On Practicing the Practice

We're about one thing: improving the return on the precious time and money invested in professional development. We help SHOW what effective teaching looks like, SEE the impact on classroom teaching, and MEASURE the impact on student learning. Join the conversation.

A Principal for Failing Fast

In attempts to erase achievement gaps, transform instruction and invigorate learning communities, we school leaders craft improvement plans with targeted initiatives and specific objectives. But many are familiar with the military adage, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” (Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke) While we are not at war, schools face numerous challenges like limited time, money, and capacity; poverty-related issues; and – perhaps worst of all – satisfaction with the status quo. School improvement plans involve real students, real teachers, and real administrators.

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Applying Lean Methodology to K12 Part I: The MVP - Minimum Viable Practice

A week ago, the LessonCast team attended an edtech event hosted by New Schools Venture Fund and Imagine K12. Eric Ries shared his lean startup methodologies and how they relate to education startups. Among the gathering of education companies, new and veteran, Eric Ries spoke interview-style with Jennifer Carolan to share his lean startup methodologies and discuss how they relate to education startups. The prevailing theme seemed to be that every sector (including education) thinks that it’s special, and every sector (including education) isn’t. Lean startup principles work the same for edtech startups as they do for other companies.

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Applying Lean Methodology to K12 Part II: What to Build

Recapping Part I of our journey to apply lean methodology in a K-12 setting…
We started by defining the problem to be solved: increasing reading comprehension despite a limited amount of instructional time devoted to literacy instruction. Then we crafted a hypothesis: if we identify key reading strategies and apply them across content areas, then we’ll increase the amount of time spent in authentic reading-to-learn experiences and improve the students’ ability to comprehend a range of texts. And we developed a minimum viable practice (MVP): getting clear on the essential elements for effectively implementing the identified teaching practice.

With this hypothesis and MVP, we determined what to build to put our plan into action and test our theory.

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Applying Lean Methodology to K12 Part III: How to Measure Impact

Here’s a quick recap of parts I and II
In applying lean methodology to guide the implementation of our reading strategies initiative, we defined our problem, crafted a hypothesis, and used lessoncasts as the communication vehicle to define the minimum viable practice (the essential elements required for effectively implementing the identified teaching practice). We developed a two-week cycle to facilitate collaborative planning, reflection, iteration, and refinement.

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