Thursday, August 20, 2009

A New Role This Year

The Michigan Department of Education is taking on an initiative entitled Developing and Implementing the Formative Assessment Process in Michigan. I was selected to be an assessment coach in my district and today was the first day of training. Thankfully, my colleague, Marla, was also chosen.

The training today was focused on the role of coaching and how to be an effective coach. Our first task was to jigsaw an article about the 5 dynamics of group facilitation. We had to design a way to teach our assigned dynamic to the rest of the group. We had two great ideas that involved some active participation and role play, but when the facilitator heard one member of our group explaining an Affinity Diagram, he railroaded us into completing an affinity diagram for our presentation. It felt too directed to me. The 5 dynamics are an effective way to think about the role of coaching. They include planning, making learning a priority, modeling, working through the tensions, and building capacity over time.

In the afternoon, we did a looking at student work protocol called Atlas. I was left with a few questions about the protocol, but I did like the process. I facilitated the 5th grade team in my middle school last year in some looking at student work sessions using the tuning protocol. That protocol worked very well for the team, so I am interested in how they will find this new tool. I like that it has a focus on one student. It fits nicely into RTI theory.

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