Sunday, October 25, 2015


How do we make sure that children are achieving in school? What do we do to impact achievement with strength and commitment?

As I listened to a number of thoughtful people discuss this issue today, I thought about my own practice and sense of urgency when it comes to the achievement for every child. How can I truly contribute to this effort and track my work in this regard. I offer the following suggestions.

Students will achieve more if they feel like part of the team. It's critical that we continue to develop a sense of team in every homeroom, each RTI group, and as a fifth grade class altogether.

It's critical to develop strong relationships between and amongst all members of the learning team: students, family members, educators, leaders, and community members.

Good Teaching and Learning
Every instructional minute counts, and it's imperative to promote optimal teaching and learning at all times. Regular informal and formal assessment and analysis to inform teaching/learning efforts is essential in this regard.

High Expectations, Resources, and Feedback
Good coaching means that you hold students to high expectations and give them the means and support to reach those high expectation. Quality time on task with students and Feedback, both formal and informal, is necessary to reach these goals.

Learning to Learn Mindsets and Behavior
Students today need to know how to learn, and to learn well, they also have to have an "I can do this" attitude that leads the way with a growth mindset and confidence. Explicit teaching of learning-to-learn attributes, strategies, mindsets, and behaviors support this goal.

Clear Goals
It's important to have clear goals with regard to daily lessons, unit outcomes, and overall teaching and learning. Coaching students forward with these goals is one way to support greater achievement.

I like the goal of helping every child achieve with respect to positive learning attitudes, access to resources, good coaching/teaching, optimal learning-to-learning behaviors, and academic success. This is a good shortlist to use as I teach this year.