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Professional Learning. November 16, 2011. Feedback. I am sure we are all DYING to know how the walk through went! Keep in mind, these were not evaluations of individual teachers, so I have no individual results.

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professional learning

Professional Learning

November 16, 2011

  • I am sure we are all DYING to know how the walk through went!
  • Keep in mind, these were not evaluations of individual teachers, so I have no individual results.
  • The eWalk and question data are not ready yet, so I will be sharing notes from our debriefing

Now for some feedback!

  • Let’s take it one strand at a time….
using research based practices
Using Research Based Practices
  • 5 teams participated in this walk through. All 5 teams were EXTREMELY complimentary of our overall use of effective teaching strategies and research based practices!  Some specific comments:
    • “Every classroom that I went in had teachers engaging students…”
    • “Students were actually involved in the learning, not just doing busy work”
    • “Teachers were even engaging students during lecture which, to me, is a great improvement”
    • “I loved the student recognition and display of work in the hallways. That has not been as prevalent here in the past.”

Mr. Miller recognizes highest test grade, highest averages, and most improved for each class period in his classroom

Mrs. Stegall does “Student of the Month” where she recognizes students who are noteworthy for reasons other than academics


Mr. Sumner had students perform independent research via his online classroom on local government. Students completed graphic organizers and then were placed in groups. Students were then allowed to come from their groups and fill in examples on a graphic organizer on the white board. Students were eager for a turn at the board, which kept them all engaged and focused on the lesson.

*Bold= Marzano strategies; underlined=best practice for engagement

engaging higher order thinking
Engaging Higher-Order Thinking
  • The teams unanimously agreed that many high-order thinking strategies were evident during the walk through.
  • An interesting observation was that even in some cases when the learning activities were not necessarily higher-order, the content and nature of the course itself could be considered higher-order
  • Overall, the 5 teams agreed that there was very little knowledge/recall/understanding, and most of those cases were by necessity due to the point in the unit. Everyone was very complimentary 

Mrs. Perrin’s Chemistry class tested elements to see the color flame that each produces. They charted these things among others. She related this to why fireworks have such vivid colors!

Mrs. Greer’s and Mrs. Houston’s co taught Biology class worked on classifying fishing lures to create a dichotomous key

communicates learning expectations
Communicates Learning Expectations
  • Feedback from the teams was very positive in regard to the use of essential questions and standards to help students understand learning expectations.
  • Rubrics were seen by most every team, but we are going to focus on tweaking them just a bit so that they have more content-based language
  • Overall, everyone was very pleased with how well our teachers communicate their expectations to students 
take a look
Take a Look…

This rubric really stood out as having language of the standards and content knowledge embedded. Each level of the rubric uses the terms from the GPS to communicate what is expected in this task.


It is worth noting that even though all rubrics were not ideal, the increased overall use of rubrics was complimented by the teams in the debriefing 

provides effective feedback
Provides Effective Feedback
  • The teams spoke highly of the feedback happening in interactions with students.
  • Teacher commentary on rubrics was often very strong as well 
  • A goal of mine is to continue to offer assistance with commentary and offer exemplary models that I find throughout the building
other good things we saw
Other Good Things we saw

Mrs. Griffin and Mrs. Hendrix use anchor projects as models!

Mr. Miller uses higher order thinking and differentiation with his Civil War Tic-Tac-Toe. Very rigorous, too!

overall commentary
Overall Commentary
  • The teams specifically complimented:
    • Practicality of Math of Finance
    • Engagement in CTAE
    • Use of rubrics, projects, and groups in Social Studies
    • Experiments in Science
    • Fun and engagement in P.E.
    • Differentiation in ACCESS
    • Use of engaging activities
    • Creating real world relevance
straight from the horse s mouth
Straight from the horse’s mouth
  • “I did a walk through here when we had the GAPPS analysis 4 years ago—this does not even look like the same place! I am just amazed at what I am seeing in these classrooms.”
  • “I love the answers to our questions from high schoolers—they really seem to understand why they are learning what the teachers are presenting.”
  • “I am so pleased with what the high school has going on here; great strides are being made.”

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”