Puzzle of Practice

Harvest Valley teachers did not have clarity of the standards they were teaching or how to effectively analyze formative tasks during PLC time to determine the root cause of student learning. The teacher teams were not harnessing their collective expertise to maximize their impact on the learning for all students at their grade level. In addition, the teachers were not consistently communicating and co-constructing clear expectations of the learning for priority standards to students in order to empower them to own their own learning.

Collective Goal

Harvest Valley’s collective learning goal was to place students at the center of the formative assessment process by increasing student goal setting, data chats, and self and peer assessment. Harvest Valley wanted to strengthen students’ growth mindset, self-advocacy, and self-efficacy and agency. When ALL students can visually see a continuum of learning, they can begin to have control of the learning process and ultimately take charge of their learning rate. The school wanted all students to reflect on their personal learning in order to set goals for themselves and be able to give and receive feedback. Harvest Valley wanted students to learn how to approach new learning experiences with confidence instead of fear.

Collective Action

The school focused on strengthening teachers’ self and collective efficacy to empower them as instructional experts. In addition, the school wanted to develop teacher teams’ inquiry skills to determine the root cause of student learning and collectively develop learning plans in order for all students to have mastery experiences. The Core Collaborative and Harvest Valley co-constructed 5 steps to success:

1. Strengthen Teacher Teams
Harvest Valley ensured that there were highly effective and collaborative teams by:

  • Rebuilding Teams
  • Developing Relational Trust
  • Encouraging Vulnerability
  • Growing Collective Efficacy by leveraging the sources of efficacy

2. Teacher Clarity
The first steps that teams took on to work on together was to select and unpack priority standards for each grade level using the Unpacking for Success Protocol to increase teacher clarity of the learning expectations for each standard. Teacher teams developed success criteria for the unpacked standards and utilized learning progressions to ensure a continuum of rigor. Teams developed criteria based, formative tasks to ensure standards alignment.

3. Analysis of Student Work
Teacher teams were trained and site administrators during sub-release PD time to facilitate team meetings using the
EAA Team Meeting Protocol: Analysis of Student Work.

4. The Formative Process
Emphasis was placed on the formative assessment cycle and ensured deep implementation of the EAA Classroom Protocol and Check In Protocol for Quality Implementation.

5. Monitoring and Support
Site administrators attend all Impact Team grade level meetings to work alongside teacher teams to further develop the teams’ level of inquiry and help them grow their collective impact.

Collective Impact

The data have shown that the school is making steady progress with ALL students including the subgroups that have the highest needs. In both English Language Arts and Mathematics, the distance to the target decreased each year from 2016–2019. Students, teachers, and caregivers commented on the impact of partnering with The Core Collaborative:

When Success Criteria came to my life, I was so much better… I was so shocked how it helped me and how it did it.
– Hociel, Third grade student

“After Harvest Valley implemented Impact Teams, I noticed that my children were able to tell me exactly what they were learning each day. My girls became more independent learners, they know what is expected of them, and use success criteria to achieve mastery.”
– – Erica E., Parent of 2nd and 5th grade students

“As a teacher, all I want is for kids to own their learning and never settle. When students compare their work to exemplar texts and can pinpoint where they or their peers are, give them or themselves feedback, reflect and continually improve, I am ecstatic about their growth and learning collectively, and individually. What’s most important is how they feel about themselves and their true learning potential.”
– Janet Cornejo, Fourth Grade Teacher

Download the white paper to read more and view the data.