BetterLesson believes that school and district leaders are first and foremost instructional leaders, investing in people and systems to improve learning opportunities and outcomes for students. Our goal is to provide leaders with processes, tools, and support for making organizational change and improving learning for students. We can help build leaders’ capacity in instructional leadership through a Learning Walk, a non-evaluative process used by leaders to assess the quality of student learning and effectiveness of instruction in their buildings, focusing on how leaders can support improvements to the learning experience. Learning Walks will consist of two learning experiences, a Learning Walk Launch and a Learning Walk Cycle.
In this Accelerating Growth Learning Walk, leaders will learn about accelerating growth to close academic gaps by prioritizing grade level content, using technology to reimagine remediation, and using the principles of Universal Design for Learning to meet the needs of all learners. We will do a deep dive into the evidence and look-fors of accelerating growth in the classroom and the available research, supports, and resources for accelerating growth.
This Learning Walk is designed for school and district leaders, instructional coaches, and teacher leaders who are implementing Accelerating Growth in their schools or districts and would like to take a student-centered approach to their role by developing their craft in coaching, observation, and feedback.
- The Learning Walk launch can be experienced as a 1-day in person workshop with an onsite BetterLesson coach guiding classroom walk-throughs, or as a 2-hour virtual workshop facilitated by a BetterLesson coach, followed by independent classroom walk-throughs
- After participating in a Learning Walk Launch, which can be virtual or in person, participants will engage in collaborative cycles focusing on a specific topic. The Learning Walk Cycle can be experienced as a 1-day in person workshop with an onsite BetterLesson coach guiding classroom walk-throughs, or as two 2-hour virtual workshops, facilitated online by a BetterLesson coach, with independent classroom walk-throughs
These Accelerating Growth Targets can be selected for the Learning Walk Cycle sessions to take a deeper dive into evidence of these outcomes in the classroom and student learning.
- Universal Design for Learning: I can use Universal Design for Learning principles to accelerate student growth by providing learners access to meaningful and challenging learning experiences that meet their needs.
- Focusing on Grade Level Content: I can prioritize grade level content through chunking and implementing supports in order to accelerate student growth.
- Remediation Reimagined: I can develop remediation systems and structures to accelerate student growth by using differentiated and targeted supports.
- Closing Academic Gaps: I can close academic gaps by developing systems for consistency, data, equity, flexibility, and involving stakeholders.
The Learning Walk launch can be experienced as a 1-day in person workshop with an onsite BetterLesson coach guiding classroom walk-throughs, or as a 2-hour virtual workshop facilitated by a BetterLesson coach, followed by independent classroom walk-throughs.
In the Learning Walk Launch, participants will:
- Explore the benefits of a Learning Walk:
- To build capacity of school leadership
- To identify “look-fors” in Accelerating Growth instruction
- To effectively support change
- Build understanding around the best practices of accelerating growth including prioritizing grade level content, using technology to create systems of remediation, and aligning instruction with UDL principles
- Be oriented to and examine a tool to facilitate the Learning Walk process for the Accelerating Growth Focus Area
- Prioritize Targets for Accelerating Growth in their own school context
- Practice using the Learning Walk tool by participating in short, group classroom walk-throughs (in-person) or by evaluating curated artifacts and resources (virtual)
- Collaboratively reflect on the Learning Walk process and tool
- Synthesize data from the Learning Walk using a digital tool to identify trends in the evidence they collected
- Build a plan for implementing Learning Walks in their schools
After participating in a Learning Walk Launch, which can be virtual or in person, participants will engage in collaborative cycles focusing on one target area within Accelerating Growth. The Learning Walk Cycle can be experienced as a 1-day in person workshop with an onsite BetterLesson coach guiding classroom walk-throughs, or as two 2-hour virtual workshops, facilitated online by a BetterLesson coach, with independent classroom walk-throughs.
- Build understanding around the key components of a Accelerating Growth Target
- Take a deep dive into the “look-fors” and evidence of this Target within the classroom using curated artifacts to identify exemplars
- Prioritize look-fors within a Target to develop a focus for the Learning Walk
- Collect data and evidence for the Accelerating Growth Target through participating in independent classroom walk-throughs and evaluating curated artifacts
- Collaboratively experience a protocol to reflect on the effectiveness of using a narrow lens when observing student learning
- Synthesize data from the Learning Walk using a digital tool to identify trends with the evidence they collected
- Align on the evidence for a particular look-for in a Target and evaluate the effectiveness of the tool for that Target in their context
- Analyze their learning around the Learning Walk process to help build a plan for continued implementation