Category Archives: Questions

Day 12 (Day 2 Week 3) Learning from home: Leading learning takes high-functioning teams

High functioning teams focus on the learning of its members as well as the learning of their students. 

Meet our Grade-Level Team Leaders:

In their inaugural year as Grade-Level Team Leaders, this team was charged to

  • work collaboratively with the Academic Leadership Team to support the School’s mission and philosophy.
  • support effective teacher teamwork to meet school and grade-level goals. 
  • work directly with the Academic Leadership Team to grow effective teaming practices and deepen grade-level teamwork.

We know we are making progress because we have evidence that grade-level teams are learning together, deeply. The GLTLs co-labor with ALT to celebrate, plan, and problem-solve in this unusual time.  

It would be understandable to give in to all of the stress. But, look at the image above of this team.  The joy in their faces is mirrored in the faces students that they serve. 

Synchronously and asynchronously, our teachers are working with students, working in teams, and collaborating with other teams.

Leadership calls for finding joy in and out of stressful times.

#ThankYouTeachers

#ThankYourTeacher

Be Both Author and Illustrator of Mathematical Understanding #NCSM20

I was honored (and excited) to be one of 40 national math leaders presenting in @MathEdLeaders #NCSM20 Virtual Conference.

Session 2: 12:30 – 1:30 pm EDT

  • Using A Variety Of Media To Lead Courageous Conversations Among Mathematics Education Stakeholders, Marilyn Strutchens
  • Supporting Professionals To Counteract Racism and Oppression in the Discretionary Spaces Of Their Work, Deborah Ball
  • Be Both Author And Illustrator Of Mathematical Understanding, Jill Gough
  • Creating Interesting Ways For Students To Be Right and Wrong, Eli Luberoff

Be Both Author And Illustrator Of Mathematical Understanding
Jill Gough, Trinity School, Atlanta, GA

How might we redirect the focus of teaching and learning to center on empowering each and every student as sense-makers and doers of mathematics as they develop their mathematical identities and become agents of their own learning?

We want every learner in our care to be BOTH author and illustrator of their mathematical understanding. Explore how to deepen understanding, promote productive struggle, and increase flexibility by using and connecting mathematical representations.

Providing multiple pathways to success invites diverse learners’ ideas to the conversation. We will sketch and compute to develop a visual, vertical understanding of numeracy and how to connect learning between grades and courses.

Here are the first two slides of my deck. They are both linked to the slides used in the presentation.

Here are some participant’s tweets:

 

You can check out more of these ideas at #authorandillustrate on Twitter and at Author and Illustrate.

Day 11 (Day 1 Week 3) Learning from home: We are teaching and they are learning

I know this seems like a repeat, but I want to share another team’s learning plan. This is the Week 3 plan for Trinity School First Grade students and teachers.

If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there to hear it,
does it make a sound?

I have been asked the following question numerous times over the past two weeks.

If teachers are at home, are they teaching?

And, my answer seems shocking to my family and friends who do not have school-age children in their homes.

Teachers are working harder and longer.

But, that is such an incomplete statement.

Teachers are working harder and longer and in different ways. Their creative problem solving is unparalleled.
Their teaming has strengthened and deepened.

The First Grade Team gave me permission to post their learning plan for this week. Please join me in thanking them for this gift.


Theme of the Week: Kindness
Video
Acts of Kindness Bingo Board

Materials needed for Monday

ALL: iPad/Computer
Reading: Character Trait Printout, pencil
Math: sidewalk chalk
Word Work: Printout of L-Blends Handout
Art: Pencil or pen and paper

Reading Lesson

      1. Character Traits Mini Lesson

      2. Character Trait Activity– Put your name in the middle circle. Then, write or draw a picture of four character traits that describe you. You can use the anchor chart to help you come up with ideas.
    1. Additional Activities
      1. Teacher Read Aloud: Listen to a story read by Miss Julianne

      2. Login to Epic! to read some books online. Please use the EPIC Calendar for additional reading activities.

Writing Realistic Fiction

Monday Writing Lesson

Please upload your writing into Seesaw
Print Writing paper

Math

Telling Time to the Hour

        1. Watch the BrainPopJr video Parts of a Clock and Time to the Hour (username:      password:     )
        2. Watch the Jack Hartmann Learn About the Clock
        3. Watch the Jack Hartmann Hip Hop Around the Clock

*For additional math practice you can play the math games from week 1 and 2, make ten games with cards, or Dreambox.

