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Conducting Observation

Once you have determined the focus of your observation, you are ready to observe a shared reading session. An observation also includes debriefing with the adult reading partner. Plan to do the following: 

  1. Observe and record what happens
  2. Facilitate adult self-reflection  
  3. Provide descriptive feedback

You are encouraged to observe (i.e., face-to-face, virtual, or recording) and debrief at least once a month throughout the school year in each participating classroom. 

Refer to the appropriate section(s) of the Coach Observation form (i.e., Shared Reading, Follow the CAR, or Putting the CROWD in the CAR Observation Form).

Observe a shared reading lesson. Use the Big Ideas and the guiding statements to support you in looking for teaching behaviors that will maximize engagement and interaction with students. Indicate “Yes” if the guiding statement was observed or “No” if it was not.  If applicable, consider previous observations, areas of growth, or areas that have consistently been marked “No”. 

During the debriefing, your goal is to foster the adult reading partner’s thinking and problem-solving skills so they can discover their own solutions. The way an adult conducts a shared reading lesson will be influenced by their knowledge and experience, as well as student needs. Listening and allowing time for the adult to think and respond is necessary if they are to come up with their own aha moments that shape their shared reading practice. 

To facilitate self-reflection, initially refrain from sharing your thoughts. Instead, for the first 10 minutes or so, let the adult talk about what happened during the lesson, what worked, what was successful, and how certain students responded. Then, follow up with a question about something the adult reading partner commented on. If the adult is having trouble reflecting on the session, suggest having them look at the adult self-reflection form to give them ideas.  

By listening closely to what the adult reading partners are saying it will help you make decisions about whether to co-plan, provide a personalized coaching session, or provide additional information through a content activity. The goal is to provide support that will help the adult move forward in maximizing student engagement and interaction. 

At the end of the debriefing session, determine together with the adult partner areas of high, medium and low priority. As a coach your goal is to help the adult set their own instructional priorities for learning. For each high priority, the coach and adult reading partner will determine the type of follow-up support that is needed: co-planning, personalized coaching, or content activity.

Share descriptive feedback that is supportive, constructive, and promotes self-reflection. Describe rather than evaluate. A non-judgmental relationship with the adult reading partner will allow for open discussions.

Include specific information that will help the adult think through what they need to do to improve their implementation of shared reading. 

Use the Big Ideas and guiding statements on the Coach Observation to guide descriptive feedback to the adult reading partner. Below are some examples of how you might approach descriptive feedback on a few of the guiding statements.  

Guiding Statement : The adult chose texts that are the right length to hold students’ attention.

Descriptive Feedback : I have a thought… 
Example: I have a thought since your students seem to love ___, I wonder if you could find a book on that topic. 

Guiding Statement : The adult planned some comments that focused student attention on the print.

Descriptive Feedback : I know you’re working on ______, have you thought about ______?
Example: I know you are working on uppercase letters during your writing time, have you thought about pointing out uppercase letters in the book? 

Guiding Statement : The adult read with expression that matched the meaning of the text while changing pitch, tone, volume, and speed to mark questions, important words, and other text features. 

Descriptive Feedback : When you read…
Example: When you read, you are very expressive. That will really help your students attend to you and the story. It may also help them understand the story. 

Guiding Statement : The adult repeated the student communication and added a word or symbol, or the adult described what a student did and demonstrated how to use a symbol to communicate it. 

Descriptive Feedback : I noticed…Have you thought about…?
Example: I noticed when Marti smiled that you said, “I see you smiling, I think you may like it when the dog jumps in the water.” Have you thought about also showing him how he could say LIKE with his communication board? 

Guiding Statement : The adult made comments that connected the text they read to the students’ life experiences. 

Descriptive Feedback : Ask adult reading partners to make a list about the things they know their students have experienced.
Example: It doesn’t seem like Machala has been interested in the last couple of books you read. Think about what things she has experienced here at school that she seemed to like. Then I’ll help you find some books about those experiences so we can try and get her interested in the book. 

Guiding Statement : The adult encouraged students to participate without requiring it. 

Descriptive Feedback : Did you notice when you did __ the student ___? 
Example: Did you notice when you gave the students a longer wait time before making your comments that Jorge and Kiara both looked at their communication boards? 

Guiding Statement : The adult paused and looked expectantly at the students after reading each page.

Descriptive Feedback : Ask  adult reading partners to reflect on their own practice. 
Example: After reading some of the pages you waited 5 seconds and on other pages you waited 3 seconds. What are some strategies you could use to help you give students more time to respond?