Category Archives: Questions

The Science of Early Learning and Adversity: Daily Leadership to Promote Development and Buffer Stress Day 2

Rhonda Mitchell (@rgmteach) and I are attending The Science of Early Learning and Adversity: Daily Leadership to Promote Development and Buffer Stress at The Saul Zaentz Professional Learning Academy.

How can early education leaders support the design and implementation of strong early learning environments—those that buffer stress, reduce challenging behaviors, and promote development?

Day 2 Agenda (with my notes)

Classroom Strategies to Decrease
and Respond to Disruptive Behaviors
Amanda Williford
Research Associate Professor, University of Virginia, Curry School of Education, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL)

Reflection and Application
Amanda Williford and the Zaentz Team

Strategic Planning Session
Nonie Lesaux and Robin Kane

Universal Design for Equity and Strong Early Learning
Thomas Hehir
Silvana and Christopher Pascucci Professor of Practice in Learning Differences, Harvard Graduate School of Education

My list to think about, reflect on, and grapple with from today includes:

  • How might we meet the needs of diverse learners?
  • How might we develop and strengthen strong positive bonds and relationships?
  • How can we shift the dialog to “what does this learner need from me?” How can we embrace the power of positivity to make change?
  • Can we grow into a  5:1 ratio to make change and leverage the power of positivity?
  • Can we strength our norm of no labels so that we describe what a learner can do and the next step?
  • Can we embrace the Theory of Change to gain clarity?
    structures vs. processes; outputs vs. outcomes, etc.
  • How might we improve learning for all and deepen our understanding of differentiation?

The Science of Early Learning and Adversity: Daily Leadership to Promote Development and Buffer Stress Day 1

Rhonda Mitchell (@rgmteach) and I are attending The Science of Early Learning and Adversity: Daily Leadership to Promote Development and Buffer Stress at The Saul Zaentz Professional Learning Academy. This professional development features keynote speaker Walter Gilliam (@WalterGilliam).

How can early education leaders support the design and implementation of strong early learning environments—those that buffer stress, reduce challenging behaviors, and promote development?

Agenda (with my notes)

Today’s Early Education Landscape
with Nonie Lesaux and Stephanie Jones

Understanding Stress and Behavior
in the Early Education Environment
with Walter Gilliam
Director of The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy and Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, Yale University Child Study Center

Reflection and Application
with Walter Gilliam and the Zaentz Team
facilitated by Robin Kane

Strategic Planning Session
facilitated by Robin Kane and Emily Bautista

My list to think about, reflect on, and grapple with  from today includes:

  • Micro-stresses pile up.
  • How might we pay attention to and recognize stress?
    (Student stress, teacher stress, family stress, leadership stress.)
  • Empathy: Who is it given to? From whom is it withheld?
  • What are we looking for and who are we looking at?
  • How might we anticipate expected “unexpected” events?
  • What structures can be put in place to support learners, teachers, families, leaders?
  • When sharing information about a learner, check intent. Are we sharing knowledge and understanding to support the learner?
    • Can we offer evidence to show what we know and understand?
    • Can we share information without adding judgement and labels?
  • How do I and who helps me check my bias?

Summer PD: Day 1 Make Sense; Persevere

Summer Literacy and Mathematics Professional Learning
June 5-9, 2017
Day 1 – Make Sense and Persevere
Jill Gough and Becky Holden

Today’s focus and essential learning:

We want all mathematicians to be able to say:

I can make sense of tasks
and persevere in solving them.

(but… what if I can’t?)

Great teachers lead us just far enough down a path so we can challenge for ourselves. They provide us just enough insight so we can work toward a solution that makes us, makes me want to jump up and shout out the solution to the world, makes me want to step to the next higher level.  Great teachers somehow make us want to ask the questions that they want us to answer, overcome the challenge that they, because they are our teacher, believe we need to overcome. (Lichtman, 20 pag.)

… designed to help students slow down and really think about problems rather than jumping right into solving them. In making this a routine approach to solving problems, she provided students with a lot of practice and helped them develop a habit of mind for reading and solving problems.  (Flynn, 19 pag.)

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 7.53.02 AM.png

Agenda and Tasks:

Slide deck:

Resources:

Fall PD Opportunity: Embolden Your Inner Mathematician #TrinityLearns

How do we effectively lead mathematics education in the era of the digital age?  We commit to curation of best practices, connections between mathematical ideas, and communication to learn and share with a broad audience.  

To build confidence as well as a more visual approach to elementary mathematics learning and teaching, we have designed ongoing, early morning, job-embedded professional learning around teaching practices and current research. 

