Walk-Through Observations By © 2009 Michael D.

King
Classroom observation is by far the most common form of data collection for teacher evaluation. In order to obtain a representative sample of the teacher’s performance in the classroom, several different classroom observations must occur. One observation of one class does not provide sufficient data. A frequent complaint by teachers is that evaluators do not take the time to gather relevant information and provide them with useful feedback. On the other hand, teacher evaluators need some vehicle not only for collecting performance data but also for communicating it to the teacher. The central purposes of Walk-Through observations are to establish a reflective dialogue with teachers on what is being observed in the classroom. Walk-Through observations are short, usually not lasting more than three to five minutes in duration.

During the time that the evaluator is in the classroom, observations of teaching practices are recorded on the Walk-Through observation form. At the end of the Walk-Through the evaluator provides that teacher with feedback presenting the information gathered from the observation which is checked off on the form. The form should also include a place for remarks under the categories of reflective thoughts and reflective questions. Reflective thoughts and questions are the key components to a walk-through observation. The purpose for a written statement and question is to encourage the teacher to reflect their thinking about a lesson, classroom environment or professional practices. The evaluator’s reflective statements should always be non-judgmental and in the form of a statement followed by a question. The assessment criteria can be built around district performance expectations or designed around teacher and student behavioral criteria. An example of a behavioral teacher walk-through assessment form with printed teacher criteria and reflective thoughts followed by a question are provided in (Exhibits 1-1 through 1-15 .)

Exhibit 1-1 Criteria Based Walk-Through Assessment Form Teacher ____________________ Date __________ Time _________ Subject _________
DOMAIN ONE: PLANNING Develops and prioritizes weekly to yearly plans that are in direct alignment with priority skills matched to district and state standards. Lesson plans reflect an understanding of student developmental characteristics and patterns of learning. Designs instruction in reflective response to the unique needs and learning styles of individual students. Involves students in interactive activities that stimulate their interest and participation. Utilizes grading patterns that are fairly administered and based on identified criteria. Uses a variety of alternative assessment strategies to “know” the whole child. DOMAINTWO: CLASSROM ENVIRONMENT Transitions occur smoothly, with little loss of instructional time. Teacher-student interactions are friendly and demonstrate general caring and respect. Such interactions are appropriate to the age and cultures of the students. Students exhibit respect for the teacher. Instructional outcomes, activities and assignments, and classroom interactions convey high expectations for most students. Teacher is alert to student behavior at all times. Teacher uses physical resources skillfully, and the furniture arrangement is a resource for learning activities. DOMAIN THREE: INSTRUCTIONAL PERFORMANCE Clearly communicates specific learning objectives to students Captures student attention through active involvement. Uses a variety of interaction techniques to enhance communication, such as class discussion. Provides guided practice for new learning that is appropriate to the level of complexity and difficulty of the content. Moves among students to give assistance during guided practice. Differentiates independent practice based on individual learner needs. Acknowledges student responses in positive, praising, and encouraging ways. Structures question load to the correct level of complexity and difficulty to meet individual expectations. Closes the lesson by restating and summarizing the learning objective.
Reflective Statement:

Reflective Question:

(O = Observed) (N = Needs Attention) (U = Performance Assistance Needed) (Blank = Not Observed)

Evaluators Signature: _______________________________ Date__________________
© 2009 Michael D. King

Exhibit 1-2 Behavior Based Walk-Through Assessment Form

Teacher _____________________________Time _________ Subject _____________________

Student Engagement ___ Students were on task at 80% ___ Working Independently ___ Asking questions ___ Working problems at the board ___ Reading ___ Listening ___ Working in groups ___ Discussing assignment ___ Making a presentation ___ Transitioning

Teacher Engagement ___ Using structuring statements ___ Monitoring seat work ___ Providing guided practice ___ Asking higher order questions ___ Modeling ___ Lecturing ___ Giving directions ___ Answering questions ___ Providing corrective feedback ___ Praising student efforts

Reflective Statement: ___________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

Reflective Question: ____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

Evaluators Signature: _______________________________ Date__________________

© 2009 Michael D. King

Exhibit 1-3 Executive Function of Teaching Walk-Through Assessment Form

Teacher ___________________________ Time _________ Subject ____________________

Develops and prioritizes weekly to yearly plans that are in direct alignment with priority skills matched to district and state standards.

