Tag Archives: deep practice

Deep practice: building conceptual understanding in the middle grades

Deep practice:
building conceptual understanding in the middle grades
2017 T³™ International Conference
Friday, March 10, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Dusable, West Tower, Third Floor
Jill Gough
Jennifer Wilson

How might we attend to comprehension, accuracy, flexibility and then efficiency? What if we leverage technology to enhance our learners’ visual literacy and make connections between words, pictures and numbers? We will look at new ways of using technology to help learners visualize, think about, connect and discuss mathematics. Let’s explore how we might help young learners productively struggle instead of thrashing around blindly.

[Cross posted at Easing The Hurry Syndrome]

Deep Practice, Leveling, and Communication (TBT Remix)

Does a student know that they are confused and can they express that to their teacher? We need formative assessment and self-assessment to go hand-in-hand.

I agree that formative self-assessment is the key. Often, I think students don’t take the time to assess if they understand or are confused. I think that it is routine and “easy” in class. The student is practicing just like they’ve been coached in real time. When they get home, do they “practice like they play” or do they just get through the assignment? I think that is where deep practice comes into play. If they practice without assessing (checking for success) will they promote their confusion?  I tell my students that it is like practicing shooting free throws with your feet perpendicular to each other. Terrible form does not promote success. Zero practice is better than incorrect practice.

With that being said, I think that teachers must have realistic expectations about time and quality of assignments. If we expect students to engage in deep practice (to embrace the struggle) then we have to shorten our assignments to accommodate the additional time it will take to engage in the struggle.  We now ask students to complete anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 as many problems as in the past with the understanding that these problems will be attempted using the method of deep practice.

Our version of deep practice homework:
“We have significantly shortened this assignment from years past in order to allow you time to work these questions correctly. We want you do work with deep practice.

  • Please work each problem slowly and accurately.
  • Check the answer to the question immediately.
  • If correct, go to the next problem.
  • If not correct, mark through your work – don’t eraseleave evidence of your effort and thinking.
    • Try again.
    • If you make three attempts and can not get the correct answer, go on to the next problem. “

I also think that the formative assessments with “leveling” encourage the willingness to struggle. How many times has a student responded to you “I don’t get it”? Perhaps it is not a lack of effort. Perhaps it is a lack of connected vocabulary. It is not only that they don’t know how, is it that they don’t know what it is called either. It is hard to struggle through when you lack vocabulary, skill, and efficacy all at the same time. How might we help our learners attend to precision, to communicate in the language of our disciplines?

Now is the time to guide our young learners to develop voice, confidence (and trust), and a safe place to struggle.


Deep Practice, Leveling, and Communication was originally published on November 20, 2010

 

#SlowMath: look for meaning before the procedure

In her #CMCS15 session, Jennifer Wilson (@jwilson828) asks:

How might we leverage technology to build procedural fluency from conceptual understanding?  What if we encourage sketching to show connections?

What if we explore right triangle trigonometry and  equations of circles through the lens of the Slow Math Movement?  Will we learn more deeply, identify patterns, and make connections?

How might we promote and facilitate deep practice?

This is not ordinary practice. This is something else: a highly targeted, error-focused process. Something is growing, being built. (Coyle, 4 pag.)

What if we S…L…O…W… down?

How might we leverage technology to take deliberate, individualized dynamic actions? What will we notice and observe? Can we Will we What happens when we will take time to note what we are noticing and track our thinking?

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What is lost by the time we save being efficient, by telling? How might we ask rather than tell?

#SlowMath Movement = #DeepPractice + #AskDontTell

What if we offer more opportunities to deepen understanding by investigation, inquiry, and deep practice?


Coyle, Daniel (2009-04-16). The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

It’s early…still growing – The Talent Code VTR SPW

Is it possible to look at two seedlings and tell which will grow taller? The only answer is It’s early and they’re both growing. (Coyle, 166 pag.)

How might we observe, listen, and question to learn? What if we offer alternate routes and pathways to “show what you know?”

As Bloom and his researchers realized, they are merely disguised as average because their crucial skill does not show up on conventional measures of teaching ability. (Coyle, 175 pag.)

TalentCode-Chpt8

Summer Reading using VTR: Sentence-Phrase-Word:
The Talent Code
Chapter 8: The Talent Whisperers

How might we change our vision of learning (and success) to highlight growth over time? What if we offer actionable feedback loops to offer opportunities for early (and often) mid-course corrections?

