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see the discussion link on the completed hmwk page for more details
Shaeley and Mike shared major themes in Sizer's "Horace's Hope"
Erin and James shared Wagner's "Global Achievement Gap"

see the discussion link on the completed hmwk page for more details
Stuart and Susan shared Stigler's "The Teaching Gap"
Kent and Carol shared "On Common Ground - PLCs" by DuFour
Ben and Michelle shared "Engaging Schools" from the NRC
Denny shared brain research on learning from "Brain Rules"
Mike shared from Wiggins "Schooling by Design"

We discussed the answers to this queston: "What are the most important ideas in these books, as we move forward in our work? The Discussion thread under "Completed Hmwk - Oct 28" has the details.

Where do we go from here?
We had a wide-ranging discussion about school reform and our place in reforming teaching practice. We all feel committed to developing a model of peer evaluation but are unsure about how to move forward.
We decided to research "Best Practices" in the following books. We will meet with group partners to discuss and possibly implement practices and even observe one another implement these practices.
Book Groups:
Understanding by Design: Shaeley and Kent
Authentic Instruction and Art & Science of Teaching: Stuart, Dennis and Mike L
Authentic Instruction and Classroom Instruction that Works: Erin, Michelle, James
Enhancing Prof Practice: Ben and Carol

We met in our book groups to discuss what we had read, and shared out as a big group. We also discussed how to move forward in defining a set of "best practices" and adding those to our teaching repertoire. We will try to work on this in our book groups by observing one another in the next few weeks.

See summaries of Phase II books on Completed Hmwk Page
We spent today sharing thoughts about the books we have been reading, but our main focus was looking to 2nd semester and what we hope to accomplish by the end of the semester. A number of ideas were bantered around, many with overlapping goals. They are listed below:
(1) We will spend the first half of the semester finding, and perhaps developing rubrics to assist us in evaluating one another's teaching, assigned work, etc. The Authentic Instruction Assessment is a good starting place. We will also look for other rubrics. The ISU Education dept. might be a good resource.
(2) We will choose rubrics that we like (and hopefully that allow us to evaluate the "best practices" that we've been reading about) and use them in evaluating one another. The intent is really to assess the value of the rubrics, as we also assess one another.
(3) Once we have had a chance to use these rubrics and evaluate them, we hope to share some of our work with the staff, possibly in conjunction with our QILT work.
(4) We also hope to be able to put together a document that includes: (a) A reading list with an annotated bibliography (the English teachers are salivating!) (b) A synthesis of the what these books have to say about what good teaching looks like. (c) The rubrics we have used and guidelines for using them (d) Anything else that might be helpful.

Meeting with Michael McGrory, Chris Paulson and Mike Avise

1. Nuts and Bolts: TQ Money - submit a time sheet for 10 hours to Alaine. Credit for class. See e-mail that I sent today
2. Stuart shared a document from Tim Taylor that included Descriptors with the Iowa Standards. We looked over this and found it very interesting.
3. We divided up into 3 groups, for Standards 1, 4, and 5. We brainstormed how to use these standards as a more effective evaluative tool.
4. One group came up with a Likert scale, self-assessment tool using the Descriptors. We will work on that for our next meeting.

Thorough discussion, it was agreed that we would use the Iowa Teaching Standards as the basis for our Teacher Eval. model. We discussed how we could develop criteria and use multiple data sources to assess teachers. We then broke into groups to work on rubrics. Stuart shared a document from Tim Taylor that linked evaluation criteria to each of the Iowa Standards. This provided the starting point for our work.

Evaluation feedback: What was most useful, from the point of the evaluator and the evaluatee, and what changes or improvements would you suggest? Were there any evaluation rubrics that were particularly useful? What was most difficult as an evaluator, and how could that be improved?

• Focus on Students. Level of Engagement
• Format: Evaluator charting events by time, and summarizing and reflecting at the end.
• Typing notes chart w/ 3 columns: Time, Observation, Analysis
• Global observations allow you to see the whole, rather than a narrow focus
• Comments on specific teacher behaviors, such as questioning, wait-time
• Observations from people outside of your discipline
• Observing teacher movement about the room
• Mutually beneficial (evaluator and evaluatee)
• Reflections/post-observations discussions

• Multiple observations by the same person would be more authentic, but may allow you to observe more critically (less novelty) and allows you to have a better understanding of the material and the goals of the teacher.
• There is also an advantage to having multiple observers who are from different disciplines, to get many perspectives on your teaching.
• Pre-observation conference to have more information about the students, the lesson goals, etc.
• A list of behaviors that indicate level of student engagement (looking at other students when they talk, answering questions, taking notes, etc.)
• Seating Chart would be useful to make notes about engagement
• Talk to the students, especially when they are in lab or doing seat work. Asking them what they are doing, why they are doing, how it relates to what they did before, etc?
• Menu of rubrics and/or possible focus items for observation.
• Plan the time for a post-observation conference that happens within a week.

Ideas for Making Peer Coaching More Concrete in 2010-2011

- Peer coaching tied to CDP
- Share about our group with staff at end of this year during staff meeting
- Peer coaching group as a “clearinghouse” to match up people interested in collaborating (especially across departments – cross-curricular)
- Pilot program? Susan expand it to elementary?
- Set up meeting with new principal – What exactly do we want to present to him?
- Offer another class next year to ensure accountability & level of commitment
- Make it into a formal option for alternative evaluation?