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Project READ’s IRIS Course Strategy Implementation Checklists and Fidelity of Instruction Checklist

Table of Contents

Project READ’s IRIS Course

California’s Project READ for middle schools is dedicated to increasing student reading and English Language Arts outcomes through teacher and leader professional development, parent and family support, and adaptive technology.

Project READ has partnered with the IRIS Center to develop and deliver a course presenting reading instructional strategies and skills applicable to struggling readers in middle schools. These strategies and skills address academic vocabulary development and multisyllabic decoding. In addition, emphasis is on applying reading comprehension strategies using content-area texts and working together in small groups. Select teachers and administrators from each school site complete this course.

The IRIS course consists of the completion of three online modules, participation in two half-day, on-site follow-up trainings, and on-site coaching. The three modules include:

Following completion of the online modules, the Site Coach provides two follow-up half-day trainings at the school site on the implementation of the reading instruction strategies and skills. At each training, each teacher selects a strategy to implement in a future lesson in his or her classroom. The Site Coach and/or Lead Administrator then visits during the lesson, using the appropriate strategy checklist to take notes and facilitate a reflective conversation with the teacher following the lesson. The strategy checklists are also excellent tools to support teachers in planning their lessons to ensure all the key elements of the strategy are included.

Once a teacher has completed the IRIS Course, the focus shifts to supporting teachers in incorporating vocabulary and comprehension instruction into their lessons in general. The Fidelity of Instruction Checklist (FIC) is used by teachers, Site Coaches, and Lead Administrators as a tool for lesson planning, ongoing classroom visits, reflective conversations, and coaching support in utilizing the new practices.

Strategy Implementation Checklists

As teachers consider which strategies to implement during follow-up training and coaching, the following table can be referred to in deciding which practice(s) will be most appropriate for the lessons they will be delivering. In addition to reviewing that portion of the related module, refer to the appropriate Strategy Checklist to review the key elements of implementing that strategy.

Criteria for Choosing an Instructional Strategy Strategies to Implement
The topic is new to students, so they are not likely to have any background knowledge on which to draw. Self-generated Questions
Students have some background knowledge about the topic or key ideas that can be activated, but most of the terms and information are new.

Anticipation-Reaction Guide

Possible Sentences

CSR

Students have been engaged in a unit of study and are learning a new concept within that unit or are pulling together a set of related concepts around a unifying term. Frayer Model Graphic Organizer
The teacher wants to incorporate experiential/hands-on activities as part of students’ learning of the terms. Frayer Model Graphic Organizer
The teacher wants to include practice writing responses in complete sentences as part of the students’ learning.

Anticipation-Reaction Guide

Possible Sentences

Self-generated Questions

The teacher wants to include prediction or anticipatory thinking about important concepts before students begin reading a text and return to those ideas after reading.

Anticipation-Reaction Guide

Possible Sentences

Students need to improve their academic vocabulary and gain deeper understanding of complex subject matter text. CSR
Eventually, students will be expected to use the practice as a strategy independently to monitor their own learning. Self-generated Questions
Students need to be able to identify key ideas in the text on their own.

Self-generated Questions

CSR

Students need to learn how to distinguish related ideas of a given concept or term. Frayer Model Graphic Organizer
Students need to learn to evaluate the strength of the ideas given as support for a concept. Anticipation-Reaction Guide
The teacher wants to engage students in meaningful group discussions of key ideas and vocabulary. CSR
Students need to practice applying vocabulary within the context of the information they are learning. Possible Sentences

Guidance for Completing Strategy Implementation Checklists

For each Strategy Checklist item there are two ratings. The first is the degree to which that element of the strategy is being implemented during the visit. The second is the quality of what’s being implemented. The table below provides general examples of how to differentiate levels of quality. In using a particular checklist, you will need to discern the levels for each item.

This will likely be the first use of these strategies in the classroom. A rating of 2 or 3 for implementation on at least half of the items, and the same for the quality rating, indicates good quality implementation. Coaching can then focus on enhancing the lower rated items and building on the higher rated items.

