Mike McMahon AUSD
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Tuning Protocol


  1. Presenters - Discuss their work and are open to gaining feedback
  2. Observers - Listen, use note-taking sheet, and talk repsectfully about the presenter's work
  3. Facilitators - Keeps the discussion moving along

Norms of Behavior:

Questions and reflections are intended to benefit the school in the fishbowl. To that end, please use the following:

  1. Listen attentively
  2. Make your points politely
  3. Don't dominate the convsersation
  4. Keep equity at the center of the discussion
  5. Answer only the questions asked in the protocol
  6. Assume best intentions on the part of all participants
  7. Be open-minded
  8. Maintain confidentiaily

The Parts of the Protocol

Part 1 Presenters Talk (20 minutes)

  1. Presenters have a conversation together about the kickoff questions.
  2. Presenters are talking to each other, not the observers.
  3. The goal is be pushing their own thinking about the questions, not explaining to the observers.
  4. Observers are quiet, listening and recording observations, and questions for later.

Part 2 Clarifying Questions (5 minutes)

  1. Obersvers/Facilitator ask questions that have short, easy explanations. They can be answered in one or two sentences and are usually factual.
  2. Presenters answer in quick fashion.

Part 3 Observers Reflect (10 minutes)

  1. Assume that much more work was done than is evident in the short discussion.
  2. Commend good work using "I" language. "I was impressed with..." I liked..."
  3. Observers/Facilitator ask pushing questions that will help presenters be more reflective, question their assumptions, consider new possibilities and ask new questions.
  4. Note areas that might have been missed without assuming that they have been in fact been missed. "I wonder if you thought about..." I noticed you did not talk about..."
  5. Presenters are quiet, listening and reflective.

Part 4 Presenters Reflect(10 minutes)

  1. Presenters decide to what to reflect on from the observer's reflections.
  2. Presenters have a reflective conversation on key issues.
  3. Observers are listening quietly.

Kickoff Questions

Prior to the start of the Tuning Protocol, the presenters describes the context for their work to be reviewed. For year end review between school sites, the facilitator may ask one of the of following questions:

  1. How did your strategies help you answer your inquiry questions or address student achievement? What worked? Why? OR
  2. Using the high leverage criteria, which strategies were the most high leverage? Why? (FOCUS)
  3. How useful was your data? What data was useful? Why?(DATA)
  4. What barriers did you encounter? What got in the way of implementation? What didn't work? Why? What, if anything, would you have done differently?(CULTURE)

For a review of student work, the facilitator/observers may ask one or two clarifying questions before the presentation begins.

Note Taking Sheet for Observers

  • Before I question, I need clarfication on ....
  • I heard ....
  • I want to commend ....
  • I wonder ....
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    Last modified: May 13, 2004

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