. If a teacher values students’ thinking, they need to consider how to make it possible for all students to represent that thinking. This article addresses the use of representations and the questions that help students connect representations to deepen understanding of math concepts.

read more
IFL Partner Captures Connecticut Superintendent of the Year Award

IFL Partner Captures Connecticut Superintendent of the Year Award

Dr. Paul Freeman, a life-long educator and long-time partner with the IFL, was recently recognized as Connecticut’s Superintendent of the Year. In this article, he reflects on his career and the choices that lead to a more inclusive learning environment. He also recognizes dedicated work of teachers and the whole school community to move toward a more equitable system.

read more
A New Take on the Learning Walk® Routine to Get Smarter About Teaching and Learning in the Cloud

A New Take on the Learning Walk® Routine to Get Smarter About Teaching and Learning in the Cloud

Many school districts have moved to virtual or hybrid models of instruction and we recognize that using the typical Learning Walk routine, which asks district and school leaders to visit classrooms and provide targeted feedback, doesn’t quite fit in a virtual space. However, we also recognize the need to continue to support district leaders in helping teachers provide high-quality instruction to every student.

read more
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.

read more
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).

read more
Using Student-Centered Classroom Routines to Improve Comprehension of Complex Texts

Using Student-Centered Classroom Routines to Improve Comprehension of Complex Texts

The Networks for School Improvement (NSI) work taking place among Dallas ISD (DISD), the Institute for Learning, the University of Pittsburgh School of Education Center for Urban Education, and the Learning Research and Development Center, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has largely focused efforts on improving instructional rigor, providing better supports for English language learners, and improving cultural relevance.

read more
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.

read more
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.

read more
Differentiation Across Tiers of Math Instruction

Differentiation Across Tiers of Math Instruction

What does it mean to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of every learner in a mathematics classroom? Giving different students different tasks does not yield a common learning experience; therefore, the availability of holding rich mathematical conversations with the whole class is lacking.

read more
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.

read more
A District’s Perspective: CFC and Differentiation

A District’s Perspective: CFC and Differentiation

Coaching, at its best, bolsters district goals while supporting individual needs, gracefully weaving coherence and differentiation into a tapestry of continuous learning. With Content-Focused Coaching® (CFC), both the culture and the instruction are positioned to evolve in ever-increasing complexity through the interdependence of people—coaches supporting teachers through individual conferring and teachers supporting one another during PLCs that are truly collaborative pursuits.

read more
Working Toward Rigor: Implementing High-Level Math Tasks

Working Toward Rigor: Implementing High-Level Math Tasks

Designing for academic rigor in a thinking classroom starts with the choice of task with which students will engage. Likewise when striving to improve student achievement, we ask our school partners to begin by analyzing the tasks students experience. If we want students to truly understand mathematics, as opposed to a series of tricks, sayings, and acronyms, then we have to ensure they have a regular diet of high-level tasks that require thinking and reasoning about mathematics.

read more
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.

read more
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.

read more
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.

read more
Building a Coaching Model that Works

Building a Coaching Model that Works

Through a three-year Institute of Education Sciences (IES) grant with the TN Department of Education, the Institute for Learning (IFL) and researchers at the Learning Research and Development Center explored and studied coaching in mathematics.

read more