Category Archives: Professional Development Plans

Design for Learning and Inquiry – PD Day #T3Learns #nspiredatT3

The tribe of T³ Instructors gathers the day before the 2013 T³™ International Conference to learn together. I am honored to be part of the team that has been asked to facilitate a PD experience for my colleagues and friends.  Our topic: TI-Nspire Advanced Authoring – Designing for Learning and Inquiry.

Below is the description as it was sent to the T³ Instructors and our tentative agenda. (Note: The links in the agenda below are password protected and available only for face-to-face professional development participants.)

TI-Nspire Advanced Authoring – Designing for Learning and Inquiry

Facilitators:
Ruth Casey, Jill Gough, Sam Gough, Jeff McCalla

From the PD signup document:
Design For Learning – 120 minutes
This workshop was successfully piloted last summer.  The focus was on the effective design of activities, using TI-Nspire to encourage student learning.  This session will give you an overview of the goals of the PD offering, and the instructional approach taken in the workshop.

Goals:

Materials Needed:

  • Diagnostic Assessment sent via email to participants by Monday, March 4, 2013
  • TI-Nspire Navigator for Networked Computers
  • Chart paper and Markers for Storyboarding

Agenda:
(15 min) Introductions
Review Diagnostic Assessment Results
(30 min) Introduce the Anatomy of a Document
Anatomy of a Document and investigation
(60 min) Introduce Storyboarding
Instructor modeled storyboard and design of a lesson and Storyboard a concept using principles of  “Anatomy of a Document”
(15 min) Share the Design for Learning and Inquiry Google site

We encourage the idea of Storyboarding prior to launching in to designing with TI-Nspire. We are inspired by Garr Reynolds and Presentation Zen.  In particular we are going to try to avoid creating Nspire documents that are slideuments. For more information, please read “Slideuments” and the catch-22 for conference speakers. Can we begin to see ourselves as designers of learning experiences?

We want our participants to learn to design a one-page TI-Nspire document that promotes student investigation, learning, and inquiry.  Our goal is to discuss – experientially – the essential learnings for the summer workshop. We know we can’t do justice to a 2-day workshop in 2 hours.  We planned to go deep into one activity rather than cover the entire agenda at a rapid pace.

These essential learnings are:

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to say:

  • I can exercise the ideas of restraint and simplicity when designing learning investigations.
    • I can identify what is important and remove what is not important.
    • I can design where less is more visually – I can include only what is necessary to promote inquiry and investigation.
    • I can design documents that are engaging and prompt questions and inquiry from the learner.
  • I can storyboard a learning investigation prior to beginning to design to streamline the concept and balance the information to be learned.
    • I can explain the goal of the activity and outline the expected learning outcomes.
    • I can design a variety of dynamic constructions that are controlled by different inputs including points, sliders, and stored variables.
    • I can design documents with a variety of outputs, which use color and strings to support opportunities for  visual connections.
  • I can create TI-Nspire documents to promote student investigation and inquiry.
    • I can enhance documents with conditional statements to make information appear and disappear as needed to enhance a lesson.
    • I can apply TI-Nspire construction tools: geometry tools, scatterplots, data capture, etc. to create the investigation.
    • I can use free points, restricted points, sliders, stored variables, etc. to control the actions in the document.
    • I can use color, text boxes, strings, etc. as inputs and outputs to connect ideas and promote questions.

Art of Questioning – PD Day #T3Learns #nspiredatT3

The tribe of T³ Instructors gathers the day before the 2013 T³™ International Conference to learn together. I am honored to be part of the team that has been asked to facilitate a PD experience for my colleagues and friends.  Our topic: The Art of Questioning.

Below is the description as it was sent to the T³ Instructors and our tentative agenda.

The Art of Questioning – 120 minutes

This session will focus on the art of questioning.  Strategies will be discussed to assist learners to “level up” through questions rather than lectures.  Come prepared to develop documents to help students calibrate their understanding, and share your assessments with others for feedback and suggestions.

