A monthly eblast highlighting school-based successful practices, tools, and resources that support teaching and learning.
February 2017
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The February edition of IndistarBURST is jam packed with great resources to support Instructional Teams. We're providing a link to the recent webinar – Instructional Teaming Builds Student Success, for those who couldn’t log in live. We are also providing a look at another successful high school Instructional Team from Indicators in Action. An Instructional Team Self-Assessment Rubric will support improvement efforts for your teams. Continuing our emphasis on Personal Competencies, we are highlighting Metacognitive Competency. Finally, we are featuring another app in our edshelf series. We know you’ll find this information helpful in your school improvement efforts.
Read on!
This month’s Center on Innovations in Learning (CIL) webinar, Leadership and Innovation: Instructional Teaming Builds Student Success featured valuable information and resources to help build strong Instructional Teams. In addition, and providing a highlight during the webinar, were contributions from an outstanding Instructional Team from Sabbatus Primary School in Sabbatus, Maine, lead by their principal, Kathy Martin, about teaming, data analysis, and the use of a data wall.
Follow these directions to view the webinar:
Now that you’ve seen a video clip and heard from an elementary team working collaboratively, we want to present a high school Chemistry team working through the same process. This video clip from Indicators in Action shows the team analyzing post-test results to determine how their students did as well as what the teachers would need to include as review questions on the next assessment. Listen as they share, openly and honestly, the strengths and weaknesses of their instructional methods and arrive at an approach they believe will lead to improved student learning.
Click on this picture and select #21 – *Aligning in Action - from the menu on the left to view this team in action.
Note: This clip is part of Indicators in Action, a comprehensive video-based professional development series that shows what great educational practices look like in action. Indicators in Action addresses three essential elements of successful teaching and learning:
  • Exceptional Leadership
  • Great Instruction
  • Strong School Communities
Each element is developed with explanations, video clips, and tools and templates provided within Indicators in Action. Open this link to hear a brief overview and get started today.
One of the many exceptional resources shared during this month’s webinar was the Instructional Team Self-Assessment Rubric. This tool can help your Instructional Team assess the quality of the team’s membership and meetings, the use of agendas and minutes, and its ability to create high-quality units of instruction.
Directions for use of the rubric and clear statements of the components, based on Indistar’s Indicators of Effective Practice, are included in the document. In addition, links to Wise Ways and video clips that support each component make accessing support a click away. Download the rubric today, by clicking on the picture above, to assess your teams’ current practice and Get Better Together (that’s a phrase you’ll see in many Indistar documents!)
This month we feature Metacognitive Competency in our continuing focus on Personal Competencies.  Future editions of IndistarBURST will highlight the final two competencies (Motivational, and Social/Emotional). Metacognitive Competency, simply stated, is the ability to self-regulate learning and use learning strategies. Metacognitive Competency and all the competencies are not static and fixed, but represent “an ever-evolving accumulation of related capabilities that facilitate learning and other forms of goal attainment” (Redding, 2014, p. 3). High-quality teaching supports students’ ever growing competencies.
To learn more about Metacognitive Competency, read pp. 9-13 in Sam Redding's, Personal Competencies: A Framework for Building Students' Capacity To Learn (Center on Innovations in Learning, 2014). To see a list of Personal Competency indicators as well as research briefs, visit
In addition, please visit IndistarConnect and read the following two blogs for in depth discussions about Metacognition:
Metacognition: Higher-order Strategic Processing For All Students
Metacognition - A View From The Classroom
February’s edshelf offering provides opportunities for active student engagement and collaboration. Dotstorming is a real-time brainstorming and decision-making app. It takes the process of voting online and allows individuals to respond and explain their thinking about any prompt (visual or text), or groups of students to collaborate on a topic. Find out more about Dotstorming here.
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