KLT Foundations Presenter Notes       Things to Think About and Do Before Presenting KLT Foundations       We now expect y...
This learning experience should also be presented in a way that makes you comfortable. If you tend to     lead and teach i...
KLT Foundations Overview       The theme of KLT Foundations is “Making a difference through formative assessment and Teach...
KLT Foundations Workshop Agenda and Timeline       Staff Module (6 hours, not including breaks and lunch – can take longer...
Activity 1                                                                    Activity 1                                  ...
Activity 1        Grouping:        Whole group        Materials:             •	 PowerPoint Slides: 1–14             •	 Tea...
Activity 1         Slide 3 — Welcome         Key Discussion Points/Prompts:         Keeping Learning on Track’s number one...
Activity 1     Slide 4 — Agenda      Directions:     •   Have participants look at the Teacher Workbook Worksheet, “Agenda...
Keeping Learning on Track®  TLC Leader Handbook
Table of Contents       Chapter 1: Becoming a TLC Leader.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  ...
Chapter 1: Becoming a TLC Leader1         You are not expected to play the part of TLC Leader alone—or by the seat of your...
Chapter 1: Becoming a TLC Leader                                                                                          ...
Chapter 1: Becoming a TLC Leader1             Getting the Most Out of the Teacher Learning Community Experience           ...
Module 7: Activating Students and                Their Peers      Summary of This Module      This module begins and ends ...
Guidance for Facilitating the New Learning Activity    Been There, Done That… Well, Not So Much    While KLT Foundations d...
Module 7: Activating Students and Their Peers                                                                         Agen...
ACTIVITY 1                            Welcome, Learning Targets, and Housekeeping                                         ...
ACTIVITY 2                                                                 How’s It Going?                                ...
ACTIVITY 3                                           Activating Students and Their Peers                                  ...
Activity 3.1	                           Activating Learners	                                             10 minutes       ...
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KLT TLC Leader Materials Set Excerpt

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  1. 1. KLT Foundations Presenter Notes Things to Think About and Do Before Presenting KLT Foundations We now expect you to share the information and activities you experienced during KLT Foundations, using PowerPoint slides, video segments, and presenter notes designed to help you plan and lead a success- ful learning experience. Your colleagues need this exposure to the basic ideas of KLT so they can enter your Teacher Learning Community knowing the general direction to which they are committed. Before you actually get together with your TLC colleagues to present KLT Foundations, there are some more things to think about and do. You have already thought about and done many things, but a little more advanced thought and action will save you a lot of time in the long run and will help your presentation be as success- ful as possible. This is the best way to ensure that your Teacher Learning Community gets off to a fine start as you and your colleagues begin your journey with formative assessment. 1. Things to Think About Note on the graphic below, “Presenting KLT Foundations: Options for TLC Leaders,” that you may choose to do the presentation in one six-hour session (perhaps scheduled on one of your school’s professional development days), or you may stretch it out over two or three shorter sessions.KLT Foundations: Presenter Notes© 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association. All Rights Reserved. 55
  2. 2. This learning experience should also be presented in a way that makes you comfortable. If you tend to lead and teach in an unstructured way, then these sessions will have an informal feel. If you are a more structured type of teacher-leader, then it will feel more formal. To help your thinking and planning, please refer to your copy of the TLC Leader Handbook. Chapter 4 of this handbook provides several options and tips for presenting this initial learning to your colleagues. To make this experience more manageable (fun, even), you should try to do this with one or more col- leagues who are also TLC Leaders in your school or district. The slides, embedded video clips, and pre- senter notes carry all the information, so you do not have to memorize a lot of material or pretend to be an expert. Your job is to work with your co-presenters (if possible) to figure out the best ways to facilitate the mix of information and learning activities. None of the activities will be new to you—you already partici- pated in them in your own initial learning experience about KLT Foundations. 2. Things to Do To prepare for KLT Foundations, the presenter must do the following things: A) Chart—Be sure to create and post the following chart: • Parking Lot—This is a place for participants to post questions and/or comments using sticky notes. These may include questions that are not relevant to the current discussion, overall themes, or logistics. Be sure to review and respond to questions as appropriate or before KLT Foundations (or your session) ends. B) Time—Keep close track of time: pacing of activities; starting and ending times of activities, breaks, and lunch for equity and efficiency; and, perhaps most importantly, ending the day on time. A KLT Foundations Workshop Agenda and Timeline is provided on page (59) and is meant to be used as a guide in your planning. Each of the Activities lists a time for the major parts within that Activity along with an average time expected to complete that part. Keep in mind that the time is depen- dent on size of group, number of questions from group, and amount of dialogue. C) Equipment—Ensure