Tag Archives: falconry

Assessment PD: #LL2LU Learning Progressions – a.k.a. Falconry – feedback

Yesterday’s session on assessment causes me to wonder…Are we afraid of cool feedback? I wonder if we so closely connect feedback to being evaluated that we miss opportunities to learn and grow.  What if we embed feedback loops in our routine? What if we make feedback a habit? Are we in such a hurry to “get ‘it’ done” that we miss opportunities to make “it” better?

What if we use peer feedback to improve our work and gain new perspectives?

I liked working in a small group and getting feedback from all other groups.

[I liked] More practice building levels and considering exactly what I want for our students to be able to do. Also, the collaboration was helpful–this time. I enjoyed working solo at first–I felt more comfortable thinking together with a colleague this time.

I like the challenge.  It’s difficult to look at your progression and try to make it make sense to your team and students.  The feedback opened our eyes to some, now obvious, flaws in our levels.

We can take the feedback that we received and use it to better our lessons and ways to level the lessons to benefit the variety of learners in the classroom.

If we find peer feedback useful and constructive, will we offer the same opportunities to our young learners by intentionally incorporating feedback loops into our lesson plans?

What if we indicate the target level of learning? (Can we?) How might we shift the language and learning in our classrooms?

This session really got us thinking about considering different perspectives when determining our students’ skill expectations.  It made us think about how to make assessment clear to learners and to those who will interpret the assessment information.

I loved breaking down the goals we have for our children into levels.  It makes it clearer to me how I can teach students of various knowledge levels.

When doing the exercise today, I realized I need to slow down and put myself in a Pre-Kers perspective and not an adult or parents perspective.

It was interesting to find out how others see our assessment levels, and it gave me incentive to speed up or slow down expectations for students at my grade level.

Students all have different ability levels and only rarely will you find a whole group at the same “level.”  We also need to help kids realize what they do know and where they need help.

I think that it was important to see the progression of learning and expectations written down on paper. Actually thinking about where we want our kids to be, how they’re going to get there, and what comes next is so helpful.

Through experiential learning, are we finding connections?

It was helpful in thinking about we plan our lessons and units and leveling up.  It was also helpful practice in writing I can statements…

Especially following conferences and progress reports, we are very aware of the necessity of clear expectations and plans of actions for parents and students.

[This] helps us collaborate on ways to differentiate the instruction.

I liked learning about leveling up and it helps me understand how to calibrate horizontally.

This session really got us thinking about considering different perspectives when determining our students’ skill expectations.  It made us think about how to make assessment clear to learners and to those who will interpret the assessment information.

How might we continue to find connections and experience growth-oriented feedback? What if we intentionally experiment with these ideas in our classrooms with learners?

_________________________

Assessment PD: #LL2LU Learning Progressions – a.k.a. Falconry

How might we coach our learners into asking more questions? Not just any question – targeted questions.  What if we coach and develop the skill of questioning self-talk?

Interrogative self-talk, the researchers say, “may inspire thoughts about autonomous or intrinsically motivated reasons to purse a goal.”  As ample research has demonstrated, people are more likely to act, and to perform well, when the motivations come from intrinsic choices rather than from extrinsic pressures.  Declarative self-talk risks bypassing one’s motivations.  Questioning self-talk elicits the reasons for doing something and reminds people that many of those reasons come from within. (Pink, 103 pag.)

For this Wednesday’s work on assessment, we will focus on writing leveled learning progressions.  Here’s the agenda:

.

What if we indicate the target level of learning? How might we shift the language and learning in our classrooms by making it easier to ask specific questions?

The seventeenth-century British statesman, scientist, and philosopher, Francis Bacon, who advanced the idea of the scientific method, said “Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.” [emphasis added]  Centuries later, one of the students quoted in this chapter made pretty much the same argument: ”You can’t learn unless you ask questions[emphasis added]  Unless you ask questions, nobody knows what you are thinking or what you want to know.”

If we have asked a question about a subject or concern, we are much better attuned to the information coming back to us.  We are, therefore, more likely to retain it.  (Rothstein and Santana, 135 pag.)

What if we empower and embolden our learners to ask the questions they need to ask?

