Plymouth Public Schools
High School Literacy Initiative Kickoff Session
Thinkquiry Toolkit
Facilitator:
Pamela Thompson
Content Area Literacy
Demands that Students…
Read, Write, Think,
Speak/Present, Listen,
Across Content Areas (although
application may differ in each
discipline of study).
Although some Content Areas may
require specific literacy demands…
The Process of Reading, Writing, and
Learning happens
BEFORE: Activating prior knowledge, teaching vocabulary, setting
purpose
DURING: Asking and answering questions,
monitoring comprehension, making inferences and connections
AFTER: Summarizing, connecting, evaluating, applying,
synthesizing
What is a Thinkquiry Toolkit?
A set of powerful literacy and learning tools that:
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Provide structures for teachers to support student
understanding of increasingly complex content.
Help students learn to think critically and deeply
about what they read and learn.
Scaffold content learning via a rich set of:

Teacher instructional practices

Collaborative routines for small group learning

Student learning strategies
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Why are Strategies Important? Think-Pair-Share
You are the school secretary returning from vacation and a
week’s worth of mail has accumulated in your absence.
Write down: What strategy(-ies) would you use to deal with
this pile of mail.

What prior knowledge is necessary for sorting mail?
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Why is it important to establish a purpose?

How did prior knowledge and knowing your purpose affect
your choice of a strategy?
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Think-Pair-Share
Think
 Written thoughts and ideas about a prompt or question(s).
Pair
 Discussion of your ideas or insights with a partner.
Share
 Volunteers share out with the group.
How is this different from just asking someone to
answer the question in writing and turn it in?
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Thinkquiry Reading and Vocabulary Toolkit
Two teacher tools:
 Bloom’s thinking cues
 Interactive word walls
Four collaborative routines:
 Think-pair-share
 Give one, get one, move on
 Save the last word for me
 Group summarizing
Six student strategies:
 Coding
 Two-column notes
 Triple-entry journals
© 2009 PCG’s Center for Resource Management
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Analytic graphic organizers
Question-answer relationship
Role-audience-format-topic
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The Goal...
Transfer the strategies to students for
independent use
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Use the “Gradual Release of Responsibility” Model
to Transfer the Strategies to Students
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Pre-Assessment
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Explicit Instruction
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Guided Practice
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Independent Practice

Independent Application
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Bloom’s Thinking Prompts
Description
Questions related to the six thinking skills in
Bloom’s Taxonomy are purposely constructed to
ensure students are stimulated to respond at all
levels of the cognitive domain, especially the higher
levels.
Students may respond through quick writes,
learning logs, tests, creative writing that answers
the six prompts, role-audience-format-topic (RAFT)
activities, or other writing or speaking activities.
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Bloom’s Thinking Prompts
Purpose
Use before, during, and after reading to:
 Establish a purpose for reading
 Help students develop their thinking skills at all levels of
cognition
 Ensure assignments respond to all levels of cognition
 Deepen student comprehension of text at the higher levels
 Stimulate original thinking through open-ended questions
 Provide an array of questions to support differentiation in
students’ products to demonstrate what they have learned
 Provide “question generators” for students to learn how
to form good questions
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What Kinds of Questions do You Tend to Ask Students?
Lower Order Thinking Skills
Higher Order Thinking Skills
1. Remember
4. Analyze
2. Understand
5. Evaluate
3. Apply
6. Create
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Activity: Using Collaborative Routines that
Stimulate Critical Thinking
Directions
Read the selection, The Empty Table.
Form groups of six singles or six pairs (12 total).
Working alone or with a partner, develop one
question for each Bloom’s level that would help the
reader think more deeply about the concepts of this
story.
Turning to the, “Give One, Get One, Move On”
template in the “Collaborative Routines…” section
of your Toolkit, label each box w/a different
thinking skill (Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze,
Evaluate,
Create).
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Collaborative Activity:
Enter your “Remember” question, and pass your
template to the right. Each pair fills in the next
level with an appropriate question, until all 6
questions have been written. No repeat questions
from other papers are permitted. 
Return the template to the original owner and--Reflect on this activity:
How do collaborative routines increase student
Give One, Get One, Move On
Description
This strategy supports collaborative reflection on,
interaction with, or review of a reading selection by
using a protocol to solicit responses from multiple
readers.
Purpose
Use before reading to:

