Mike Schmoker - School and District Improvement, Assessment, Curriculum and Staff Development and Consultation

TEAM PROTOCOLS/NORMS [samples only--feel free to adopt/adapt]

At the BEGINNING of each team meeting, the team will briefly review the following team norms.  

The primary purposes of our team meetings are to:

  • create or revise…
    • standards maps (containing “power standards” to be taught by quarter)
    • common assessments (for lessons, units, end-of-course or grading period)
  • create/revise standards-based lessons and instructional units
  • recognize and celebrate measurable accomplishments and “small wins” like the above—but especially successful lessons and units, as measured by common assessments
  • analyze results of common assessments for improvement purposes    

Time is precious; we will set and observe times for certain portions of meetings

--one member of the team will serve as a timekeeper

--we will use “brainstorming guidelines” whenever appropriate for generating good ideas, products or solutions quickly and concisely

If the discussion begins to drift or shift from a focus on the above tasks, all/any team  members are responsible for bringing the group back to the task at hand

At the END of each team meeting, the team will briefly evaluate how well the team followed the above team norms.

Mike Schmoker


Lesson Planning Protocol – Mike Schmoker

(use in conjunction with the Team Learning Log on p. 5 of the handout entitled Results: the Essential Elements of Improvement)

1)   FOCUS (3-5 minutes):  Identify the specific learning objective. Display for all participants to see, e.g., on a flipchart. 

2)  CREATE AN ASSESSMENT aligned with the standard/learning objective.

3)  QUIET WRITE (1 minute):  Write individually and quietly: privately brainstorm, on paper, for elements, steps or strategies that might go into an effective lesson for that particular standard/objective, i.e. a lesson which would help the greatest number of students to succeed on the assessment created in step 2, above.  

4)  BRAINSTORM (4-7 minutes):   As a team, use good brainstorming protocol (see "Brainstorming Guidelines" on p. 3 of RESULTS: THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS..." handout)  to capture 12-14 ideas on a flipchart.

5)  SELECT (3-8minutes):  As a team, select the best strategies, steps, elements--those which would combine most effectively to promote student success on your assessment.

6)  OUTLINE LESSON (5-15 minutes):  As a team, use the best ideas (which you just selected—in step 4) to build an outline of the lesson.  Collect related ideas together, sequence them, and add or rearrange ideas as necessary.  Outline the lesson on one flipchart page.

7)  Implement the lesson in the coming days/weeks--and assess results: literally the number/percentage of students who succeeded on the assessment.   

8)  NEXT MEETING:  Discuss results--i.e. how many students succeeded ("62 out of 80 students" or "76% of students succeeded”)--as well as areas of strength or weakness.  Then discuss adjustments to instruction--relative to the area of strength or weakness. 

Record all of the above—briefly--on the “Team Learning Log” (p. 5 in the Results handout).


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