Practice Activity: Conducting Classroom Walk-throughs
Walk-Through Plan
. Developed by Perry and Associates and shared in “Seeing Through New Eyes,” an article in the Oct/Nov 2001 issue of NSDC’s Tools for Schools.

Preparation Meeting
Time: 30 minutes

  • Assemble members of walk through team
  • The principal identifies the focus for the walk through, the classrooms that will be visited, and why those have been chosen for visits.
  • The principal leads the discussion during which team members identify evidence that would support the focus. One team member records responses on a display board.
  • Determine which team member will look for each type of evidence.
  • Distribute feedback forms to each member.

    Time: between 10 to 15 minutes per classroom.

  • All team members enter the classroom at the same time. Team members do not speak to each other during their time in the classroom.
  • Team members sit at the back of the classroom unless they have a specific assignment to speak to students or examine student work.
  • Team members make notes about their assigned area. If appropriate, team members may want to sketch out a map of the classroom that indicates the location of a piece of evidence they observed.
  • At the end of the agreed-upon time, all team members leave the classroom together.

    Debriefing outside the classroom
    Time: 5 minutes per classroom

  • Team members walk a short way down the hall from the observed classroom.
  • Speaking quietly, team members quickly share their observations regarding the last classroom visited.
  • Team members then proceed to the next classroom.

    Final debriefing
    Time: 45 minutes

  • Walk through team members assemble in the principal’s office or other agreed-upon meeting place.
  • Each visitor speaks about his or her observations. They provide specific evidence as well as attempt to present an overview of what they saw.
  • Together, the team members identify trends, areas of strength and areas that need improvement.
  • Drawing on their own experience and knowledge, the visitors make suggestions about how to strengthen areas that need improvement.
  • The principal makes notes on the discussion and collects the feedback forms. The principal will decide the best way to provide information back to the teachers whose classrooms were visited
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