Help students brainstorm key ideas on a topic/reading to
activate prior knowledge and build background knowledge
Use after reading to:

Help students summarize and synthesize key concepts
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Give One, Get One - Collaborative Protocol
Directions
 Think of an answer to the prompt. Write it down in box 1.
 Pass the sheet to another student who silently reads what is
written in the first box. That student adds an idea in box 2.
 Do not repeat ideas that are already listed.
 Continue passing on the paper and adding ideas until all
the boxes are filled. Return the sheet to the original owner.
1
2
3
4
5
6
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Interactive Word Walls
Description
A Word Wall is a systematically organized
collection of displayed words. Both students and
teachers can suggest additions to Word Walls.
Students are asked to interact with words on the
Word Wall on an ongoing basis. In this way, the
words become an integral part of students’ reading,
writing, and speaking vocabulary.
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Interactive Word Walls
Purpose
Use before, during, and after reading to:
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Build vocabulary for a particular instructional focus
Help students develop analytical skills like
classification and deduction
Support students in their writing activities
Build sight word reading fluency
Provide a visual tool to help students remember
important words related to a specific topic or concept
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Interactive Word Walls Planning Guide
 Word Wall concept
CC
 Learning purpose
 Example words
 Interactive activity idea #1
 Interactive activity idea #2
 Interactive activity idea #3
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Coding/Comprehension Monitoring
Description
This strategy helps students to engage and interact with text
and monitor comprehension as they read.
Purpose
Use during reading to:
 Support content-area learning by focusing on key concepts
 Provide a way for students to engage in a dialogue with the author
 Help students identify how they process information while
reading
 Help students identify what is difficult in the text so they can
select and apply comprehension strategies to support their reading
 Develop metacognitive awareness and ability to monitor one’s
own comprehension
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Coding/Comprehension Monitoring Template
Page Page Page Page Page Directions
Insert this sheet in your book behind the reading
assignment. As you read each page, place the code
directly across from the part of the text you are
coding. Pull out this sheet when you change pages
and add your codes.
Select 2–3 of the following codes to monitor your
comprehension as you read the assignment.
Codes
+ = New information
? = I don’t understand/I have questions
P = Problem
S = Solution
= I know this information
C = Connection
X = I thought differently
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Coding/Comprehension Monitoring
In your Thinkquiry Toolkit, read the text, “Ideas
for Increasing Student Interaction with Word
Walls.”
As you read, CODE using these symbols:
+ Would work in my content area class
m Could be modified to work
?
I need more info to make this work
v
Unfamiliar vocabulary word
Literacy Vocabulary from:
“Ideas for Increasing Student Interaction
with Word Walls.” (Toolkit)
Student writing
Technical terms
Charades
Word sorts
Demonstrations
Prior vocabulary lists
Synonyms
Triple-Entry Journal
New unit terms
Know. Rating Guide
Manuals
Articles
Texts
Class discussions
Activity: Word Sort
With a partner, sort the Literacy vocabulary
words on the list into the following three
categories:
Sources for Words/Activities/Types of Words
Share your lists with others in your group.
Triple-Entry Vocabulary Journal
Description
A strategy for learning new vocabulary that uses a threecolumn note taking format for a word in context, definition
in one’s own words, and a picture, memory aid, or phrase.
Purpose
 Help students understand key words when reading text
that may limit comprehension if they are not known
 Provide a more interactive way to learn new vocabulary
than “assign, define, and test”
 Provide a way for students to cognitively process new
words, resulting in more retention
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Triple-Entry Journal Template
Word in Context
Definition in My Own
Words
© 2009 PCG’s Center for Resource Management
Picture, Memory Aid,
Phrase
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Analytic Graphic Organizers
Description