Great teachers lead us just far enough down a path so we can challenge for ourselves. They provide us just enough insight so we can work toward a solution that makes us, makes me want to jump up and shout out the solution to the world, makes me want to step to the next higher level.  Great teachers somehow make us want to ask the questions that they want us to answer, overcome the challenge that they, because they are our teacher, believe we need to overcome. (Lichtman, 20 pag.)

________________________

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.

Pink, Daniel H. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others. New York: Riverhead, 2012. Print.

Rothstein, Dan, and Luz Santana. Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education, 2011. Print.

PD: Assessment (a.k.a Falconry) – feedback

Identifying problems as a way to move others takes two long-standing skills and turns them upside down. First, in the past, the best [learners] were adept at accessing information. Today, they must be skilled at curating it— sorting through the massive troves of data and presenting to others the most relevant and clarifying pieces. Second, in the past, the best [learners] were skilled at answering questions (in part because they had information their prospects lacked). Today, they must be good at asking questions— uncovering possibilities, surfacing latent issues, and finding unexpected problems. (Pink, 132 pag.)

When we improve and grow in our art of questioning, we serve our learners. We must be fearless about uncovering possibilities, surfacing latent issues, and finding unexpected problems  before it’s too late – before the gap between what I know and what I need to know gets too big.

We met yesterday to continue our learning on assessment.  Our stated purpose for yesterday’s learning:

  • I can describe the difference between formative and summative assessment.
  • I can identify types of formative assessment that are employed by my team and share student work.

Additional purposes we are working toward include:

  • I can analyze student work to plan for formative assessment next steps.
  • I can contribute to the questions and formative assessment strategies of others to move learning forward.

We started with the mini-lesson on summative and formative assessment.  I wanted to begin to connect dots. The summer reading on the Art of Questioning connects to Greg Bamford’s work with us on growth mindset which connects to assessment.  Little did I know how important these connections would be during this hour of professional development.

The mini-lesson started with a quote from Make just one change: Teach students to ask their own questions.

We want more students to experience the burst of energy that comes from asking questions that lead to making new connections, feel a greater sense of urgency to seek answers to questions on their own, and reap the satisfaction of actually understanding more deeply the subject matter as a result of the questions they asked.  (Rothstein and Santana, 151 pag.)

Formative assessment and actionable feedback empowers teacher-learners and student-learners to ask questions, make new connections, and understand in new and different ways.

Asking the right question enough questions is key.  Persistence is required. We must stick with it until we uncover possibilities, surface latent issues, and find unexpected problems.

The mini-lesson reviewed formative assessment – assessment for learning – and summative assessment – assessment of learning.  Today we wanted to focus on actionable feedback. Do we offer learners feedback that helps them grow and learn? Do we give feedback that spurs action? How might we?

In groups of three, teachers shared an assessment with student data used to assess learning.  The conversations centered around the following questions.

    • What was this assessing?
    • What information did you learn about this student-learner?
    • What action(s) did you take based on what you learned?
    • What action(s) did the learner take based on this learning?
    • Is this formative assessment, summative assessment, or both?

Feedback in the form of What if…, I like…, and I wonder… served to deepen the understanding of action steps and strategies to forward learning.

In each sharing session we heard strategies and actions taken to uncover possibilities, surface latent issues, and find unexpected problems. This is a purpose of formative assessment.  When we uncover possibilities, surface latent issues, and find unexpected problems what actions do we take on behalf of the learner, and what actions do we coach the learner to take? Worth repeating:

Today, [educators] must be good at asking questions— uncovering possibilities, surfacing latent issues, and finding unexpected problems. (Pink, 132 pag.)

It is the art of questioning.

I wonder if my faculty understands that the feedback they give me about these sessions is an opportunity for formative assessment and actionable feedback. It is important to me that I serve a purpose and make a contribution in our community.  Their feedback helps me plan for the next learning experience, become better at differentiation, and learn more about our community.  I read and reread every written comment.  I am grateful for both the warm and cool feedback.  I hope they know that they can use I like…, I wish…, I wonder…, and what if… to offer constructive feedback.

While every sentence of feedback is important to me, here is a sampling of feedback comments that I appreciate.

I can make sure I’m encouraging each child along the way. We will not assume the action taken, instead we will help them figure out how they are thinking. We are learning while they are learning. With my example I can take videos of the child and show them how they are working at each task and goal that they want to reach. Once I show them they can plan the next step for them to succeed.