Goals:

At the end of the semester, teacher-learners should be able to say:

  • I can exercise mathematical flexibility to show what I know in more than one way.
  • I can make sense of tasks and persevere in solving them.
  • I can work within NCTM’s Eight Mathematical Teaching Practices for strengthening the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Details:

Facilitators:

The weekly schedule of topics are as follows:


If you are  interested in emboldening your inner mathematician and would like to join us, please contact us for additional details.

Jill Gough | Director of Teaching & Learning
Experiments in Learning by Doing | Jill Gough notes
jgough@trinitatl.org | @jgough

Trinity School | www.trinityatl.org
4301 Northside Parkway | Atlanta, GA 30327
Phone 404.240.6220 | Fax 404.231.8111

#LessonClose with @TracyZager at #MtHolyokeMath

I’m taking X.MTHED-404: Effective Practices for Advancing the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics (K-12).

Here are my notes from Session 8, Lesson Close with Tracy Zager.

Tracy’s session connects, for me, to a practitioner’s corner in David Sousa’s How the Brain Learns.  He writes

Closure describes the covert process whereby the learner’s working memory summarizes for itself its perception of what has been learned.  It is during closure that a student often completes the rehearsal process and attaches sense and meaning to the new learning, thereby increasing the probability that it will be retained in long-term storage. (p. 69)

How might we take up Tracy’s challenge to “never skip the close?” What new habits must we gain in order to make sure the close is useful to the learner?

Sousa continues

Closure is different from review. In review, the teacher does most of the work, repeating key concepts made during the lesson and rechecking student understanding.  In closure, the student does most of the work by mentally rehearsing and summarizing those concepts and deciding whether they make sense and have meaning. (p. 69)

What new habits must we gain in order to make sure the close is helps them reflect on learning, make connections, and/or ask new questions? In other words, do we plan intention time for learners to make sense of the task?

Closure is an investment than can pay off dramatically in increased retention of learning. (Sousa, p. 69)


Sousa, David A. How the Brain Learns. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, a Sage, 2006. Print.

Summer Learning 2017 – Choices and VTR

How do we learn and grow when we are apart? We workshop, plan, play, rest, and read to name just a few of our actions and strategies.

We make a commitment to read and learn every summer.  This year, in addition to books and a stream of TED talks, Voices of Diversity, we offer the opportunity to read children’s literature and design learning intentions around character and values.

Below is the Summer Learning flyer announcing the choices for this summer.

We will continue to use the Visible Thinking Routine Sentence-Phrase-Word to notice and note important, thought-provoking ideas. This routine aims to illuminate what the reader finds important and worthwhile.

Sentence-Phrase-Word helps learners to engage with and make meaning from text with a particular focus on capturing the essence of the text or “what speaks to you.” It fosters enhanced discussion while drawing attention to the power of language. (Ritchhart, 207 pag.)

However, the power and promise of this routine lies in the discussion of why a particular word, a single phrase, and a sentence stood out for each individual in the group as the catalyst for rich discussion . It is in these discussions that learners must justify their choices and explain what it was that spoke to them in each of their choices. (Ritchhart, 208 pag.)

Continuing to work on our goal, We can design and implement a differentiated action plan across our divisions school to meet all learners where they are, we make our thinking visible on ways to level up.

When we share what resonates with us, we offer others our perspective.  What if we engage in conversation to learn and share from multiple points of view?


Ritchhart, Ron, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison. Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print

Anticipating @IllustrateMath’s Jim and Jesse’s Money

How might we learn to show our work so that a reader understanding without having to ask questions? As we work with our young learners, we want them to grow as mathematicians and as communicators.

We ask students to show their work so that a reader understands without having to ask them questions. What details should we add so that our thinking is visible to others?

To show (and to assess) comprehension, we are looking for mathematical flexibility.

Learning goals:

  • I can use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
  • I can show my work so that a reader can understanding without having to ask questions.

Activity:

Learning progressions:

Level 4:
I can demonstrate mathematical flexibility with ratio and rate reasoning to show what I know more than one way using tables, equations, double number lines, etc..

Level 3:
I can use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

Level 2:
I can make tables of equivalent ratios relating quantities with whole-number measurements, and I can use tables to compare ratios.

Level 1:
I can use guess and check to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

Anticipated solutions:

Using Appropriate Tools Strategically:

I wonder if any of our learners would think to use a spreadsheet. How might technology help with algebraic reasoning? What is we teach students to create tables based on formulas?

How might we experiment with enough tools to display confidence when explaining my reasoning, choices, and solutions?

Choice of an appropriate tool is learner based. How will we know how different tools help unless we experiment too?