This strategy uses a visual format to help students explore the
characteristics, relationships, or effects of a complex topic.
Purpose
 Provide a visual way to analyze how information and ideas
are linked
 Help organize information for notes, learning, and recall
 Show specific relationships, such as cause-effect or sequence
 Synthesize information from different locations in the text or
from multiple texts
 Convey understanding of information and concepts so
misconceptions can be seen
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Analytic Graphic Organizers - Vocabulary
Use these and others for vocabulary development
Brainstorming Web
Concept Map
CHARACTERISTIC
EXAMPLE
EXAMPLE
CHARACTERISTIC
CONCEPT
Word Sort
Categories
EXAMPLE
EXAMPLE
EXAMPLE
CHARACTERISTIC
CHARACTERISTIC
Words to Sort
EXAMPLE
EXAMPLE
CHARACTERISTIC
EXAMPLE
EXAMPLE
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Role-Audience-Format-Topic (RAFT)
Description
This strategy asks students to creatively analyze and
synthesize the information from text by taking on a particular
role or perspective, defining the target audience, and choosing
an appropriate written format to convey their understanding.
Purpose
 Enhance comprehension of main ideas and point of view
 Process information and reflect in unusual ways
 Provide a creative, authentic way of communicating what
was learned that can enhance students’ engagement
 Encourage students to consider different perspectives
 Help students communicate learning using preferred styles
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Possible Roles, Audiences, and Formats
After selecting an idea from this general list, the student would
identify the specific name of the person, group, or organization.
Roles
Audience
Format
Animal
Advertising agency
Advertisement
Bum on the street
Alien from outer
space
Advice column
City council member
Business manager
Article
Eye of a camera
Community agency
Cartoon series
Note: The ideas do NOT link across each column.
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RAFT Template
Course concept to be addressed in the RAFT:
Brainstormed ideas for RAFTs related to this concept:
Role
Audience
Format
Topic
Student’s choice for RAFT components:
Role__________ Audience__________ Format_________ Topic____________
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Literacy is not something extra to add to the plate…
Literacy IS the plate!
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Strategy Combinations to Deepen Content Understanding
Content Area
English
Language Arts
Before
Reading/Learning
Think-pair-share
English
Bloom’s thinking
Language Arts prompts
During
Reading/Learning
Two-column note
taking
After
Reading/Learning
RAFT
Coding
Triple-entry vocabulary
journal
Mathematics
Triple-entry vocabulary Think-pair-share
journal
Analytic graphic
organizer
Mathematics
Analytic graphic
organizer
Interactive word wall
Group summarizing
Science
Two-column note
taking
Triple-entry vocabulary Analytic graphic
journal
organizer
Science
RAFT
Analytic graphic
organizer
Save the last word for
me
Social studies Analytic graphic
organizer
Question-answer
relationship
Bloom’s writing
prompts
Social studies Interactive word wall
Coding
Give one, get one,
move on
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Strategy Combinations to Develop Specific Learning Skills
Activate prior knowledge
Before
During
After
Reading/Learning Reading/Learning Reading/Learning
Think-pair-share
QAR
Save the last word
Set purpose for learning
RAFT
Coding
Preview text
Bloom’s thinking
prompts
Triple-entry
Think-pair-share
vocabulary journals
Analyze ideas and
information
Bloom’s thinking
cues
Graphic organizers Group summarizing
Ask questions
Interactive
vocabulary
Bloom’s thinking
prompts
QAR
Align text to one’s life and
world
Triple-entry journal
Coding
Save the last word
Review and revise
understanding
Think-pair-share
Two-column notes
Group summarizing
Respond and transfer to
new situations
Give one, get one,
move on
Analytic graphic
organizers
RAFT
Learning Skill
© 2009 PCG’s Center for Resource Management
Completion of the
RAFT
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Think-Pair-Share
Description
This is a cooperative discussion strategy whose
name is derived from the three stages of student
action, with emphasis on what students are to be
doing at each of those stages. (Frank Lyman, 1981)
Purpose
Use before, during, or after reading to:
 Allow for reflection and sharing before whole group
discussion
 Provide time for everyone to formulate responses to the
reading, experience, or prompt
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Save the Last Word for Me
