A creative way to approach school-wide learning is through the process of a learning walk to diagnose and evaluate areas of need in the school. This is a technique I learned first in the US, and more recently in Australian schools, and is an effective way to hone focus on a specific practice within a school.

The learning walks use observation to find patterns of strength and reveal practical next steps for improvement. Collaboratively, I work with your team of educators to:

  • discuss the focus of the exercise
  • guide them through the protocols to be used
  • provide templates for walkers to document their observations
  • lead a rigorous process to look for patterns of strengths

The outcome of a learning walk is to determine specific recommendations that can be used for ongoing professional learning and support.

Recent examples of successful learning walks have led to improvements in:

  • Classroom libraries and anchor charts
  • Independent reading and conferring
  • Independent writing and conferring
  • Small group instructional practices
  • Reading and writing notebooks as a tool for formative assessment
  • Explicit teaching within the mini-lesson