9 Steps in a Learning Literacy Walk Framework What is a Literacy Walk? Literacy walks are a series of organised, highly structured collaborative short visits by colleagues into active classrooms. They identify evidence of progress and areas for development for a school or group of teachers. • A literacy walk is designed to assist in ‘coaching’ for improved literacy practice in the classroom • It is a ‘snapshot’ of classroom literacy practice • It helps to collect real data/evidence for improving literacy teaching, professional learning and overall school improvement planning • It is to be constructive, not judgemental • It is aimed at helping teacher/teams and schools understand more about how teachers teach, learners’ learn and what gets taught to whom. Why do a Literacy Walk? • Stimulates collegial conversation through questions • Gathering of data • Deepen understandings and practices through feedback • Learn from and with each other • Reinforce attention to a teaching and learning focus • Observe different teaching styles.Getting Along – Confidence – Resilience – Organisation –Persistence
The Purpose of a Literacy Walk • To observe the tangible impact that the coaching has had on the classrooms and to explore together the impact and effectiveness of teaching and learning strategies implemented within the school • to confirm that classroom data supports the school literacy focus • To learn, innovate and enquire into collective practices • To practise enquiry-based learning and leadership • To give teachers feedback about positive practices observed. • To create the opportunities for multiple insights into classroom practice • To emphasis good classroom practice with a practical approach to building capacity and school improvement • To provide a powerful vehicle for allowing knowledge to travel across and throughout a school • to make visible pockets of excellence or expertise, and to highlight joint areas for development and cross school enquiry • To provide a cost-effective way of generating data that is both formative and useful • Above all, Literacy Learning Walks enable groups of individuals to work together to develop an understanding of what a successful school looks like in practice. Pupil and adult learners can contribute equally to an investigation of how innovation is making a difference in the classroom.
Who goes on a Literacy Walk?DEECD statistics estimate that a principal spends his/her time asfollows: Admin Area 65% Hallways/grounds17% Off Site 11% In Classrooms 7%A Literacy Walk allows time for the principal to be back in theclassroom. • Maximum of 4 walkers (3 is ideal) • One of these walkers to act as timekeeper. • A lead walker (principal/literacy specialist/literacy coordinator)Only one literacy team can be walking in a school at a time.Suggested Time Allowance for a Literacy Walk:Establishing a team and rosterAgree on a FocusPrepare for walk 10 minsLiteracy Walk 10 mins per classroomDebrief 10 – 15 minsFeedback to colleague’s 10 – 15 mins
The 9 Step Literacy Learning Walk Protocol 1. Preparing whole staff for a Literacy Learning Walk: • Everyone understands the rational for a Literacy Learning Walk whether directly or indirectly involved • Everyone understands that they are learning from, with and on behalf of others • Everyone understands that not one individual is under scrutiny during the process • Everyone understands it is not a personal judgement or evaluation of teachers, students and or leaders • Everyone understands the following points need to be decided upon prior to the walk Prepare date and time of literacy walks Decide on leaders/walkers and classrooms to be visited Make sure all staff are given copies of above 3 items Distribute copies of note taking forms that walkers will be using Inform staff that taking notes will help provide collective feedback. 2. Preparing the team of walkers • Discuss a climate of trust , openness and confidentiality within the walkers • Discuss the ‘focus’ for the visit • Ensure all walkers are aware of time and classrooms to be visited • Ensure all walkers have note taking forms • Discuss type of questions to be asked • Reminder to observe classroom, students and teachers • Only talking to students.