Description
This strategy uses a collaborative format for the
discussion of text where students select quotations
to discuss with one another, concluded by the
student who selected the quote.
Purpose
 To support students’ interaction with text
 To promote reading comprehension
 To clarify and deepen thinking about content
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Group Summarizing
Description
This strategy supports students to work together to
preview text before reading, locate supporting
information and examples during reading,
summarize their ideas on a four-quadrant chart after
reading, and use the notes as a structure to write the
group summary.
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Group Summarizing
Purpose
Use before, during, and after reading to:
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Involve students in constructing a meaningful
synthesis of what they have read
Help students learn how to do a summary before they
are asked to create their own
Provide practice in paraphrasing
Allow students to demonstrate understanding of
concepts through the completed group summary chart
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Link the different parts of the reading process
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Develop higher order critical thinking skills
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Activity: Give One, Get One for Literacy Instruction
Prompt:
What is the advantage to using collaborative routines in the
classroom?
Write your question in the Question box.
Pass the paper to your right each time the chime rings.
1
2
3
4
5
6
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Activity: Coding/Comprehension Monitoring
Code the passage, Coding Scenario, by marking the
following symbols in the margins as you read:
1 = Teacher Directed
2 = Student Directed
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Two-Column Note Taking
Description
A strategy can which can be used with text, lectures, or when
viewing media presentations to help students organize their
thinking about specific content.
Purpose
Use during and after reading to:
 Create a user-friendly system to record important ideas,
related details, and the relationships between concepts
 Help students remember important points and deepen
their understanding of content
 Help students organize information and thoughts for
thinking, writing, studying, or presenting
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Two-Column Note Taking Template
Directions
As you read/listen/view, take two-column notes about
important facts, vocabulary, concepts, and other information
you want to remember or will need to use.
Topic:
Check one: Lecture 
Text 
Heading 1
© 2009 PCG’s Center for Resource Management
Film 
Presentation/Demonstration 
Heading 2
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Two-Column Note Taking Content Examples
Header 1
Header 2
Character’s feelings
Clues that show how the character feels
Odysseus’ internal conflicts
Odysseus’ external conflicts
Quote and page number
Connection/Question
Estimated answer to the problem
Correct answer to the problem
Formula
Definition and/or Example
Algebraic expression
Simplified expression
Biotic factors (living things)
Abiotic factors (non living things)
Cause
Effect/reaction
State of matter
Example and characteristics
Fact
Opinion
Historical figure
Legacy of this person
USA civil war
Vietnam war
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Activity: Two-Column Note Taking
In content area groups discuss:
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How does the Two-Column Note Taking method support
student comprehension and organize their thinking?
How can this be used during and after reading?
How would you use the Gradual Release Model of
Responsibility to teach this?
Think of an upcoming unit/curriculum/lesson. Brainstorm
possible headings you can use for the Two-Column Note
Taking.
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Activity: Triple-Entry Journal
1. Brainstorm two literacy vocabulary terms for each
category:
 Teacher Instructional Practice
 Collaborative Routines for Small Group
Learning
 Instructional Strategies
2. Complete all three columns of a Triple-Entry
Journal for these vocabulary terms on chart paper.
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Analytic Graphic Organizers - Reading
Use these and others for visualizing patterns and relationships
Main Ideas
Compare/Contrast
© 2009 PCG’s Center for Resource Management
Discussion Web
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Activity: Brainstorming Uses for AGO’s

