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The Power of Teacher Rounds

The Power of Teacher Rounds
A Guide for Facilitators, Principals, & Department Chairs

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May 2014 | 176 pages | Corwin

The definitive, step-by-step guide for conducting teacher rounds!

It’s a revolutionary idea: rather than working in isolation, teachers have much to learn from each other. With teacher rounds, educators share insights and grow professionally, benefitting from the peer learning common in other demanding fields. This invaluable book dives into the details of implementing a successful teacher rounds program, and provides a complete and practical step-by-step plan.

Written by two respected pioneers of the teacher rounds movement, this resource is especially useful for school leaders and rounds facilitators. Readers will learn how to

  • Realize the potential of teacher rounds as a strategy for Common Core implementation
  • Develop rounds facilitation techniques through vignettes, video clips, and group learning exercises
  • Create positive, empowering teams that lift both instruction and student performance

Tap into the knowledge and best practices present throughout this helpful book, and see how your teacher rounds program can thrive!

Getting from Then to Now

Implementing the Common Core State Standards

About this Book

Part I - Background
1. What is Rounds?
Rounds is a Unique Form of Professional Development

A Rounds Group in Action: A True-to-Life Story

Pre Rounds Meeting - Choosing a Compelling Problem of Practice

Preparing the Host Teacher

Observing the Host Teacher Teach

Debriefing the Observation

Committing to a Change of Practice

It's a Circular Path to Perfection

2. Why Do Rounds?
Rounds Creates a Framework for Critical Colleagueship

Rounds Facilities the Sharing for Successful Practice

Rounds Helps Develop a Shared Vision of Good Teaching

Rounds is Low-Cost, High-Impact Strategy for Implementing the Common Core State Standards

Rounds is Aligned With Learning Forward's Standards for Professional Learning

3. Who Does Rounds?
The Rounds Group

Challenges for the Group

The Rounds Facilitators

Challenges for Facilitators

Facilitator Study Groups

The Host Teacher

Preparation for the Observation

Following the Observation

Part II - Facilitators
4. How to Prepare for Rounds
Step 1: Lay Groundwork for Collaboration

Establish Norms

Learn How to Observe: Conduct A Rounds Observation Workshop

Step 2: Conduct the Introduction to Rounds Meeting

5. How to Implement Rounds
Step 1: Facilitator Prepares the Host Teacher

Supporting the Host Teacher in Preparing the Form

Using the Host Teacher Preparation Form

Don't Forget the Kids

Step 2: Rounds Group Observes the Host Teacher's Class

Step 3: Group Debriefs the Observation

Step 4: Group Conducts the Next Rounds Meeting

Developing a list of Common Criteria

Step 5: Teachers Share a Record of Practice

Examples of Commitments to Change and Records of Practice

6. Year-End Wrap-Up
Has the Work Improved Student Learning?

The Answer is Yes!

Video Case: Examining One Teacher's Change of Practice

Framing the Context

The Power of Teacher Rounds

End of Year Reflection

7. Case & Guides to Case Analysis
Using Cases to Facilitate Discussion of Issues Confronting Rounds Groups

How and When to Use Cases



Part III - Principals & Department Chairs
8. Role of the Principal
Understand what Rounds Requires

Assess Teacher Talent

Choose the Best Candidates

Lay the Cultural Groundwork

Build on Firm Ground With Good Resources

Provide Ongoing Support

9. Rounds for Department Chairs: Improving High School Teacher Development & Supervision
Department Chairs Step Up

Pull the Lever

The Difference Between Department Chair Rounds and Faculty Rounds

How to Implement Department Chair Rounds

Build a Culture of Trust

Select your DCR Facilitator

Facilitator Frames Rounds

Prepare the Department Chair Host

Choose a Compelling Problem of Practice

Prepare for the Round

Follow the Protocol for Debriefing

Watch the Video

Practice our Post-Observation Conference End Game

Make an End Game Checklist

Part IV - Appendices
A. CCSS Speaking and Listening Standard 6-12
B. Glenda's Host Teacher Preparation Form
C. Glenda's Record of Practice
D. Observation Workshop: Learning to See, Unlearning to Judge
E. Example of a Problem Aligned to the Common Core State
F. Alex's Host Teacher Preperation Form
G. Alex's Student Slides
H: Alex's Student Email Response


"What Vivian Troen and Kitty Boles have done in this book is…the use of rounds as a dedicated learning environment for teachers. This book provides the scaffolding and support that teachers can use, on their own, or in an organized fashion as part of more systemic strategy, to create the infrastructure necessary to bring collective learning deliberately and explicitly into the daily life of teachers. Troen and Boles stress in many places in this book the importance of rounds as a cultural-building practice.  For me, this is the central contribution they make. Rounds is not simply a practice; it is a practice in the service of building a professional culture."

Richard F. Elmore, Professor of Educational Leadership
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Key features
(1) Highlights the elements of effective Rounds and provides facilitators with specific skills that will enable them to develop well-functioning teacher Rounds groups that improve instruction and student learning in their schools.

(2) Encompasses a variety of strategies and tools including guided instruction, group activities, diagrams, illustrations and templates.

(3) Makes effective use of teaching cases and provides facilitators with a protocol for case analysis.

(4) Original video clips of Rounds in action will be provided for analysis by partipants.

(5) Explores the application of Rounds as a professional learning design for Common Core implementation.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents


For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483349947

ISBN: 9781483349954