that you will have equipment capable of displaying a slide presentation that includes video files that can be seen and heard by all participants. If KLT Foundations is being delivered in a large room with many participants, you may need a projection and sound system that will enable this. For a smaller group, it may be sufficient to use a laptop computer or other smaller system for delivery. It is important that you check in advance to be sure that your system is sufficiently equipped to support this requirement. D) Materials—Be sure that there is a KLT Teacher Workbook for each participant. As participants arrive, ask them to turn to the templates near the end of the Worksheets Tab (Tab 2) in their work- books, and cut out one set of the ABCD Cards for use during KLT Foundations. Also, have the following materials available for them: • pens • sticky notes • Popsicle® sticks • chart paper and markers • set of scissors for each table KLT Foundations: Presenter Notes © 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association. All Rights Reserved.56
  3. 3. KLT Foundations Overview The theme of KLT Foundations is “Making a difference through formative assessment and Teacher Learning Communities.” Participants will be introduced to all five formative assessment strategies, with the expecta- tion that this initial learning will be deepened as teachers work together in their sustained, job-embedded learning communities and implement formative assessment in their classrooms. This is just the beginning of a substantive transition that will occur. They and their colleagues will obtain a more in-depth understanding of formative assessment that will positively change their classroom contract and impact student learning. As teachers start to see themselves as engineers of learning processes, they come to see student learning as the central goal. This change of focus, coupled with the use of various techniques that explicitly require students to take more responsibility for the learning that occurs in the classroom, leads students to take a more active role in their own learning and that of their peers. Activity 1 provides a basic overview and background of KLT, including the benefits of improving teacher quality through sustained, job-embedded professional development. It examines how KLT provides this type of professional development through the content of minute-to-minute, day-by-day formative assessment and the process of ongoing, school-embedded Teacher Learning Communities. The overview also looks at how the One Big Idea, Five Key Strategies, and many formative assessment techniques connect to one another and to the Formative Assessment Process, and how teachers will develop their proficiency over the course of the two-year KLT professional development program. Finally, this activity proposes a premise that is essential to making a difference in student learning—namely, that ability is not fixed but can be improved incrementally through hard work and effort. Activity 2 takes a look at the strategy “Clarifying, Sharing and Understanding Learning Targets and Success Criteria.” It reviews some of the basic research related to learning targets and examines the characteristics of quality learning targets. Participants then have the opportunity to analyze and discuss a progression of learning targets that move from weak to quality. This prefaces a carousel activity where participants analyze a variety of sample learning targets and provide suggestions to improve them, if necessary. Activity 3 takes a look at the strategy “Engineering Effective Classroom Discussions, Questions, and Learning Tasks that Elicit Evidence of Learning.” It reviews some of the basic research related to design- ing and asking better questions that elicit evidence of student understanding. Participants peruse common categories of student misconceptions They also examine the characteristics of quality diagnostic questions and then have the opportunity to analyze and discuss a progression of diagnostic questions that move from weak to quality. Finally, participants respond to and discuss sample diagnostic questions and consider how to engage more students on a daily basis in their own classrooms. Activity 4 takes a look at the strategy “Providing Feedback that Moves Learners Forward.” It reviews some of the basic research related to providing feedback to students. Participants have an opportunity to analyze and discuss the characteristics of effective feedback. This prefaces an activity where participants practice writing their own effective comments on some sample student work. Activity 5 takes a look at the two strategies “Activating Students as the Owners of Their Own Learning” and “Activating Students as Instructional Resources for One Another.” It reviews some of the basic research related to involving students in the Formative Assessment Process. There is a jigsaw activity where partici- pants analyze the positives and negatives of teachers sharing rubrics with their students.KLT Foundations: Presenter Notes© 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association. All Rights Reserved. 57
  4. 4. KLT Foundations Workshop Agenda and Timeline Staff Module (6 hours, not including breaks and lunch – can take longer due to dialogue) • Section 1: Introductions (10 min) • Section 2: Shared Agenda (10 min) • Section 3: Self Assess (10 min) 8:00-8:50 • Overview (21 min) • Activity 1 (50 min) -Part 1: Video (8 min) -Part 2: Framework & Implementation (3 min) -Fixed vs Growth (7 min) -Part 3: Formative Assessment Process (3 min) • Section 4: Sharing Learning Targets & Success Criteria -Part 1: Introduce & research (9 min) -Part 2: Definition (3 min) 8:50-10:00 • Activity 2 -Part 3: Techniques (33 min) (60-70 min) -Video and Buzz (5 min) -Part 4: Classroom Implications (15-20 minutes) -Jigsaw and report out 10:00-10:15 Break (15 minutes) Activating students as instructional resources for one another • Section 5: Eliciting Evidence -Part 1: Introduce & research (15 min) 10:15-11:15 -Part 2: Definition (5 min) • Activity 3 (60 min) -Part 3: Techniques (20 min) -Part 4: Classroom Implications (20 min) -Idea Brainstorm with Carousel • Section 6: Providing Effective Feedback -Part 1: Introduce & research (15 min) 11:15-12:20 • Activity 4 -Part 2: Definition (2 min) (65 min) -Part 3: Techniques (15 min) -Exit Ticket (5 min) 12:20-1:20 Lunch (60 min)KLT Foundations: Presenter Notes© 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association. All Rights Reserved. 59