Lesson plans reflect an understanding of student developmental characteristics and patterns of learning.

Designs instruction in reflective response to the unique needs and learning styles of individual students.

Involves students in interactive activities that stimulate their interest and participation.

Utilizes grading patterns that are fairly administered and based on identified criteria. Uses a variety of alternative assessment strategies to “know” the whole child. Reflective Statement:

Reflective Question:

(O = Observed) (N = Needs Attention) (U = Performance Assistance Needed) (Blank = Not Observed)

Signature_______________________________________________ Date _________________ © 2009 Michael D. King

Exhibit 1-4

Walk-Through Assessment CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT
Teacher _______________________ Time _______________ Subject ______________ Use of Physical Resources
The classroom is safe, and learning is equally accessible to all students. Teacher uses physical resources skillfully, and the furniture arrangement is a resource for learning activities.

Positive Climate
Students exhibit respect for the teacher. Teacher-student interactions are friendly.

Monitoring Student Behavior
Standards of conduct are clear to all students.

Management of Transitional Time
Small-group work is well organized, and most students are productively engaged in learning. Transitions occur smoothly, with little loss of instructional time. Routines for handling materials and supplies occur smoothly, with little loss of instructional time. Pacing Decisions Strategies are used to ensure that all students receive the level of instruction that they need? Provides additional time for those students who are demonstrating difficulty in learning.

Teacher is alert to student behavior at all times. Teacher response to misbehavior is appropriate and successful and respects the student’s dignity, or student behavior is generally appropriate.

Expectations for Learning
Classroom interactions convey high expectations for most students. Teacher conveys genuine enthusiasm for the content Students demonstrate pride in that work.
Reflective Statement:

Reflective Question:

(O = Observed) (N = Needs Attention) (U = Performance Assistance Needed) (Blank = Not Observed)

Evaluators Signature: _______________________________ Date__________________

© 2009 Michael D. King

PERFORMANCE CRITERIA Domain One: Executive Functions of Teaching
Planning  Develops and prioritizes weekly to yearly plans that are in direct alignment with priority skills matched to district and state standards.     Plans for the resources and activities needed to accomplish the learning task. Plans for assessment strategies that clearly communicate to students that they are progressing toward state assessment standards. Uses a variety of visual and manipulative aids regularly as an integral part of planning lessons and assignments. Lesson plans reflect an understanding of student developmental characteristics and patterns of learning. Written Records  Maintains a written record of student progress as outlined by district policy  Maintains records as required by, law, district policy, and administrative regulations.

Designing Meaningful Task  Designs instruction in reflective response to the unique needs and learning styles of individual students.    Designs learning task for opportunities to transfer learning to other disciplines. Involves students in interactive activities that stimulate their interest and participation. Designs authentic tasks oriented to real-life applications.

Assessing Student Performance  Utilizes grading patterns that are fairly administered and based on identified criteria.      Is cognizant of student success rates. Uses a variety of alternative assessment strategies to “know” the whole child. Provides the students with constructive feedback in regard to their performances. Uses assessment results to plan for subsequent instruction. Shares diagnostic profile data with individual students and parents.

Developing Content Objectives  Demonstrates the ability to select content at the correct level of complexity and difficulty for student learning.    Understands the prerequisites and relationships among concepts and can link cognitive structures to ensure high success rates. Can design meaningful learning experiences which are developmentally appropriate and understands how concepts are tied together as prerequisites of prior knowledge. Uses state and district learning criteria to develop content objectives.

Domain Two: INSTRUCTIONAL PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
SET      Clearly communicates specific learning objectives to students Provides context for objective by presenting an overview or outline of how information fits together. Provides context for objective by reviewing related previous work Provides context for objective by describing the purpose of, rationale for, or relevance of what is being taught. Captures student attention through active involvement.

