# #TLC2016 Day 2 Notes

Sharing my day two notes from the Teaching Learning Coaching conference:

Partnering for Impact: Realizing Our Best Potential

How might we learn the art and the science of receiving feedback? Sheila Heen asks

Will you take the easy path or the more difficult one?

Reflect and share your “guide to working with me” to help our teams learn to help each other learn.

You cannot lead if you are not learning. ~ Michael Fullan

Presentations that make an impact have 7 principles of partnerships. Know your core beliefs.

I am grateful that Marsha Harris (@marshamac74) shared her notes from Sheila Heen’s keynote, Michael Fullan’s keynote, and Jim Knight and Kristin Anderson’s breakout session.  Her notes add context, commentary, and detail to my sketches.

# Grading and feedback: what we do matters

Thinking about feedback and marking papers… How should we mark our learners’ work? Do we offer the opportunity to learn through mistakes and corrections?

And, I wonder if we are unintentionally incorrectly using ratios and proportional reasoning when we then put a score on the paper.

Consider the following student’s work from a recent assessment.

Do you see the error?  Is it a big error? Does this young learner understand the task and how to solve it? What feedback should this learner receive?

This child was told that there was a multiplication error in the work. Do you agree?  Is it a matter of close reading on the teacher’s part? What feedback do we hope for to accompany the arrows shown below?

What if we exercise the art of questioning in our feedback? Compare What if you think about what happened here? to You have a multiplication error here. Which feedback will cause more action?

The score for this question was marked as 3.5/4.  Losing 1/2 point for this error seems reasonable.  Would losing 12.5 points also seem reasonable?

If we scale this out of 100 rather than 4,  that 1/2 point become 12.5 points.  Is that what we intend to do, and is it the message that we want to send?

Now, as it happened, this was a 4 question assessment.  This young learner’s questions were marked 4/4, 4/4, 3/4, and 3.5/4.  In question 4, there was the addition error described above. In question 3, the learner multiplied in the first step when division should have been used.  All of these points seem reasonable as long as the items each garner 4 points.  However, proportionally scaled up to 100 points, the 1-point error is now a 25 point error.

How might we rethink grading and scaling? What does research tell us about translating scores between scales?

If learning is our focus and results guide our decisions, what steps do we take now?

And, how are these results guiding the decisions of our young learners?

# Try on a new lens – (TBT Remix)

We perceive only the sensations we are programmed to receive, and our awareness is further restricted by the fact that we recognize only those for which we have mental maps or categories. (Zander, 10 pag.)

The following was posted on the last day of Pre-Planning my first year at Trinity.  While no longer a stranger, I continue to need and learn from  the stories of our children and colleagues.

From August 14, 2012:

I am new to my community – a stranger, if you will.  As a fledgling member of the community, I need and want to hear the stories of the children and my colleagues, the history of the people and the place. One spectacular opportunity afforded me is to hear the same story from multiple perspectives.  I value the luxury of learning and seeing through multiple lenses.

Through which lens do I choose to look at my surroundings?  On what do I choose to focus?  How do I practice seeing bright spots?  How often do I focus on success rather than struggle?  How do I make the practice of bright-spot-seeking a habit?  Do I teach this habit to others?

For our children, school begins tomorrow. What will they want and need from us, their teachers?  How will we offer feedback as they learn and grow?  Is it our habit to highlight their success or their struggle?  When we mark student papers, do we “award credit” or do we “take points off?” Literally, what do we mark?  What is our habit? What are we teaching through our habit?

How do our actions impact the lens through which our learners see themselves? How does our habit impact the way we see our learners? I am learning to make a point to change my lens to see with different clarity.  What does the story say if I change my view? What do we learn as we try on a new lens?

The frames our minds create define – and confine – what we perceive to be possible.  (Zander, 14 pag.)

Draw a different frame around the same set of circumstances and new pathways come into view. (Zander, 1 pag.)

How do our actions impact the lens through which our learners see themselves? How does our habit impact the way we see our learners? I am learning to make a point to change my lens to see with different clarity.

What does the story say if I change my view? What do we learn as we try on a new lens?

[This post was originally cross published as Try on a new lens – edu180atl: jill gough 8.14.12 and “edu180atl: jill gough 8.14.12“]

Zander, Rosamund Stone, and Benjamin Zander. The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life. Camberwell, Vic.: Penguin, 2002. Print.

# Never Underestimate A Motivated Learner ~ You Gotta Have Faith (TBT Remix)

Who has faith in you?  In whom do you demonstrate faith?