  5. 5. Activity 1 Activity 1 KLT Program Overview and Background: Making a Difference Activity Introduction Learning Targets: Participants are presented with the purpose of KLT Foundations: • Provide enough learning for you to begin using formative assessment in the classroom, including: — a framework of formative assessment and practical techniques to implement it in the class- room — how your learning will continue and deepen in your sustained, job-embedded Teacher Learning Communities (TLC) Key Concepts: 1. KLT is a sustained, interactive professional development program that supports teachers in adopt- ing minute-to-minute and day-by-day formative assessment strategies that have been shown by research to powerfully increase student learning. 2. The foundation of the program is the One Big Idea—Students and teachers continuously using evi- dence of learning to adapt what happens in the classroom. 3. There are Five Key Strategies that grow from the One Big Idea and define the territory of KLT. 4. There are also many formative assessment techniques that provide ideas to support teachers when implementing and contextualizing formative assessment strategies in their classrooms. 5. The intent of formative assessment is to answer these three questions in the classroom: — Where is the learner going? — Where is the learner right now? — How does the learner get there? The Formative Assessment Process is a visual organizer of how the Five Key Strategies address each of these three questions to move learning forward. 6. KLT is a multi-year program that combines initial learning about formative assessment with sus- tained, job-embedded TLCs, supported by modules, online resources, and other materials. 7. Unless both teachers and students understand that ability grows in incremental steps and increases when effort increases, the full impact of KLT cannot be realized. This may require some fundamental changes to their current classroom contract—the roles of teachers and students.KLT Foundations: Presenter Notes© 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association. All Rights Reserved. 61
  6. 6. Activity 1 Grouping: Whole group Materials: • PowerPoint Slides: 1–14 • Teacher Workbook Worksheets: — Agenda: KLT Foundations — Formative Assessment Process — KLT Framework — KLT Implementation Techniques Modeled: • Parking Lot—participants place questions that the trainer has not yet answered on the “park- ing lot.” The trainer reviews them and, at an appropriate time, gets back to the participants with responses. (Adaptation of Question Strips) • Learning Targets—near the start of the activity • Shared Agenda—participants record on sticky notes the questions, needs or expectations they have from the start (one question or idea per sticky note). During an activity, the facilitator arranges the sticky notes on the agenda to show when during the day each question or comment will be addressed. Any not specifically addressed during the day can be placed on the parking lot and discussed as time allows. • Stop Slow Signal—participants have RED-YELLOW-GREEN cards (traffic light) that should be on the table throughout the session. Participants use these cards like traffic lights – RED – I am not getting what you are doing/talking about and need help; YELLOW – I think I get it and have some questions and I can keep working; GREEN – got it and ready to move on. This is a way for partici- pants to indicate to the facilitator when they need help with the content throughout the day. • No Hands Up: Popsicle® Sticks—each participant writes his name on a Popsicle® stick at the beginning of the day which the facilitator collects. The facilitator first asks a question and then ran- domly pulls a stick for a participant to answer the question. Timing: 50 minutes (including 6 minutes devoted to the video of KLT Overview) KLT Foundations: Presenter Notes © 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association. All Rights Reserved. 62
  7. 7. Activity 1 Slide 3 — Welcome Key Discussion Points/Prompts: Keeping Learning on Track’s number one goal is to support teachers in the reflective and progressive process of integrating formative assessment into their everyday teaching for the purpose of improving student learning. Introductions… • Be sure to introduce trainers, district or school personnel who have coordinated the KLT implementation, and any NWEA repre- sentatives who may be present. • Quickly find out who is in the audience (e.g., # of elementary teachers, # in specific grades, or get specific names, if the group is small). Expectations… • Start/end on time. • Everyone participates. • Practice what we preach throughout KLT Foundations—so we will be using and noting formative assessment techniques as we present. • If you have a question and we are at a logical stopping point, we will be happy to take it. Otherwise, you can use the sticky notes in the center of your table and post your questions/com- ments on the Parking Lot. We will address all Parking Lot questions and concerns at the start of the next activity or before KLT Foundations ends. • Introduce the formative assessment techniques that will be used all day: Stop Slow Signal cards, No Hands Up: Popsicle® Sticks, and the ABCD Cards. Housekeeping… • Provide necessary information, such as location of restrooms, breaks, lunch, cell phone etiquette, exits, etc. Comments/Notes: • While explaining the expectations and housekeeping information to participants, point out the perforated ABCD Cards, Index Cards, and Question Strips located in the Teacher Workbook. If they have not already done so, ask participants to cut out their ABCD Cards. Briefly explain the purpose of this technique, and ask participants to have the cards handy throughout the entire KLT Foundations. Explain that you will let them know when they will need the Index Cards (and Questions Strips*) and how to use them. *Question Strips are discussed during Activity 5, but are not actually used during KLT Foundations. KLT Foundations: Presenter Notes © 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association. All Rights Reserved. 65