Goals:

  • Introduce a protocol for facilitating learners to ask their own questions
  • Introduce leveled assessment
  • Participants develop a leveled assessment and share it with other attendees

Facilitators:

Jill Gough, Sam Gough, Grant Lichtman, Jeff McCalla

Materials Needed:

  • TI-Nspire Navigator for Networked Computers

Agenda 2:

(10 min)            Introduce facilitators
(20 min)           Learn with Grant Lichtman via Skype
(30 min)           Art of Questioning using EllipseInvest.tns
(15 min)            Break
(20 min)           Introduce Leveled Assessment
(30 min)           Participants develop a product
(10 min)           Share session

Grant is going to share two powerful stories of teaching and learning through the art of questioning. He has also agree to take us through an exercise from The Falconer to illustrate the possibilities when asking quality questions.  <EXCITING!>

Jeff, Sam, and I will model methods of using TI-Nspire’s interactive capabilities to give rise to more student questions by putting our participants in the seat of the students.  We will share student-learner reactions, challenges, and successes. The overarching idea is posted at Practice seeking questions – #AskDon’tTell and a sample story is shared in the post Ellipse Investigation – #AskDon’t Tell.

We will recommend and read from several books (listed below) that have helped us frame our work. Our goal is to facilitate a workshop where the participants learn by doing.

From an earlier blog post:

  1. Read, read, read…Currently high on my list:
    1. Grant Lichtman‘s The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School,
    2. John Barell’s Developing More Curious Minds, and
    3. Dan Rothstein’s Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions.
  2. Practice, practice, practice…Remove the scaffolding:
    1. Watch Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover and try it.
    2. Stop creating slideuments.  If your TI-Nspire document, your PowerPoint presentation, or your worksheet has multiple pages, slides, or steps, eliminate lots! Create space for questions, investigation, and thinking.
    3. Use Gamestorming games to develop techniques for learning to ask questions. I like Brainwriting3-12-3, and others.
  3. Risk, reflect, revise:
    1. Try it – more than once. One trial does not make an experiment.  Celebrate even small successes.
    2. Have strong wait time, and have questions in your “back pocket” if prompting is needed.
    3. Seek feedback from a trusted colleague. Engage in peer observations to help you see from another perspective.

Vertical Coordination PD: Divide and conquer – as a team

When planning shifts in curriculum, do we all have to work on the same thing? Might we get further faster if we divide and conquer?

This Vertical Coordination Workshop will have 3 tasks:

  • Group 1:  Is our Social Studies Curriculum ready to go online?
  • Group 2:  Are our geography skills vertically aligned and documented correctly?
  • Group 3:  How do we identify when a student has reached the target level for our developing “I can…” statements?

This Wednesday’s professional development time is dedicated to vertical coordination of curriculum.  I want to write “vertical coordination of our Social Studies curriculum,” but that seems to narrow.  As a community, we are focused on Social Studies, but we are continuing to grow, refine, and reflect on, well, everything.

Based on a quick chat with our Faculty Staff Leadership Team (FSLT) curriculum co-chairs, Kathy Bruyn and Caroline Peevy, I drafted the following plan for the hour of vertical coordination planning using a Google doc.

I continue to be struck by the power of collaboration. Kathy, Caroline, and I met to review the plan.  We discovered that we need a 4th facilitator, so we naturally turned to Rhonda Mitchell, Trinity’s Personalized Learning Specialist.  Look at how much the plan improved as Kathy, Caroline, and Rhonda contributed thinking and planning.

Their brilliant thinking and contributions customized the plan to community needs and individualized learning opportunities.  Graphic organizers were developed to organize and share work.  Additional resources were linked for user reference. In my next post, I’ll share the feedback and reflections from this hour of faculty learning.

What if we crowd-sourced more lesson plans and agendas? What if we offered more opportunities for learners to participate in the “plan and structure” for learning episodes? How might we learn and grow through the process of co-designing and co-learning?

PD Lesson Planning: Progress Report Ideation – Part 2

Last week I wrote PD Lesson Planning: Progress Report Ideation – Part 1 and PD Lesson Planning: Progress Report Ideation – Part 1 reflection to share my current thinking about lesson planning for PD sessions that mirror what we want for lesson planning for student learning as well as a reflection on the experience from my perspective.  Going in, I knew this was at least a 2-part session for our work.  Part 2’s lesson plan and my pre-thinking is shared below.