Being more aware of your assessments benefit the child in the learning process. Learning about what other teams have done and what they are currently doing has sparked some new ideas.

How do we include the students in the action that needs to happen after a formative assessment? I’d love to hear ways in which other teachers have done this successfully.

I think talking about an example of an assessment between each other definitely helped us understand how we can assess our kids better. It takes all of us talking together to really understand and learn how to help these kids along the way. We feed off each other when we give examples.

I would have loved to had more of a working session with others to add, amend, and create new assessment ideas. It was nice to talk about ONE assessment from another grade level, but I think a greater jigsaw, among grade levels that are similar (K, 1,2 and 3,4 or 4,5,6) might be more beneficial to those seeking new or different assessment.

Feeding up, feeding back, and feeding forward – how do I know that I am doing these?

Great teachers lead us just far enough down a path so we can challenge for ourselves. They provide us just enough insight so we can work toward a solution that makes us, makes me want to jump up and shout out the solution to the world, makes me want to step to the next higher level.  Great teachers somehow make us want to ask the questions that they want us to answer, overcome the challenge that they, because they are our teacher, believe we need to overcome. (Lichtman, 20 pag.)

Are we getting far enough down the path? Are we providing enough insight? Are we  interested in stepping to the next higher level? Are we asking the right questions?

I aspire to be a Falconer.

________________________

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.

Pink, Daniel H. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others. New York: Riverhead, 2012. Print.

Rothstein, Dan, and Luz Santana. Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education, 2011. Print.

PD: Assessment (a.k.a Falconry)

Grant’s quote highlights the importance of formative assessment.

Great teachers lead us just far enough down a path so we can challenge for ourselves. They provide us just enough insight so we can work toward a solution that makes us, makes me want to jump up and shout out the solution to the world, makes me want to step to the next higher level.  Great teachers somehow make us want to ask the questions that they want us to answer, overcome the challenge that they, because they are our teacher, believe we need to overcome. (Lichtman, 20 pag.)

Formative assessment compels action – action on the part of the teacher and the learner.

    • Action (teacher): Great teachers lead us just far enough down a path…
    • Action (learner): … we can challenge for ourselves.
    • Action (teacher): They provide us just enough insight
    • Action (learner): …we can work toward a solution that makes us, makes me want to jump up and shout out the solution to the world,
    • Action (learner): makes me want to step to the next higher level.
    • Action (teacher and learner):  ask the questions that they want us to answer…
    • Action (teacher and learner): overcome the challenge that they, because they are our teacher, believe we need to overcome.

Continuing our work on assessment from the September 11 workshop, we will meet today to share assessment practices and to discuss how our assessments are opportunities to learn.

Today’s learning plan, shown below, was collaboratively designed with Rhonda Mitchell (@rgmteach), Kathy Bruyn (@KathyEE96), and Pam Lauer (@PamLauer1). We used the feedback from our last session and our purpose intentions to inform our design.  The purpose of our work today

  • I can describe the difference between formative and summative assessment.
  • I can identify types of formative assessment that are employed by my team and share student work.
  • I can analyze student work to plan for formative assessment next steps.
  • I can contribute to the questions and formative assessment strategies of others to move learning forward.

The mini-lesson uses quotes from our summer reading on the Art of Questioning.

We want more students to experience the burst of energy that comes from asking questions that lead to making new connections, feel a greater sense of urgency to seek answers to questions on their own, and reap the satisfaction of actually understanding more deeply the subject matter as a result of the questions they asked.  (Rothstein and Santana, 151 pag.)

Identifying problems as a way to move others takes two long-standing skills and turns them upside down. First, in the past, the best [learners] were adept at accessing information. Today, they must be skilled at curating it— sorting through the massive troves of data and presenting to others the most relevant and clarifying pieces. Second, in the past, the best [learners] were skilled at answering questions (in part because they had information their prospects lacked). Today, they must be good at asking questions— uncovering possibilities, surfacing latent issues, and finding unexpected problems. (Pink, 132 pag.)

The excitement of learning, the compelling personal drive to take one more step on the path towards wisdom, comes when we try to solve a problem we want to solve, when we want to solve, when we see a challenge and say yes, I can meet it.  Great teachers lead us just far enough down a path so we can challenge for ourselves. They provide us just enough insight so we can work toward a solution that makes us, makes me want to jump up and shout out the solution to the world, makes me want to step to the next higher level. Great teachers somehow make us want to ask the questions that they want us to answer, overcome the challenge that they, because they are our teacher, believe we need to overcome. (Lichtman, 20 pag.)

