Tag Archives: doodling

Reflection required: Learning over time #MyLearning

I am not defined by my performance today. I can grow and learn more with continued goal setting, practice, and feedback.

Yesterday I posted Patience required: Learning over time (#MyLearning) (#ShowYourWork). I ended the post wondering my learning is evident to the viewer of these artifacts.

“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” ― John Dewey

When serving as Trinity’s Personalized Learning Specialist, our Early Elementary Division Head of School, Rhonda Mitchell (@rgmteach), developed and refined a protocol for reflection.

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We want learners to collect, select, and reflect.

My COLLECTion is archived on my MyLearning Journey for #ShowYourWork Doodles and Sketch Notes Pinterest board.

I SELECTed these two from the collection:

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And, I REFLECTed on my growth and learning:

Throughout the 2014-15 school year, I doodled notes during every professional development learning session that I attended.  I remember how nervous I felt about taking notes this way during Joe’s opening faculty meeting last August.  I used an erasable pen because I was so scared of making a mistake. I remember most of his talk. The importance of our vision of pedagogy to deepen understanding, empower learners, and to cultivate community through personal experiences is clear. These tenants are reflected in our actions with learning progressions and our My Learning e-portfolios.  George’s comments in June actually connect to Joe’s comments from August.  We are in an age or era where we have connections at our fingertips.  No longer are we promoting a Jeopardy version of success.  How will we offer learners voice and choice? What if we co-create knowledge, problem-finding and problem-solving, and joyful experiences with our learners?

It is clear to me that I am more confident with the process of doodling to learn. I’m no longer using an erasable pen; in fact, I’m informed and opinionated about what works best for me. Clearly, color adds value and communicates ideas.  I see growth in my sketches of people, ideas, and connectors. I am still in awe of how much impact doodling has on my retention and recall of ideas.

I’ve learned that I listen better, think differently and more deeply, and remember more when I exercise my creativity to use visuals to represent ideas.  It is true that a picture is worth 1000s of words.  When I frantically tried to write everything down – before doodling – I could record lots of words, but did I capture any ideas? Not often.

This reminds me of timed math tests. I know! Weird connection.  It reminds me of timed math tests because of the stress and pressure of time.  I learn and remember more through doodling because I’m not frantic. I’m not afraid that I’m going to miss something.  I know that I’m visualizing big ideas and their surrounding details.

I’ve also learned that the more I practice, the more I want to learn.  I see improvement, and I see where and what I want to learn next.

I plan to continue making my thinking and learning visible using sketch noting.  I am encouraged to learn and to share.  I am not defined by my performance today. I can grow and learn more with continued goal setting, practice, and feedback.

Again, I find value and real joy in having the collection.  My portfolio of doodles shows me several concurrent learning journeys. Reflection offers glimpses of what I’m learning and where I am now. I have choice in where I go next and in how I’m going to get there.

Worth repeating:

I’ve also learned that the more I practice, the more I want to learn.  I see improvement, and I see where and what I want to learn next.  

How might we teach, model, and facilitate experiences to collect, select, and reflect learning over time? What if we offer time, encouragement, and opportunities?

Patience required: Growth over time #MyLearning

Learning is not an insta-grow experience.

Struggle – working at the edges of ability – is critical.  Patience is required as is a growth mindset.

It might take a while to see evidence of growth. What if we practice, struggle, share, and seek feedback?

I’ve been tinkering with sketch noting, a.k.a. doodling, to make thinking visible, to listen differently, and to retain information.

I started last June, and it was awful.  You can see a body of work on my MyLearning Journey for #ShowYourWork Doodles and Sketch Notes Pinterest board.

Here is  page 2 of my notes from Joe’s opening comments for Trinity Faculty on August 4, 2014.dd23378ccd6e1a1ccb03646990fe5bcd

Is my thinking visible?

Here is page 2 of my notes while learning with George Couros during his Martin Institute keynote on June 9, 2015, just a quick ten months later.
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Can you see my growth? I wonder if my learning is evident to the viewer of these artifacts.

I find value and real joy in having the collection.  My portfolio of doodles shows several concurrent journeys.

How might we teach, model, and facilitate experiences to collect, select, and reflect learning over time?

