The Formative Assessment Cycle (“Cycle of Inquiry”) is at the heart of the professional development program for all teachers in our district.
Teachers participating in induction receive intensive support from the mentor in order to isolate the specific skills and processes within this cycle so that teachers can focus their development of these skills in a more structured and supportive environment. All of the tools for these processes are available in the right column.
The initial Goal-Setting activities set the stage for teachers to then conduct two Cycles of Inquiry in which they will apply and test out new concepts and strategies in their classroom, collect classroom data, and reflect upon the way in which these concepts and strategies have made an impact on student learning. At the end of the year, PTs will reflect upon their growth, summarizing the key strategies they learned and key processes that supported their growth.
In addition to the Cycles of Inquiry, PTs select at least 3 activities from a menu of options to support their growth. These activities, linked to the right, include: Close Examination of a Special Population Student, Comparing Two Classes, Case Study Student, Learning through Observing, Connecting with Support Personnel, and Connecting with Families.
New Teacher Advisors support the growth of each PT by suggesting the activities that align most directly with the focus of each Cycle of Inquiry.