MODELING  Organizes and presents content information in a logical sequence.      Uses a variety of interaction techniques to enhance communication, such as class discussion. Provides time in the lesson to demonstrate what is required to complete the activity or assignment. Gives clear directions as needed to ensure high success rate. Uses a level of language that students can understand. Guides students in using a wide array of higher cognitive operations, such as analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating. GUIDED PRACTICE  Provides guided practice for new learning that is appropriate to the level of complexity and difficulty of the content.

    

Continues guided practice until a majority of students are capable of mastering the lesson outcome. Uses an array of question types that promote different levels of thinking on the part of the students. Encourages and guides student responses and student/teacher interactions. Moves among students to give assistance during guided practice. Praises student efforts and responses using phrases, sentences, and tone inflections that are meaningful to the students.

INDEPENDENT PRACTICE  Assigns independent practice after successful guided practice.     Assigns appropriate independent practice through in-class or homework activities. Differentiates independent practice based on individual learner needs. Encourages students to seek assistance from other school personnel, parents, and others in conjunction with independent practice assignments. Reminds students of deadlines for completion of independent practice assignments.

REINFORCEMENT AND CORRECTIVE FEEDBACK  Acknowledges student responses in positive, praising, and encouraging ways.     Avoids negative reactions, criticisms, threats, and sarcasm. Provides specific feedback on correct student responses and explains why responses are correct. Provides specific feedback on incorrect student responses and explains why responses are incorrect. Leads students in correcting and diagnosing their own efforts.

QUESTIONING TECHNIQUES  Acknowledges student responses in positive, praising, and encouraging ways.   Adequate wait time is given for a student to respond. Provides specific feedback on student responses that are correct and on why they are incorrect.

   

Provides cognitive paraphrasing techniques to support student responses by modifying, applying, comparing, or summarizing student responses. Leads students in correcting and diagnosing their own answers. Distributes questions evenly among all students. Structures question load to the correct level of complexity and difficulty to meet individual expectations.

CLOSURE  Closes the lesson by restating and summarizing the learning objective.    Asks questions to see if students can transfer their learning into related contexts. Tells students what they will be studying the next day and how it will relate to today's lesson. Asks questions to determine if students are thinking about what they have learned and connecting ideas.

Domain Three: CLASSROOM CLIMATE PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
MANAGEMENT OF TRANSITIONAL TIME  Small-group work is well organized, and most students are productively engaged in learning while unsupervised by the teacher.     Transitions occur smoothly, with little loss of instructional time. Routines for handling materials and supplies occur smoothly, with little loss of instructional time. Effective systems for performing noninstructional duties are in place, resulting in minimal loss of instructional time. Volunteers and paraprofessionals are productively and independently engaged during the entire class. POSITIVE CLIMATE  Teacher-student interactions are friendly and demonstrate general caring and respect. Such interactions are appropriate to the age and cultures of the students. Students exhibit respect for the teacher.  Student interactions are generally polite and respectful.

EXPECTATIONS FOR LEARNING AND ACHIEVEMENT  Teacher conveys genuine enthusiasm for the content, and students demonstrate consistent commitment to its value.   Instructional outcomes, activities and assignments, and classroom interactions convey high expectations for most students. Students accept the teacher’s insistence on work of high quality and demonstrate pride in that work. MONITORING STUDENT BEHAVIOR  Standards of conduct are clear to all students.   Teacher is alert to student behavior at all times. Teacher response to misbehavior is appropriate and successful and respects the student’s dignity, or student behavior is generally appropriate. ARRANGEMENT OF FURNITURE AND USE OF PHYSICAL RESOURCES  The classroom is safe, and learning is equally accessible to all students.  Teacher uses physical resources skillfully, and the furniture arrangement is a resource for learning activities.

© 2009 Michael D. King

Exhibit 1-5 Lesson Event Assessment Form Teacher __________________________________ Subject ________________________ Date Observed ___________ Start Time______________ End Time ________________ Directions: Use the dialogue box below to record the sequence of the lesson.