Activity: Go outside and using your sidewalk chalk, draw a large circle on the ground. Label all of the numbers around the clock. Find two sticks (a short stick for the hour hand and a long stick for the minute hand). Call out a different time for your child to create using the sticks. (Stick to 8:00, 4:00, 12:00, etc)

Phonemic Awareness

      • phonemic awareness lesson with Miss Perry

      • Read and sort the words on the l-blends sheet. Use these charts to help you, if needed. Challenge yourself to use what Miss Perry taught you about leaving sounds off words and try to say each word without its first sound.

Movement

Outdoor Color Scavenger Hunt:Head outside for today’s movement. Your challenge is to find a piece of nature for each color. You will need to find something pink, light green, orange, brown, yellow, blue, purple, red, and dark green. If possible, challenge a sibling or parent to see who can find all of these colors in nature first.

Art

Remember at the beginning of the year when we read Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire? We learned about how Mary Blair was one of the first women illustrators who worked for Walt Disney! 

(We even watched a ride-through of her famous ride in Disneyland: It’s a Small World. Here’s a link to the YouTube video we watched, if you have some extra time: It’s A Small World

Mary Blair helped create beautiful movies like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and even Cinderella. She became famous for her bright colors and bold simplified lines.

After reading the story and watching the video, we drew castles out of simple shapes.

Can you make a new castle using a piece of paper and a pencil or pen? Once you have laid out your foundation, you can add pattern and detail just like Mary Blair!

Use this link to watch Miss Nina explain some details of the lesson here:

And check out her finished work as an example:


And… that is just Monday.

If you want to see the full week’s worth of plans, activities, videos, and more, you can check it out here.


Here are some scenes from Monday:

And… that is just one grade-level of the nine grade-levels in our school.

So…

If teachers are at home, are they teaching?

Yes; yes they are!

#ThankYourTeachers

#ThankYouTeachers

Day 10 (Day 5 Week 2) Learning from home: We are teaching and they are learning

If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there to hear it,
does it make a sound?

I have been asked the following question numerous times over the past two weeks.

If teachers are at home, are they teaching?

And, my answer seems shocking to my family and friends who do not have school-age children in their homes.

Teachers are working harder and longer.

But, that is such an incomplete statement.

Teachers are working harder and longer and in different ways. Their creative problem solving is unparalleled.
Their teaming has strengthened and deepened.

The Fifth Grade Team gave me permission to post their learning plan for this week. Please join me in thanking them for this gift.

I wanted you to see the magnitude and depth of care, work, and learning experience when we are apart.

Monday

Morning Greeting  with Ms. Thomas

Reading:  Angled summaries

Summarizing can be a tough skill. You want to include enough info without including TOO MUCH. To summarize only the most important info, it’s helpful to stop and ask yourself,

 “What’s this section really about?” 

Whatever your answer to that question can be your leading statement – a claim. Then, you can just tell the important events that best support the deeper idea. 

To do this successfully, you’ll need to be able to state a message, lesson or theme. 

Important points to consider:

    • What parts of the section best support your order? 
    • Tell them in order
    • Only tell the ideas that go along with your idea, don’t bring in unrelated parts 
    • If there is more than one big idea/theme, you can include both of them in the leading statement.