  8. 8. Activity 1 Slide 4 — Agenda Directions: • Have participants look at the Teacher Workbook Worksheet, “Agenda.” • Organize participant sticky notes regarding needs and questions on the agenda. Briefly go over the KLT Foundations agenda so that everyone has an understanding of the flow of the workshop, and when there will be opportunities to break. Key Discussion Points/Prompts: These are the highlights of KLT Foundations: • Activity 1: Overview of KLT. • Activities 2–5: The Five Key Strategies of formative assessment. • Activity 6: Teacher Learning Communities and a “mini” Personal Action Plan. The purpose of today is to: • Provide enough learning for you to begin using formative assessment in the class- room, including: — A framework for formative assessment and practical techniques to implement it in the classroom The Keeping Learning on Track® Program KLT Foundations — How your learning will continue and deepen in your sustained, Agenda Activity 1: KLT Program Overview: Making a Difference Activity 2: Sharing Learning Expectations job-embedded Teacher Learning Community (TLC) Activity 3: Asking Better Questions Activity 4: Providing Effective Feedback Activity 5: Activating Students and Their Peers Activity 6: Carrying the Work Forward Teacher Workbook Worksheet: © 2011 Northwest Evaluation Association. All Rights Reserved “Agenda” (page 14) KLT Teacher Workbook: KLT Foundations—Worksheets Copyright © 2009 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. ETS and the ETS logo are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS). KEEPING LEARNING ON TRACK is a registered trademark of ETS. TWB01 21 Stories: • Comments/Notes: • KLT Foundations: Presenter Notes © 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association. All Rights Reserved.66
  9. 9. Keeping Learning on Track® TLC Leader Handbook
  10. 10. Table of Contents Chapter 1: Becoming a TLC Leader. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 About the TLC Leader Handbook. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 The Thinking Behind the Keeping Learning On Track Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Formative Assessment: The Minute-to-Minute, Day-by-Day Kind. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 One Big Idea and Five Key Strategies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Practical Teaching Techniques. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Putting It All Together. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 A Changed Classroom Contract. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 A New View of Student Potential. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 The Bridge Between Learning and Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Sustained, School-Based Support for Teacher Learning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Recruiting Strong TLC Leaders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Preparing TLC Leaders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Bringing the KLT Program Back to School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Becoming a Successful TLC Leader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Dual Roles: Learner AND Leader. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 The Stages of the TLC Leader Role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 A Developmental Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Where Are You in the Learning Process?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Organization of the TLC Leader Handbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The TLC Leader Experience: A Timeline That Guides the Layout of This Book. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Additional Resources in this Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Conventions Used in the TLC Leader Handbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 The TLC Leader Handbook DVD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Beyond this Book: Other Resources for TLC Leaders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Chapter 2: Learning To Facilitate a TLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 What’s in This Chapter?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Worksheets for TLC Leader Foundations: Facilitating a TLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31© 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association. All Rights Reserved. v
  11. 11. Chapter 1: Becoming a TLC Leader1 You are not expected to play the part of TLC Leader alone—or by the seat of your pants! The TLC Leader Handbook, as well as your Getting Started with KLT: Preparing TLC Leaders experience, are just two of several resources designed to help you in your new leader role. The full range of supports available to you is described in more detail at the end of this chapter. You may also benefit if you regularly work with at least one other colleague from your school or district who, like you, is learning to lead a KLT Teacher Learning Community. Taking advantage of coaching sessions offered by a KLT consultant may be valuable as well. Additionally, the school leaders who brought KLT to your district are behind you in this effort. They may work with a KLT consultant to figure out the best ways to kick off and support the two-year process. The Stages of the TLC Leader Role As a TLC Leader, your role moves through several stages over the two-year timeframe of Keeping Learning on Track, each of which is discussed in detail later in the TLC Leader Handbook. Here, we provide the big picture in the graphic below, followed by an overview of each stage.16 © 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association™. All Rights Reserved.