Quality Indicator Rating Guidance*

1

Low

2

Moderate

3

High
Uses language that is indirect and implicit Inconsistently uses language that is direct and explicit Uses language that is direct and explicit
Provides no models or examples Provides some examples Models many examples
Provides insufficient opportunities for practice with no variation Provides many opportunities for practice with little variation; practice opportunities do not seem to be based on student need Provides sufficient and varied opportunities for practice
Provides little feedback which is nonspecific or no feedback Provides inconsistent feedback Provides immediate, corrective, and descriptive feedback
Demonstrates poor use of time that is not differentiated and unrelated to student need or task difficulty Uses time appropriately, but use does not seem based on student need, yet still seems adequate for given activity Adjusts time to meet students’ needs
Demonstrates lack of monitoring or monitoring very few students Monitors some students or monitors all students for some activities Constantly monitors student performance
Scaffolds inappropriately or insufficiently Uses scaffolding inconsistently and does not always tailor it to student needs Scaffolds tasks and materials to meet student needs
Demonstrates poor pacing either too slow or too fast with no wait time provided Uses inconsistent pacing that varies between appropriate at times to “too fast” or “too slow” and provides insufficient wait time Uses appropriate pacing, including wait time

* This form was adapted from Edmonds, M. S., & Briggs, K. L. (2003), and Kamil, M., Borman, G., Dole, J., Kral, C., Salinger, T., Torgesen, J., et al. (2008), and should not be reproduced without specific permission.

 

Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR)

Strategy Implementation Checklist

Date:

Coach Name:

Teacher Name:

School Name:

Component Start Time Stop Time Implementation Quality
Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR)     Not apparent
0
Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low 0 Moderate 1 High
2
The teacher introduces the topic of the passage.                
Students write what they already know about the topic in their Learning Logs, and share their responses in pairs.                
Students skim the passage, using textual features (headings, pictures, graphs, etc.), write down predictions of what they might learn, and share their best ideas with the class.                
The teacher demonstrates the difference between a click and a clunk, has the class read a short section of text, then identify and write any “clunks” in their Learning Logs.                
Students use fix-up strategies to figure out the meanings of clunks in groups or on their own.                

 

Component Start Time Stop Time Implementation Quality
Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR)     Not apparent
0
Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low 0 Moderate 1 High
2
The teacher explains how to restate the most important point of a section of text in one’s own words, and then assigns a passage for the students to read.                
Students identify the most important idea in a section of text and restate the essence of the text in a brief sentence.                
Students imagine that they are teachers, and then write and answer test questions based on the text’s content.                
Students review what was learned by writing down the most important ideas from the day’s reading in their Learning Logs, then sharing their best ideas with the class.                
Students work cooperatively in groups using CSR roles (Leader, Clunk Expert, Gist Expert, Announcer, Timekeeper, Encourager).                
The teacher circulates among the groups providing guidance.                

Notes:

 

Frayer Model Graphic Organizer

Strategy Implementation Checklist

Date:

Coach Name:

Teacher Name:

School Name:

Component Start Time Stop Time Implementation Quality
Frayer Model Graphic Organizer     Not apparent
0
Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low 0 Moderate
1
High
2
The teacher introduces the Frayer Model Graphic Organizer by explaining “why” it is useful for building vocabulary and conceptual knowledge.                
The teacher models for students what information should go in each section: Term, Definition, Characteristics, Examples, and Non-Examples.                
The teacher demonstrates how to complete the graphic organizer by “talking through” how he or she is coming up with the information entered into each of the different sections.                
The teacher demonstrates how to use textbooks and other subject matter materials to generate and discuss the information for each section.                

 

Component Start Time Stop Time Implementation Quality
Frayer Model Graphic Organizer     Not apparent
0
Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low
0
Moderate
1
High
2
The teacher has students complete the Frayer Model Graphic Organizer template for a key vocabulary word or concept from a reading selection.                
Students read the assigned text and define the target concepts.                
Students discuss the definition of the key concept as a group.                
Students complete the characteristics, examples, and non-examples sections in small groups.                
Students review their knowledge of other words and relate the new word or concept to previous lessons.                
The teacher circulates among the groups providing guidance.                
Students share their conclusions, and provide their rationale with evidence from the text.                