Let’s look at Bud, Not Buddy, chapter 9

Using your independent reading book, create a summary of a section that you have read using a copy of this Google doc. *Remember to share the document with your base teachers.*

Writing

    1. Watch the video above.
    2. Over the next few days, you will be researching the pros and cons of drinking chocolate milk. Today, you will start with the pros
    3. Watch this video and read this article. Then highlight any evidence you find to support the benefits of drinking chocolate milk. 
    4. *Remember to share the document with your base teachers.*

Additional, optional resources: video, advertisement, article

Math

Use Seesaw (complete these in order):

    1. Watch ”Instructional video: Multiplying fractions and whole numbers 8-1 & 8-2” and follow directions.  The “instructional video” is a lesson created by Mrs. Swanton, not an “outside” video.
    2. Complete “Multiplying fractions and Whole Numbers”
    3. Watch “Instructional video: Multiplying a fraction by a fraction 8-4” and follow directions. This is also a lesson created by Mrs. Swanton

Don’t forget DreamBox! At least 20 minutes.

Science

Weeklong Goal: Take one photo or video of you doing your science work some time this week. Put it into Seesaw Entitled: “Week 2 Science Virtual Learning”

 Read pgs 6 and 7 in your Kids Discover “Cells!” magazine. Highlight the important information using a highlighter or underlining with a pen. Annotate these pages by writing the key important ideas in the margins. 

Missing your magazine? A copy of the two pages is on the MyTrinity Science Page, Topic: Genetics and Heredity. 

Not sure what to highlight? What to annotate? See my example on the MyTrinity Science Page, Topic: Genetics and Heredity. As we begin to practice this skill, you can use my examples for guidance. 

*Note: on my annotations, I have three places with a “*”. This is where I would have written a question because the information left me wanting to know more. Instead I did some quick research and wrote it here. You can write questions as your annotations too!

Delivery: No delivery of your work is required, but if you want feedback, you may take a picture and put it in Seesaw, and I will look at it. When you are done, put your Cell magazine away in your binder.

Movement

Do a round of the “4 Breaths” — This time try to do the “Breaths” in a place in your house or yard that you’ve never done them before.

*Challenge: Take a photo or video of you doing the breaths and send to Ms. Swanton or Ms. Sears!

Social Studies

Please read/review your Studies Weekly newspapers weeks 14 and 15 (either online or paper newspaper). Create your own review guide for World War II using this WWII Guide and share it with your base teachers. Please type in black ink. You have all week to complete this, but pace yourself. We suggest you work on this some each day. 

Art

Sketchbook Drawing
How to Draw a Face- Basic Proportions:

This is a great skill builder that you can use forever! 

Follow this tutorial to learn how to draw the proportions of a face. (10 min.)

How to Draw a Face-Basic Proportions

If you would like any feedback or just want to post it on SeeSaw, please do so! I love seeing what you are doing. Enjoy!

CREATE AN ART GALLERY FOR THE WORLD
(or at least your neighborhood)  TO SEE!

Take a drawing you created and tape it (drawing side towards the outside) to a front window so anyone walking by your house can see it! Make their day and make them smile. 

Write a positive and uplifting message of your choice! (Have a great Day, Enjoy Nature, Breathe, Be Happy, SMILE, etc) Take a picture and share it on SeeSaw!

Physical Education


And… that is just Monday.

If you want to see the full week’s worth of plans, activities, videos, and more, you can check it out here.


Here are a few scenes:

And… that is just one grade-level of the nine grade-levels in our school.

So…

If teachers are at home, are they teaching?

Yes; yes they are!

#ThankYourTeachers

#ThankYouTeachers

Day 9 (Day 4 Week 2) Learning from home: Goldilocks

Goldilocks:

For some, what we are doing is too much.

Please know that we hear you, and we understand. We are grateful for anything that you do.  We made an intentional decision to take slow, deliberate steps to rollout distance learning so that you had time to adjust. Being home with your family and working from home and making sure there are enough groceries and TP and managing your children and sharing wi-fi, devices, and scheduling to meet as many needs as possible is overwhelming. We hear you. We understand. It is going to be ok if you don’t get all of the school stuff “done.”

