Tag Archives: Becky Maas

Moving to productive struggle

From “Mrs. Maas, how do I do this?” to “I finished and helped a friend.

How might we engage more learners simultaneously, offer visible opportunities to show what they know, and personalize feedback, intervention, and enrichment?

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 7.16.14 PM

What if we offer learners pathways to guide progress, actions, and collaboration?  What if we encourage productive struggle by offering guidance about process, actions, and collaboration? What if we intervene with coaching?

In case you cannot read Becky‘s learning progression above, I’ve included an edited version of it here:

  • Level 4:
    I can complete my item, and I can help others with theirs, explaining the circuit.
  • Level 3:
    I can build a wired item for Mom with materials provided.
  • Level 2:
    I can plan a wired item (layout and switch) with help from classmates or Mrs. Maas.
  • Level 1:
    I can get ideas from others on a plan.

Becky guides learners to plan, collaborate, test their independence, and then, when possible, contribute to the success of others. And, through the process, learn about circuits too.

“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.)

When our learners do not know what to do, how do we respond? What actions can we take – will we take – to deepen learning, empower learners, and to make learning personal?


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.

 

Connect disconnected pathways with multiple representations

A doodler is connecting neurological pathways with perviously disconnected pathways.  A doodler is concentrating intently, sifting through information, conscious and otherwise, and – much more often than we realize – generating massive insights.  (Brown, 11 pag.)

How might we test this? What if we engage with our curriculum to experience connecting disconnected pathways, to generate insights, to make thinking visible?

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 7.09.42 PM

It is the relationship between the teacher, the student, and the content – not the qualities of any one of them by themselves – that determines the nature of instructional practice, and each corner of the instructional core has its own particular role and resources to bring to the instructional process. (City and Elmore, 22 pag.)

What if we make a small shift in our role and resources to bring multiple representations to our practice?

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 7.11.21 PM …, it is the change in the knowledge and skill that the teachers bring to the practice, the type of content to which students gain access, and the role that students play in their own learning that determine what students will know and be able to do. (City and Elmore, 24 pag.)

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 7.04.39 PM

These learners need doodling in order to focus more acutely on what’s being said, and they demonstrate better recall when they’re allowed to doodle than when they’re not.  (Brown, 21 pag.)

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 7.37.32 PM

Just make a mark and see where it takes you. (Reynolds, n. pag.)


Brown, Sunni. The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently. New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2014. Print.

City, Elizabeth A. Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education, 2009. Print.

Reynolds, Peter. The Dot. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2003. Print.