Elementary School Scenario

Elementary School Scenario #1
Mr. Watson has been teaching 5th grade Social Studies and Science for 4 years at
Sunny Brook Elementary School.
As principal, you have been confronted by several parents whose students are in Mr.
Watson’s classes. Parents are concerned that there is a huge “disconnect” between
how students perform on daily work and projects compared to their performance on
classroom assessments and school and district benchmark assessments. When
approached by parents, Mr. Watson states that students are experiencing test anxiety
or that he was unable to cover material that was part of the benchmark assessments.
A careful analysis of Mr. Watson’s grade book entries, assessment data, observations
and lesson plans indicate that students are not performing well on assessments and
that he has made no effort to amend his lesson plans and adapt his instructional
strategies to meet the areas of concern. Conversations with Mr. Watson and a careful
analysis of his lesson plans also show that he has not made attempts to address the
objectives he has failed to cover from the district pacing guide. Furthermore, daily
grades are clearly inflated in comparison to assessment scores.
As principal of Sunnybrook, how would you begin a conversation with Mr.
Watson concerning his grading practices and the use of formative assessment to
support teaching and learning in his classroom?
Elementary School Scenario #2
Mary Revis has been teaching for 8 years at Laurel Elementary School. In those 8
years, she has taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. She recently completed her master’s
degree in elementary education.
Visits to Ms. Revis’ classrooms and examination of student work samples, indicate that
she continues to approach Math instruction in a traditional way, relying mostly on
textbook resources, although the new standards validate the need for providing a very
different pedagogical approach to math instruction. She feels very strongly that her
traditional approach is best for her students as indicated by the fact that 85% or more of
her students are proficient in all of her classes.
You know that while Ms. Revis’ students consistently meet proficiency on their EOG
tests, her EVAAS reports show that her students are not meeting expected growth.
Specifically, students grouped in the highest tertile in her class are falling well below
expected growth targets.
What conversations would you have with Ms. Revis concerning growth versus
proficiency in light of her instructional practices?
Elementary Scenario #3
Ms. Lavender is a 2nd grade teacher at Walker Elementary School who is experiencing
a year in which her class is extremely diverse. Six of her twenty seven students are
ESL, five are exceptional and three are repeating the class due to retention. All of her
students are part of the RTI process--- a process which she enthusiastically and
carefully embraces and implements to fidelity. She collects a variety of data and uses
data to provide differentiated support for the wide range of abilities in her classroom.
Ms. Lavender is particularly challenged by the diverse range of reading abilities in her
class. She has attempted many strategies that have been discussed in her PLCs and
SIOP and Reading Foundations training sessions. She works well with specialists in
the school to attempt to meet the needs of her students and has actively searched for
and completed professional development activities focused on the addressing the
needs of her students and areas in which she feels that she needs professional support.
Early examination of her students’ performances in class show that her adaption of
instructional practices are making a difference as evidenced by increased student
engagement and student performance on in class assignments documented on
classroom walk-through documents. These improvements are not always reflected in
her students’ performances on benchmark assessments and MClass results.
Ms. Lavender is quickly becoming very frustrated and concerned that she is not meeting
the learning needs of her students although she appears to be embracing and
attempting all the “right” strategies.
As her principal, how would you guide and support her in moving forward? What
additional information might you collect to scaffold your support?
Elementary School Scenario #4
Ms. Greene is a 20 year veteran 3rd grade teacher. She is well-respected within the
school and community and well-liked by parents and students.
Stepping into Ms. Greene’s classroom, you are reminded of your own experiences as a
3rd grader. Students are happily engaged in a variety of hands-on activities. Ms.
Greene carefully plans lessons based on the NC Standard Course of Study and is
willing to try new strategies if she feels those strategies meet the needs of her students.
Multiple data sources indicate that Ms. Greene is an effective teacher. Last year, 82% of
Ms. Greene’s students were proficient as measured by the NC EOG Reading and Math
assessments. This percentage of proficiency is higher than other 3 rd grade teachers in
your building and higher than the district average. Her students typically show growth
during progress monitoring using MClass and reach benchmark levels prior to the end
of the year.
Given her students’ performances on a variety of assessments, Ms. Greene feels
confident that what she is doing for and with students in her classroom is sufficient.
This year your goal is to challenge Ms. Greene to be an even more effective
reflective practitioner, how do you begin this conversation? What data will you
use to show that she would benefit from challenging herself in this way?