As teachers and leaders we want to move our low performing students to middle- and high-performing and move middle-performers to high performers. To do this we focus on consistent feedback and formative assessment; these are actions teachers take every day to become better and better teachers so that they increase student achievement. As teachers, when we use common planning to do this, it is apparent that we are working together and that the focus of our work is always student achievement and making our school a great place to teach and learn.
Consider a focus on 30 day plans and common planning as a new (or improved) action in the upcoming school year. This includes:
- Writing measureable learning targets, aligning the targets with learning tasks for students to practice concepts, and outlining formative and summative assessments and consistent feedback strategies to create a student learning/achievement feedback loop;
- Developing collaborations within grade-level, and identifying student learning targets across grade-levels; and
- Actively engaging teachers in planning and assessing expectations of excellence for them and for their students as they move into the new school year.
For Action: As you begin summer professional development days with your team of teachers and teacher-leaders/coaches discuss how this might be incorporated into your common planning time. In addition, discuss how you will incorporate learning targets and achieve learning goals for each individual student. That’s right! Discuss how you and your colleagues address learning gains for each and every student, moving through the entire grade student-by-student?
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Become a teacher with the assistance of TeacherReady. TeacherReady offers individuals an opportunity to earn a professional teaching certificate from the State of Florida; it was developed by teachers for teachers and is a member of the NCATE/CAEP accredited Professional Education Unit at the University of West Florida.