The Iowa Core and its “Characteristics of Effective Instruction” are not new, but new this school year is an electronic template Indianola CSD administrators are using to observe the Characteristics of Effective Instruction in Indianola classrooms. Each of the five characteristics is paired with observable student and teacher behaviors that administrators look for during classroom walk-throughs. Since the eWalk tool, which is easily accessed via iPad, was created this fall, well over 1,000 classroom walk-throughs have been conducted by district administrators. After a walk-through the classroom teacher is emailed feedback, which notes the teacher and student behaviors observed that demonstrate the Characteristics of Effective Instruction and provides written comments.

The Characteristics of Effective Instruction being monitored are as follows:
Student-Centered Classrooms
Teaching for Understanding
Assessment for Learning
Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum
Teaching for Learner Differences

District professional development matches up well with these characteristics as staff continually examines curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Teachers know that educational best practices dramatically impact students’ learning. Administrators provide feedback and training, reinforcing these best practices. Walk-throughs are one tool being used frequently. Don’t be surprised if your student comes home and says he/she saw the superintendent or some other administrator in his/her classroom today!

If you would like to know more about classroom walk-throughs or the Characteristics of Effective Instruction, don’t hesitate to give me a call (515-961-9500) or stop by (1304 E. 2nd Avenue).