Reflective Friends- Fall Observations

The Reflective Friends (RF) process is nearly complete for my 4 schools for the Fall of 2011.  Glen Allen was selected as one of the pilot schools in the Spring of 2011.  Because of this, they are not officially involved in the RF process this year.  However, they will be doing a round of unofficial observations in November.  The teachers that have participated this year have done a great job.  This is a new process for elementary and it can seem overwhelming at the start.  After Carver, Longdale, and Harvie have been observed I believe that my teachers see the process for what it is, a positive experience that is only in place to help teachers.

Here is what has happened so far this year:

  • 6 teachers from each school were selected to participate, each grade level was represented.
  • Since this was baseline data that was collected, lessons were planned around programs that they were comfortable with using with their students at this point in the year.
  • Using the answers to the previous questions a lesson plan was developed.
  • We made appointments to work with the kids to review the skills that will be needed to make the chosen applications work.
  • An observation team made of up of 2 people visited each room for approximately 40-45 minutes.  The observation teams were made up of an ITRT (Elementary, Middle, or High) and an administrator from another school or Central Office.
  • The observers used the TIP-Chart to evaluate the lessons and provided constructive feedback for the teachers that will help them grow on the TIP-Chart.
  • Two interview panels were setup.  Groups of students and teachers were interviewed to collect additional information about 21st Century Skills.
  • At the end of the school day, the observation team leaders met with the school’s admin team and shared the data and information collected during the observations and interviews.

Just because the Fall observations are complete doesn’t mean that the RF process is complete.  The 6 teachers at each school are going to work with me throughout the year.  We are going to look at the feedback that they received and plan lessons that will help them progress on the TIP-Chart.

The most important idea for you to understand about the RF process is that this is not pass or fail.  RF is meant to be part of a professional development experience.

I am very happy to work with so many great teachers that had an awesome attitude towards this new process.  I am very excited to see the teachers and students grow this year.  RF is not going anywhere, there will be 6 new teachers selected next year.  More updates and news about RF will be shared here later this year.

Applications and tools used during the observations:





Google Earth





Daily Shoot

The Daily Shoot is something that I have just started to get into, but I think it would be something that has a lot of potential in our classrooms.  We always tell our students to “take another look” at something, well this is a way to do it.  The Daily Shoot works this way:

1.  A new challenge is posted at

2.  Users from around the world take photographs.

3.  The users post them online on Flickr, and make a “Tweet” using Twitter.[1.  Twitter can be used for a lot more than stalking celebrities.]

4.  The photographs are then compiled on the Daily Shoot website for everyone to see.

The work that has been submitted is awesome.  My daughter is always asking me what the challenge is and if she can help.  We can obviously modify parts of the project to fit our classroom environment, like extended the deadline from daily to weekly.  I have included some of my pictures below.  You can check out my Flickr PhotoStream here.  Let me know if this is a challenge that you would like to try in your classroom.

Click on one of the picture below to see a full size slide show.  When you are done, just click on a picture to get back here.

Google Calendars

This post is a response to people expressing issues with booking equipment on days in which a lot of equipment is already booked.  If you want to book a peice of equipment at the same time that another piece is already booked you will need to click and drag beginning with your start time.  There is a small space in each column next to the right of other appointments.  See the picture below to see this space.  As of right now, Google Calendars are the most efficient way to book multiple pieces of equipment at the same time.

HCPS Blogs

Henrico County recently announced that each teacher will have access to webspace through Just visit the site, watch the videos, and use your email username and password to get started.  The site that you create does not need to be run like a blog, you can create full feature and easy to use websites as well.  Make sure you claim your webspace today!  Happy Blogging!

Welcome to HCPS Blogs from Frank Fitzpatrick on Vimeo.