Thanks to its partnership with publisher Eye on Education, EducationWorld is pleased to present this administrator tip based on the book Classroom Walkthroughs to Improve Teaching and Learning, by Donald S. Kachur, Judith A. Stout and Claudia L. Edwards. Learn more about the book at Eye On Education’s Web site.
In this tip, the authors demonstrate the many ways classroom walkthroughs can be used for continuous, systemic, long-range school improvement. We learn about the definition of a classroom walkthrough and how to incorporate "look-fors" into your walkthroughs.
What are Classroom Walkthroughs?
For years, classroom walkthroughs have been a standard practice that school administrators and other instructional leaders have used to improve their schools. The common elements of a classroom walkthrough are as follows:
What are "Look-Fors?"
Look-fors are the specific elements of effective instruction or guiding principles of learning collectively identified by the principal and teachers. They are explicit teacher or student behaviors that participants will observe and record throughout their walks. Look-fors are clear statements or descriptors of observable evidence of teaching and learning such as specific instructional strategies, learning activities, behavioral outcomes, artifacts, routines, or practices. They are quantitative data that may assess both the degree of program implementation and needs of individual teachers, groups of teachers, the entire school, or school district. Broad focus areas as well as their related look-fors can be generated from such sources as the district strategic plan, school board goals, district benchmarks, curriculum standards, external regulatory mandates, the school improvement plan, professional development initiatives, and/or student achievement results. Focal points for observation can also be generated by individual teachers; grade, or subject-level, or department groups; or the entire faculty. Regardless of the focus, it is essential that teachers know what observers will be looking for in their walks.
Example of a Focus Question and Associated Look-Fors
Focus question: What evidence demonstrates that the amount of student writing across the curriculum is increasing?
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