The planning conversation is when the teacher and principal (or instructional coach or teaching peer) collaborate and focus on the student-learning priorities for classroom-based observation. These priorities in early childhood may be established through a combination of individual learner needs, core curriculum/standards/outcomes, and school improvement goals.
In this planning conversation, Sophia Dubreuil, the teacher, and Michelle Pogliano, the Director of Early Childhood Programs/Principal, focus on one aspect of the Daily Student Learning Priorities (see Sophia’s Classroom In Action videos) and the unique goals that Sophia has developed for small group learning. Sophia has developed three small group learning activities that students will rotate through that focus on different language and math core curriculum skills. One center will focus on alphabet knowledge/skills (lead by Teaching Associate, Ms June and family volunteer), the second center will focus on shape/color recognition (lead by Speech Therapist) and Sophia’s small group will be focus on name/letter writing.
A specific emphasis in the planning conversation is Michelle’s approach in asking open-ended questions, listening carefully and confirming/extending Sophia’s thinking based on student learning priorities. Michelle asks Sophia to guide her observation data collection by telling her SPECIFICALLY what she wants Michelle to “look-n-listen” for and how she can collect student data to help Sophia know her instructional impact on learning.