Ansonia Local Schools: Starting with Commitment and Clear Learning Targets

The following post was written by Mary Wolf, FIP Specialist in the Southwest region.

Reaching a destination begins with knowing where you want to go and taking the first step! Ansonia Local School District began with a commitment by school leaders to embark on and support this important work.

How They Started
Internal facilitators were identified and sent to FIP training sessions. Teachers viewed the Foundations of Formative Instructional Practices modules on their own time and turned in certificates of completion to their principal. Early release days were used so the facilitators could lead the module facilitation activities. Teachers began deconstructing standards last year and continued this summer by spending two days working on deconstruction and curriculum mapping.

Structured Time
In the elementary building, teachers collaborate during “Team Time”. Teachers set the agenda and turn it in to the principal. "Team Time" is spent focusing on ways to implement FIP. For example, one fourth grade team created a record sheet for students to track their progress, set goals, and answer the question, “How can I improve?”

Making the Intended Learning Visible
Walking through the building, the school's focus on clear learning targets is visible. Visitors, parents, students, school leaders can see the focus is on the intended learning rather than the activities students are doing. Learning targets are shared in a variety of ways...

Bulletin boards with learning targets are displayed throughout the hallways. 

 

Bulletin board with student work.
Source: Mary Wolf

Learning targets are posted and shared in classrooms.

Learning targets from a lesson on U.S. history.
Source: Mary Wolf

Targets are shared with parents so they can support their child's learning at home.

Learning targets for a kindergarten class shared with parents.
Source: Mary Wolf

And, students have opportunities to self-assess and communicate their comfort level with the learning targets by using a scale of "Not Comfortable" to "Very Comfortable".

Sample of feedback teachers gather from 5th and 6th grade students by learning target at the end of class.
Source: Mary Wolf

These are just a few examples of Ansonia Local School District's FIP progress. By focusing on providing clear learning targets, students know where they are going in their learning. And, by providing the structures and time, school leaders have created an environment where teachers can successfully collaborate.

How has your district provided structure and support for the FIP work?   Leave a comment below or share your story on Twitter using #ohFIP.