Monday, November 14, 2011

The Five Minute Walkthrough

There has been much debate as to the acceptable length of time for a classroom walkthrough. Should the walkthrough period last three minutes or one-half hour? The Classroom Walkthrough with H.E.A.T./H.E.A.R.T. protocol advocates for a five-minute walkthrough process; however, the intent is not to walk into a classroom with blinders and merely check boxes, but to focus on data collection.

Conducting a H.E.A.T./H.E.A.R.T. walkthroughs is about corroborating the teaching strategies, learning activities, and evaluation techniques that were first identified in the teacher's lesson plan, unit plan, or on the standards posted on the whiteboard. During this five-minute process, the observer should be cognizant of possible artifacts including student work samples, student and teacher comments, handouts, teacher notes, and presentation materials that paint a clear picture as to the entire lesson episode.

This approach has numerous benefits: reduces frustration levels of teachers who complain that the observer came into class 15 minutes too early or 10 minutes too late, provides the observer with a sense of purpose for the walkthrough rather than just collecting data points, and offers a forum for continuous improvement and reflective practice as part of an ongoing professional development effort.