Growth over time…patience required.

Confidence, strengths, gratitude – A More Beautiful Question VTR SPW

Why do we begin to fear asking questions?

If you fear not having answers to the questions you might ask yourself, remember that one of the hallmarks of innovative problem solvers is that they are willing to raise questions without having any idea of what the answer might be. (Berger, 186 pag.)

How might we develop as questioners comfortable with uncertainty?

When you change one small thing and it works, it can help breed the confidence to change other things— including bigger ones. (Berger, 197 pag.)

If you don’t know, you don’t know.  How often do we hear questions that show uncertainty? I don’t even know where to begin.  I have no idea what question to ask. What if we offer actionable feedback, in the form of positive questions, to highlight what is known to get to what is not known? How might we bolster confidence and bravery to ask the next uncertain-of-the-answer question?

The main premise of appreciative inquiry is that positive questions, focusing on strengths and assets, tend to yield more effective results than negative questions focusing on problems or deficits. Strength-based questioning focuses on what is working in our lives— so that we can build upon that and get more out of it. (Berger, 190 pag.)

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Summer Reading using VTR: Sentence-Phrase-Word:
A More Beautiful Question
Chapter 5: Questioning for Life

Usually, my choice of Sentence-Phrase-Word combinations connect to form an idea for me.  In this case, experiment, should be my choice for “the word” from this chapter, particularly pages 198-199.

However, the word I keep coming back to is gratitude.

Happiness researchers such as Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Happier and Being Happy and a professor at Harvard University, believe it’s important to “cultivate the habit of gratitude.” Simply by asking, at the end of each day, What am I grateful for? and writing down the answers in a “gratitude journal,” people tend to be “happier, more optimistic, more successful, more likely to achieve their goals,” according to Ben-Shahar. (Berger, 190 pag.)

What if this is an essential to learn? How might we focus on taking actions to help ourselves and others be happier, more optimistic, more successful than we were yesterday?


Berger, Warren (2014-03-04). A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas . BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING. Kindle Edition.

Teaching the art of questioning – A More Beautiful Question VTR SPW

How are we teaching the art of questioning? Are we frustrated by the questions or lack of questions? What if we are more intentional about thoughtful questioning and reflection? How might we adjust the protocols and processes in our learning environments?

If a [community] is going to encourage questioning, it must teach people to do it well— or risk being besieged by nonproductive questions. (Berger, 171 pag.)

I’m intrigued by the idea not being besieged by precocious and nonproductive questions. How often do we address the first question that is launched? What if we collect many questions and then collaboratively select a questioning path to follow?

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Summer Reading using VTR: Sentence-Phrase-Word:
A More Beautiful Question
Chapter 4: Questioning in Business

How might we enhance our ability to think deeply about the questions that we dwell on and value?

…that clear vision is arrived at, and constantly modified and sharpened, through deep reflection and questioning. (Berger, 161 pag.)

What if we pause to facilitate question-storming to generate many questions?

The Right Question Institute— which specializes in teaching students to tackle problems by generating questions, not solutions— has found that groups of students (whether children or adults) seem to think more freely and creatively using the “question-storming” method, in which the focus is on generating questions. (Berger, 153 pag.)

What if we take up the challenge of teaching the art of questioning? How might we change the conversations and experiences  around learning?


Berger, Warren (2014-03-04). A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas . BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING. Kindle Edition.

Listening, trust, and feedback – A More Beautiful Question VTR SPW

Bennett says that within IDEO, the company recognizes it’s important to create an environment where it’s safe to ask “stupid” questions. (Berger, 80 pag.)

It’s about culture and atmosphere and bravery. Are we striving for progress or perfection?

As the writer Peter Sims noted in Harvard Business Review, most of us, throughout our school years and even in the business world, have been taught to hold back ideas until they are polished and perfect. (Berger 120 pag.)

What if we embrace risk-taking to show our work and thinking early and often? Are we taking actions to teach and model constructive critique for learning?

In committing to an idea, it becomes critical to find a way to share it in order to get feedback. (Berger, 118 pag.)

If we show work in progress, are we fearful that the feedback will cause a shutdown rather than a new iteration?

Which brings us back to culture and climate.