3. Pre Walk Briefing Day of walk, immediately before visit • Discuss ‘focus’ for visit • Walkers discuss what would be reasonable to see in a classroom • Generating questions • Distinguishing between citing evidence and making unwarranted judgements • Distribute note taking forms • Discuss what is to be written on the notes • What evidence and data could be collected • Time keeper to keep an eye on the time in class. 4. Classroom visits • Walkers spend 10-15 mins in a classroom • Walkers observe both teachers and students • Discussions with students and teachers • Examination of displays • Examination of resources • Study of students work • Remember the ‘focus’ of the group • Record observations • Gather evidence from 4 resources (classroom environment, talk with students, analysis of student’s work and discussion/observation of teacher).5) Talking with teachers • Walkers don’t always need to talk to teachers • Some schools have no interaction with the teacher • Avoid interrupting direct teaching • Ask if a teacher is able to talk • If a teacher talks about how she is translating professional development into practice – leave this discussion for later • What questions might you ask the teacher *Where does this snapshot fit in the bigger picture? *What preceded this snapshot? *How are you assessing students in this lesson? *How will you know that the students understand content ideas?
6) Talking with students • Look at how the students are learning • Ask the student where they can go for help in their learning • Ask the student what they are learning and why they need to know that • Ask students how they can make their work better • Ask the students to talk about what they are learning • Walkers should talk to a variety of students by gender, ethnicity, level of engagement etc.7) Corridor Talk • After the visit of each classroom the team gathers in the corridor to discuss the evidence they have gathered • They only discuss what they observed e.g. what student’s where learning? How the teacher assisted that learning? Student’s response to questions etc What tools were used by the teacher when working with the students? • Suggest questions that they might ask the teacher to learn more about what was happening in the class • All team members share • By gathering everyone’s evidence the big picture can be seen.8) Debrief • At end of classroom visits walkers meet for a debriefing session • Evidence is reviewed and thought provoking questions asked • Look for patterns that might have emerged from several classrooms • Each person reviews their own notes • Each person prepares observations and a list of evidence they collected on the walk • Each walker prepares one thought provoking question • Walkers take it in turn to present their findings • How can the literacy walk support the next step for the school.
9) Feedback to colleagues • It is preferable to give feedback to colleagues’ on the day (no later than 5 days) • The feedback can be a formal or informal meeting or a ‘thankyou’ letter • Discussions will arise from observations • A literacy newsletter outlining positive practice could be distributed across the school omitting names or any specific information.Behavioural Norms in a classroomWalkers refrain from making judgementWalkers disrupt learning as little as possibleIf walkers aren’t from school they need to wear name tagsStick to the agreed focus for the walkWalkers should respect the learning communityExamine class displaysHave discussions with studentsExamine classroom resourcesLook at student’s workMove around so as not to disturb learningAvoid interrupting direct teachingBefore starting a conversation with a teacher ask is she/he is ableto talkPossible Focus for a Literacy Walk ( In Teacher’s Hands)Participation - Attention –Engagement –Stimulation –Pleasure--ConsistencyKnowledge - Environment - Purpose – Substance -Explanations – Modelling - MetalanguageOrchestration - Awareness – Structure - Flexibility – Pace -TransitionSupport - Assessment – Scaffolding – Feedback -Responsiveness - Explicitness - PersistenceDifferentiation - Challenge - Individualisation – Inclusion –Variation – ConnectionRespect – Warmth - Rapport – Credibility – Citizenship -Interdependence
Getting Along *Suspend Judgement *Communicate Respectfully *Accept where others are at Confidence *Respect confidentiality *Look for positives only *Allow and give no put downsOrganisation*Look but try not to Resilienceintrude *Reflect on what you see*Make balance *Think of constructiveobservations feedback only*All notes taken are *Use evidence and examplesconfidential Persistence *Always act with integrity *Co-operate in good faith *Look for what is going well
9 STEP LEARNING LITERACY WALK FRAMEWORK Feedback to colleagues Prepare Debrief Whole Staff Prepare Corridor 9 Step team of Talk walkers Literacy Learning Walk Talking with Pre Walk students Brief Talking with Classroom teacher visit
Literacy Learning Walk Roster Date Focus ‘Walkers’9 – 10 am
