07/24/09 27J Instructional Model This is my favorite quotation ever. It has spoken to me for years, and now that I’ve read Carol Dweck’s Mindset , I understand the power of our beliefs about challenge. I am surrounded by growth mindset people, who see any given situation as an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to become better at something, a chance to be stronger. We will not get defensive, we do not believe that what we have done before reflects who we are. We will work tirelessly for student success.
07/24/09 27J Instructional Model This is a coded way of saying we are NOT going to talk about RTI. RTI is exactly the same as what I’m going to talk about here, but because of its name and its origins, it will forever be associated with kids headed for special education. I don’t want RTI in this district to be about special ed sitting on our shoulders telling us that we really should try a few good practices before we refer kids for sped. If it’s going to work, it has to be a coherent articulation of what all instruction should look like, and it has to tie together what we already do. We all have to own it. Marcus Buckingham ( The One Thing You Need to Know ) talks about the most important thing a leader can do is to provide clarity, and that’s what I’m attempting to do here. I want to paint a picture for you about the curricular goals we have for students, and the instructional plans we have to make sure they meet those goals. We are building work that has already been done and trying to make it happen for all our schools and all our students. We are trying to establish a climate of purposeful tension, where people are united around the critical task and feel a sense of urgency that is generated not by fear imposed from outside, but by people owning their current reality and feeling the desire to do something about it. [this is also the part where I rant about CDE and their inability to de-compartmentalize themselves in order to put out ONE model]
07/24/09 27J Instructional Model The goal here is to change instruction so that all kids are headed for the same target . Their trajectory needs to be different and therefore their instruction needs to be different. In other words, this is about holding the curriculum constant and varying the instruction. This is purposeful and deliberate closing of the achievement gap. [Doug Reeves’ leading, not lucky] The only things we care about are raising student achievement and closing the achievement gap. We can chart our quintile data. What is the weighted index score gain of our highest quintile v. our lowest quintile? That will tell us whether or not we are raising student achievement and closing the achievement gap. The model also allows us to separate “my kids can’t do this/aren’t ready for this” into a conversation about instruction and a conversation about expectations. Often, the teachers with the scaffolding skills are protective about their students, which turns into a paternalistic lowering of expectations. And the challenging teachers frequently don’t have the skills to scaffold. In both cases, there is no growth.
07/24/09 27J Instructional Model As opposed to what we are trying to move away from, where the instruction remains constant, and the target and the means to get to the target, the curriculum, vary. This is what we know as tracking. Note that both lines show growth, and we have told ourselves for years that the kids in the lower track are making a year’s growth in year’s time, so they are making progress, so everything’s OK. This is what Mike Schmoker in Results Now! calls the buffer—we are protecting ourselves from inconvenient truths when we say this.
27J Instructional Model This is actually the pattern we see in 27J. With very few exceptions, our highest achieving students are making the most growth, and our lowest achieving students are making the most growth. The outcome of this is an increase in the achievement gap rather than a decrease.
07/24/09 27J Instructional Model Our mission is to ensure that all students have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for present and future competence and success. The purpose of this instructional model is to provide a tool to examine our students' progress and to adjust our instruction accordingly . The model enables us to plan the instruction and intervention needed in order to deliver the Essential Learning Targets to all our students, according to need rather than label. We define intervention as instruction that involves sufficient time, focus and intensity that student achievement gaps are closed. The answer is not remediation, it is acceleration. If you’re not closing gaps, it’s not an intervention. Key words: equity [although it doesn’t actually say that], adjustment of instruction; GVC; rigor Is it desirable to be in one tier over another, or to move down the triangle? Not necessarily—if you can hang in an AP class with Tier 2 support and AVID, a Tier 3 intervention, then that’s what we want. One of the things we are trying to move away from is the idea that students “ought” to be able to cope without scaffolding.
07/24/09 27J Instructional Model This is instruction that works for most kids—most kids have good skills, they know how to be good students, they are resilient—one year of poor teaching won’t kill them. We have established classroom formative assessment as our district-wide approach to instruction.
07/24/09 27J Instructional Model Note that I talk about scaffolding and NOT differentiation—this is deliberate. Unfolding of the curriculum in clear, logical, and attainable steps. The only thing that varies is instruction—not curriculum, and not assessment. The target remains the same. Not going to do anything that introduces more variability than necessary, because in my experience choice increases inequity rather than decreasing it. Examples of scaffolding: climbing Everest with oxygen; the boys’ gymnastics teacher; the cheese grater suitable for small children—assistive technology. In school, this could be making sure that there are learning objectives and word walls to aid the second language learner; concept maps to help kids who struggle making connections; pictures and maps to help kids who are missing background knowledge; scaffolds that show students how to lay out information, like grids, flow charts, timelines, for kids who struggle with conceptual organization. Best scaffolding strategies coming out of ESL. There’s always a tier 2. A worksheet is almost always a scaffold—if it’s appropriate for tier 2, where’s appropriate challenge for tier 1? If it’s appropriate for everybody, where’s the scaffold? Some teachers don’t think they need to do this—that kids in an AP class, for example, “ought” to be able to do this already, ought to be able to keep up. This is a fallacy. Think how many kids we could have in AP classes if the teachers put in tier 2 supports—especially if they have a tier 3 support, AVID, to back them up.
07/24/09 27J Instructional Model READ 180 AVID—which also has repercussions for Tier 2 Title I ESL—but ideally, tier 2 would be so high-functioning that we would need very little in the way of tier 3 for ESL. Tier 3 is not special education. I want to be very clear that there is a reason why this model has 4 tiers and not 3—I believe very strongly that there needs to be real and symbolic separation between special education and the regular classroom. There are things we can try before we make the life-changing decision that a child is not learning because he has a disability, and not because we have not yet provided him instruction commensurate with his needs.