  12. 12. Chapter 1: Becoming a TLC Leader 1 Stage 1: Present. In the first stage of your role as a TLC Leader, you are a presenter who provides your colleagues with their introductory learning experience about KLT. You first learned about the program by participating in KLT Foundations, which focused on the One Big Idea, the Five Key Strategies, and some associated formative assessment techniques. Now, it’s your turn. Using KLT PowerPoint slides, video segments, and background materials (all provided in the KLT Foundations Presenter Manual), you share what you have learned with your colleagues. They need this exposure to the basic ideas of the program so they can enter your TLC knowing the general direction of the two-year process to which they are committing. Chapter 4 of this book outlines options for presenting KLT Foundations to your colleagues flexibly yet with fidelity. Stage 2: Facilitate. Once you have familiarized your colleagues with the basic ideas of KLT, you will begin regularly (at least monthly) convening TLC meetings that are focused on minute-to-minute, day-by-day formative assessment. That’s a great thing—a step that holds much promise for sustained and signifi- cant improvements in student learning. This is when you, as a leader of teachers-learning-together, move into the second stage of your role as a TLC Leader, that of facilitator of your TLC, with the dual aim of supporting the learn-practice-reflect-plan cycle described earlier and creating an authentic community of teacher-learners. Rest assured, when we say facilitate, we actually mean facilitate—not teach. Teaching presumes a certain degree of knowledge and expertise, and as we mentioned earlier, you are still learning to integrate forma- tive assessment into your own classroom practice, right along with your colleagues. It wouldn’t be right to put you into the teacher-of-teachers role at this time. Further, pushing you into that role prematurely would likely undercut your own learning, and we don’t want to shortchange you. As in the presenter stage, we do not leave you to “wing it” in the facilitator stage. In addition to Chapter 5 of the TLC Leader Handbook, which provides scaffolded guidance for the facilitator role, KLT modules—the detailed curriculum guides that you’ll follow in your TLC meetings over the course of two school years—are designed to help you and your learning community maintain focus and find ways to make the group’s learn- ing increasingly meaningful. Stage 3: Build Shared Ownership. Over the course of the first year, your TLC will likely need you steadily at the helm, making sure that the group meets regularly; advocating for the time, space, and resources the learning community needs to function; and persistently holding the focus on formative assessment. But over time—probably in the second year—your role should start to shift. At this time, you enter the third stage in the life of a TLC Leader, where you work to build shared ownership of your learning community. Sharing ownership provides the space for others to learn more deeply—not just about formative assessment, but also about what it takes to build capacity for continuous learning and meaningful improvement at the school level. Unless that capacity is spread out over a large number of teachers in a school, Keeping Learning on Track (or any reform, for that matter) cannot really take root. Thus, at this stage, your goal as TLC Leader is to spread the skills and aptitudes of both aspects of KLT— everyday use of formative assessment AND teachers working together to build capacity for continuous improvement—among the others in your learning community. The idea is for these skills and aptitudes to become so deeply woven into the fabric of school life that if, for example, you were to change jobs, any number of teachers would have the skills and passion to keep the learning community going. Developing shared, ongoing responsibility and leadership in this way is one thing that can make the difference between whether you experience continuous school improvement or the continuous treadmill of “reforms du jour.”© 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association™. All Rights Reserved. 17
  13. 13. Chapter 1: Becoming a TLC Leader1 Getting the Most Out of the Teacher Learning Community Experience For the promise of Teacher Learning Communities to be fulfilled, you and your colleagues need to do two things on a regular basis—and you’ll have to support each other to do them well: First, you must each start using formative assessment techniques in your everyday teaching. More than just trying techniques one after another, this involves selecting a few techniques to really practice, so that you gradually develop expertise in using them. Second, you must systematically reflect on what is working and what is not working, using the One Big Idea of KLT to guide your critical analysis. The research on the development of expertise stresses that practice alone is not enough—if it were, then the most experienced teachers would consistently be the very best teachers, and we know this is not always so. Your individual and collective reflections provide the basis for each member of the learning community to plan his or her next efforts. Refining the use of a technique and then trying it again—until you have nailed that technique and integrated it into your everyday practice—is what it takes to make formative assessment an automatic part of your teaching. This is how people of any age learn. It’s like the directions on a shampoo bottle; Practice- Reflect-Repeat. Of course, it’s the quality and frequency of the practice and reflection that makes all the difference. That’s the purpose of the Teacher Learning Community—to provide the time, structure, and support that teachers need to regularly and meaningfully enter into cycles of practice and reflection. Later chapters