Standards-in-Action 2.0 Observing in Mathematics Classrooms

The Standards-in-Action (SIA) 2.0 classroom observation system teaches you how to observe effective teaching and learning practices that reflect the crucial instructional advances in literacy. The training and tools deepen educators’ understanding of the intent and meaning of your state mathematic standards through teacher-friendly tools. They strengthen practitioner knowledge about vital literacy content and research-based instructional strategies and their usefulness with English learners (ELs).

StandardsWork, Inc.
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
StandardsWork, Inc.
Publication Year
Resource Type
Instructional Material

StandardsWork, Inc. produced the Standards-in-Action (SIA) 2.0 mathematic classroom observation system under contract ED-91990018-C-004019 with the U.S. Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education for the SIA project, 2018–2023. The classroom observation system is designed to be formative and forward-looking for administrators, teacher trainers, and instructional leaders—where the observer is invested in the instructors’ success. The observation training tools measure whether lesson content is rigorous and relevant for the level defined by the state-adopted standards. The tools also focus on ensuring activities productively engage students and connect to students’ funds of knowledge. One additional Core Action applies when ELs are in the classroom. It identifies strategic scaffolds that provide ELs access to lesson content. The ready-to-use training materials include:


  • Annotated PowerPoint presentations
  • A mathematics observation tool
  • Two math classroom videos 
  • A Video Resource Package that includes descriptive annotations of the two classroom videos, lesson plans, and a sequence of planned activities
  • Other supplementary video-viewing resources 
Benefits and Uses

The SIA 2.0 training addresses three basic questions: 1) How well are lessons aligned with the standards’ demands? 2) How can lessons—including instructional practices—promote higher and deeper levels of student learning and more relevance to adult learners? 3) Based on observation feedback, what are professional development priorities to strengthen standards-based instruction?

Through structured classroom observations, administrators, teacher trainers, and other instructional leaders assess how well instructors align their instruction to standards and employ effective instructional strategies. The goal is not to pass judgment on instructors. Instead, the goal is to coach them on more effective practices and to create a way to identify needed improvements. 

These training and tools help administrators and trainers shape instructors' approaches in the classroom with students. They learn how to support instructors in developing their lessons and student assignments, and implementing instructional practices aligned with standards. 

How the Training Is Conducted:

Participants first learn about the research components of the observation tool. Then, working in groups, they practice using the observation tool by reviewing recorded classroom lessons. They note what they see and hear, including information about student behaviors, class discussions, and instructor actions. After discussing their evidence for each Core Action, they compare their ratings to those provided in the Resource Package. They note points of agreement and reach consensus about any points of disagreement.

After sufficient practice, participants plan, conduct, and debrief live classroom observations. They learn about and apply sound observation procedures. After the practice observations, they determine what feedback and support they would provide to the instructors observed. 

The training accommodates variations in adult educators’ experience, though familiarity with the demands of their state standards is an asset. Therefore, this training is best implemented, on the state level, by an experienced standards trainer. Experienced SIA trainers are available to provide this training to states. For more information, please email the LINCS Technical Assistance Center at

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