Tag Archives: Faculty Forum

Math, Mindset, and Learning Progressions – #LL2LU w/@katonims129

One of the hallmarks of learning at Trinity School is Faculty/Staff Forum, our peer-to-peer professional development. Today, Kato Nims and I facilitated as session on math, mindset, and learning progressions.

The pitch:

Title: Math, Mindset, & Learning Progressions

Facilitators: Kato Nims and Jill Gough

Description: Does a learning progression empower and embolden the learn to locate where they are and ask target questions to make progress: Come collaborate with others to tackle a task or two using a learning progression as a self- and formative assessment tool to experience a student’s point of view.

Prerequisites: None. Bring a pencil or colored pen, your growth mindset, and a partner.

The plan:

Our norms:

    • Safe space
      • I can talk about what I know, and I can talk about what I don’t know.
      • I can be brave, vulnerable, kind, and considerate to myself and others while learning.
    • Celebrate opportunities to learn
      • I can learn from mistakes, and I can celebrate what I thought before and now know.

The slide-deck:

Sample feedback and reflections:

This activity helped me see solutions from multiple lenses. Even though the learning progressions were math-based, I can see the potential for using them in science…with some tweaking. When I present STEM challenges to my students I encourage them to use trial and error and to redesign and improve their work. I need to make learning progressions for the next challenge I present!

Connect – I know children need the language to more clearly express their needs in math. They also need to know what they can do instead of saying “I can’t” because they can do something!  Extend – I came away with a better idea of how to quickly assess my students’ levels at the end of a lesson and that allowing time to work with a partner or in a group is very important to extending my students’ learning.  Challenge – to continue to do the work of getting our learning progressions written and finding the time to collaborate as a team.

Connect: Kids need to know what their goals are, as do their teachers. Kids should be able to solve problems in multiple ways. Extend: Kids can have more than one learning progression that they’re working on at once.
Challenge: Allowing the class to explain what progression they are on with me jumping in to help them. 🙂 Becoming comfortable adding these into the classroom daily. It’s been hard for me going from saying state standards for 10 years going to this, but I think this is actually more beneficial!

While I don’t teach math on a daily basis, I found this session beneficial because I had an opportunity to practice using learning progressions.

It was very valuable to actually experience a student’s perspective while going through a learning progression.


Peer-to-Peer PD: Sharing our practices to build capacity – feedback

We met this week for Peer-to-Peer PD: Sharing our practices to build capacity.

I love when our learners connect ideas.  One of Ashley’s participants connected social media with formative assessment.

I learned how I can incorporate student Twitter in the classroom. I found her idea of having a “CTO” in the classroom is genius. Great window into what he/she is learning that day. She said they are more engaged as a result, and I believe it! So cool.

Another of Ashley’s participants outlined action steps, student engagement, and connected learner globally.

I was able to reflect and talk through some ideas of how to use Twitter in Kindergarten. I was inspired! My next steps are to have a discussion with my class about Twitter (what they know, etc.?). Then I will start using Twitter in the classroom by having the photographer for the week take pictures during recess of creations, children playing, nature, etc. and the last 5 minutes of recess we will choose a picture to tweet!
I also plan to use Twitter as a form of pen pals when we study Mexico. My plan is to connect with an elementary school classroom in Mexico that is Tweeting and exchange ideas about culture.

One of Janet’s participants connected using DropBox with our My Learning e-portfolios.

We will use Dropbox with our kids now! This will be very helpful for My Learning.

One of my participants connected Leading Learners to Level Up formative assessment to our My Learning e-portfolios.

My Learning is greatly about students taking ownership of their learning through the analysis of development (big picture). Being able to see the learning objective and self-assess progress towards the goal is a necessary skill for learning progressions (steps along the path).

A participant in Erin and Karen’s session

I learned about four different iPad apps that offer students opportunities to express themselves in different ways. Story Wheel focused on recording children telling stories. I liked the fact that this could be used in a small group lesson, which would give the children a creative way to organize and sequence their thoughts.

I will use these apps in my classroom, but I think it would be especially useful to have access to Skitch for Evernote since we are already using Evernote to house digital portfolios. One of the biggest obstacles to using iPads to record things for me is figuring out how to transfer saved projects into Evernote.

And, one of Melissa’s participants actually commented on the session being student driven.

I learned SO much about Haiku in a short amount of time! Melissa was such a good, patient ‘teacher’ and it was ‘student’ led, everything she taught was recommended/requested by us teachers.
Also, the class size was perfect and I really enjoyed that it was a hands-on class. I learn best by doing, so instead of listening or watching a ‘lesson’ on technology and then having to go back and do it later, I was able to do it right then. Wonderful!

When we dare to ask learners what they need and want to learn and match these up with what they can contribute, we learn and grow together. We connect ideas and learning. We build a stronger team by leaning in.

How might we spread this learner driven work throughout our school?

Peer-to-Peer PD: Sharing our practices to build capacity

Our Faculty/Staff Forum team has recruited facilitators and coordinated learning experience for our first Faculty/Staff Forum.  Faculty were offered sessions to prepare to use Haiku for their peer-to-peer learning sessions. They’ve organized the offerings on our Haiku site and have launched an invitation to sign up for a course that interests the learner.

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The offerings for this Wednesday’s peer-to-peer learning are shown below.  Isn’t it interesting that what we want to learn aligns with what we want to teach? Learners want to grow together, share what they are learning, and collaborate on next steps.

What will we learn? Will we apply what we learn? How might we grow and learn together by sharing bright spots and successes?

Title: Evernote Workflow
Teacher(s): Rhonda Mitchell
Class description: Your students are engaged in meaningful learning experiences everyday. How can you help students extend and deepen that learning by using the portfolio process? We will develop a workflow for capturing learning in Evernote.  Please bring a computer or iPad to this session.

