A Reader Asks… Coaching Questions

A LYS Campus Leader asks the following: JD,  My campus is about to tackle its first ever round of teacher coaching based on PowerWalks classroom observation data. I would feel more confident with some extra questions to be able to use in our coaching sessions. Do you have any suggestions?   Dr. Jim Davis Response First,…

Common Sense is not Common Practice – The Final Can Only Help You

When is the best time to determine the level of student learning? At the beginning of a course? The middle of a course? Or the end of a course?   I hope you said, “The end.” Because that is when the determination really matters.  Because up until the end, it’s just practice.   Except with…

A Reader Asks… PowerWalks and the Skeptical Teacher (The Davis Report)

Last week (on 3/29/17) I shared how I would respond to a teacher who was skeptical about the value of PowerWalks. Today’s post highlights what the Davis Report states about PowerWalks and improved teaching.  Click HERE to read the entire report. 1. The Davis Report presents evidence that suggests strong relationships exist between PowerWalks, the…

A Superintendent Writes… Schools are Built for Adults – Part 1

In response to the 5/18/2016 and 5/20/2016 posts, “Schools are Built for Adults – Case 1,” and “Schools are Built for Adults – Case 2,” an old school LYS Superintendent writes: SC, You are absolutely right – schools are built for adults. My question: What would a school look like that was built for students?…

The Davis Report: PowerWalks and The Fundamental 5

Recently, Dr. James Davis completed a study on the effect of The Fundamental 5 and PowerWalks on instructional rigor.  Interesting reading and the findings validate what we had been observing in the field.  But Davis added a wrinkle to his study that we weren’t expecting.  Along with all the performance indicators, Davis also asked teachers…

The New PowerWalks is Here! The New PowerWalks is Here!

Dear PowerWalks User, We are excited to unveil the updated version of the PowerWalks Instructional Observation System.  As you are well aware, PowerWalks was designed to provide Teachers with “Game Film” to inform their honing of daily practice and to provide Instructional Leaders with a tool to better coach and support their staff, from the…

The Big Easy Shares… Second Grade Math Exit Ticket

The Big Easy sent the following note and picture: SC, I was on an LYS campus last week and a second grade teacher shared some exit tickets that her students had just completed. I’ve included a picture of one of them. Notice that the student had picked up on the power of the “We will…”…

A LYS Assistant Principal Submits… Dr. Jim Davis, Our LYS Coach

A new LYS Assistant Principal submits the following: SC, I just want to let you know how much I appreciate Dr. Jim Davis. He has gone out of his way to make sure I had an opportunity to make up the training on the Fundamental 5 modules I had missed. Not only has he been…

A Reader Writes… (Texas School FInance Situation – Part 1)

In response to the 3/24/2011 post, “Texas School Finance Situation,” a LYS Principal writes: Sean, Thanks for putting your thoughts down on paper for us. I’ve been wondering what would be your read on the finance mess. Thanks for recognizing what Cypress-Fairbanks has done. By the way, I saw your tweet about Lee and Hairgrove.…

A Reader Writes… (What Are You In Charge Of – Part 2)

In response to the 2/7/2011 post, “What are You in Charge of,” a LYS Principal writes: I saw Dr. Jenkins operation frequently last year, as I used to work in that district. It is a smooth operation. John gets a lot of criticism for his unapologetic use of the LYS discipline approach, but after viewing…

A Reader Asks… Grading Policy

A LYS reader asks: In light of the new STAAR tests (upcoming Texas state accountability test), don’t we need to look at grading policies. Maybe put more weight on assessment scores rather than teacher created daily work? SC Response Great question. STAAR test or not, we need to look at grading policies, or as I…

A Reader Submits… Mythology

A LYS Leader submits: I find that it is becoming more obvious that we need to question our educational mythology. Years ago, in my second leadership role, I encountered a math teacher who sincerely believed that using a calculator in math class was cheating. The man was very passionate and held on to idea, despite…

Come See Us at the TASA/TASB Fall Conference

All right LYS Nation, if you are attending the TASA/TASB Fall Conference in Houston, stop by the LYS Booth and say “Howdy.” I’ll be there, E. Don will be there, there’s a chance that Lesa and Dr. Jim will make an appearance. And of course, as some of the new LYSer’s have dubbed him, “The…

A Reader Submits… A Funny Story

An LYS principal submits, “SC, I have a funny story to share — well, it’s not funny from the kid’s perspective, but it’s funny from the adult perspective. Good student — second grader — very active in Accelerated Reader program — has earned 200% of his goal for the year, participating in incentives, earned lots…

Quick Book Reviews and Recommendations

I been so busy lately and the LYS Nation has had so many things to talk about that I have gotten behind on my book reviews. Since my last post on this subject, I have finished four books. Here are my short reviews, presented in order from least useful to most useful (from a school…

A Reader Writes… (Problems with the Boss)

In response to the post, “Problems with the Boss,” a reader writes: “SC, please tell the erudite, Dr. Jim Davis, that it is very difficult to make the Head Coach happy when he can’t be pleased. I had two wonderful Head Coaches before my current one came along. Your points are so well taken. At…

Sunday Advice – Problems with the Boss?

Everyone at some point in time has boss problems. Here are a couple of keys to managing those problems. 1. Provide solutions, not problems. If you are a fountain of negativity (even if it is reality), have some potential solutions for the problems you discover or point out. 2. Focus on accomplishing your goal, not…

A Reader Writes… (It’s a Small World)

In response to the post, “It’s a Small World,” a reader writes: “SC, This reminds me somewhat of our recent conversation. I do what E. Don says to the letter, because it works. On the other hand, you all keep recommending me for more and more situations that defy conventional experience and wisdom. These new…

A Reader Writes… (Brown Wisdom)

In response to the post the discussed E. Don Brown’s advice that from a system standpoint, “the Principal’s role is to be the pure advocate for students,” a reader writes: “It makes sense that the principle of student advocacy should be led by the principal leader of students. It reminds me of a principle I…

A Reader Writes… (A Democratic Revolution)

In response to the post, “A Democratic Revolution,” a reader writes: “Zakaria’s highlights are interesting, but what interested me even more was the potential role and influence on history that digital communication, such as Twitter, has brought forth. If you did not see the article in the Houston Chronicle on June 17th, click on the…
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