Notes:

Self-Generated Questions

Strategy Implementation Checklist

Date:

Coach Name:

Teacher Name:

School Name:

Component Start Time Stop Time Implementation Quality
Self-Generated Questions     Not apparent 0 Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low 0 Moderate 1 High
2
The teacher provides students with cue cards outlining the 4 Steps to Generate Questions at each of three levels.                
The teacher models for students how to use their textbooks and other materials to generate and answer a particular level of question.                
The teacher reviews and models the steps for generating Level 1 Right There questions, where answers are explicitly stated in the text.                
The teacher reviews and models the steps for generating Level 2 Putting It Together questions, where answers can be found by putting together information from different parts of the text.                

Notes:

Notes:

 

Possible Sentences

Strategy Implementation Checklist

Date:

Coach Name:

Teacher Name:

School Name:

Component Start Time Stop Time Implementation Quality
Effective Vocabulary Instruction     Not apparent
0
Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low 0 Moderate 1 High
2
The teacher has selected a few critically important words to teach directly.                
The teacher introduces words by providing a simplified definition for all vocabulary.                
The teacher and students discuss examples of the words being used in different contexts.                
The teacher and students frequently discuss words, their meanings, and their relationships to known concepts.                
The teacher and students review vocabulary throughout the lesson and discuss the relationship among words.                
The teacher checks students’ developing understanding of vocabulary with different question types according to how deeply students need to know the words.                

Notes:

 

Component Start Time Stop Time Implementation Quality
Possible Sentences     Not apparent
0
Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low 0 Moderate 1 High
2
The teacher has selected6–8 new words and 4–6 related words that students already know.                
The teacher asks students to share what they know about words before providing simplified definitions for unknown words.                
The teacher and students form sentences with 2 or more words that predict how the words will be used in the passage.                
The teacher and students discuss sentences after reading and revise any inaccuracies.                
The teacher and students discuss revised sentences and decide whether to add sentences to include more information.                

Notes:

 

Anticipation-Reaction Guides

Strategy Implementation Checklist

Date:

Coach Name:

Teacher Name:

School Name:

Component Start Time Stop Time Implementation Quality
Effective Vocabulary Instruction     Not apparent
0
Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low 0 Moderate 1 High
2
The teacher has clearly stated what the students should know and be able to do after reading the text.                
The teacher explains how the reading relates to what the students have been studying.                
The teacher has selected a text of appropriate complexity.                
The teacher provides comprehension instruction before, during, and after reading the text.                
The teacher and students frequently discuss their understanding of the text.                
The teacher checks students' developing understanding of vocabulary with different question types according to how deeply students need to know the words.                
The teacher has selected6–8 new words and 4–6 related words that students already know.                
The teacher asks students to share what they know about words before providing simplified definitions for unknown words.                
The teacher and students form sentences with 2 or more words that predict how the words will be used in the passage.                
The teacher and students discuss sentences after reading and revise any inaccuracies.                
The teacher and students discuss revised sentences and decide whether to add sentences to include more information.                

Notes:

 

Possible Sentences

Strategy Implementation Checklist

Date:

Coach Name:

Teacher Name:

School Name: 

 

Component Start Time Stop Time Implementation Quality
Effective Vocabulary Instruction     Not apparent
0
Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low 0 Moderate 1 High
2
The teacher has selected a few critically important words to teach directly.                
The teacher introduces words by providing a simplified definition for all vocabulary.                
The teacher and students discuss examples of the words being used in different contexts.                
The teacher and students frequently discuss words, their meanings, and their relationships to known concepts.                
The teacher and students review vocabulary throughout the lesson and discuss the relationship among words.                
The teacher checks students’ developing understanding of vocabulary with different question types according to how deeply students need to know the words.                

