PD Lesson Planning: Progress Report Ideation – Part 1

When designing professional develop learning experiences, are we as purposeful about the pedagogy and methodology as we are the content? Do we model with faculty what we want to see happening in our classrooms with children? Can we integrate technology? Can we model formative assessment practices? Can we design interactive learning experiences?

On January 30, we were supposed to have division meetings concerning progress reports and how we report learning, progress, and growth of our young learners.  The weather (tornadoes in our area) caused us to postpone the meeting until Friday, February 1 – a scheduled teacher work day.  Positives for making this decision included taking care of our children and their families as  carpool ran in heavy rain and seizing the opportunity for all divisions to work together during the same time and in the same space.

The original lesson plan, shared to all participants on Monday via email, had to be modified as follows:

Friday, February 1 – Meet in the Media Center

Quick write and share, see below

Snapshots of other feedback options – don’t be constrained by our current norm

Transition to vertical teams.  Using the provided whiteboards draw, write, design, etc. the ideal progress report considering the child at the enter, families needed feedback, and teacher workflow.

Share with others.  If you’d like to share your ideation digitally, take a photo of your work and email it to walked60son@photos.flickr.com.

Complete attendance and feedback form.

Quick write and Share:
Individually respond to the following prompts – digital copy if you want to share

      • Bright spots from current practices in progress reporting:  What are some positives about our current progress reports?
      • Wish list for progress reporting:  What changes would make the progress report more personalized and put the child at the center?
      • Anything else?  Knowing that progress reports are an important connection between home and school, what would be in a progress report that is a joy to report (for teachers) and read (for families) rather than a stress?

Vertical Teams – (pick your team)

Teams of 6.  Please have at least one Specials Teacher in each team and strive to have multiple grade level representation in each team.

Note:  One member of each team should take responsibility for the team’s whiteboard. We will share our ideas next Wednesday.

Below is the slide deck for the quick write and snapshot of other feedback options.

Intentionally, samples of report cards are not included in the slide deck.  We should not be constrained by what we know and already do.  Can we brainstorm other ways to provide feedback about growth and learning?

Will having faculty work in vertical teams help or hinder the brainstorming process?  This past summer, as a faculty, we read Cathy Davidson’s book Now You See It.  Will faculty remember and consider how important collaboration by difference is in the learning process?

“Collaboration by difference respects and rewards different forms and levels of expertise, perspective, culture, age, ability, and insight, treating difference not as a deficit but as a point of distinction.”  (Davidson, 100 pag.)

Purposefully, whiteboards and dry erase markers serve as tools for this brainstorming session.  We are not making decisions; we are dreaming, doodling, and thinking. Would using whiteboards and dry erase markers promote non-traditional thinking?  I think of Seth Godin’s post, Fear of Bad Ideas, where he states:

The problem is that you can’t have good ideas unless you’re willing to generate a lot of bad ones.  (Godin, n. pag.)

I also think of Cathy Davidson’s point:

“It always seems more cumbersome in the short-run to seek out divergent and even quirky opinions, but it turns out to be efficient in the end and necessary for success if one seeks an outcome that is unexpected and sustainable.”  (Davidson, 100 pag.)

Can we have a “bad idea” festival? Because of the temporary nature of the tools, will we be more opening to sharing and dreaming? Will we share odd and quirky ideas in search of an outcome that is unexpected and sustainable?

The strength of using the whiteboards is also a “problem” to consider.  In this two-part series of meetings, will the ideas stay intact for a week – the time between the two meetings?  Can we use technology to preserve the ideas as a back-up?  I remembered how Bob Dillon (@ideaguy42) showed a use of Flickr.  Can we preserve the ideas by taking a photo and sending them to a common Flickr stream?

So, in this one-hour faculty work session:

    • Faculty and I will access the Progress Report – Faculty Ideation – January 30 Google doc for resources and the agenda.
    • I will use Keynote to prompt the quick write and share visuals of a few ways to report progress.
    • Faculty will write using their MacBook, iPad, PC Tablet, or paper.
    • Faculty will work in vertical teams to draw, sketch, write, etc. on whiteboards.
    • Faculty will share the current version of their ideas by emailing a photo to my Flickr account.
    • Faculty will offer feedback via Google form.

So, the plan calls for interactive learning for participants, integration of technology, and a balance of technology to face-to-face engagement.  Whew! Seems like a lot for an hour.

In my next post, I’ll share the outcomes from this hour of faculty learning.  As this is a two-part lesson, I plan to write and share the lesson plan and outcomes of part 2 soon.


Davidson, Cathy N.  Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn. New York: Viking, 2011. Print.

“Seth’s Blog.” Seth’s Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2013.


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