How might we defer judgement to be patient during growing seasons?

What you see is (not always) what you’ve got.


Coyle, Daniel (2009-04-16). The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Contagious learning: lighting fires, deep practice – The Talent Code VTR SPW

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
—W. B. Yeats

How might we send the right signals? What if struggle is celebrated and encouraged until it just clicks?

TalentCode-Chpt7

Summer Reading using VTR: Sentence-Phrase-Word:
The Talent Code
Chapter 7: How to Ignite a Hotbed

Then it clicks. The kids get it, and when it starts, the rest of them get it, too. It’s contagious. (Coyle, 156 pag.)

Contagious…it’s a good word. How might we empower learners to take charge of learning? Hear from Kiran Sethi:


Coyle, Daniel (2009-04-16). The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Confidence building and feedback – The Talent Code VTR SPW

As we continue to learn and act to deepen learning, empower learners, and work on the edge of capability, how might we ignite effort and confidence?

What skill-building really is, is confidence-building. First they got to earn it, then they got it. (Coyle, 134 pag.)

What if we use actionable feedback to embrace struggle, seize opportunity to learn, and celebrate success?

Now we’ll look more deeply into how it can be triggered by the signals we use most: words. (Coyle, 132 pag.)

How might we improve our feedback and choose words carefully to send a spark?

And according to theories developed by Dr. Carol Dweck, Engblom’s verbal cues, however minimal, are just the kind to send the right signal. Dweck is a social psychologist at Stanford who has spent the past thirty years studying motivation. She’s carved an impressively varied path across the field, starting with animal motivation and shifting to more complex creatures, chiefly elementary and high school students. Some of her most eye-opening research involves the relationship between motivation and language. “Left to our own devices, we go along in a pretty stable mindset,” she said. “But when we get a clear cue, a message that sends a spark, then boing, we respond.” (Coyle, 135 pag.)

What if the target the actions taken on a pathway to success? How might we highlight effort to ignite deep practice and serious effort?

Praising effort works because it reflects biological reality. The truth is, skill circuits are not easy to build; deep practice requires serious effort and passionate work. The truth is, when you are starting out, you do not “play” tennis; you struggle and fight and pay attention and slowly get better. The truth is, we learn in staggering-baby steps. Effort-based language works because it speaks directly to the core of the learning experience, and when it comes to ignition, there’s nothing more powerful. (Coyle, 137 pag.)

TalentCode-Chpt6

Summer Reading using VTR: Sentence-Phrase-Word:
The Talent Code
Chapter 6: The Curaçao Experiment

When we hear I can’t…, can we reframe it using yet? What if we insist on the use of yet any time we hear I can’t? 

I can’t yet _______.

I can’t ________, yet.

How might we spur more confidence, more I can… effort and learning?

You must have worked really hard.

Have you thought about trying this next?

I’m giving you this feedback because I believe in you.


Coyle, Daniel (2009-04-16). The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Long-term-committment: identity, groups, belonging- The Talent Code VTR SPW

I wonder how perception of self is formed. Through experiences?Through feedback? Through stories we are told from generation to generation?

Progress was determined not by any measurable aptitude or trait, but by a tiny, powerful idea the child had before even starting lessons. The differences were staggering. With the same amount of practice, the long-term-commitment group outperformed the short-term-commitment group by 400 percent. (Coyle, 104 pag.)

What if we reframe struggle for learners? How might we use the power of YET to set up long-term-commitment?

Talent is spreading through this group in the same pattern that dandelions spread through suburban yards. One puff, given time, brings many flowers. (Coyle, 99 pag.)

How might we use learning progressions and pathways for success to highlight breakthrough successes? What if we celebrate and encourage massive blooms of talent?

The answer is, each has to do with identity and groups, and the links that form between them. Each signal is the motivational equivalent of a flashing red light: those people over there are doing something terrifically worthwhile. Each signal, in short, is about future belonging. Future belonging is a primal cue: a simple, direct signal that activates our built-in motivational triggers, funneling our energy and attention toward a goal. (Coyle, 108 pag.)

TalentCode-Chpt5

Summer Reading using VTR: Sentence-Phrase-Word:
The Talent Code
Chapter 5: Primal Cues

Identity and groups…future belonging…activate built-in motivation triggers…funnel energy and attention…

How might we…?


Coyle, Daniel (2009-04-16). The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.