Does a Checklist Really Work? {Team Meetings}

Does a Checklist Really Work? {Team Meetings}

If you didn’t read my first post on the power of checklists to manage the teacher/coach/principal workload, then click this to take 10 seconds and get caught up!

I am checking out another checklist that I created – what do you think?  What am I missing?

Checklist for Team/Department Meetings

1

Sign-in sheet and time arrived

2

Read agenda together

3

Set time for Item 1, discuss and record next steps/questions

4

Set time for Item 2 discuss and record next steps/questions

5

Set time for Item 3 discuss and record next steps/questions

6

Review individual notes, responsibilities and next steps

7

Each teacher signs off notes back to principal/coach

8

Sign-in sheet time dismissed
Does a Checklist Really Work? {Talking with Parents}

Does a Checklist Really Work? {Talking with Parents}

I have been really obsessed with the book “The Checklist Manifesto.”  To say it’s changed my life would be a little wild, but it has definitely changed my perspective.  A lot.

One of the things that I learned about the power of checklists is that is helps us manage the cognitive load of all teachers have to handle in a day/week/month/year.  I mean, we don’t need anyone to tell us that we just have TOO MUCH TO DEAL WITH.

Things gets lost in the shuffle – we forget things that we would ordinarily remember.  We are running around like crazy.  More is definitely not more!

Checklists help us deliver the important stuff reliably across time – I think a series of simple checklists might really be able to help us manage all that we have to do.

As I was writing a new presentation I’m giving on a webinar in few weeks, I really though about what a checklist would look like in real school life, so I’d like to share some ideas with you and see what you think!  I have three to share…here is the first:

Working with/Talking with a Parent

1

Prior to call, pull any data, notes or information you need to reference

2

Greet the parent and tell them how happy you are to talk in person/by phone

3

Confirm the purpose of the call and let the parent know the amount of time you have for the call

4

Encourage parent to share concern/information related to the purpose of the call

5

Summarize what you hear the parent saying, “So, I want to make sure I understand what you’re sharing with me…”

6

Propose 1-2 solutions to the concern or propose 1-2 next steps and have the parent choose which he feels is the best

7

Confirm with the parent when these solution/next step will take place

8

Compliment the parent for taking time to work with you – end on a positive
6 Things to Do Every Morning to Set Intensity in Your Teaching!

6 Things to Do Every Morning to Set Intensity in Your Teaching!

One of the things that I’m finding that many schools are working on recently is building intensity of instruction.  Intense instruction can be a hard thing to define and to build.  So, I have set out to explain it and then give some little (but mighty!) ways to build intensity from the first moment of the day or class period.

I will say, that setting the intensity first thing is super important..I find it really hard to get intensity back after a couple of hour of not-so-intense teaching.  But I never give up even if I’ve gotten off to a rougher start!

First, let me define what instructional intensity is:

Instructional intensity is the number of student required interactions/responses

in a short period of time on important grade level content

Here are a few ways that we can measure instructional intensity:

Required Interaction Required Response
The teacher teaches something new and the students engaged with the new content Physical
The teacher corrects a student/s and the student engages in the corrected content Oral
The teacher orchestrates tight practice of an already-taught skill that needs more repetition

 

Written

Here are 6 things you can do to start your day off with intensity (Note: they might seem minor, but they really matter!)

  1. Greet the students at the door with a timed task related to your content
  2. Pull your kids close to give them the lowdown on the first big content chunk of the day: “Today we are going to learn __________________.  Here’s what that is going to require you to have on your desk __________________.  Go set up your desks now.  You have 45 seconds.  Go!  Now that we have our materials set up, I am going to teach you what our lesson is going to require of your behavior and movement.” {Then teach the academic behaviors they’ll need to master!}
  3. Use a timer and give students much less time that you think they’ll need to transition
  4. Give directions when you have all eyes on you and never, ever compromise on this!
  5. When students don’t give you the exact behavior you have explained, ask them to do it all again and look for opportunities to give them praise
  6. Tell them what you’re going to teach them, tell them what they are learning while they’re learning it, review what you taught them at the end of the lesson

BONUS:  Think of your whole day in 10-minute chunks: “What do I need my students to have learned/to be doing in the next 10 minutes to hit my mark?”

Pin It on Pinterest