Jacinda Waldrip

Rawlins Middle School
Rawlins, Wyoming

Best Practices

1) The first example of “Best Practices” in the field of education that we focus on at Rawlins Middle School is “Hattie’s Effect Sizes”. John Hattie’s research proves that the top three best practices in education are Collective Teacher Efficacy, Self Reported Grades, and Teacher Estimates of Hattie has found that if teachers work collaboratively and hold each other accountable for the work they do with students, their instructional practices will be more impactful for the students. His research found that students who are allowed to assess the quality of their work are more likely to be successful. Students are the most accurate when predicting how they will perform. Once a student has performed at a level that is beyond their own expectations, they gain confidence in their learning ability. Teacher estimates of achievement is the third best practice that Hattie lists. Students are more likely to work harder and more effectively with someone who believes in them and who has created a positive rapport with them. The RMS stakeholders are committed to these proven best practices.

2) The second example of “Best Practices” in the field of education that we focus on at Rawlins Middle School is “The Fundamental 5- The Formula for Quality Instruction” by Sean Cain and Mike Laird. All of our staff use the following instructional practices in their classroom to help meet the needs of their students. Each classroom teacher is expected to be in the Power Zone or circulating the classroom during class time. This allows them to be in close proximity to their students. The learning target and closing task are required to be on the board to ensure all students know what they will be learning and what the outcome of the learning will be. Our students are encouraged to participate in frequent, small group, purposeful talk about learning. If they are doing the talking, they are learning. Our staff have learned through Hattie and also the Fundamental 5 that it is best practice to recognize students and reinforce specific skills or strategies used during class time. Students need to know that we believe in them. Lastly and most importantly, staff are expected to try to have students write critically each day during their class. Writing helps with learning and remembering the material being taught.