Progress Report – Faculty Ideation – Part II
February 6

VELD Meet in the Media Center near the circulation desk

12:30 – 12:35
Announcements
12:35 – 12:50
Gallery Walk to view all ideas – feedback and questions (see below)
12:55 – 1:10
Think, pair, share: In 2013, what should be included in a progress report?
1:10 – 1:25
Working with a partner: Draw, sketch, illustrate what the next iteration of
progress reports might look like at Trinity. Please sign both of your names on the back of the paper.  Give to Jill when finished.
1:25 – 1:30
Complete attendance and reflection document

ELD & ULD Meet in the Media Center near the circulation desk

3:30 – 3:35
Announcements
3:35 – 3:50
Gallery Walk to view all ideas – feedback and questions (see below)
3:55 – 4:10
Think, pair, share: In 2013, what should be included in a progress report?
4:10 – 4:25
Working with a partner: Draw, sketch, illustrate what the next iteration of progress reports might look like at Trinity. Please sign both of your names on the back of the paper.  Give to Jill when finished.
4:25 – 4:30
Complete attendance and reflection document


Gallery Walk 

Think, pair, share:

        • In 2013, what should be in the next iteration of our progress report?
        • Note: Let’s talk about what we should do, not what we are doing. Let’s talk about what will best serve our children and their families, not what we like and don’t like.

Work with a partner

        • Draw, sketch, illustrate what the next iteration of progress reports might look like at Trinity. Don’t be constrained by our current norm.
        • Please sign both of your names on the back of the paper, so that we can ask clarifying questions if needed.

Note: This is a continuation of the meeting last week

Look at a remix

      • Annie’s 1st Trimester 2012-13 Progress Report
      • Jill’s remix of Annie’s 1st Trimester 2012-13 Progress Report

I reviewed my original challenge, shown below, as I planned.

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?

I, knowing that I’m wasting my time, downloaded every whiteboard photo from the  Flickr stream and inserted it into a Google doc hoping that some of the faculty will share their feedback digitally.

This time, I choose not publish the parameter for selecting your partner.  I intend to ask faculty to work with someone “not like them.” I do not want 2 science teachers or 2 first grade teachers as partners.  Once again, I reflected on collaboration by difference from Cathy Davidson’s book Now You See It.  Will faculty remember and consider how important collaboration by difference is in the learning process? We want diversity in the partners; we want collaboration by difference.

“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, we will use paper and pen for this ideation.  While we are still not making decisions, we want more permanence to the ideas.

So, in this one-hour faculty work session:

    • Faculty and I will access the Progress Report – Faculty Ideation – Part 2 Google doc for resources and the agenda.
    • We will use the white boards and the space in the Media Center for a Gallery Walk of ideas.
    • Faculty can use a Google doc to offer feedback on the ideas drawn on the shared white boards.
    • Faculty will work in pairs to draw, sketch, write, etc. on paper their ideas for a next step in our progress reporting.
    • Faculty will share the current version of their ideas by handing me these papers.  I will scan them to share them back to the faculty.
    • Faculty will offer feedback via Google form.

The plan calls for interactive learning for participants, some integration of technology, and a balance of technology and face-to-face engagement.  In my next post, I’ll share the outcomes from this hour of faculty learning.

Oh, and I have to remember to ask for feedback from both today’s session and last week’s session.  My hypothesis is that faculty thought of last week as Division Meetings rather than as Professional Development.  It was both.

_________________________

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.

PD Lesson Planning: Progress Report Ideation – Part 1 reflection

PD Lesson Planning: Progress Report Ideation – Part 1 shared the agenda (or lesson plan) for Part 1 of a planned 2-part series on progress reports.

I arrived just in time to prevent the theater seating setup of 150 chairs in the Media Center.  M. Burris, one of our Media Specialists, helped me think how to use the existing furniture since we planned to work in small groups. We decided to set up 3 additional tables with 6 chairs at each table.  We predicted that everyone would have a seat for the meeting, and we wanted to use our space well.