Prerequisite: None
Minimum: 3     Maximum: 15

Sign up:12:30pm class
Sign up: 3:30pm class


Title: Integrating iPads with Young Learners
Teacher(s): Erin Lindsey and Karen Boykins
Class description: In this workshop we will highlight several apps that are geared towards 3’s through 1st grade. These will include, Story Wheel, My Story, Show Me, and Skitch. We will show how it has been incorporated in our class as well as have time to work with one another on other ways it each can be utilized.

Prerequisite: Please bring and iPad and have at least 2 of these apps ALREADY downloaded.
Minimum: 5     Maximum: 12

Sign up:12:30pm class
Sign up: 3:30pm class


Title: Children’s Literature: Polacco, Pulver, and More
Teacher(s): Meredith Burris
Class description: Don’t have time for a full-length book for reading aloud to your class? Come explore some picture books that can be used with older children that address a range of curricular areas: science, math, social studies, grammar, writing, etc.

Prerequisite: None
Minimum: 3     Maximum: 18

Sign up: 3:30pm class


Title: Introduction to Haiku
Teacher(s): Amanda Thomas
Class description: You’ve had a glimpse into the world of Haiku and now you are hooked. Let’s learn how to create a page, post pictures, add documents, and maybe more. Be sure to bring your computer with you.

Prerequisite: Be able to sign into Haiku on your own.
Minimum: 3     Maximum: 10

Sign up: 12:30pm class
Sign up: 3:30pm class


Title: Advanced Haiku
Teacher(s): Melissa Walker
Class description: Come and learn more about how to use Haiku class polls, assessment, link your Twitter feed to your page, and create class Wikis. Please bring any questions or future assignments for Haiku. Be sure to bring your computer with you.

Prerequisite: Already using Haiku and have ideas on ways you want to use this tool in the classroom
Minimum: 3     Maximum: 25

Sign up: 3:30pm class


Title:  Using Dropbox as a Teaching Tool
Teacher(s): Janet Lee
Class description: Learn all about Dropbox and how to use it in your classroom! We will discuss ideas for how to use Dropbox to make your workflow smoother and how your students can use it to learn more dynamically. Please bring a laptop. An iPad is optional.

Prerequisite: None
Minimum: 3     Maximum: 15

Sign up: 3:30pm class


Title: Using Twitter in the Classroom
Teacher(s): Ashley Johnston
Class description: Learn how you can introduce your students to the world of social media through Twitter! Twitter is widely recognized for its professional development community, but it can also be used to improve class lessons, facilitate distance learning, encourage and improve student reflection, give your students an audience, and act as a tool for formative assessment. Come learn how putting Twitter in the hands of students can enhance your lessons and student learning in the classroom.

Prerequisite: None
Minimum: 3     Maximum: 20

Sign up:3:30pm class


Title: Leading Learners to Level Up
Teacher(s): Jill Gough and Shelley Paul
Class description: How many times are teachers shocked to discover after the learning episodes are complete, that the learners did not, in fact, learn? This conversation is designed to help teachers design paths for formative assessment that leads learners to level up. In her book Grading and Learning, Susan Brookhart calls for assessment that motivates effort and achievement. We will tackle the problem of proficiency by developing and implementing a system of formative assessment that harnesses the power of positivity. Learners will be able to say “I can…” and “Can you help me…” based on the assessment empowering the learner to have control over the path to success.

Prerequisite: Curiosity, willingness to prototype
Minimum: 5     Maximum: 20

Sign up: 3:30pm class


Title:  My Learning Entries
Teacher(s): Jack Parrish
Class description: What things are grade levels incorporating into their student’s My Learning folder? What are good additions and what are poor additions? How do we make their additions add to student personal understanding? In this conversation we will discuss and examine My Learning among class participants. Attendees should be willing to share their student folders with others in order to help the class see what different grades are adding.

Prerequisite: How to access student My Learning folders on Evernote. Need to bring whatever device from which you access Evernote.

Minimum: At least one representative from two different grade levels     Maximum: none

Sign up: 3:30pm class

Is there something that intrigues you from this list? Are these compelling learning sessions? If they are from the needs and interests of the teacher-learners in our community, will we build capacity as we learn together?

Peer-to-peer PD: Modeling/practicing student-directed learning

If, as a school, we are interested in student-directed learning, how are we investigating, practicing, and modeling?  Our Faculty/Staff Leadership Team (FSLT) forwards the practice of learner-directed learning by having a Faculty Forum committee.  This committee is charged with organizing peer-to-peer professional development six times during the school year.  This is professional development done with faculty not “to” faculty.

This year the Faculty Forum leadership includes Erin Lindsey, Amanda Thomas, Marsha Harris, Stacey Goss, and Laura McRae. This amazing team chose to use Haiku, our learning management system, to model online learning resources. If we use Haiku, we must provide enough experience that our teachers can confidently use it with us.

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During the sessions offered above, this team asked our faculty to complete a Google form on topics they wanted to learn and topics they were willing to teach.

As a team, we met as sifted through both lists.  Would we be able to find overlaps in what we wanted to learn and what we wanted to teach?

What we want to learn:

Armed with this information, we looked for match-up with what we want to teach:

We also intentionally planned sessions around our faculty work in assessment and reading.

Each faculty member that offered to teach what we wanted to learn was sent an email similar to mine.

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Awesome! I cannot wait to see how the peer-to-peer (learner-directed) professional development offerings line up.

I wonder how often we ask our student-learners what they want to learn and what they want to teach their peers.  What if we used this idea in our classrooms with young learners? What if we risk and model this type of c0-learning with our students? It’s just one hour a few times a year.

What if we try?