We have in place a lesson planning guide to direct our discussions in planning and drive our plans for instruction deeper in collaboration and independently. To see what we are doing, and encourage as well as sharpen our practice, we have designed a focused walkthrough form for peer to peer walkthroughs.
There are a few questions that continue to circle and the hope is that this blog post answers those questions.
- Is the Lesson Planning Guide going to be a "gotcha?"
- Not at all, this is designed to be used as an accountability piece among your team as you plan and as a way for us as a campus to be able to move forward and grow together. It is a way to identify components of lesson planning that are effective and encourage those practices to be the expectation as we continually improve together.
- What evidence are we looking for?
- We are looking for lessons that are warm to you. When you deliver a lesson it is already been discussed deeply with your team, reflected on by you and shows evidence of that. Evidence of that could be shown in the format like what was presented to the leadership team with the Origo lesson (pictured here).
Or it can be notes added to a lesson via post its and/or the actual artifacts and teacher model journals (also pictured below).
- How will accountability remain if the expectation for turning lesson plans is no longer in place?
- The question that we asked ourselves was what was the purpose of "turning in lesson plans" and who was it for? The overwhelming answer... it was for administration. We want your planning to be about the intentional planning and delivery of instruction for the LEARNERS in your classroom. How will we know planning is being done? It goes right back to good teaching... it must be planned. We will be looking for alignment with learning targets, CBAs will help us see alignment and hold accountable your instruction. Additionally, we want to see your plans in your hands in use as we walk in and observe you instructing your learners. They should not look pristine and untouched but have evidence of your thoughts, reflections and the components from the the lesson planning guide.
- This is also where the walkthroughs indirectly hold each other accountable. The walkthroughs are designed for us to learn from each other and the root of our instruction comes from our planning.
- What is the expectation/philosophy for Learning Targets?
- Our lesson guide speaks to this. We also believe that as teams/content areas plan together their Learning Targets should be created together and be aligned to the standards. (Learning Targets should look the same in each grade level, each content area.)
- We do want to revisit and tighten up our understanding of Learning Targets at a later date. For now, our approach is to have alignment both to the standard and with your team/content partner(s) and is it "kid-friendly" in that the students understand and own it.
- What is the expectation for "turning in" lesson plans with T-TESS?
- Of course with T-TESS the plans should be brought to the pre-conference with a copy for your evaluator. Providing a copy ahead of time is helpful but not required. Using the T-TESS Pre-Conference form is also a guide... teachers can use the form or just a lesson plan that you are able to show how the lesson plan addresses the components of the pre-conference form.
We look forward to the growth, discussions and continued progress we make as a campus and as individuals in this journey. What are your thoughts on this? Please comment below.
-John and Kirsten