to CCE Home Page
CCE offers tools
for coaches to take to their schools. Some are culled from a variety of
sources and, according to Joseph P. McDonald, while designed and
promoted by particular organizations, belong to the community of teachers
at large. Many of our tools are in a perennial state of fine tuning,
but we offer them on this proprietary site for coaches to use at their
discretion. Our collection will continue to grow. We encourage coaches
to submit tools they have found or created to their Directors for inclusion
on this site.
Statement and Principles
a Vision Statement - Schools can follow simple steps to develop
a vision statement that is consistent with principles for effective
learning and teaching.
- Answering the questions on this checklist will help you make sure
your schools vision statement is in line with principles of effective
learning and teaching.
Principles of Learning and Teaching
- These grow out of research into how humans learn, and research
that indicates key characteristics of successful schools. Adapted from
the Ten Common Principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools, they
are currently being used by NESSN.
NESSN Areas of Autonomy - Staffing, Budget, Curriculum and Assessment,
Governance and Policies, and School Calendar.
Assessment - This is CCEs working definition of Authentic
Assessment, as of the beginning of 2002.
for Effective Meetings - When a team is first established, it
is helpful to distribute these guidelines for discussion.
- Purpose: To begin an event as a way of introducing
people and capturing the range of experiences of a group.
from the Edge
- This activity uses picture postcards and free association
as an opportunity for groups to make connections at the beginning of
a meeting or workshop..
Norms for Collaborative Work
- Norms are ways of working together that help groups
be more thoughtful and productive. They fall into two categories: procedural
for Setting Norms - In this activity, members of a team write
statements about how they want their team to operate and then categorize
the statements into procedural norms and interpersonal norms.
- The Compass Game enables teams to explore various preferences that
individual members use to approach teamwork.
Meeting Agendas - Creating and using effective agendas for team
meetings is one of the most important tasks a team can engage in.
Format for Recording Team Meetings - This form may be reproduced
for recording several agenda items at a meeting.
Text-based Seminar - Team examines an issue from an outside
point of view by focusing on a specific article or excerpt from a book.
Activity: Dilemmas in Data Based Decision Making and Coaching
- Four cases of teams having trouble addressing issues.
Activity: Shared Dilemmas - Educators share and address common
a Collaborative School Culture: School Survey - Collaboration
defined in a school context.
a Collaborative School Culture: How are we doing?
- Purpose: to assess current school culture in order
to discuss areas for improvement.
a Teams Quality of Work - Teams
may use these questions to gauge their work and use the indicator chart
for each question to note the teams effectiveness.
Protocol (a.k.a. "Back to the Future") - To
vision into the future and tell what it would look like in the very
best-case scenario. Also to initiate discussion into the steps, players,
actions, and timelines it will take to be successful.
The Kiva is taken from Native American tradition. It is based on the
belief that, as a community, we have all we need to solve our own problems
and answer our own questions.
World Café - World Café Conversations are an intentional
way to create a living network of conversation around questions that
matter. A Café Conversation is a creative process for leading
collaborative dialogue, sharing knowledge and creating possibilities
for action in groups of all sizes.
Zin Obelisk - A group exercise
to experience and examine the sharing of information in team problem
solving, and to study leadership, cooperation, and conflict issues.
Dyad - A dyad is the exchange
of constructivist listening between two people: I agree to listen to
and think about you for a fixed period of time in exchange for your
doing the same for me.
One/Get One - A mini-protocol
for creating an idea exchange in a group.
Traits - affirms individual unique qualities and strengths that
each person brings to their life and situation. The Core Trait Exercise
help individuals to focus on these qualities and strengths, and to recognize
the reality of their traits through the retelling of their own stories
of the Year Protocol -
This protocol is designed for a school staff that hopes to deflect some
of the angst of this time of year and remember that they are all in
this business of teaching and learning together, and together they can
support each other and lighten the load for everyone.
at Student and Teacher Work
Protocol? - A chart in progress for choosing a protocol. You
add to columns.
Walk Protocol - Ameans for visitors to a school to have a meaningful
interchange with hosting educators about their observations of the school
in a non-evaluative way.
Friends Visit Protocol - A detailed protocol that CCE uses to
engage schools in critical friends visits.
Observation/Peer Mentoring - Steps, guidelines, and protocol.
The goal of the observations, and the meetings to frame and discuss
them, is to address particular issues and questions about teaching,
offering specific feedback and support.
of Action Research Workshop - Model (hour by hour) from the
schedule of an actual workshop.
Protocol - This protocol is used to get feedback on a set of
questions or concerns posed by a teacher on certain aspects of student
or teacher work.
