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Tool Name
Individualizing Student Instruction (ISI) Classroom Observation and Coding System

Evaluation Type
Classroom Observations

All Subjects

All Grades

Use of Evaluation

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This system was developed by Carol McDonald Connor, Frederick Morrison, Barry Fishman, Claire Cameron Ponitz, Stephanie Glasney, Phyllis Underwood, Shayne Piasta, Elizabeth Coyne Crowe, and Christopher Schatschneider.

Product Description
ISI intervention is made up of three components: (1) the Assessment to Instruction (A2i) Web-based software, (2) Professional Development, and (3) Implementation. With the ISI Classroom Observation and Coding System, the classroom experience of an individual student is documented, including foundational elements, like teacher warmth and classroom management, and instructional elements, like content. The ISI Classroom Observation and Coding System utilizes a multidimensional conceptualization of classroom environment and focuses on the interactions between teachers and students and how instruction affects a student's literacy skills. The protocol acknowledges that different students in the same classroom may have different experiences and is based on the premise that teacher-student interactions are instructional opportunities. The Assessment to Instruction (A2i) tool uses current scores and goals for individual students to diagnose the type and amount of literacy instruction necessary to meet that goal.

General Target Population Information
The ISI intervention aims to measure more than quality of instruction and consider the content of instruction, which is more difficult to capture. The developer ultimately wanted to know whether teachers are teaching skills to meet individual student needs and to help them make gains. The A2i can be used as a teacher evaluation tool because it uses assessment results to make recommendations. Currently, these measures are used for research purposes. However, the methods will be adapted for use by school staff in the coming years for general classroom instruction at any age or in any discipline.

Stage of Teacher Development
All Stages

Currently, these measures are used for research purposes. However, the methods will be adapted for use by school staff in the coming years.

Research and Resources

Connor, C. M. (in press). Child characteristics X instruction interactions: Implications for students’ literacy skill development in the early grades. Handbook on early literacy (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford.

Connor, C. M. (2009). Individualizing reading instruction in early elementary classrooms. Perspectives on Language and Literacy, Special Edition.

Connor, C. M., Morrison, F. J., Fishman, B. J., Ponitz, C. C., Glasney, S., Underwood, P.S., et al. (2009). The ISI Classroom Observation System: Examining the literacy instruction provided to individual students. Educational Researcher, 38(2), 85–99.

Connor, C. M., Piasta, S. B., Fishman, B., Glasney, S., Schatschneider, C., Crowe, E., et al. (2009). Individualizing student instruction precisely: Effects of child X instruction interactions on first graders’ literacy development. Child Development, 80(1), 77–100.

ISI is not readily translated into practice, but a series of rubrics that aim to predict student achievement gains are available. The A2i will be available within the academic year, and if a district is interested in using it sooner, the developers do work with districts and make the A2i available.

Contact Information

Support Available
Technical assistance includes a onetime initial professional development (with fee). To promote sustainability, there is a train-the-trainer component. There also is a yearly per-student fee.