07/24/09 27J Instructional Model Sped is the 800 pound gorilla here. What we are trying to move away from is the discrepancy model that makes the inference that if there is a difference between a student’s measurable IQ and his measurable achievement, that difference must be explained by a disability. Under that model, the instructional program cannot be blamed for a student’s lack of achievement. Under the new model, instruction is everything. Give me good teaching and I can change the world. We will not qualify a student for sped services until we are out of options—that there is nothing else we can provide the student that falls within the purview of the general education program. That is why there is a separate Tier 4—there may be outside the classroom interventions that we can provide without labeling a student. And my goal would be that there’s not much we can’t provide in general ed. This falls under the general principle that we will program students according to need and not according to label. Special ed has existed as the educational system’s safety valve. If it didn’t exist, we would have to invent it. The dangers of special education as enabling—tier 2 coming from special education folks often looks like decreasing expectations rather than providing scaffolding. Have to guard very carefully against that. Have to ensure that we bring together challenge, high expectations, and hard work on the one hand with appropriate scaffolding and tier 3 and 4 support on the other hand.
07/24/09 27J Instructional Model This is the part of the model that I’m actually most proud of—I think it focuses attention on the purpose of the two groups or teams that we typically have meeting in schools. The model is explicit about our valuing collaboration, and we will devote money to making sure that teachers have time to meet together. People already associate child study teams with RTI. But here’s the important part: PLCs actually have more to do with RTI than child study teams, because they have the potential to impact a larger number of students. The purpose of meeting in PLCs to look at student work is NOT about inter-rater reliability. It is to adjust your instruction using student work as evidence for the success or otherwise of your teaching. If they didn’t learn it, you didn’t teach it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that RTI lives only in tiers 3 and 4, or even 2, 3 and 4. It is the whole system. Instruction is everything. Give me a good teacher and I can change the world.
07/24/09 27J Instructional Model I was delighted to find that I didn’t have to write this part, and that I didn’t have to go far to find it. These are John Hefty’s Leadership Assurances. I’m sure all superintendents are delighted when something lives beyond their tenure, and here we have a clear example of exactly that. The Instructional Model basically sits on top of these assurances. What I hope is perhaps clearer than it was before is exactly what these Assurances are designed to support.
07/24/09 27J Instructional Model
27J Instructional Model These are, of course, the DuFour famous questions. No different from what anyone else is saying, and he didn’t say it first.
27J Instructional Model These are Rick Stiggins’ questions. Classroom Assessment for Student Learning is where we are putting so much of our effort, because it cuts across curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Ultimately, just as RTI is more about tier 1 than tier 4, Classroom Assessment for Student Learning is more about curriculum and instruction than it is about assessment. Obviously, the links between these questions, DuFour’s questions, Transforming Students into Learners, and the PDSA model are very close.
27J Instructional Model
“ We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all students whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need in order to do this. Whether we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven’t so far.” Ron Edmonds, “Effective Schools for the Urban Poor,” Educational Leadership , October 1979, p.23
Today’s Objective <ul><li>To describe and explain an instructional model that aligns all the work we do in Student Achievement, and that will be the ONLY instructional model that we follow. </li></ul><ul><li>(but if anybody asks, this is our RtI model) </li></ul>27J Instructional Model
Tier 1 <ul><li>The high quality instruction found in the regular classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly defined learning objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Instruction appropriate to meet those targets </li></ul><ul><li>Student engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment for learning that gives students feedback in timely and meaningful ways </li></ul>27J Instructional Model
Tier 2 <ul><li>Scaffolding of instruction for individuals or groups of students that can be accomplished in the regular classroom, and that will benefit more students than the target group </li></ul>27J Instructional Model
Tier 3 <ul><li>Instruction of such time, focus, and intensity that it is delivered in a setting other than the regular classroom, or in the regular classroom with additional staffing </li></ul>27J Instructional Model
Tier 4 <ul><li>Individual programming for students with exceptional needs </li></ul>27J Instructional Model
Leadership <ul><li>Assure that District programs are being implemented in reading, writing, and math. </li></ul><ul><li>Assure that the District materials are used to implement programs. </li></ul><ul><li>Assure that alignment and coherence of the reading and math programs are in place. </li></ul><ul><li>Assure that interventions are in place for struggling students. </li></ul><ul><li>Assure that data from assessments are being used to determine groupings and strategies. </li></ul>27J Instructional Model
Leadership, cont. <ul><li>Assure that the program is taught for the identified amount of time. </li></ul><ul><li>Assure that support is provided to teachers to implement programs. </li></ul><ul><li>Assure that clear coherent strategies are in place to accomplish expected student performance in reading, writing, and math. </li></ul><ul><li>Assure that professional development is embedded for teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>Assure that assistance in meeting the assurances will be sought as needed. </li></ul>27J Instructional Model
<ul><li>The indispensable conditions for improvement are that the student comes to hold a concept of quality roughly similar to that held by the teacher, is able to monitor continuously the quality of what is being produced during the act of production itself , and has a repertoire of alternative moves or strategies from which to draw at any given point. </li></ul><ul><li>Sadler, 1989 </li></ul>
<ul><li>In response to a given piece of feedback, students have to be able to say to themselves: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I know what this means </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I know what to do next </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’m OK </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I will keep trying </li></ul></ul>
DuFour’s 4 questions <ul><li>What do you want them to know? </li></ul><ul><li>What evidence will you use to determine what they know? </li></ul><ul><li>What are you going to do when they don’t know it? </li></ul><ul><li>What will you do if they already know it? </li></ul>
Assessment for Learning… <ul><li>Where are you now? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do you want to be? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you close the gap? </li></ul>