Tag Archives: creativity

If a picture is worth 1000 words, what is video worth? (TBT Remix)

Which is most appealing to you?  Which draws you in and generates questions?

Infographic from Bits of Science.

Infographic from Data Visualization Encyclopedia, Information Technology, Symbols, Posters, Infographics

Video from NPR.  (Watch the video, seriously; it’s only 2:34 and well worth it!)

So…Which is most appealing to you?  Which draws you in and generates questions? I think we need all of the above, the hands-on investigation of the data with technology, the infographic that gives perspective, and the video that offers an alternate way to visualize and think about this population growth.

How are we “leveling up” concerning visualization?  Have our learners been introduced to infographics?  Better yet, have our learners produced infographics to communicate data creatively?  How are we using video to engage our learners?  Have our learners produced video to communicate data, learning, and growth?  Are we teaching (and learning) Information Age skills if we are not expecting multiple representations of ideas from our learners?

So… with lots of technology at our fingertips, if a picture is worth 1000 words, what is video worth?…and…what if we only communicate with text?  What learning is lost when/if we only offer one representation of what we want others to learn?

What is lost when we don’t show and tell?

1 image ~ 1000 words…think about it.


If a picture is worth 1000 words, what is video worth? was originally published on January 3, 2012.

Doodling the C’s: Creativity, Comprehension, Communication & Connections #educon

How might note taking become more active, personal, brain-compatible and shareable? How might we incorporate symbols and doodles to improve listening, better express ideas, summarize/synthesize learning and make connections? Consider joining an Educon conversation and practice session to explore how we might grow ourselves and our learners through doodling and visual thinking.

This is a “do and dialogue” session. Together, we will experiment and prototype graphical, non-linear, low-res notes to listen deeply, capture big ideas, make creative connections, and strengthen comprehension and retention of important moments, learnings, and lessons.

We will begin with a quick convo about the “why and what” of sketch noting, share a bit about its impact at our schools, and on our own thinking and learning, then practice and learn together. We will doodle to a TED talk, doodle while we read, bravely share our work, and discuss how doodling can change peer-to-peer observations and feedback.

Resources to explore:

Shelley and I modeled doodling all 4 C’s with our collaboratively designed doodle of the Connect, Extend, Challenge Visible Thinking Routine, shown below.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 8.53.21 AM


Cross posted at Finding the Signal.

Leading Learners to Level Up – #LevelUpMath #LearnFwd12 – the details

Hello, I am Anne Conzemius, the host for your Learning Forward session.

Well, no pressure there, huh?  Actually, about 15 minutes prior to this quick introduction, I scanned the roster of participants and noticed Anne’s name on the list of our Learning Forward conference session..

My previous post, Leading Learners to Level Up – #LevelUpMath #LearnFwd12, was written prior to our presentation.  Here’s what we actually did after I got through the nervousness and shock of Anne’s presence.  (I used a quote from her book, The Power of SMART Goals: Using Goals to Improve Student Learning, in the slide deck for this conference session, in this blog post, to collaborate with Bo (@boadams1) on this rubric, and in many discussions with teachers.

To lead learners to level up – learners of any age – we want to find and highlight their bright spots.  We want learners working from a point of strength and climbing to the next level.  To introduce this idea, we used the YouTube video Dan Heath: How to Find Bright Spots, shown below.

I gave a 4-minute Ignite talk on the why we should lead learners to level up.

Jeff used the TI-Nspire Navigator for Networked Computers to assess our small audience so that we could adjust our plan to meet their needs.  We quickly learned that Algebra I could be our focus (whew!) and that teacher growth as well as student growth was important to our participants (yay!).

Jeff then shared the YouTube video Leah Alcala: My Favorite No, shown below, as a jumping off point for a discussion on turning mistakes into learning opportunities.  We then discussed how leveraging technology – we use TI-Nspire Navigator, but PollEverywhere, Google forms, and other tools could be used – to offer faster, more public feedback and discussion opportunities while redirecting the work to the learners.

Since Leah’s video was about multiplying polynomials, I shared our Algebra I leveled formative assessment to engage our group in a discussion about bright spot and strength finding.

How do we offer students voice to self-advocate for their learning?  The days of the negative self-talk “I don’t know nothing” must come to an end. Everyone needs to acknowledge what they know and what they want to know.  It is about empowerment – empowering the learner. It is about coaching.  How powerful for learner to approach the teacher and say: I can do XX; will you help me learn to YY?  I want to work in that environment, don’t you?

A question from our participants caused us to discuss our assessment plan. How did I handle summative assessments and what did my grade book look like?  I cannot post graded assessments here, because they might still be in play in Algebra I classrooms. I can, however, share How do we use the December exam as formative assessment? and the Google doc that we used to document progress on non-graded formative assessment work. (This is a copy; feel free to explore and “report” data to see how it feels. You can view the results here.)

Jeff asked amazing questions to facilitate the discussion.  Through his art of questioning, we talked about the philosophy of doing homework with deep practice, I can statements…, and leading by following.

