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With a few colleagues, we’ve started reading Leverage Leadership. Here’s a little about the book:
Paul Bambrick-Santoyo (Managing Director of Uncommon Schools) shows leaders how they can raise their schools to greatness by following a core set of principles. These seven principles, or “levers,” allow for consistent, transformational, and replicable growth. With intentional focus on these areas, leaders will leverage much more learning from the same amount of time investment. Fundamentally, each of these seven levers answers the core questions of school leadership: What should an effective leader do, and how and when should they do it.
I like the fact that it starts out with formulas and recipes for success. You know, “Do this and you’ll get these results.” Who wouldn’t like to be told what to do, and then what results to search for? I hope you’ll join me as I take notes on this book.
- Before the first day of school, each teacher plots out the year and reviews a comprehensive curriculum plan with an instructional leader…they are focused on two questions:
- What do students need to be able to do?
- How will we get them to do it?
- Every day teachers make choices about what students learn and how they learn it. Good instructional leadership is about making choices explicit and making teachers choose intentionally.
- Avoid pitfalls by:
- Make sure lesson planning align to what students need and the end-goal assessment.
- Help teachers determine what aspects of each unit require greater importance and depth.
- Though autonomy is valuable, planning requires leader guidance. Leaders who give teachers the autonomy to plan without guidance are doing their teachers a significant disservice.
- Curriculum development questions:
- What specifically must students be able to do at the end of each unit?
- Planning works when it starts from assessment, not from standards. That is the roadmap to rigor.
- Until a yearlong plan defines the end-goal assessment and then maps all objectives to that end, it will not be a meaningful guide.
- Given limited time, how will teachers get them there?
- Break down units into the activities and objectives they’ll need to implement to master assessments.
- School leaders review each teacher’s yearlong plans for at least an hour.
- Teachers are expected to submit their plans in advance of meeting, allowing leaders time to review them. While reviewing the plans, it is important to keep the following in mind:
- What students will need to do.
- Order and prioritization…pedagogically appropriate order?
- What’s left out and what’s kept in.
- Activities over objectives. Activities should involve requiring students to show what they actually learned from their creations.
- High-cost activities…carefully plan activities that involve more intense planning and coordination than others, and ensure those lessons are given the care and support needed to be effective.
- Leaders should require teachers to update their plans to reflect changes discussed in planning meetings.
- Three steps for effective daily lesson planning:
- Map out the week:
- Make sure to carry over standards from previous week.
- Changes to the weekly routine that will reduce the amount of class time
- Establishing where to place common routines each week.
- Set the core content
- What objectives require more time, given student misunderstanding on the last assessment?
- What units can be reduced to build in that time? Where will cut those units?
- Dive into key lessons.
- A key lesson is one that is essential to student understanding.
- Deep dive process:
- Develop the objective for the lesson
- Start with the interim assessment or the unit’s end product: What do students need to be able to do to master that assessment?
- Set the lesson’s objective: What do you want students to be able to do at the end of this lesson that will prepare them for the end goal?
- Design the assessment for the day
- Link activities to the objective
- Practice by designing actual work products
- Role-play or practice implementing the plan
- Who leads the effort to develop a yearlong guide that will systematically–and systemically–set end-goal assessments for students, helping teachers align lessons to assessments relevant to what students need?
- Will teachers need to develop lesson plans?
- How will these lesson plans be collected and reviewed?
- Who will design the end-goal assessments?
- When you consider the deep dive process, how well does this align to processes that blend technology into instruction? For example, problem-based learning addresses the main points.
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