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Summer Reading using VTR: Sentence-Phrase-Word:
A More Beautiful Question
Chapter 3: The Why, What if, and How of Innovative Questioning

How are we listening to learners – every learner? What if we use technology to offer everyone a voice and an opportunity to question, to see the thinking of others, and to offer feedback to themselves and others?

Are we listening deeply to each other? Are we observing – paying attention – closely to learn?

Why are we afraid to show our work? What if feedback is asked for as well as given? How might we shift our culture?


Note:

Chapter 3 is also full of interesting, important questions and ideas to ponder. These ideas and questions connect, for me, to assessment, design thinking, and makery.

I have many notes in my book. I am part of a cohort reading this book. I know that others will highlight and help discuss additional ideas from this chapter.


Berger, Warren (2014-03-04). A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas . BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING. Kindle Edition.

Be curious; overcome fear; ask – A More Beautiful Question VTR SPW

[learners] may be self-censoring their questions due to cultural pressures. (Berger, 58 pag.)

What are the cultural norms  in our learning community around asking questions? Who has permission to ask questions?

But this issue of “Who gets to ask the questions in class?” touches on purpose, power, control, and, arguably, even race and social class. (Berger, 56 pag.)

If learners are self-censoring their questions because of cultural pressures, who really has permission to ask questions?

How might we create space and opportunity for additional voices to contribute questions? What if we leverage tools – technology, protocols, strategies – to offer every learner new ways to have a voice?

What would it look and sound like in the average classroom if we wanted to make “being wrong” less threatening? (Berger, 50 pag.)

What is to be gained from using  feedback loops as a way to make the possibility of “being wrong” less threatening?

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Image from Kato Nim's 4th Grade Class

How might we show that what we don’t know gives direction for learning and growth?

AMBQ-Chpt2

Summer Reading using VTR: Sentence-Phrase-Word:
A More Beautiful Question
Chapter 2: Why We Stop Questioning?

If learners are self-censoring their questions because of cultural pressures, what actions should/can/will be taken?


Note:

Chapter 2 is full of interesting, important questions and ideas to ponder.

Why do kids ask so many questions? (And how do we really feel about that?) Why does questioning fall off a cliff? Can a school be built on questions? Who is entitled to ask questions in class? If we’re born to inquire, then why must it be taught? (Berger, 39 pag.)

I have many notes in my book. I am part of a cohort reading this book. I know that others will highlight and help discuss additional ideas from this chapter.


Berger, Warren (2014-03-04). A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas . BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING. Kindle Edition.

Uncertainty, next steps, tone – A More Beautiful Question VTR SPW

What process do we have in place to help learners think and act in the face of  uncertainty to keep taking next steps? What is the tone of the atmosphere in our learning spaces?

Good questioners tend to be aware of, and quite comfortable with, their own ignorance (Berger, 16 pag.)

How are we encouraging questions about what is not known? How often do we hear learners say “I know this is a dumb question but, …” and how do we respond?

One of the most important things questioning does is to enable people to think and act in the face of uncertainty. As Steve Quatrano of the Right Question Institute puts it, forming questions helps us “to organize our thinking around what we don’t know.”  (Berger, 19 pag.)

AMBQ-Chpt1

Summer Reading using VTR: Sentence-Phrase-Word:
A More Beautiful Question
Chapter 1: The Power of Inquiry

MIT’s Joi Ito says that as we try to come to terms with a new reality that requires us to be lifelong learners (instead of just early-life learners), we must try to maintain or rekindle the curiosity, sense of wonder, inclination to try new things, and ability to adapt and absorb that served us so well in childhood. We must become, in a word, neotenous (neoteny being a biological term that describes the retention of childlike attributes in adulthood). (Berger, 24 pag.)

How might we become more neotenous to notice and note without labels? What if we create conditions where what we don’t know is safe to discuss?

To do so, we must rediscover the tool that kids use so well in those early years: the question. Ito puts it quite simply: “You don’t learn unless you question.” (Berger, 24 pag.)

Again…

What process do we have in place to help learners think and act in the face of  uncertainty to keep taking next steps? What is the tone of the atmosphere in our learning spaces?


Berger, Warren (2014-03-04). A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas . BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING. Kindle Edition.