Exhibit 1-6

WALK-THROUGH ASSESSMENT Classroom Environment
Teacher _______________________ Time _______________ Subject ______________ Aggregate Decisions
Learning is equally accessible to all students Furniture arrangement is a resource for learning activities Grouping students is based on prescription of learning needs Grouping students is based on performance goals and how well each individual functions as a group

Time Decisions

Achievement Decisions

Behavior Decisions

Reflective Statement:

Reflective Question:

(O = Observed) (N = Needs Attention) (U = Performance Assistance Needed) (Blank = Not Observed)

Evaluators Signature: _______________________________ Date_________________ © 2009 Michael D. King

Exhibit 1-7

WALK-THROUGH ASSESSMENT Reflection Conference Notification
(Reverse Side of Walk-Through Assessment Form) ______________________________________ Teacher ____________ ________________ Date Subject

I would like to review with you the reflective statements and question pertaining to my recent walk-through observation of your class. Please plan to meet with me during your ______________ planning period on M T W Th or F of ____________________.
Month & Year

The reflection conference will be held at the following place: _____ Office ______ Classroom ________________ Other

Please respond to the items below ONLY IF THEY ARE CHECKED (X) ( ) Bring grade book and lesson plan book to the conference for review of your recordkeeping procedures. ( ) Bring emergency lesson plans ( ) Bring professional growth plans for activities that that are most appropriate for meeting the objective of continuous growth. ( ) Bring classroom rules and discipline plan. ( ) Other: _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

© 2009 Michael D. King

Exhibit 1-8

WALK-THROUGH ASSESSMENT Executive Functions
Teacher _______________________ Time _______________ Subject ______________ Aggregate Decisions Time Decisions

Achievement Decisions

Behavior Decisions

Reflective Statement:

Reflective Question:

(O = Observed) (N = Needs Attention) (U = Performance Assistance Needed) (Blank = Not Observed)

Evaluators Signature: _______________________________ Date__________________

© 2009 Michael D. King

Exhibit 1-9

WALK-THROUGH ASSESSMENT Instructional Performance
Teacher _______________________ Time _______________ Subject ______________ Aggregate Decisions Time Decisions

Achievement Decisions

Behavior Decisions

Reflective Statement:

Reflective Question:

(O = Observed) (N = Needs Attention) (U = Performance Assistance Needed) (Blank = Not Observed)

Evaluators Signature: _______________________________ Date__________________ © 2009 Michael D. King

Exhibit 1-10 Classroom Verbal Flow Assessment Chart Teacher __________________________________ Subject ________________________ Date Observed ___________ Start Time______________ End Time ________________

Chalkboard Podium

Teacher Desk

+ Correct Response P Teacher Paraphrase M Monitoring CB Corrects Student Behavior BB Student Work at Board

Observation Key - Incorrect Response CF Correct Feedback OT Student off Task SR Student Reads

Student Initiates Question Student out of Seat Question Type Assessment Form
Please note that the slash bar represents the frequency the behavior occurs.

Exhibit 1-11

Exhibit 1-11 Question Type Assessment Teacher __________________________________ Subject ________________________ Date Observed ___________ Start Time______________ End Time ________________ Directions: Record the number of times a teacher asks a specific type of question by placing a tally mark next to the question type that was used.

Solitary Question:

The teacher designates which student is to respond before the question is presented. Example: Tom, what is the first step in the writing process? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Controlled Question:

The teacher presents the question before the student is designated to respond. Example: What is the first step in the writing process, Tom? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Voluntary Question:

The teacher presents the question and students respond voluntarily. Who can tell us what we call the first step in the writing process? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Spontaneous Question:

Teacher presents the question and students respond one after the other without the teacher designating a particular student. Example: There are five steps in the writing process. Someone tell me the first step . . . the second step . . . the third step. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Mass Question: Teacher presents the question and the students respond in unison. Example: Class [Row One, Group Two], what is the first step in the writing process? Total Solitary _______ Controlled _______ Voluntary _______ Spontaneous _______ Mass ___