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Brainstorm where analytic graphic organizers
would help students understand your course topics

Reading comprehension

Vocabulary
Add your favorites to the list and share them with a
neighbor
© 2009 PCG’s Center for Resource Management
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Analytic Graphic Organizer Content Examples
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Character map
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Sequence graphic organizer
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Semantic feature analysis
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Line graph
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Histogram
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Classification
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Timeline
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Question–Answer Relationship (QAR)
Description
This strategy involves students in assessing the thinking
demands of a passage and developing answers for four types
of questions:
1. In the book
The answer is stated directly in
the text
2. Think and search
The answer is in the text but not
stated directly. The reader
interprets the meaning from
different parts of the text.
3. Author and you
The answer is not in the text. The
reader must read the text in order
to answer, but must use personal
knowledge with the information
provided by the author.
4. On my own
The answer is not in the text. The
reader must develop the answer
based on knowledge and personal
experience only.
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Activity: QAR – Joey in the Military

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Read the story.
Read the questions and decide what type of
question is being asked.
Underline the “clue words” that help you decide.
Review your answers with a neighbor when you
finish. Discuss answers that differ.
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Activity: Creating a QAR for an Article
Directions
In the Coding/Comprehension section of your handout, you
will find the article, "The Elements of Differentiation." In
groups of 4, create one question for each of the four types of
QAR questions exemplified in the packet. Write your QAR
on chart paper to be posted and shared. The setup for your
QAR chart will be:
Question
Answer
Relationship
Write question
here
Write answer here
Which type of
question is it?
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Activity: Instructional Planning and Application
based on Content Area Literacy Demands

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Refer to the Literacy Demands activity done on day
one with Julie.
Think in terms of upcoming units and lessons and
the literacy demands of your content area.
Brainstorm strategies you can use this year to
support these literacy demands.
Create charts in small groups using a different color
marker for each content area.
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Peer Coaching/Collaborative Mentoring
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Is a valuable, effective tool for teacher professional
development
Can have a strong, positive impact on teaching and
learning
Can have a positive effect on morale and school
climate and culture through its motivating and
rejuvenating effects on teachers and students
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Peer Coaching/Collaborative Mentoring
Assumes that schools and teachers
are seeking to continuously
improve how teaching and
learning happens
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Peer Coaching/Collaborative Mentoring
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A teacher asks a trusted colleague to come and observe
him/her on a particular day and with a particular class
when s/he is going to incorporate the use of a new literacy
strategy into his/her teaching.
The teacher meets with his/her colleague before the
observation to discuss what kinds of feedback s/he is
looking for.
The peer coach/mentor observes as planned (20–45
minutes).
The teacher and the peer coach/mentor schedule a followup time to meet soon after the observation.
© 2009 PCG’s Center for Resource Management
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Peer Coaching/Collaborative Mentoring

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
What are our goals for Peer
Coaching/Collaborative Mentoring?
What do we want to see or have as a result of
participating in a peer coaching/collaborative
mentoring process during the present school year?
Who is going to participate in the peer
coaching/collaborative mentoring process at our
school? How will this be structured?
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Eight Step Debriefing Protocol
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The teacher “debriefs” on how s/he thought it
went.
The peer coach notes something positive that was
observed.
The peer coach presents summary and analysis of
the data collected.
The teacher and peer coach discuss implications
of the feedback.
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Eight Step Debriefing Protocol
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The teacher and peer coach discuss any other
interesting aspects of the lesson.
The teacher reflects on the lesson and comments
on what s/he would revise/modify next time and
why.
The teacher gives the peer coach feedback as to
what types of feedback were particularly helpful,
both in terms of content and delivery.
The teacher and peer coach schedule next
observation where they reverse roles.
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Tips for Success
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Make sure, as a peer coach, you are respectful of your
colleague’s decision making.
As a peer coach, be positive with your comments and back
them up with specific examples.
As a peer coach, clarify, when possible, an issue from a way
to approach it.
As both the teacher and the peer coach, you are in a learning
role. Assume everyone is a good teacher and that everyone
has places where s/he can improve.
As a coach/observer, be certain to note what particularly
surprised or impressed you during your observation.
Treat planning meetings, observations, and debrief
meetings as important. Get release time when necessary.
© 2009 PCG’s Center for Resource Management
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