A Reader Asks… Observing Better Practice

A LYS campus leader asks the following:

SC,

I have a question about walk-thru’s. We are doing a focused instructional practice every six weeks. So, if “Lesson Frames” are our focus, when I visit the classroom, I expect to see the Lesson Frame. My question is about writing critically. If I walk in at some point and the teacher has already completed the writing assignment, what should I do?

SC Response Good question.  I have a point of clarification / direction and then an answer.

1. Six weeks is too long for focusing on a single practice. Two to three weeks is a more effective improvement window.  Think of improving instructional practice like improving your golf game.  It should be a constant cycle of getting better at chasing your tail.  Focusing intently on one component, then moving to the next component. Knowing that the first component isn’t perfect, but it is now better, and you’ll be getting back to it soon.  Focusing on one thing for too long leads to boredom and skill atrophy on the ignored components. The shorter cycle creates both a sense of urgency and a continuous process of skill elevation.

2. Each component of the Fundamental 5 has “obvious” look-for’s and “context” look-for’s.  Critical writing, relies more on “context” look-for’s and system-wide expectations (this is where LYS training, support tools, and PowerWalks are really useful).  But I’ll share one tip.  During the critical writing window, focus on all contents embedding “quick writes” and note-making in every lesson.  The Fundamental 5 Note Making Template Developer is useful for this (Click Here). Just know if the focus and planning during the Critical Writing window isn’t centered on writing more, more often, every day, in every class… you probably won’t observe anyone actually writing.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Upcoming Conference Presentations: TASSP Assistant Principal Workshop (Keynote) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook
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