Teacher-learners have been asked to bring an assessment with student work to show-share-reflect.  In small triangles of feedback, we will share an assessment and discuss the following questions.

    • What was this assessing?
    • What information did you learn about this student-learner?
    • What action(s) did you take based on what you learned?
    • What action(s) did the learner take based on this learning?
    • Is this formative assessment, summative assessment, or both?

My artifact for today’s discussion along with my reflection answering the questions above can be seen in the post Learning from Leveling, Self-Assessment, and Formative Assessment.

I like that the learning plan is interactive. In his keynote talks, Dr. Tim Kanold (@TKanold) challenges us to guarantee that in any lesson at least 65% of the time is spent is small group discourse.  I like that the learning plan has us discussing actual student work.  Let’s focus on the products of our teaching – what the children learned – rather than what we did.

I wonder if we will see assessments that lead learner down a path and offer learners insights to empower and inspire challenges to step to the next higher level.

I wish (and hope) that we will gain new ideas and techniques for assessing learning as well as receive feedback on an assessment.  Will we share practices, add to the learning of others, and gain new insights ourselves?  Will we work toward additional solutions to step to the next level in our ability to design assessment experiences that support, motivate, and lead learning?

________________________

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.

Pink, Daniel H. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others. New York: Riverhead, 2012. Print.

Rothstein, Dan, and Luz Santana. Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education, 2011. Print.

Falconry: power, influence, and persuasion jujitsu

… power leads individuals to anchor too heavily on their own vantage point, insufficiently adjusting to others’ perspective. (Pink, 72 pag.)

I agree. This is really yet another call to focus on learning rather than teaching.  If I, the teacher, focus on my work and the job I do too heavily, then I may miss the fact that some in my care are not learning what I think I’m teaching.  (How many times have I been surprised about what my learners do not know?)

Sun Tzu writes: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.  It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry, which can on no account be neglected.

This means that facing challenges, both problems and opportunities, is vital to personal success.  This is the arena in which we can grow, excel, create, and expand. Without these challenges we wither. Because of this importance, it is equally vital to examine the way in which we meet the challenges by questioning our path from the outset. (Lichtman, 51 pag.)

Learning is of vital importance.  How do we face the challenges of ensuring that everyone learns? How do we grow, excel, create, and expand our abilities to differentiate, enrich and intervene, so that everyone is making progress.  Can we overcome the subtle, and not so subtle, barriers in communication, expectations, confidence, and support? How do we teach learners to overcome these barriers too?

As a result, the ability to move people now depends on power’s inverse: understanding another person’s perspective, getting inside his head, and seeing the world through his eyes. (Pink, 72 pag.)

Offering learners multiple ways to become aware of what is to be learned and designing experiences to lead learning and practice should enable and empower the learner to grow stronger and more confident.

I’ve been thinking a lot about power and influence.  I do not have the power to make anyone learn.  Learning is within the power and control of the learner.  I have a sphere of influence and an ability to persuade.

Think of this first principle of attunement as persuasion jujitsu: using an apparent weakness as an actual strength. Start your encounters with the assumption that you’re in a position of lower power. That will help you see the other side’s perspective more accurately, which, in turn, will help you move them. (Pink, 72 pag.)

I instantly loved the phrase persuasion jujitsu.  The American Heritage Dictionary breaks down jujitsu or jujutsu as  jū, soft;  + jutsu, technique.

I aspire to develop persuasion jujitsu, a soft technique, when teaching and learning.  I agree that it is critical to understand the learner’s perspective.  I argue with the idea that because I was a student once, I have that understanding.  I assume that I need to walk more in the shoes of a learner in 2013 rather than reflect on the needs I had as a student long ago.

Can I model lifelong learning and openly discuss my learning with others? Can I teach persistence, risk-taking, and overcoming failure struggle if I share, question, and collaborate?

I aspire to be a positive influence. I aspire to examine the way in which I meet challenges.

I aspire to listen more, question more, and learn more.

I aspire to become a falconer.

________________________

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.

Pink, Daniel H. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others. New York: Riverhead, 2012. Print.

[Cross posted on Flourish.]