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Evaluations are critical to the success of classroom instruction and for meeting high standards in our schools. The Thoughtful Classroom Evaluation Framework provides administrators and educators with the tools they need to refine the evaluation process and reap the most benefits. The following are FAQs regarding classroom evaluations, and in particular, the Thoughtful Classroom Evaluation Framework.

What Is the Thoughtful Classroom Teacher Evaluation Framework?

This is a comprehensive method that assists educators with the process of observing, evaluating, and then refining best classroom practices. The primary goal of the Evaluation Framework is to create common information and language for discussing what high-quality teaching looks like and what steps can be taken to improve teaching methods in the classroom. Standard for Success provides software for the Thoughtful Classroom Evaluation Framework so administrators can easily implement this evaluation method.

How is the Thoughtful Classroom Framework different from other evaluation models?

One of the primary differences is a strong emphasis on teacher instruction. Two out of the three Framework components directly focus on instruction. Another important difference is that this comprehensive evaluation model is built on a wide range of research on teacher effectiveness and the best methods for instructional design.

What are the key concepts of the Thoughtful Classroom Evaluation Framework?

The Evaluation Framework consists of ten different dimensions that are organized into three separate components. There are four cornerstones that are foundational to the evaluation method. These include an emphasis on organization, rules, and procedures; building positive relationships between students and teachers; promoting a culture of thinking and learning; and teachers providing not only engagement among their students but creating enjoyment and a love of learning.

Which portions of the Thoughtful Classroom Framework are the most important?

The most important aspects include the Four Cornerstones of effective teaching. These are the first four dimensions and include Organization, Rules, and Procedures; Positive Relationships; Engagement and Enjoyment; A Culture of Thinking and Learning.

What are the 10 dimensions of the Thoughtful Classroom Framework?

According to the Thoughtful Classroom framework, the 10 dimensions of teaching include:

  1. Organization, Rules, and Procedures
  2. Positive Relationships
  3. Engagement and Enjoyment
  4. A Culture of Thinking and Learning
  5. Preparing Students for New Learning
  6. Presenting New Learning
  7. Deepening and Reinforcing Learning
  8. Applying Learning
  9. Reflecting On and Celebrating Learning
  10. Effective Professional Practice: Looking Beyond the Classroom

 Details of the overarching question each dimension attempts to answer

These include the following:

  1. Organizations, rules, and procedures answer the question of how an instructor organizes a classroom to enhance learning and if all procedures and rules make expectations clear.
  2. Positive relationships asks how teachers are building relationships with their students.
  3. Engagement and enjoyment involve how educators inspire their students to do their best.
  4. A culture of thinking and learning means asking how a teacher develops deeper forms of thinking.
  5. Preparing students for new learning is about finding out how an instructor activates prior knowledge.
  6. Presenting new learning involves asking how educators are teaching new material and information.
  7. Deepening and reinforcing learning asks how teachers help students understand new skills.
  8. Applying learning relates to how instructors help their students demonstrate what they’ve learned.
  9. Reflecting on and celebrating learning will ask how teachers refine the process of learning.
  10. Effective Professional Practice is about how teachers are engaged in professional learning. It’s important for educators to receive high-quality professional development on a regular and on-going basis.

 What are the three sets of indicators?

The three sets of indicators include the following:

  1. Commitment to Professional Growth
  2. Commitment to the School Community
  3. Commitment to Professionalism

Detail the four-point rubric within each set of indicators

Each indicator and its four-point rubric are as follows:

  • Professional Growth –
    • Self-Assessment and Works to Improve Best Practices in Each Classroom
    • Implements Professional Plans for Growth
    • Continuous Professional Development and Learning
    • Ongoing Work with Colleagues
  • School Community –
    • Open Communication with Everyone in the School Community
    • Strives to Take on Relevant Leadership Roles
    • Help Build a positive culture in the School
  • Professionalism –
    • Cultivates and Continues High Levels of Professionalism
    • Follows all Current Educational Policies and Legal Responsibilities

Where is the Thoughtful Classroom Framework used?

The states that currently use this method are Michigan, New Jersey, and New York.

 What are the components of effective training, and what do they measure?

The components of effective training include the ten dimensions. They are grouped in the following way:

  • Component One – These are the four cornerstones of effective teaching and they include dimensions 1, 2, 3, and 4. They measure the overall atmosphere and tone that is set for learning to occur.
  • Component Two – These are the five episodes of effective instruction and they include dimensions 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. They measure the actual quality of instruction.
  • Component Three – This is effective professional practice and includes dimension 10. It measures non-instructional responsibilities such as an educator’s commitment to school community, continued learning, and professionalism.

 How can evidence be collected for the Thoughtful Classroom Framework?

Evidence is collected through the following:

  • Formal Observation – This observation normally involves a pre and post meeting and is announced ahead of time. Standard for Success can provide external evaluators for busy administrators.
  • Informal Observation – An informal observation is usually shorter in duration. They are often unannounced and should happen throughout the year.

 How should an observation be conducted for the Thoughtful Classroom Framework?

Follow these steps to conduct an observation:

  • Determine whether it should be a formal or informal observation.
  • Review each dimension and the instructional indicators.
  • Select a paper form or online template for the observation.
  • Use “evident,” “not evident,” or “missed opportunity” to collect information.
  • Remember that all indicators don’t need to be addressed.
  • Assess student behaviors that indicate effective instruction.
  • Collect notes that will support the observation.

 How should feedback be given during a post-evaluation conference?

These are the steps to take when providing effective feedback.

  • Review – Ask questions such as: What did you and the students do during the lesson?
  • Reactions – Ask questions such as: What are your personal reactions to each lesson?
  • Reasons – Ask questions such as: Did you modify any plans during the lesson?
  • Rethink – Ask questions such as: What would you do differently next time?
  • Reflect – Ask questions such as: How did the observation process work for you?

 What feedback is most meaningful?

The most meaningful feedback will include the Four Ps.

  • Provide evidence that supports the observation.
  • Praise positive behaviors that contribute to learning.
  • Pose questions that reflect on the instructor’s decisions.
  • Propose how to improve the educator’s practice.

 What are the four scores a teacher can receive, and what do they mean?

The following are the scores and their meanings.

  1. Novice: The educator is not engaged in professional growth.
  2. Developing: The educator has made an initial effort but needs prompting in many areas.
  3. Proficient: The educator is committed to growth and applies relevant practices.
  4. Expert: The educator is a committed professional who consistently contributes to the school community.

Interested In Taking Your Evaluations To The Next Level?

If you’re ready to implement the Thoughtful Classroom rubric in your school or district, we’re here to help. Contact us today to request a FREE demo to learn more about how our software can help you quickly and simply get started with Thoughtful Classroom.


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