March 2015 - Steve Barkley

Raising Students’ Expectations, Effort , and Achievement

When facilitating teachers’ exploration of student expectations and effort, I often begin by having teachers identify a time that they observed students engaged in what might be called quality learning. After they have shared their experiences, I ask them to analyze the experiences looking for the following elements; Depth, complexity and detail— When engaged in […]

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Teaching for Critical Thinking

I recently facilitated several teacher workshops and PLC discussions around building students’ critical thinking skills. Keeping with my backwards planning approach I began my sessions exploring what student skills we want that indicate critical thinking capabilities. Here are a few indicators I found on the Buck Institute for Education’s rubric for critical thinking standards: *asks […]

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Teachers Using What They Know To Increase Student Learning

Instructional leaders and coaches need to create opportunities for teachers to engage in reflection that identifies their ongoing learning about students and critical thinking that applies their learning to extend student success (continuous improvement). This is the process that should be built into professional learning communities and instructional coaching conferences. Here are a series of […]

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Building a Collaborative School Culture

I am currently reading, School Culture Rewired: How to Define, Assess, and Transform It, by Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker. They define six general types of school cultures ranging from toxic to collaborative. Toxic – Significant numbers of teachers focus on the negative aspects of the school’s operations and personnel, using these flaws as justification for […]

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Reflecting to Learn from Mistakes

One of the elements of a growth mindset is the understanding that mistakes or failures (coming up short) are part of the pathway to learning and success. Eduardo Briceno, CEO at Mindset Works, posted a blog titled, Mistakes are Not All Created Equal: “An appreciation of mistakes helps us overcome our fear of making them, enabling […]

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