Assessment Conference - provides a structure for teachers to
look together at a piece of work
Meeting LASW Protocol - The protocol with a LASW example.
Space Technology Protocol -
allows a large group to select and discuss a wide variety of topics
in smaller groups in a relatively structured setting.
Protocol - To develop more effective exhibitions and assessments.
Protocol - to get feedback on a work in progress when a teacher,
student, or group is stuck.
Incident Protocol - An opportunity for a teacher to reflect
with colleagues on an incident from his or her work that was particularly
rewarding, puzzling, or devastating.
Learning Experience - Purpose: To show the relationship between
an individual's powerful learning experience and principles of effective
learning and teaching.
- To expand a groups understanding of a text in a focused
way and in a limited amount of time.
- To resolve an obstacle and move toward a desired outcome.
- Half the group observes the other half engaging in a protocol.
Observers watch the lesson, class, performance, etc. To the greatest
extent possible the observer acts like a video camera, scripting and
making note of as many events as possible. (No actual camera is used.)
focuses on an agreed upon aspect of a staff members performance,
then acts as an active listener as the staff member attempts to make
sense of the observed events.
Party - A
pre-reading, text-based activity. It starts out with randomly selected
quotes from the reading, passed out to individuals, and develops from
observer maintains an open field of vision, noting anything that strikes
her as particularly interesting - anything that may lead to deep
questions. Requires high level of trust between participants.
of Practice Writing Activity
list of stand-out images from the school year, pick one, flesh it out.
What does it say about teaching and learning?
Chalk Talk is a silent way to do reflection, generate ideas, check on
learning, develop projects or solve problems. It can be used productively
with any group - students, faculty, workshop participants, committees.
- An exercise based around the essay The Emperor's New Clothes,
by Patricia J. Williams. What happens when we see society through color-blind
- from Horaces School, by Ted Sizer.
in the Classroom:
the dramatic effects of low expectations in a school of high achievers
(2004), by Robert Frank, presented at the XII Congress of Comparative
Education Societies, in Havana, and included as a chapter in Comparative Pedagogy: Selected Topics, ed. Metod Cernetic, Marko Musanovic, and Olga Decman Dobrnjic. The research documents the devastating
effects of low expectations in the classroom and considers the implications
for the African-American achievement gap.
Comprehension Strategies - from Mosaic of Thought by
Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmerman, 1997. Key strategies for teaching
Strategies Used by Effective Teachers of Low Income Students of
- Taken from an article by Lisa Delpit, these strategies emphasize high
and challenging expectations, along with relevance. Compact and useful.
- a provocative online PowerPoint presentation that illustrates the
meaning of poverty in practical terms.
School Project Ideas
- Great ideas for class projects, taken from New Yorks CAL (Champions
of Active Learning) projects.
Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving - an
interactive web site produced for Plimoth Plantation - provocative,
culturally aware, entertaining, informative. Challenges the visitor
with mysteries and probing questions. Great possibilities for grades
For Teaching Adolescent Literacy - Martin
O'Brien (CCE literacy and school change coach) has assembled a collection
of tools and ideas that proved useful for supporting adolescent readers
and writers. What informs these pages is the belief that literacy at
the secondary level - both middle and high schools - looks different
than elementary school literacy instruction.
am from... - Adults or students write individual poems centered
around capturing the vigor of their cultures and ethnicities. Powerful
- Here's a simple exercise I used in a cluster group meeting to start
off discussion around race, etc. (Loretta Goodwin).
Real Is Race?, by Carol Mukhopadhyay and Rosemary C. Henze,
in Phi Delta Kappan, May, 2003.
Race is not a scientifically valid biological category, and yet it remains
important as a socially constructed category. Once educators grasp this
concept, they can use the suggestions and resources the authors offer
here to help their students make sense of race. Terrific essay and classroom
- a practical, useful check-list to remind a teacher about things to
look for, or to look out for, in the classroom - on the walls and in
Attitudes Survey - This survey helps participants identify and
examine our assumptions about the many aspects of language, such as
accent, dialect, writing, vocabulary, structure, style, gender, class,
Using Action Research to Achieve Standards - diverse city students
learn content and interactive classroom skills that had been lacking:
by doing, and by observing and critiquing each other with the Fishbowl
Math: Teacher and Coach in a Diverse Grade 3 NYC Classroom - see
creative approaches to math teaching, and see the Coach interacting
with the teacher and the class.