My concluding remarks began with a quote from Anne Conzemius (and Jan O’Neill) which “outed” Anne as an assessment goddess to the rest of our participants.

“In order to engage in high-quality assessment, teachers need to first identify specific learning targets and then to know whether the targets are asking students to demonstrate their knowledge, reasoning skills, performance skills, or ability to create a quality product.

The teacher must also understand what it will take for students to become masters of the learning targets…

Equally as important, the teacher must share these learning targets and strategies with the students in language that they understand. It is not enough that the teacher knows where students are headed; the students must also know where they are headed, and both the teacher and the students must be moving in the same direction.” (Conzemius, O’Neill,  66 pag.)

To end the session, we quoted CL – an 8th grader in my care while beginning her journey to learn Algebra:

“I truly believe the formative assessments are helpful for using as study guides for tests. I use them as study guides and I learn from my mistakes through them.

I do like the fact that they are not graded because it takes the pressure off of taking them and makes me believe it is okay if you do not know the material at first. They are really helpful for going back and looking at what I missed, and then ask you for help on those questions.

Having the four levels really helps because I know what levels I need to work on so that I can keep moving up to a higher level.”

Notice her last sentence: … I can keep moving up to a higher level.

Lead learners to level up by empowering them to ask their own questions.

_________________________

Conzemius, Anne; O’Neill, Jan. The Power of SMART Goals: Using Goals to Improve Student Learning. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree, 2006. Print.

Note:
2010-11 was the last year I taught Algebra I, but if you want to see the day-by-day plan for the entire 2010-11 year in Algebra I, it is still online as a resource.

LEARNing: Quadratic Functions Investigation Zeros and Roots – #AskDon’tTell

What questions could we ask to help our learners investigate and “discover the rules” for the number of roots or zeros of a quadratic function?

Should we start by questioning their understanding vocabulary?  Can we questions our learners to connect roots, x-intercepts, and zeros?  Can we listen to the learners’ questions to take their path instead of our carefully scaffolded plan?

What questions should be asked to lead our learners to move them identifying no real roots,  1 real root, and 2 real roots graphically to identifying the number of roots using the equation and the discriminant?

Remember, we ask questions; we do not tell rules or definitions.  The art of questioning must be practiced and honed.

Want to explore the investigation? Here’s how:

  • Clicking on the screenshot should enable you to download the TI-Nspire document and open it if you have the TI-Nspire software on your computer.
  • Clicking on the Launch Player button should open a player file where you can interact with the document without having TI-Nspire software. (Be patient; it is a little slow to launch.)

I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.  Also, what questions would you ask, and what questions do you hope your learners ask?

 

Engaging every learner – #AskDon’tTell #TrinityLearns

Do you ever worry about student-directed learning? Does it mean that the teacher is not engaged?  How are we supposed to teach if we don’t tell them stuff?  What if we asked our learners to show what they know before we teach and reteach? Are we assuming that they know nothing because they are, well, young?

When our friend Grant Lichtman (@grantlichtman) was here last week, he talked about game changers for education.  Number 1 on his list was idea paint.  What if we offered the opportunity for every child to show what they know instead of having them raise their hands and wait for the chance to respond?

Here’s what that looks like in practice:

  • Is every child engaged in this lesson?
  • Is every child working collaboratively to show what they know and, at the same time, learn from others?
  • Is every adult engaged in this lesson?
  • How many opportunities for personalized learning, formative assessment, and practice are there during this lesson?
  • Who owns the learning?

Here is additional information and context for this collaborative first grade lesson from Marsha Harris’s (@marshamac74) lesson plan:

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

LEARNing: Linear Functions Investigation – #AskDon’tTell

I used to think I needed to carefully scaffold each algebra learning experience into a series of steps so that each learner would learn.  Now I think I should listen more and talk less.  What if I practiced inquiry and student-directed learning? What if I lead by following the learners questions? How might I set up opportunities for learners to explore and think PRIOR to my show-and-tell show?

What if I gave my learners the following TI-Nspire document and asked them to explore it for 10 minutes? What if I asked them to jot down observations, patterns, and questions  that come to them as they play with this document? What would they learn? What would they ask me? What should I be prepared to ask instead of answering their questions? Can I spend an entire learning episode answering questions with questions to facilitate student learning?

Want to explore the investigation? Here’s how:

  • Clicking on the screenshot should enable you to download the TI-Nspire document and open it if you have the TI-Nspire software on your computer.
  • Clicking on the Launch Player button should open a player file where you can interact with the document without having TI-Nspire software. (Be patient; it is a little slow to launch.)

I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.  Also, what questions would you ask, and what questions do you hope your learners ask?

 

Graph Interpretation – Social Media Infographic

Looking for graphs to interpret? Interested in integrated studies and creativity?  Try infographics.  Create, teach, explore.

The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic
Source: The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic

PBL: Place-based learning…could we…would we

I continue to be intrigued by LAL’s comment in PLC-F of how does my subject/discipline serve the problem rather than how does the “problem” serve my subject/discipline.