Collegial Sharing of a Literacy Walk A big thankyou to all teachers for their participation in our latest Literacy Walk. We observed considerable teacher and student knowledge and felt some valuable literacy learning was being created. Through these Literacy Walks we are really seeing just how much effort and time is going into learning at our school. We look forward to our Next Literacy Walk. What we SAW…….. What we HEARD What we FELT ……… ……….• Students working • Teachers • Activities had been extended over several independently at tables explaining days• Computers being used to language in books • Students always had something worthwhile display and using examples to work on demonstrate • Students reading • Students were supported even when knowledge together teacher was working with other groups• Teachers roaming • Students sharing • Early finishers were challenged around classrooms their knowledge ensuring all students are with others • Different abilities were catered for on task • Clear and simple • Teachers clearly had an extensive• Picture prompts explanation of knowledge of their students displayed for writing tasks and activities • Students knew the purpose of tasks and• Groups working on • Teachers praising lessons different activities good work • Teachers had a good understanding of• Diagrams used to help • Deep literacy learning explain concepts conversations • Students were showing teacher and the• Task boards used as showing a class what they could do and what they visual prompt for group detailed knew activities knowledge of the book being read• Different activities happening all over the • Teacher giving classroom feedback and ideas to students• Teacher modelling skills • Teacher and• Teacher correcting students reading work with student and together providing feedback to student • Students asking good questions• Range of texts used – Eg – newspapers • Teachers displaying their• Language and words knowledge of displayed around what effective classrooms readers do• Hands on materials • Students talking and resources used about what they• Students working all had done well over the classroom in • Teacher different locations encouraging• Shared writing – where students to ‘have both the teacher and a go’ when unsure students are actively • Linking of lessons involved to previous lessons• All students had a copy of the text• Pairing of stronger and weaker students – to ensure success• Teacher working in close
proximity to students Linking The 9 Step Literacy Walk with Principles of Learning and Teaching POLT 1. The learning environment is supportive and productive. In learning environments that reflect this principle the teacher: o 1.1 builds positive relationships through knowing and valuing each student o 1.2 promotes a culture of value and respect for individuals and their communities o 1.3 uses strategies that promote students self- confidence and willingness to take risks with their learning o 1.4 ensures each student experiences success through structured support, the valuing of effort, and recognition of their work. 2. The learning environment promotes independence, interdependence and self motivation. In learning environments that reflect this principle the teacher: o 2.1 encourages and supports students to take responsibility for their learning o 2.2 uses strategies that build skills of productive collaboration. 3. Students needs, backgrounds, perspectives and interests are reflected in the learning program. In learning environments that reflect this principle the teacher: o 3.1 uses strategies that are flexible and responsive to the values, needs and interests of individual students o 3.2 uses a range of strategies that support the different ways of thinking and learning
o 3.3 builds on students prior experiences, knowledge and skills o 3.4 capitalises on students experience of a technology rich world4. Students are challenged and supported to develop deep levels of thinking and application. In learning environments that reflect this principle the teacher: o 4.1 plans sequences to promote sustained learning that builds over time and emphasises connections between ideas o 4.2 promotes substantive discussion of ideas o 4.3 emphasises the quality of learning with high expectations of achievement o 4.4 uses strategies that challenge and support students to question and reflect o 4.5 uses strategies to develop investigating and problem solving skills o 4.6 uses strategies to foster imagination and creativity.5. Assessment practices are an integral part of teaching and learning. In learning environments that reflect this principle the teacher: o 5.1 designs assessment practices that reflect the full range of learning program objectives o 5.2 ensures that students receive frequent constructive feedback that supports further learning o 5.3 makes assessment criteria explicit o 5.4 uses assessment practices that encourage reflection and self assessment o 5.5 uses evidence from assessment to inform planning and teaching6. Learning connects strongly with communities and practice beyond the classroom.
In learning environments that reflect this principle theteacher: o 6.1 supports students to engage with contemporary knowledge and practice o 6.2 plans for students to interact with local and broader communities and community practices o 6.3 uses technologies in ways that reflect professional and community practices. The NMR 9 Step Learning Literacy Walk Framework Prepared by