Transfer: A Collaborative New Media Science Project - creative science
unit with enough info to facilitate replication of the unit.
and Myths: A Humanities Unit for Middle Schoolers - class learns
about myths, using varied expressive and learning styles; the myths
here are Greek, but the approach could apply to any mythology.
Doors to Technology Literacy: Bringing the Web to Your Classroom
- NYC high school English teacher uses print and web publication, and
other technologies, to excite diverse students about literacy.
and Juliet: Learning English as a Second Language - How the story
can be a teaching tool in a class of high school immigrant kids.
Learn About the New Teacher Online Survival Courses - Primarily
useful for a new teacher looking for successful teaching units. Shows
units and resources available online at teachersnetwork.org.
Are You Smart? Teaching Multiple Intelligences - John Gardners
right, in case you didnt know. Some kids attest to this, but little
meat on the bone.
Bleeding Edge: A Thematic, Interdisciplinary New Media Project -
An art teacher describes her creative response to a grant. Self-promoting.
(Note that each video allows you to choose which viewing software to
play it with: RealPlayer, QuickTime, or MS MediaPlayer. All three players
have free versions available for download from their respective home
pages, although they will generally try to guide you into the free
trial of the purchasable version, rather than the completely free
version. Bob Frank can help you navigate these mercenary waters, if
you like. We have found RealPlayer to give you better flexibility as
to the size of the image, including full screen. You can find Real Player
downloads at www.real.com, where you
may prefer to seek out their older version rather than the current RealOne
Player that includes more sales pitches.)
Etc.: What They Are Promoting
Web Sites - annotated
Peoples Stories - A stimulating, provocative site that
offers original short stories about other people and accepts
contributions. Includes excellent photos that can set a writer off in
any unexpected direction. Both the photos and the stories could lead
to writing or discussion activities.
Coaching and Mentoring -
A collection of resources about what works and what to beware of in
coaching and mentoring, including documents that give more of a context
Web Picks - a first-rate listing of web sites specializing
in a variety of equity issues, including race, gender, learning styles,
sexual preference, economic class, handicap, nationality, language....Provided
by Debra Smith of the Southern Maine Partnership.
to assist classroom teachers to become better assessors of student learning.
It is intended for those who have responsibility to coordinate and facilitate
professional development in assessment for teachers. It is exceptionally
good for examining the whole issue of assessment. It takes into account
issues of bias, cultural awareness, many different subject areas, and
levels of students. (From the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory)
Exploring Middle School Reform - http://www.middleweb.com/ -
a general page for middle school educators. This page has got everything
- research, teaching strategies, curriculum materials, links, issues
facing schools in the middle of school reform, and more!
Helping Teachers - http://www.pacificnet.net/~mandel/index.html
- site is designed by teachers for teachers. It includes lesson plans,
teaching strategies, and materials for all content areas, including
special education and specialties. Since its written by teachers,
its very practical and user-friendly.
Circles Resource Center - A study circle is a group of
8-12 people from different backgrounds and viewpoints who meet several
times to talk about an issue. The idea is to share concerns and look
for ways to make things better. A facilitator helps the group focus
on different views and makes sure the discussion goes well. This
site explains how to run study circles, and offers examples
in the field of Education among others.
(Educatational Resource Information Center) - http://eric.uoregon.edu/index.html
This is the ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management. Great if youre
interested in current research on things like class size, student motivation,
and other educational issues.
Webn - http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/bluewebn/ - the
Blue Web'n Learning Sites page. Great for teachers in all grades and
subject areas. Lesson plans, curriculum ideas, and award-winning links.
to School Improvement - http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/pathwayg.htm
- Some interesting research from the North Central Regional Educational
Laboratory. Not necessarily specific to middle schools but some helpful
information and free resources.
& Melinda Gates Foundation - http://www.gatesfoundation.org
- Much information about grants,
scholarships, and other funding, as well as articles and links about
Schools Project - http://www.smallschoolsproject.org
- The Small Schools Project provides technical
assistance to the many new small schools being established in Washington
State and throughout the United States. Site offers toos, advice, scholarly
work, and much more.
Schools Workshop - http://www.smallschoolsworkshop.org -
Based at the U. of Chicago, the Workshop and this site coordinate national
efforts, provide much information, and enable communication among small
school reformers across the country.
Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools - http://www.bayces.org
their tag line, Coaching for educational equity and excellence,
this San Francisco based organization is a West Coast counterpart of
CCE and shares some of its board members. Good information on the site,
with an informative calendar.
Picture Company - http://www.bigpicture.org -
Focusing on one student at a time, Big Picture Company of
Rhode Island shares a number of philosophies and Board members with
CCE. Useful, informative site with clear explanations of many concepts.