of the TLC Leader Handbook suggest ways to help your learning community realize this potential. Interestingly, building shared ownership within your TLC tracks nicely with a similar process in the classroom—students taking on more responsibility for their own learning. Chapter 6 of the TLC Leader Handbook further develops this connection and helps you think through the process of delegating and sharing responsibility even as you are supporting the teachers in your learning community to move to a deeper, more integrated understanding of formative assessment. Stage 4: Move Forward Together. At the end of the second year of Keeping Learning on Track, you and your colleagues will be at a transition point. The formal part of the program comes to an end when your TLC completes Module 16 (there are two additional, optional modules available). Among other things, that module prompts the group to decide whether and how it wants to move forward. The majority of KLT Teacher Learning Communities reach a decision that they do not want to give up regular support from their colleagues. Likewise, most teachers find that they are not yet finished learning about and thinking through all the implications of formative assessment for their own teaching. So, most learning communities elect to move forward together, continuing to meet with a focus on formative assessment. At this point, you can decide to step back into the role of ordinary group member, if you wish. If you’ve worked on building shared ownership of the learning community over the previous year, then a number of18 © 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association™. All Rights Reserved.
  14. 14. Module 7: Activating Students and Their Peers Summary of This Module This module begins and ends with the standard bookend activities. The New Learning activity in the middle is focused on the two strategies that put students to work in moving learning forward: “Activating students as the owners of their own learning” and “Activating students as instructional resources for one another.” Participants begin Activity 3 by looking for ways that students can be enlisted in the Formative Assessment Process (i.e., assessing where they are now, understanding where they are going next, and enacting the steps to get there). They then analyze the two strategies and their associated tech- niques, identifying clusters of techniques that bring each strategy to life in different ways. Finally, partici- pants self-assess their own implementation of techniques within each cluster and identify ways to more effectively activate students and their peers. Guidance for Facilitating the Bookend Activities Supporting Teachers Through the Homestretch You’re in the homestretch now—only two more modules to go in Year 1. This likely coincides with the last months of school, so the teachers in your learning community may be starting to feel some end-of- the-school-year pressures. It is important to acknowledge this reality if it is taking place, but it is not a good idea to suspend your TLC meetings in response to such pressures. In fact, the clarity of focus and support that teachers receive in TLC meetings may make your learning community an island of sanity in a rising sea of year-end anxieties. Use your time together to breathe, to think, to regain focus, and most of all, to appreciate what’s working. Under pressure to make gains on end-of-year tests, some teachers may try to cram two months of cur- riculum into the last month before the “big test.” They may feel they can no longer slow down to find out who is “getting it” and who isn’t, much less re-teach those who aren’t. You may need to remind teachers that coverage of material in no way guarantees that students are learning it. Rather, students who are taught to think and have many opportunities to practice using their brains can do pretty well on a test, even if they haven’t seen all of the material on it. That’s because they gain confidence in their ability to think; they can access that confidence and use their wits when they are confronted with something new. During the “How’s It Going?” session, try to emphasize what’s working, making sure that the details of why a technique improves learning are coming out in the discussion. That way, other teachers in the group can see the cause-and-effect relationship between a technique and improvements in student learning, and may be encouraged to stick with formative assessment, even if they feel pressure to revert to more conventional test-prep approaches.Module 7: Activating Students and Their Peers© 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association™. All Rights Reserved. 1
  15. 15. Guidance for Facilitating the New Learning Activity Been There, Done That… Well, Not So Much While KLT Foundations did cover the two strategies that are the focus of Activity 3, this module will likely feel refreshingly different in at least two ways. First, it addresses two strategies, whereas the other modules (to date) have focused either on a single strategy or the whole set of strategies. Second, it unpacks each featured strategy into sets of clustered techniques, based on the mechanisms by which the techniques enhance student learning. Understanding all of the distinct ways a strategy operates is an important new concept that teachers will encounter again as they undertake the Individual Study that bridges Year 1 and Year 2 of KLT. Key Ideas and Potentially Tricky Concepts • What are these clusters, anyway? The word “cluster” is content neutral, in that it simply signi- fies a grouping of things. Here, we are using it to group techniques within a strategy by looking at the ways in which they operate to enhance student learning. Worksheets 3 and 4 break out the clusters: four in “Activating students as instructional resources for one another” and two in “Activating students as the owners of