Before delivering a lesson to his students at Mading Elementary School, fifth-grade teacher Marques Guillory often first presents his lesson to a group of teachers on his campus. The practice, called “at bats,” gives Guillory a chance to have a few swings at instruction before presenting in front of his students.
“It’s kind of like a pre-game or pre-lesson, and you get feedback from your colleagues,” Guillory said.
Mading, which is part of the district’s Achieve 180 initiative, is using the at-bats strategy to ensure every teacher delivers effective and quality instruction to students the first time. Mading Principal Nicole Haskins explained the at-bats strategy and other instructional techniques her campus is using to HISD Board of Education members during a presentation on Dec. 5.
“At Mading we are focused on first-time instructional excellence and using individual student data to drive instruction,” Haskins said. “We measure the effective of instruction by using what we call an exit ticket for a student. So when students leaves a class after a lesson, the teacher knows exactly which kids they need to pull the next day to work with individually.”
Instructional excellence and teacher excellence are key components of Achieve 180, which consists of six guiding pillars that provide a strategic framework for the transformational work happening at 45 campus that are part of the district’s turnaround initiative. Other pillars include leadership excellence, school design , social and emotional learning support, and family and community empowerment.
At Mading, Haskins and her team have worked hard to develop relationships with students’ families by holding regular family empowerment and literacy nights. Staff also conduct home visits to see what resources families need to ensure their child attends school every day.
“At our family nights, we have parents go up and document what they will do to help their student and the school,” Haskins said. “Out of our 249 families, we recently had 149 turn out for an event.”
Mading is about two points off from meeting academic standards set by the state of Texas. Haskins, Gullory, and the rest of the Mading staff are committed to making that happen at the end of 2017-2018 school year.
“We are all on board with one mission, and we will get out of IR,” Guillory said.
Click here to view the entire Mading Achieve 180 update presented to the Board of Education.