Implementing instructional improvement strategies in school districts and other educational organizations that target the core of mathematics teaching and learning is difficult work. One challenge is that there are few tools practitioners can use to engage in frequent, systematic, disciplined inquiry regarding the implementation of particular strategies in and across various contexts. Practical measures (PMs) support this type of inquiry. We are developing a system of PMs, routines for using the measures, and representations of the resulting data to support instructional improvement in middle-grades math.
PMs in a nutshell
Are specific to improvement goals
Use language that is relevant and meaningful to practitioners
Are easy to implement
Provide frequent, rapid feedback
Directly inform efforts to track and improve practice
Can be easily embedded in professional learning
Are not meant to be used for accountability or high-stakes, evaluation purposes
Download the Measures
To access the measures, you will be asked to complete a short survey to let us know a bit about how you plan to use the measures. In return, we ask that you track any changes you make and tell us the rationale for these changes. We will periodically follow up and request that we can post the adapted measure on our website.
Our measures are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Launch of the Task
This short student survey provides insight into students’ experiences with the teacher’s introduction to (or launch of) a mathematical task. We designed the survey to be administered immediately after a task is introduced and to take about 1 minute to complete.
Rigor of the Task
This short checklist is designed to be used by a coach or district leader with a teacher to discuss the rigor of the task(s) selected for a lesson. We see this tool as working in tandem with the discussion tools, as the quality of discussion depends on the rigor of the mathematical task.
This document provides guidance regarding how you should, and should not, use these practical measures in service of instructional improvement. We have generated these “conditions of use” based on systematic inquiry into the use of the measures in our partner districts. We periodically update this document, based on what we are learning as our partner districts use the measures.
Small Group Work
This short student survey provides information about students' experiences of key aspects of small group work. The survey was designed to take about 2-3 minutes to complete.
This short student survey provides information about students' experiences with whole-class discussion in a specific lesson. The survey was designed to take 2-3 minutes to complete.
Professional Learning Measures
This short survey provides information about teachers’ experiences in collaborative professional learning contexts (e.g., job-embedded or pull-out professional development sessions). It was designed to aid facilitators as they support group members to: engage in discussions characterized by authentic, generative inquiry; deprivatize their practice for collective inquiry; view the professional learning as relevant to their own instructional contexts; and see themselves as valued members of the community. The survey takes about 4 - 5 minutes to complete.
These short teacher surveys provide information about a teacher’s experiences co-planning and debriefing a mathematics lesson with an instructional coach in a one-on-one coaching cycle.
This short teacher survey is intended to provide information about a teacher’s experience co-planning a mathematics lesson with an instructional coach
During this phase of the cycle a coach and a teacher might administer Classroom Measures (see above).
This short teacher survey is intended to provide information about a teacher’s experience debriefing a mathematics lesson with an instructional coach.
Bryk, A. S., Gomez, L. M., Grunow, A., & LeMahieu, P. G. (2015). Learning to improve: How America's schools can get better at getting better. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Solberg, L., Mosser, G., & McDonald, S. (1997). The three faces of performance measurement: Improvement, accountability, and research. Journal on Quality Improvement, 23(3), 135-148.