You are doing your best. It is enough.

For some, what we are doing is too little.

Please know that we hear you, and we understand. We are grateful for your kind critique and suggestions.  We made an intentional decision to take slow, deliberate steps to rollout distance learning. Being home with your family and working from home and making sure there are enough groceries and TP and managing your children and sharing wi-fi and devices, and scheduling to meet as many needs as possible might be overwhelming. We hear you. We understand. We have already increased teacher visibility and teacher-to-student connections and plan to add more synchronous time in the coming weeks. More is coming.

For some, what we are doing is just right.

Please know that we hear you, and we are grateful for your feedback and encouragement. We made an intentional decision to take slow, deliberate steps to rollout distance learning. Being home with your family and working from home and making sure there’s enough groceries and TP and managing your children and sharing wi-fi and devices, and scheduling to meet as many needs as possible could be overwhelming. We are glad you are managing it well.  We have more activities and connections coming so that your child or children have somthing new to look forward to each week.

Know that we are with you; we love you, and we miss you.

In her holding the center blog post, Sarah Barton Thomas, summed it up best:

Patience, grace, flexibility, and hope are critical character qualities, always, but especially right now.

I wish you patience, grace, flexibility and hope.

#BeWell

Day 8 (Day 3 Week 2) Learning from home: Learning is the constant; time is a variable

I was never a fan of the “flipped classroom” idea. You know, the teacher records the lesson, the students watch it at home, and then they can “do” homework in class the next day just in case they have a question.

Well, today is a different story.  Today, I cannot be in the room with the learners in my care to facilitate their learning.

I will confess that I dabbled with the “flipped classroom” idea as both a middle and high school math teacher back in the day.

Joking (halfway) with me, my students would comment that it was easier to pause me on video than in person.

So, here we are in this universal situation. How might we leverage video to offer students the time they need, the ability to press pause, and the luxury of replay and rewind? What might be gained if everyone watches the mini-lesson once, twice, or as many times as they need before they meet with their peers and teachers? How might we learn and grow together while apart?

I love this feature in Seesaw.  Students can take notes and go at their own pace. They can watch and listen more than once if needed.

Now, our face-to-face time has a more level playing field. Everyone had the opportunity to take the time they need to take notes and think about their structure as well as the regularity found in the repeated reasoning.

A quick check to begin class is to have partners compare their predictions for Figure 4 and refine if needed.

Here’s how I anticipated student work. Also, I know that Kristi is going to have them plot the order pairs (figure number, number of orange squares) on the Cartesian coordiante plane, so you’ll see that in my notes as well.

As I said… I dabbled years ago, and I am so grateful that I did.  The “flipped classroom” did not fit my philosophy then, but we sure need it now.

We love our students and our colleagues. We could not have imaged teaching and learning in this way, but it does now offer learners the time they need to think, to draw, to write, and to discover.

While we want to be together sitting side-by-side, we are harnessing the power of technology to afford learners the time they need.

Important time.

Deep foundation building time.

Learning is the constant. Time is a variable.

Day 7 (Day 2 Week 2) Learning from home: Together and apart…we are Trinity School

You know, words really matter.

I wish we had called this physical distancing instead of social distancing.  I need my colleagues, professionally and personally. I miss our students and the buzz of excitement throughout the school day.  Trinity School is a joyful, happy place.

I feel so connected to my team, our teachers, and our students. I see so much more of their learning, their work, and their love for their teachers. It is because I am not taking it for granted.

To be clear, I do not take our teachers and students for granted. I have been taking their presence in the same physical space for granted.

This week, we are rolling out our first synchronous connections with students.  The joy is overwhelming.

 

So, friends… Let’s look deeply at beautiful faces, creative work, and joyful learning. While there is physical distance separating up, we are not distant. I feel connected in new and different ways. I hope you do too. #MindsetMatters

Together and apart…we are Trinity School.