Skip to main content

Virtual Coaching and Artifacts of Learning

All aspects of literacy coaching have the potential to impact the classroom and student learning, but coaching in the classroom places the focus squarely on the teachers and students. Virtual coaching places particular importance on classroom instruction with a majority of interactions surrounding videotaped classroom teaching. But we must not forget about the power of examining artifacts of student learning as part of our virtual coaching cycles, just as we would if coaching in person. Every interaction, observation and artifact of learning is data we can use to inform our instruction and understanding of student achievement, even virtually.  Here is a list of artifacts that could inform our virtual coaching:

  • Classroom conversations (student-student, teacher-student)
  • Writing Samples
  • Running records
  • Literacy stations artifacts
  • Lesson artifacts (graphic organizers, reading logs, worksheets, etc.)
  • Informal assessments (letter-sound inventories, sight word inventories, spelling inventories)
  • Formal assessments (reading inventories, computerized measures)

As part of your coaching conversations, teachers can choose a sampling of student work to analyze. Together, you might evaluate writing pieces or review running record data as part of your virtual sessions. Teachers can email you a few pictures or even upload them into the private software you use to share videos. By sharing your screens virtually during online meeting sessions, you can analyze student work together and use the results to guide your next coaching cycle. I follow three simple guidelines for my work with teachers:
  • Operate from a lens of strength: Teach teachers to notice what is going well in their teaching and what students know and can do. Often, teachers want to focus on what is wrong, or what is missing, but this does not move the conversation forward in productive ways.
  • Follow an ‘I Notice, I Wonder’ protocol: Make observations about the data in front of you and think carefully and critically about what it tells us. What other information might be needed? What assumptions do we need to unpack? What perspective are we taking? Whose perspective are we leaving out?
  • Link problems to solutions: It can be easy to focus on the things we cannot control, but we need to shift that mindset to one of action and train ourselves to immediately follow up negative thinking with positive possibilities. Our students deserve nothing less.
You might consider capturing these artifacts into a portfolio to showcase learning throughout the coaching cycle. You can compile them into a shared digital folder or even paste them into a simple Google presentation to archive the thinking and learning throughout your time together. What better way to celebrate a coaching cycle by seeing the impact coaching has had firsthand on student performance?

This was the second post in a blog series on virtual literacy coaching as part of an exciting partnership with Sibme. Head here to read all posts in the series and join the conversation!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

An Instructional Coaching Toolkit!

I have a thing for notebooks. And colorful markers. And sticky notes. I use them in all aspects of my literacy teaching and coaching. During coaching conversations, I often find myself providing on-the-spot demonstrations with these tools. I might engage teachers in a brief lesson on phonemic awareness and ask them to sort sounds. I might walk teachers through word building activities so they experience a new way of engaging students. I might introduce books to teachers to model how they might do the same for their students. I might even create game boards on sticky notes as visuals for teachers to support instructional planning. These demonstrations and notes act as instant and tangible tools to further teacher learning.
Over the years, I’ve compiled these artifacts to create coaching toolkits for the teachers I work with. My toolkit for ‘word work’ might include a picture of an anchor chart created with students, a list of words appropriate to the alphabetic feature students are wor…

Focus on Coaching Cycles

At this point in the school year, many of us are deep into our classroom coaching and engaging in coaching cycles with teachers. Just as coaching can look unique from building to building, our coaching cycles are often unique to our coaching context, our purpose for partnering and the goals and needs of each individual teacher: 1:1 coaching cycles, small group coaching cycles, student-centered coaching cycles and more. Each cycle typically has a pre-coaching conversation, classroom coaching/co-teaching/observation and then follow-up conversations as well.You can find theforms and templates I tend to use for classroom coaching here.
For me, my coaching cycles right now are in the context of my graduate education courses. Each week, I engage in a single coaching cycle with each of my students: lesson planning, observing lessons and coaching conversations. We repeat this for ten weeks of the course and the focus of our cycles shift and change over time. We also meet for small-group coac…

Leading By Learning

This summer, I vowed to be intentional in how I spent my time so that when the new school year arrived, I would feel refreshed and renewed. Admittedly, the summer seemed to fly by, but I did carve out time for my own professional learning. I read every day, I wrote in my notebook (almost) daily, tried my hand at gardening, spent time with my kids and just tried to get better at being me. Some days, I killed it. And other days, well….you know. So, as I head into another school year, I know that I need to be incredibly intentional in how I spend my time and ensure that I focus on my own learning as an educator. It is this learning that fuels my work: it lifts my reading spirits, fuels my writing heart and reminds me that leading the learning of others requires that I remain a continual learner myself.
It is this core belief that drives my teaching, coaching and leading this year. I am even more committed to my own professional learning to fuel my work and lead by example. I have purpose…