Classroom Observations to Support Instructional Practice

Learning walks are collaborative learning experiences that allow leaders to observe classrooms, identify trends in teacher practice, and make an actionable plan to improve student-centered learning.

A Better Classroom Observation

As a non-evaluative observation process, learning walks support leaders and educators through the collection of data and trend analysis so that informed professional learning decisions can be made.

Guide to Learning Walks

How Learning Walks Work

Before

A BetterLesson coach meets with leaders to take a deep dive into the focus area for the learning walk and introduce the learning walk tool.

During

Instructional leaders visit a series of classrooms for 10-15 minutes each and record their observations about the focus area using the learning walk tool.

Between Observations

Leaders gather in a “hallway huddle” to compare observation notes on their learning walk tool.

After

The team of leaders reflects on their experience and determines next steps or initiatives using their collective observations and data. 

Focus Areas

In a learning walk, instructional leaders choose a focus area to guide their observations and capture meaningful data based on specific look-fors. BetterLesson can help your school or district identify focus areas to target based on the unique goals and challenges of your educators.

Instructional Leadership Arrow

Instructional Leadership Focus Areas

Improve instruction and learning for teachers and students by building your skills as an instructional leader.

Leading Through Change: Lead the improvement of teaching, learning, and overall school climate to enhance student achievement and success.
Learn More
Instructional Coaching: Provide teachers with personalized coaching cycles that support them growing and developing their teaching practice. Learn More
Collaborative Professional Learning: Develop a collaborative professional culture to support student-centered teaching and learning. Learn More
Feedback and Observation: Create an authentic, replicable observation and feedback cycle that promotes alignment of student-centered goals and non-evaluative conversation.
Learn More
Inclusive and Responsive Practices Arrow

Inclusive and Responsive Practices Focus Areas

Build an equitable learning community where all students can be supported, celebrated, and successful.

Social-Emotional Learning: Prepare students with the self-awareness, relational, and decision-making skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Learn More
Culturally Responsive Teaching: Develop learning communities that honor diverse student backgrounds and experiences. Learn More
Trauma-Informed Practices: Approach learning with an understanding of the impacts of trauma and adversity on students. Learn More
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Create inclusive educational ecosystems by examining structures, systems, and beliefs informed by race and identity. Learn More
English Learners: Support all English Learners to grow and thrive in their learning environments. Learn More
Students with Disabilities: Support students with disabilities to learn and grow in their learning environments. Learn More
Flexible Instructional Models Arrow

Flexible Instructional Models Focus Areas

Find unique ways for all students to learn, communicate, and solve meaningful problems.

Accelerating Growth: Accelerate student growth and provide differentiated support for all learners. Learn More
Formative Assessment and Differentiation: Provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding, track their progress, and guide their future learning.
Learn More
Blended Learning: Leverage technology in the classroom to maximize student learning and growth. Learn More
Hybrid and Virtual Learning: Deliver equitable, engaging, and student-centered instruction and create supportive learning communities in a remote or hybrid model. Learn More
Project-Based Learning: Engage students with real-world, inquiry-based tasks.
Learn More
Competency-Based Learning: Create personalized learning paths that allow students to progress toward goals and demonstrate competency in flexible formats. Learn More
Curriculum and Academic Content Arrow

Curriculum and Academic Content Focus Areas

Use learning tools and curriculum to create a student-centered classroom.

Student-Centered Math: Create transformative mathematics classrooms where students engage in problem-solving, discourse, application, and critical thinking. Learn More
Student-Centered Literacy: Develop students’ literacy skills by supporting student ownership of evidence-based reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Learn More
Open Up Resources 6-8 Math: Strategically implement the Open Up Resources 6-8 Math curriculum. Learn More
EL Education: Strategically implement the EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum to support student-centered literacy instruction. Learn More
Newsela: Supercharge reading engagement and infuse literacy skills across content areas using Newsela. Learn More
Labster: Support student engagement in authentic investigative science lab simulations using Labster.
Learn More
Derivita: Cultivate targeted, responsive math practices using Derivita’s question and feedback tools. Learn More

Instructional Leadership Focus Areas

Improve instruction and learning for teachers and students by building your skills as an instructional leader.

Leading Through Change: Lead the improvement of teaching, learning, and overall school climate to enhance student achievement and success.
Learn More
Instructional Coaching: Provide teachers with personalized coaching cycles that support them growing and developing their teaching practice. Learn More
Collaborative Professional Learning: Develop a collaborative professional culture to support student-centered teaching and learning. Learn More
Feedback and Observation: Create an authentic, replicable observation and feedback cycle that promotes alignment of student-centered goals and non-evaluative conversation.
Learn More

Inclusive and Responsive Practices Focus Areas

Build an equitable learning community where all students can be supported, celebrated, and successful.

Social-Emotional Learning: Prepare students with the self-awareness, relational, and decision-making skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Learn More
Culturally Responsive Teaching: Develop learning communities that honor diverse student backgrounds and experiences. Learn More
Trauma-Informed Practices: Approach learning with an understanding of the impacts of trauma and adversity on students. Learn More
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Create inclusive educational ecosystems by examining structures, systems, and beliefs informed by race and identity. Learn More
English Learners: Support all English Learners to grow and thrive in their learning environments. Learn More
Students with Disabilities: Support students with disabilities to learn and grow in their learning environments. Learn More

Flexible Instructional Models Focus Areas

Find unique ways for all students to learn, communicate, and solve meaningful problems.

Accelerating Growth: Accelerate student growth and provide differentiated support for all learners. Learn More
Formative Assessment and Differentiation: Provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding, track their progress, and guide their future learning.
Learn More
Blended Learning: Leverage technology in the classroom to maximize student learning and growth. Learn More
Hybrid and Virtual Learning: Deliver equitable, engaging, and student-centered instruction and create supportive learning communities in a remote or hybrid model. Learn More
Project-Based Learning: Engage students with real-world, inquiry-based tasks.
Learn More
Competency-Based Learning: Create personalized learning paths that allow students to progress toward goals and demonstrate competency in flexible formats. Learn More

Curriculum and Academic Content Focus Areas

Use learning tools and curriculum to create a student-centered classroom.

Student-Centered Math: Create transformative mathematics classrooms where students engage in problem-solving, discourse, application, and critical thinking. Learn More
Student-Centered Literacy: Develop students’ literacy skills by supporting student ownership of evidence-based reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Learn More
Open Up Resources 6-8 Math: Strategically implement the Open Up Resources 6-8 Math curriculum. Learn More
EL Education: Strategically implement the EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum to support student-centered literacy instruction. Learn More
Newsela: Supercharge reading engagement and infuse literacy skills across content areas using Newsela. Learn More
Labster: Support student engagement in authentic investigative science lab simulations using Labster.
Learn More
Derivita: Cultivate targeted, responsive math practices using Derivita’s question and feedback tools. Learn More

“We could not have designed initiatives to effectively address culturally responsive teaching practices without the partnership of BetterLesson and their learning walk. We have a concrete plan for how to move forward. This wasn't just a warm and fuzzy experience.”

“I loved our learning walk—it was purposeful and easy to replicate. I can use the tools and resources right away.”

“It is worthwhile to take a step back from the day-to-day routine to visit classes with colleagues and share what we are seeing, ensure that we have a common language and vision of teaching, identify trends, and develop schoolwide action plans.”

Help educators grow and turn strategies into outcomes

Develop personalized solutions to reach your district’s goals. Reach out to our team to start building your professional development journey.

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