their own learning.” It is possible—and useful—to break down every strategy into clusters in this way. Teachers will use this kind of analysis with the other three strategies later. • Seeing a bigger picture. At the start of Keeping Learning on Track®, we encouraged you and other teachers to just get started using techniques, selecting one or two that seemed appropri- ate for your students, subject matter, and teaching style. That was a good way to get started, but teachers are now ready to think more broadly and analytically about the full potential of each strategy. In Worksheet 6, we ask teachers to evaluate whether and how they are “cover- ing” the full range in which each of the two featured strategies can promote student learning. That’s because, in a “mature” KLT classroom, the teachers and students are working every angle. That does not mean they are working every technique—it means that they are employ- ing well-chosen techniques that collectively work every mechanism of formative assessment. This shift to a broader view of how the strategies work foreshadows a more comprehensive approach that teachers take in Year 2 modules. Planning and Facilitation Tips • Advance study will pay off. Because Activity 3 introduces some new concepts, you may be more comfortable facilitating it if you do a little advance study of the ideas. In particular, you may want to carefully read through the definitions of the six clusters, which can be found in the Leader Notes for Activity 3.2. That way, when you are presenting the general notion of clusters and the specifics about each cluster, you will feel a little more confident. You may also want to think through the idea of linking the three questions of the Formative Assessment Process with what students can do for themselves and peers. This comes up in the introductory activity, as part of the motivation for studying the two featured strategies. • Sharing the cluster definitions. Worksheets 3 and 4 list each of the cluster titles for the two featured strategies in a format that is reminiscent of the KLT Framework. But those titles are not going to be enough to clarify exactly what is meant by each cluster. It is a good idea, then, for you to share with teachers the full definitions of the clusters. These appear in section 3.2 of your Leader Notes. They’re lengthy, but take time to read them out in full. Module 7: Activating Students and Their Peers2 © 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association™. All Rights Reserved.
  16. 16. Module 7: Activating Students and Their Peers Agenda Title: Activating Students and Their Peers Strategy Addressed: • Activating students as the owners of their own learning • Activating students as instructional resources for one another Learning Targets: The teachers in this Teacher Learning Community (TLC) will… • Better understand how these two strategies can help students to identify their current level of achievement, the desired level of achievement, and a means to close the gap • Understand one possible classification system for the techniques in each strategy Agenda Activity 1: Welcome, Learning Targets, and Housekeeping 10 minutes Activity 2: How’s It Going?* 25 minutes Activity 3: ctivating Students and Their Peers A 50 minutes - Activating Learners - The “Clusters” of Techniques - Putting It Into Practice Activity 4: Action Planning* 10 minutes Activity 5: Summary of Learning* 10 minutes *Remember, if you are tight on time, the three most important activities to complete are Activities 2, 4 and 5. These build community and ensure that individual teachers are getting the help they need to succeed.Module 7: Activating Students and Their Peers© 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association™. All Rights Reserved. 5
  17. 17. ACTIVITY 1 Welcome, Learning Targets, and Housekeeping Leader Directions Summary of This Activity Welcome participants, remind them of the general purposes of a TLC, and address the learning targets for this meeting. If needed, engage participants in “Getting Our Minds Here” or a review of the “Ground Rules for Productive Meetings.” Materials • Agenda for this KLT module: Activating Students and Their Peers • Timer • Chart of Ground Rules for Productive Meetings (produced in Meeting 1) Worksheets for This Activity • None Prep Work • Review Learning Targets and Session Agenda Timing • 10 minutes In the TLC Meeting • Welcome teachers to this meeting of their TLC • Explain to the group that this meeting will follow the standard format for TLC meeting—an Introduction, including Learning Targets, a formative assessment activity, How’s It Going?, Action Planning, and Summary of Learning. • The learning targets for this meeting are printed on the participants’ meeting agenda and should be reviewed along with the agenda at the start of the meeting. Be sure to work out with the participants how you will know if the group has achieved the learning targets, and point out that later in the meeting you will assess the group’s progress with regard to the learning targets. • If needed: 1. Getting Our Minds Here: Give the teachers time to “clear their minds” so that the meet- ing can focus on KLT and not on other issues that may be on everyone’s mind. Explain that teachers seldom get a chance to really complain about the hard parts of teaching. Without that kind of release, things build up, and it is hard to pay attention. The “Get It Out!” activity is a chance to get things off their chests!Module 7: Activating Students and Their Peers© 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association™. All Rights Reserved. 7