PBL offers students the opportunity to problem-find and problem solve.  Our Learning for Life vision statement calls for essential skill:  problem-find & problem solve, communicate & collaborate, create & innovate, reflect & revise, and serve & lead.  How are we teaching our young learners these essential skills?  Are we?  Do they ever get in the game?  I feel that our Learning for Life vision declares PBL as an essential action to press, push, prod our lead learners to help our young learners “get in the game.” You have to practice being life-long learners who serve and lead in a changing world.  You have to model being life-long learners who serve and lead in a changing world.

Kiran bir Sethi calls for blurring the lines between school and home. Learning is everywhere.  Why should the learning that takes place in school be different than the learning outside of school?

If we truly want to grow life-long learners, then we must allow our learners to be problem finders and problem solvers.  We should not assume that they will naturally know how to do this if we “fill them” with content and skills.  PBL offers our learners the opportunity to contribute, to apply their base-knowledge, to team with others to analyze, strategize, and act WITH guidance, coaching, and feedback.  How many of us would benefit from guidance, coaching, and feedback when faced with opportunities?

I also believe that PBL is an essential action because Integrated Studies is an essential action.  How many learners connect

  • what they are learning between their subjects/studies,
  • content and relationships,

How many faculty?

Perhaps PBL is one of the essential actions to create a larger learning community of adults at school.  How are we connected to each other? How do we problem-find, problem solve, reflect and revise, etc, as learners?  How are we connected via content and relationship to serve and lead as we grow life-long learners?

Learning does not happen in compartments.  Think about a child’s day at school.   Hour 1 – math, Hour 2 – English, Hour 3 – Science, Lunch, Hour 4 – PE (thank God, I get to go outside), Hour 5 – Language, and Hour 6 – History or Bible.  Are these connected learning experiences or does the learner have to code switch every hour?  How do we as teachers feel about changing preps every hour?

Imagine…

Imagine picking a spot on campus….

Imagine picking a spot on campus and focusing learning on that spot…

Imagine picking a spot on campus and focusing learning on that spot for an entire day…

Could we…would we use one class period – one time slot of 55 minutes – to investigate what could be learned from our place?

Could we…would we discover integrated studies and learning by taking action to plan this investigation as an interdisciplinary team?

Enrichment Activity: The Fibonacci Sequence & Series

What do we do with or for learners that enriches their view and learning of patterns and math?  How to we inspire learners to connect math and patterns to real things?

In our Algebra I team, we’ve been discussing how to offer enrichment learning and activities to promote growth for learners who master topics quickly.  We don’t want to make it “harder” or a “higher pile” so what do we do?

While I was researching video for my previous post, If a picture is worth 1000 words, what is video worth?, I ran across Nature by Numbers:

.
The Nature by Numbers video then made me think of Vi Hart and her post Doodling in Math: Spirals, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant [1 of 3].

.
The combination of these two videos is awesome.  Which is more engaging to you?  Could we design enrichment opportunities that promote communication, collaboration, creativity, and investigation of real world patterns and beauty? Could these enrichment opportunities lead to project-based learning and integrated studies?

Meet Aidan, Grade 7, Young Naturalist Awards, 2011 and read The Secret of the Fibonacci Sequence in Trees to learn about his redesign of solar panels based on his observations of trees and a connection he made to Fibonacci.

Wow! This is the type of learning – PBL – that I want for my learners.

If a picture is worth 1000 words, what is video worth?

Which is most appealing to you?  Which draws you in and generates questions?

Data represented above gleaned from worldometers: real time world statistics.

Infographic from Bits of Science.

Infographic from Data Visualization Encyclopedia, Information Technology, Symbols, Posters, Infographics

Video from NPR.  (Watch the video, seriously; it’s only 2:34 and well worth it!)

So…Which is most appealing to you?  Which draws you in and generates questions? I think we need all of the above, the hands-on investigation of the data with technology, the infographic that gives perspective, and the video that offers an alternate way to visualize and think about this population growth.

[Note:  I’ve written more about PBL ideas for population at Population at 7 Billion – What PBL can we facilitate?.]

I keep thinking about visualization and having multiple representations of ideas.  In Five Things Students Want Their Teachers to Know about Online Learning from Tech&LearningLisa Nielsen indicates that visualization is important to students.  The “five things” student want us to know:

  1. Socialization is important!
  2. Students Want to See Each Other
  3. Students Want to See Their Teacher
  4. Students Want You to Know Them
  5. Keep it Relevant

If you read the article, Nielsen indicates that visualization is important when learning online.  Video is a tool listed in all five of the above topics.

How are we “leveling up” concerning visualization?  Have our learners been introduced to infographics?  Better yet, have our learners produced infographics to communicate data creatively?  How are we using video to engage our learners?  Have our learners produced video to communicate data, learning, and growth?  Are we teaching (and learning) 21st century skills if we are not expecting multiple representations of ideas from our learners?

So…In 2012, with lots of technology at our fingertips, if a picture is worth 1000 words, what is video worth?…and…what if we only communicate with text?  What learning is lost when/if we only offer one representation of what we want others to learn?

What is lost when we don’t show and tell?

1 image ~ 1000 words…think about it.