Coaching Teachers

This week, I am referring to ISTE Coaching Standard 2: Teaching Learning and Assessments.

2e- Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences using differentiation, including adjusting content, process, product and learning environment based on student readiness levels, learning styles, interests and personal goals.

Last year, I took a class through SPU and was introduced to the Smarter Balanced Library. It really helped me understand how Formative Assessments inform your teaching practice. I used to think that you gave a mini-check up on what you are teaching and then pull back small groups. While it is that, additionally I learned that to intentionally move learning forward, there are four attributes to actively consider that round out the cycle of formative assessment. Below is a video that explains the process:

A breakdown of the cycle of Formative Assessment using the four attributes.

Step 1: Clarify Intended Learning

This step helps teachers and students understand the expectations and goals of a lesson. The learning target must focus on what they learn, and not on what they do. Success criteria are observable and measurable behaviors that let both the teacher and students know that the learning target has been met.

Step 2: Elicit Evidence

Teachers are able to elicit evidence in a variety of ways. The teacher can create questions ahead of teaching the lesson, as well as in the moment. The teacher should visit groups to listen and observe student understanding. Other ways to gather evidence is student reflection and exit tickets. These are just a few ways that teachers and students can make sure that learning is occurring.

Step 3: Interpret Evidence

This step can be done by the teacher, as well as by the individual student, or in peer groups. This step is important because you are figuring out if there is a gap in understanding, minor calculation error, or a need for additional supports. In my class, I like to engage my students in this process. Often I will team students up (after I have looked at the work) and ask them to work together to compare work and analyze their results.

Step 4: Act on Evidence

Since our goal is to move students learning forward, it is important that this step is implemented in a timely manner. The specific feedback that is provided to the student should help them develop strategies to meet their learning goals. Building of the information we learned in step 3, we need to engage in the material a new way, strengthen background knowledge, or in the case of student achievement; enrich.

To support formative assessment, the Digital Library is an online collection of high-quality instructional and professional learning resources contributed by educators for educators. These resources are aligned to college- and career-ready standards [sic] and help educators implement the formative assessment process to improve teaching and learning.


The Smarter Balance Library offers so much more!

Now that we have addressed formative assessment, I would like to show you some of my favorite features of the Smarter Balance Library that will assist you further in your teaching practice! Think of the Library as a coach at your fingertips, all you need is wi-fi and a device, although registering for an account will be necessary. (If you would like to register for a Digital Library account click here.)

The Library is made up of three parts:


  • Time-saving, teacher-created tools. (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2019, from
  • Smarter, A. (2013, September 09). The Four Attributes of the Formative Assessment Process. Retrieved May 25, 2019, from

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