If we don’t “go slow to go fast,” we’re not likely to get the real changes we’re after, and this is especially true in education. A root cause analysis is a key tool in continuous improvement that can help chart a path forward when addressing a problem of practice.
When a High Assessment Load Prevents Learning
In the time of COVID, so many are worried about learning loss, and because of this concern, assessments quantifying this learning loss are on the rise. The intent is to help bring students back on track, but this response has large negative effects on teaching and learning. Now is the time to give your students’ assessment load a large downsizing.
Are You “Wishing” Math Content Knowledge Into Your Students? 6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Find Out
What does it mean to “wish mathematical knowledge” into your students? If reading the title of this article makes you pause, you might be doing it. Take the quiz to find out!
Increasing Representation by Globalizing School-Based Multicultural Libraries
Students are more engaged when they see themselves in the books they read. IFL partner, Syracuse City Schools, has worked to better represent all their students by expanding their multicultural libraries on a global scale.
Raising the Score: Structuring a school for a student-centered math intervention program
Changing the system changes the outcomes is the premise by which one school approached reorganizing their resources to maximize mathematics interventions. This meant getting everyone on board to increase and improve mathematical understanding for all learners. This article is the second of a two-part series the explores one school’s efforts to change their system of mathematics intervention to better meet the needs of every student (and every teacher) across all tiers of instruction.
Planning for High-Level Comprehension
Comprehension work is critical work when we engage students with a text. Understanding and enacting the steps for planning a high-level comprehension task will help teachers provide students instructional opportunities that set every student up for success.
TalkMoves.com: An Application of Real-Time Evidence of Their Mathematics Discussions
Have you ever left a classroom discussion and cannot remember what questions you asked? To reflect on practice and consequently to know what to continue and what to modify, teachers need evidence and data of their own facilitation of discussions. Talkmoves, an app that processes Accountable Talk® (AT) math classroom discussion and feeds back the data (typically in about an hour) can support teachers with enhancing their practice!
Teaneck’s Advantage: Educational Excellence Through Rigorous Teaching and Learning
At Teaneck Public Schools (Teaneck, New Jersey) we are focused on establishing common instructional practice across all classrooms that is designed to increase our students’ opportunities to engage in demanding curriculum content in both mathematics and English language arts lessons.
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.
Utilizing Small Tests of Change and High-Leverage Practices in PLCs
When teachers are working to acquire new instructional practices, particularly ambitious reforms, teachers tend to gravitate toward approaches that are congruent with their prior practices, or they focus on discrete activities, materials, or classroom organization (Spillane, 2009).
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.
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.
Tests of Change Lead to Meaningful Student Engagement in Mathematics
There is no shortage of professional development (PD) available to teachers, but PD alone is rarely enough to result in a change of practice.
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.
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.
New Brunswick Realizes Increases in ELA, Math Metrics Through IFL Work
New Brunswick Public Schools (NJ) is a continuing partner with the Institute for Learning (IFL). Over the last 4 academic years, the district has seen definite growth across grades 3 – 10 in both English language arts and mathematics, as measured on the NJ state assessment tests.
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.
Collaborative Work is the Key to Gaining Broad Perspectives to Complex Problems
Humans are problem solvers by nature, and educators are no exception. Whether we are working to improve student comprehension, or striving to improve low math scores, once a problem has surfaced, we often rush to find solutions – to our detriment. Trying to fix a problem before we know its true cause is a problem in and of itself.