How to get Abacus into School : A Case Study

The integration of abacus coaching into school curriculums has gained significant attention in recent years. Abacus coaching, a mental calculation technique, has proven to be an effective tool in enhancing students’ mathematical skills and cognitive abilities. This article presents a case study that explores the implementation of abacus coaching at Abacus Primary School, highlighting the lessons learned and the impact it has had on student development.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background of Abacus Primary School
  3. The Need for Instructional Coaching
  4. Implementing Abacus Coaching at Abacus Primary School
    • The Vision of Abacus Primary School
    • The Journey Towards Instructional Coaching
  5. Lessons Learned from Abacus Primary School
    • Lesson 1: Get the culture right
    • Lesson 2: Start small, don’t rush
    • Lesson 3: Provide ongoing support and training
    • Lesson 4: Customize coaching for individual needs
    • Lesson 5: Ensure consistency and alignment
    • Lesson 6: Leverage technology for coaching
    • Lesson 7: Measure and celebrate progress
  6. Impact of Abacus Coaching on Student Development
  7. Challenges and Future Considerations
  8. Conclusion

1. Introduction

The integration of abacus coaching into school curriculums has become a subject of interest for educators seeking innovative methods to enhance students’ mathematical abilities. Abacus coaching involves the use of an abacus tool to perform mental calculations, fostering mental agility, concentration, and problem-solving skills.

This case study focuses on Abacus Primary School, where instructional coaching incorporating abacus techniques was implemented to support teachers and students in their mathematical journey. The following sections shed light on the background of Abacus Primary School, the need for instructional coaching, the implementation process, lessons learned, the impact on student development, challenges faced, and future considerations.

2. Background of Abacus Primary School

Abacus Primary School is a leading educational institution committed to providing quality education to its students. As an Executive Headteacher, Vicki Briody envisioned a school culture where every teacher has access to meaningful and continuous professional development. To achieve this vision, the school sought innovative approaches to improve teaching and learning methodologies.

3. The Need for Instructional Coaching

Recognizing the importance of continuous teacher development, Abacus Primary School identified the need for instructional coaching to empower educators and enhance student outcomes. Instructional coaching provides teachers with personalized support and guidance to improve their instructional practices, ultimately benefiting students.

4. Implementing Abacus Coaching at Abacus Primary School

The Vision of Abacus Primary School

Abacus Primary School aimed to ensure that all teachers received rigorous and consistent coaching, regardless of the subject they taught. They wanted to create a coaching model that maximized classroom presence and facilitated continuous improvement. The school leadership team explored various options and came across Steplab, an instructional coaching platform that aligned with their goals.

The Journey Towards Instructional Coaching

Abacus Primary School embarked on a journey to implement instructional coaching through Steplab. The process began with the senior team exploring the concept and understanding its potential impact. The first round of coaching involved the Executive Headteacher and three school leaders as instructional coaches. Over time, the coaching team expanded to include middle leaders, and the program was aligned with other school systems.

5. Lessons Learned from Abacus Primary School

Throughout the implementation of instructional coaching, Abacus

Primary School learned valuable lessons that contributed to the success of the program. The following lessons highlight key takeaways from their experience:

Lesson 1: Get the culture right

Creating an open-door policy and fostering a culture of openness to feedback and commitment to ongoing teacher development is crucial. Abacus Primary School emphasized the separation of performance management and instructional coaching, allowing teachers to feel supported rather than judged. Regular, non-evaluative drop-ins and other strategies were implemented to shift the culture towards embracing coaching.

Lesson 2: Start small, don’t rush

Taking a gradual approach to implementation ensures that instructional coaches fully understand the coaching process and its underlying principles. Starting with a small group of coaches allows for personalized support and attention, ensuring a strong foundation before expanding the program.

Lesson 3: Provide ongoing support and training

Continuous support and training for instructional coaches are essential to refine their skills and deepen their understanding of effective coaching strategies. Regular professional development sessions and collaborative opportunities contribute to the growth and effectiveness of coaches.

Lesson 4: Customize coaching for individual needs

Recognizing that each teacher has unique strengths and areas for growth, Abacus Primary School customized coaching plans to cater to individual needs. Personalized coaching allowed teachers to receive targeted feedback and support, resulting in meaningful progress.

Lesson 5: Ensure consistency and alignment

Maintaining consistency and alignment across the coaching process is vital to ensure all teachers benefit from the same messages and support. Abacus Primary School implemented a structured coaching model using Steplab, which provided a consistent framework for coaches and teachers.

Lesson 6: Leverage technology for coaching

Technology, such as the Steplab platform, proved to be a powerful tool for instructional coaching. The precise goals and steps offered by the platform allowed for customization while maintaining consistency. Leveraging technology facilitated efficient communication and progress tracking.

Lesson 7: Measure and celebrate progress

Regularly measuring and celebrating progress is essential to sustain motivation and recognize the impact of instructional coaching. Abacus Primary School implemented systems to track progress, collect feedback, and celebrate achievements, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

6. Impact of Abacus Coaching on Student Development

The integration of abacus coaching at Abacus Primary School has had a significant impact on student development. By enhancing teachers’ instructional practices, students have benefited from improved mathematical skills, increased mental agility, and enhanced problem-solving abilities. The use of abacus techniques has enabled students to approach mathematical concepts with confidence and accuracy.

7. Challenges and Future Considerations

Implementing instructional coaching and integrating abacus techniques into the curriculum posed certain challenges. Some of these challenges included initial resistance to change, time management, and ensuring sustainability. Abacus Primary School continues to work towards refining the coaching process and addressing these challenges.

In the future, the school plans to further explore the possibilities of incorporating abacus coaching in other subject areas. They aim to collaborate with other schools and share their learnings to promote instructional coaching and its benefits in education.

8. Conclusion

The case study of Abacus Primary School demonstrates the successful integration of abacus coaching into the school curriculum through instructional coaching. The lessons learned from this experience emphasize the importance of creating the right culture, starting small, providing ongoing support, customizing coaching, ensuring consistency, leveraging technology, and measuring progress.

Abacus coaching has positively impacted student development, equipping them with essential mathematical skills and cognitive abilities. Despite challenges, Abacus Primary School remains committed to refining their coaching practices and expanding their use of abacus techniques in education. Get inspired? Try No obligation Free Trial Class to find your child interests.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is abacus coaching? Abacus coaching is a teaching method that utilizes the abacus tool to improve students’ mental calculation abilities and mathematical skills.
  2. How does instructional coaching benefit teachers? Instructional coachingprovides teachers with personalized support, feedback, and professional development opportunities to enhance their instructional practices and improve student outcomes.
  3. Can abacus coaching be integrated into other subjects apart from mathematics? Yes, abacus coaching techniques can be applied to other subjects, promoting critical thinking, problem-solving, and cognitive development.
  4. What is Steplab? Steplab is a platform that offers a structured framework for instructional coaching, providing goals and steps to guide the coaching process and facilitate communication between coaches and teachers.
  5. How can schools implement instructional coaching effectively? Schools can implement instructional coaching effectively by creating a supportive culture, providing ongoing training and support for coaches, customizing coaching to individual needs, ensuring consistency, leveraging technology, and measuring progress.

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