Exhibit 1-12 Teacher Affirmation Assessment Form

Teacher __________________________________ Subject ________________________ Date Observed ___________ Start Time______________ End Time ________________ Directions: Use the tally boxes below to record the type of affirmation used during a classroom session. Teacher affirmation can be recorded for both responding to student behaviors or teacher initiated questions. Teacher Initiated Questions Probes for Student Answer Total _______ Paraphrasing Student Response Total _______ No Response Total _______

(Student answer is incorrect restates question with clue)

(Affirms student answer restates correct response)

(N0 response moves to another question)

Student Behavior Corrects Classroom Behavior Total _______ (Reminds class to follow rules for learning) Praises Classroom Behavior Total _______ behavior) Corrects Individual Behavior Total _______ Praises Individual Behavior Total _______

(Praises class for being ready to learn or affirms proper

(Reminds individual student to focus on task)

(Affirms to individual on how well they are focusing on task)

© 2009 Michael D. King

Exhibit 1-13 ALT Seating Chart Teacher __________________________________ Subject ________________________ Date Observed ___________ Start Time______________ End Time ________________ Directions: Use the observation key and definition box to record off task behavior.

KEY
M = Monitoring SR = Student Reads BB = Work at Blackboard OT = Off Task Student Out of Seat Student Initiates Question

Measuring Academic Learning Time The purpose of the ALT instrument is to provide data on individual learning behavior during a classroom lesson. The instruments “ALT Symbols Key” is designed to measure teacher monitoring frequency, which prompts students to stay on task and how the teacher engages students through reading, working at the board, completing seatwork, or participating in guided practice. The Symbols Key is defined below for the purpose of helping identify off task behavior verses engaged time or time on task. M = Monitoring: Higher correlations of learning are associated with teacher monitoring. Monitoring of classroom activities is when the teacher frequently inspects papers, and generally moves around the room to observe academic progress of students while clarifying task to increase success rate. Monitoring is measured by the number of times a teacher interacts with a student during independent seat work. Example: M//// means the teacher monitored the student four times during the lesson. Student Initiated Question: Student initiated questions are when students are asking for assistance in clarifying the assignment, needing further explanation of process, or needing teacher’s assistance to expand an idea. The number of clarifying request made by students following a guided practice activity may indicate a need for further explanation by the teacher. In most cases a student will initiate a question by holing up their hand to seek teacher assistance and the wait time before assistance is received is critical to keeping students on task. The number of times student request assistance may also be an indicator of how well a student understands the assignment. Example: the number of tallies on the arrow indicates that the student requested

clarification three times during the lesson. Students requesting teacher assistance for over sixtyseconds should be marked OT off task.

OT = Off Task: Students who demonstrate off task behavior are not listening, talking to another student, playing, or not following the teachers directives during a lesson. Teachers can modify off task behavior by, monitoring students, engage them in direct questioning. Off task behavior is recorded every sixty seconds with a tally mark outside the student box on the seating chart. OT Example:
OT///

reflects that the student was not engaged in the learning task for three

minutes during the lesson and should be marked next to the students’ box.

Out of Seat: The number of times students are out of their seats during instruction is another way to record off task behavior unless the student has been assigned to assist other students during a lesson.

Exhibit 1-14 Teacher Reinforcement Types and Frequencies
Teacher __________________________________ Subject ________________________ Date Observed ___________ Start Time______________ End Time ________________ Directions: Record teacher reinforcement statements and use a tally mark for the number of times the reinforcement statement has been repeated. Record teacher reinforcement statements and frequencies below:

No response:

Exhibit 1-15 Lesson Line Assessment Instrument
Teacher __________________________________ Subject ________________________ Date Observed ___________ Start Time______________ End Time ________________ Directions: Indicate parts of the lesson line observed by circling items observed during the lesson. Use the note section to describe teacher statements that are defined under the lesson line. SET TEACHING TO THE OBJECTIVE Explanation Relate to past, present, or future Statement of the objective Definitions Content Process/Steps Model Example Demonstration Notes: Set Direction Giving Activities Independent Guided Group Involve learner Student summarizing learning CLOSURE

Explanation

Direction Giving

Activity

Closure

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