  18. 18. ACTIVITY 2 How’s It Going? Leader Directions Summary of This Activity Each teacher updates the group on his or her efforts at implementing formative assessment in the classroom. The other participants listen supportively. Materials • Individual Action Plans from the most recent TLC meeting • Timer (optional) Worksheets for This Activity • A2 - WS1: How’s It Going? Prep Work • Review Worksheet A2 – WS1: How’s It Going? Timing • 25 minutes In the TLC Meeting • Ask teachers to take out the action plans they wrote or updated during the previous TLC meeting. • Ask teachers to take 1-2 minutes to read over what they wrote and consider the questions in the top box of Worksheet A2 – WS1: How’s It Going? • Ask everyone to then silently review the questions in the bottom two boxes on Worksheet A2 – WS1: How’s It Going? These questions can be useful in sharing with and responding to colleagues. • Give each participant 2-3 minutes to report on what each one has or has not tried. (You may or may not decide to use a timer for this activity depending on your group and its ground rules.) • Keep in mind the guiding questions on the worksheet. If a participant asks for help, allow enough wait time for colleagues to chime in. • Once all members have shared, ask them if there is anything else they would like to talk about in relation to formative assessment and how it is working in their classroom. • Remind the group that this will be happening at each meeting so that the group can support one another as they try to improve their use of formative assessment.Module 7: Activating Students and Their Peers© 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association™. All Rights Reserved. 9
  19. 19. ACTIVITY 3 Activating Students and Their Peers Leader Directions Summary of This Activity Participants will begin by discussing how two strategies—(1) Activating students as owners of their own learning and (2) Activating students as instructional resources for one another—can help them move student learning forward. They will then consider the strategies separately, discuss the different ways that each strategy can move student learning forward, and think more deeply about the implementation of one or two techniques. Next participants will self-assess their own implementation and will identify ways to more effectively activate peers as resources for one another and to activate students as own- ers of their own learning. Materials • Chart paper and marker • ¾ inch red, green, and yellow stickers or red, green, and yellow markers • Participant copies of the KLT Toolkit: Formative Assessment Techniques Worksheets for This Activity • A3 - WS1: The Keeping Learning on Track® Pyramid • A3 - WS2: Activating Students and Their Peers • A3 - WS3: The Activating Peers Pyramid • A3 - WS4: The Activating Self Pyramid • A3 - WS5: “Analyze This” • A3 - WS6: A Self Assessment Prep Work • Review Worksheet A3 – WS2 to get a general understanding of the key advantages of activat- ing peers as instructional resources for one another and activating students as owners of their own learning. • Be prepared to present, analyze, and discuss the group’s responses to Worksheet A3 – WS6: A Self Assessment. Timing • Total: 50 minutesModule 7: Activating Students and Their Peers© 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association™. All Rights Reserved. 11
  20. 20. Activity 3.1 Activating Learners 10 minutes • Remind participants that all KLT modules relate teaching practice to the One Big Idea of KLT— “Students and teachers continuously using evidence of learning to adapt what happens in the classroom.” But each module also includes at least one activity that addresses a specific for- mative assessment strategy. The focus of this activity is on two related strategies, “Activating students as the owners of their own learning” and “Activating students as instructional resources for one another.” • Explain to participants that these two strategies are at the heart of formative assessment: They have the power to deeply enlist students in helping to move learning forward. • Refer to Worksheet A3 – WS1: The Keeping Learning on Track® (KLT) Pyramid. • Remind participants that the pyramid graphically displays the theoretical framework of KLT. • Explain that to move learning forward, three things must happen: 1. the current level of student achievement must be identified, 2. the desired level of achievement must be defined, and 3. a means to close the gap must be identified. • Explain to participants that the focus for today is to examine how activating students as the owners of their own learning and activating students as instructional resources for one another can accomplish these three things. • Point out that in many classrooms, the teacher takes sole responsibility for all three of these steps. However, students can develop the capacity to move one another’s learning forward and their own learning forward when provided with appropriate structure and guidance. • Refer to Worksheet A3 – WS2: Activating Students and Their Peers. Explain that this work- sheet explicates what is needed to effectively activate peers as instructional resourc- Research es for one another and activate students as the owners of their own learning and Connection! details some of the benefits that have been reported in the research. • Give participants a few minutes to read the main points, them ask for questions or reactions. • Ask participants to think about their own experiences with these strategies in the classroom. ask for volunteers to share any of the benefits they have experienced and to relate the experience to the group. • As teachers relate benefits they have witnessed, point out that—when given appropriate guid- ance and structure—students can learn to identify the current level of achievement, the desired level of achievement, and a means to close the gap. In doing so, students listen to one another, provide and internalize feedback, and ultimately move learning forward. Module 7: Activating Students and Their Peers12 © 2012 Northwest Evaluation Association™. All Rights Reserved.

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