It was great to have all divisions at this meeting. Normally the Very Early Learning Division (VELD) faculty would meet at 12:30 and the Early Learning Division (ELD) and Upper Learning Division (ULD) would meet at 3:30.  (As a side note, we need to think about finding opportunities for all divisions to work together more often.)

As soon as everyone was seated, I launched the quick write using the slide shown below.

Quick Write Prompts

The purpose of the quick write was to take the opportunity to organize thoughts and focus on the task at hand.  Of the 80+ participants, 8 used the Google form to share their thinking.  Remember, we are not making decisions; just thinking aloud with each other.

Here’s some of what they shared:

I love the opportunity to share positive information with parents.  I am intentional to provide instructional feedback before the progress report goes home, but this is a great time to give the needed positive and affirming communication to parents.

_______________

They make you think about every child as an individual and make you realize you know more about them than you think.

_______________

[I wish for] A way to more clearly communicate with parents that the progress report is about PROGRESS and not about a finite expression about a child’s trajectory in life!

After the quick write, we shuffled into vertical teams.  We asked that each team have at least one Specials teacher and that the 6-member teams represent multiple grade levels.  Would it have been more efficient if I’d predetermined the teams? Yes.  Would I ask my colleagues to configure their teams themselves next time? Absolutely.  I intend to model learner choice at every opportunity.  Oh, and there was pushback about this.  In the chaos of teaming, a teacher explained to me that we should be working in grade level teams. Teachers of 3s-K, 1st grade-3rd grade, and 4th grade-6th grade should work together in this teacher’s opinion.  As I watched the beautiful chaos calm into a new configuration of teams, I calmly explained that the Academic Leadership Team intentionally decided to have multiple grade levels represented.  (More about the pushback later.)

When everyone was seated, we looked at a few ways we receive feedback about our progress. My favorite of the images shared is the dashboard from my Nike+ running account.  You can quickly see that while I struggled in February and July, I did make progress.


Dashboard

There were lots of questions.  We are at the idea phase, not a decision-making phase.  We should be thinking and discussing what is best for our learners, their families, and our teachers.  Right not, we should not be bound by what our current technology will “allow” us to do.  We should not be bound by history and habit. I love that Julia and Maryellen tweeted during the session. What great in-the-moment feedback!

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 1.45.02 PM

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 1.48.52 PM
Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 1.44.02 PM

There was not enough time to share between groups.  I asked for one faculty member to take charge of the team’s board.  I explained that we would use them again at our next meeting.  The whiteboards would be used for a Gallery Walk so that we could see each others ideas.  I asked for one member of each team to take a photo of the board in its current iteration and email it to our Flickr account.

We ended on time having the last 5 minutes for the attendance and feedback form.

Though I didn’t mention it during the session, Shelley Paul (@lottascales) was there observing my work.  Shelley, Coordinator of Teaching and Learning at Woodward Academy, graciously agreed to attend this session at my request to conduct a peer observation and offer me feedback.

In addition to Shelley’s feedback over lunch, I thought I would have lots of feedback from the faculty.  When I checked, there were 15 responders out of an expected 85.  I suppose a reminder is in order.

A little more about the pushback to build the teams having multiple grade levels represented. I wonder if the pushback indicated fear, resistance, or poor planning.  I appreciated the pushback, because it tested my conviction and planning.  I planned for learner choice, but there were constraints. Often I worry that choice equals free-for-all.

Here’s a few comments gleaned from the feedback.

I enjoyed hearing thoughts and ideas that teachers from other grade levels contributed to our group.  As a result of the time spent, I gained a broader perspective on the needs of others teaching children of different age groups.

_______________

It was beneficial to meet and discuss with colleagues from a variety of grade levels and special areas; it was beneficial to hear how progress reports are currently formatted in various departments in school (i.e. VELD, ELD, ULD, etc…).

_______________

I enjoyed hearing thoughts and ideas that teachers from other grade levels contributed to our group.  As a result of the time spent, I gained a broader perspective on the needs of others teaching children of different age groups.

Collaboration by difference. Our differences make us a stronger team.

So, in this one-hour faculty work session:

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

While it seemed like a lot, it was fun.  Part II of this series will include a gallery walk of these whiteboard and more thinking and brainstorming.