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 EL Education Learning Walk, leaders will have the opportunity to get into classrooms to learn about trends in how the curriculum is playing out for teachers and students. They will look for trends in the use of the curriculum materials, how students are accessing and engaging with the tasks, and how teachers are supporting students to become proficient readers and writers.
This Learning Walk is designed for school and district leaders, instructional coaches, and teacher leaders who are implementing the EL Education Curriculum 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 EL Education targets can be selected for the Learning Walk Cycle sessions to take a deeper dive into evidence of these specific outcomes in the classroom and with student learning.
- Fundamentals of Curriculum Implementation: I can successfully launch the EL Education Curriculum by navigating the resources and understanding the structure and purpose of each component (Module, Skills, ALL) in order to facilitate meaningful learning experiences for all students.
- Making Learning Meaningful (Modules): I can support students to engage in listening, reading, speaking and writing about complex text or print materials by successfully implementing the Modules lessons.
- Making Learning Meaningful (Skills Block): I can support students to learn and practice foundational skills by using data to group students into microphase levels and differentiate instruction using the Skills block curriculum.
- Making Learning Meaningful (ALL Block): I can support students to practice literacy skills at their level and go deeper with Module lesson instruction by successfully implementing ALL Block.
- Student Engagement: I can implement curriculum strategies and supports in order to engage students in learning tasks.
- Supporting All Students: I can support all students to access instructional content and become successful readers and writers.
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 EL Education Curriculum components (Modules, Skills Block and ALL Block)
- To effectively support change
- Build understanding around developing student-centered classrooms for each of the curriculum components with a focus on engaging and supporting all learners
- Be oriented to and examine a tool to facilitate the Learning Walk process for the EL Education Curriculum Focus Area
- Prioritize the target areas for EL Education Curriculum 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
Learning Walk Cycle
After participating in a Learning Walk Launch, participants will engage in collaborative cycles focusing on one target area within EL Education. 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 the EL Education Curriculum target area
- 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 area to develop a focus for the Learning Walk
- Collect data and evidence for the EL Education Curriculum target area 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 area 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