Notes:

Component Start Time Stop Time Implementation Quality
Possible Sentences     Not apparent
0
Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low 0 Moderate 1 High
2
The teacher has selected6–8 new words and 4–6 related words that students already know.                
The teacher asks students to share what they know about words before providing simplified definitions for unknown words.                
The teacher and students form sentences with 2 or more words that predict how the words will be used in the passage.                
The teacher and students discuss sentences after reading and revise any inaccuracies.                
The teacher and students discuss revised sentences and decide whether to add sentences to include more information.                

Notes:

 

Anticipation-Reaction Guides

Strategy Implementation Checklist

Date:

Coach Name:

Teacher Name:

School Name:

Compnent Start Time Stop Time Implementation Quality
Effective Comprehension Instruction     Not apparent
0
Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low
0
Moderate
1
High
2
The teacher has clearly stated what the students should know and be able to do after reading the text.                
The teacher explains how the reading relates to what the students have been studying.                
The teacher has selected a text of appropriate complexity.                
The teacher provides comprehension instruction before, during, and after reading the text.                
The teacher and students frequently discuss their understanding of the text.                

Notes:

Component Start Time End Time Implementation Quality
Anticipation-Reaction Guides     Not apparent
0
Somewhat apparent
1
Readily apparent
2
Low
0
Moderate
1
High
2
The teacher has identified 3–5 key principles, concepts, or themes in the reading which are written as opinion statements on the guide.                
The teacher asks students to consider each statement and provide a rationale for agreeing or disagreeing.                
The teacher and students discuss relevant background knowledge and experiences that support alternative perspectives on each statement before reading the text.                
The teacher and students read and reread the text to identify and record evidence for each statement.                
The teacher and students evaluate the textual evidence supporting the reader’s and author’s perspectives on the statements.                
The teacher and students discuss rationale for confirming or changing a perspective on the statements after reading the text.                

Using the Fidelity of Instruction Checklist

The Project READ Fidelity of Instruction Checklist (FIC) is a two-page tool used to monitor implementation of the practices, skills, and behaviors learned in the Project READ Teaching Reading in the Content Areas IRIS Course.

The course includes strategies that support the implementation of the Common Core by focusing on personnel development for content-area teachers to improve students’ reading comprehension of complex subject matter texts. The FIC is measuring the integration of those skills and focus on vocabulary and comprehension instruction into ongoing classroom teaching.

FIC ratings and notes are designed to support the identification of areas where teachers have strongly developed and used their new skills, and areas where teachers could benefit from further coaching support. Page 1 records ratings and notes on each of 10 practices. Page 2 includes summative scoring and notes, along with additional instructions, and a rating scale.

Teachers who have completed an IRIS Course are encouraged to use this checklist as a tool for reflecting on their development in the integration of teaching reading vocabulary and comprehension in their content-area classrooms.

The Site Coach or Lead Administrator will complete the FIC with each of the selected teachers who completed the IRIS Course. Using the FIC involves the Site Coach or Lead Administrator making a visit to the classroom for 20-30 minutes during instruction followed by 20-30 minutes of reflective conversation with the teacher.

This conversation is a key part of completing the checklist, including addressing checklist items that are not in evidence during classroom instruction. This is a reflective process with the teacher which is an opportunity for the Site Coach or Lead Administrator to both provide support and to deepen their understanding of the needs of the school.

This is a process that takes 40-60 minutes. Note: It will be important that the instruction that occurs during the classroom visit is text-based rather than a lab, for example.

Once completed, the Site Coach and Lead Administrator will look across all the FICs for their teachers and summarize what was learned about the teachers’ skills and needs to inform future coaching and support for individual teachers and the school as a whole. The Site Coach or Lead Administrator should complete FICs once per semester with teachers who have completed an IRIS Course, at least until the checklist elements are implemented at a level of “good” or better on at least 70 percent of items.

IDEAS that Work!

Project READ is a California Department of Education, Special Education Division project funded through a federal competitively-awarded State Personnel Development Grant to California (#H323A120019) provided from the U.S. Department of Education Part D of the Individuals with Disabilities Education act (IDEA), Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.