On November 20, 2011, AS announced that she wanted to learn to knit. She is seven. I’m embarrassed to say that I thought:

Is she really going to learn to knit? I’ve tried to teach my adult friends and have about a 50% success rate. I am busy; I have a list of things that need to be accomplished today.

But, she was determined to knit, so she sat in my lap while I coached her through 4 rows of 10 stitches – about a 20 minute exercise.  You can see the results of that one “lesson”  in the video below and on my Posterous mother-daugher-based-learning blog post.

On Dec. 20, 2011, her blue scarf was approximate 3.5 feet long, and she started a new purple scarf.

What if I had put my list of “desired outcomes”
ahead of her interests and determination to learn?

What if I told her that she was not ready?

What if I indicated that she did not have
enough maturity, experience, prerequisite skills?

How often do I become focused on “getting through the list of learning targets in the curriculum” without stopping to listen to their interests and questions?

Meet Thomas Suarez – an iPhone app developer and a 6th grader:

Meet Birke Baehr – an 11-year-old concerned with industrialized food systems and the alternatives:

What do our learners care about?  What do they want to learn, study, think deeply about, and investigate?  How can we use our curriculum to serve and support their learning and interests? We regularly check-in with our learners by reading and commenting on their blogs.  Here are a few quotes from our Synergy 8 learners about their interests and concerns:

One thing that each member and I realized after we were talked to about poor quality housing and affordable housing, was that there are many children that do not have a safe place to call “home.”  ~ TY

Did you know that from 1980 to now obesity rates have doubled among adults and tripled among adolescents (USA.gov, Facts n. pag.)? Also, did you know in 2010 according to the CDC 29.6% of people in Georgia were obese (USA.gov, Overweight n. pag.)? Before starting this project, I knew that obesity was a problem and I was very passionate about this issue. Although, I had no idea that obesity affected that many people, especially in Georgia. ~ SE

Using this data, we discovered that most people get less sleep than they should. Lack of sleep can affect your mood, attention span, and ability to retain knowledge. Most teens think that they can do their homework and mess around until 12 am and then go to sleep.~ RV

I am a person that doesn’t like to work in groups in fear that people won’t do their work and I will have to make up for the work that hasn’t been done. Being in this Synergy class and working in groups has helped me to trust other people to do their work.~ HD

What are the active steps we take to help our learners find tangible evidence of success and learning?  How does our feedback indicate that we have faith in their ability to learn, to work collaboratively, to problem find and problem solve?  How do we actively demonstrate faith (and trust) in our learners’ quest develop thinking and understanding? (And, what does it convey if we won’t let them try because we are afraid that they are too young, too immature, too inexperienced, or that they are just “not ready” because they haven’t mastered the prerequisites?

Just meet the amazing speakers at TedxKids@BC from September 17, 2011 and then think about these questions again.

Who has faith in you?  In whom do you demonstrate faith?

We gotta have faith.

Never Underestimate a Motivated Learner – You Gotta Have Faith was originally published on December 29, 2011

# Stepping-stones: deepen learning – The Talent Code VTR SPW

Small successes [are] not stopping points but stepping-stones. (Coyle, 188 pag.)

How might we listen on many levels? What if we change our focus to concentrate on the process of learning in addition to the products of learning?

“Great teachers focus on what the student is saying or doing,” he says, “and are able, by being so focused and by their deep knowledge of the subject matter, to see and recognize the inarticulate stumbling, fumbling effort of the student who’s reaching toward mastery, and then connect to them with a targeted message.” (Coyle, 177 pag.)

How might we deepen learning? What if flexibility, the ability to show what you know more than one way, is deemed essential?

Gallimore explains it this way: “A great teacher has the capacity to always take it deeper, to see the learning the student is capable of and to go there. It keeps going deeper and deeper because the teacher can think about the material in so many different ways, and because there’s an endless number of connections they can make.” (Coyle, 178 pag.)

What if we teach (and learn) that practice makes progress and celebrate growth over time?

“Do we have a better understanding? A better understanding?” Ms. Jackson said, summing up. “You don’t have a complete understanding of this, no way, we haven’t done it enough. But do we have a better understanding? YES!” (Coyle, 191 pag.)

```Summer Reading using VTR: Sentence-Phrase-Word:
The Talent Code
Chapter 9: The Teaching Circuit: A Blueprint```

A coach’s true skill consists not in some universally applicable wisdom that he can communicate to all, but rather in the supple ability to locate the sweet spot on the edge of each individual student’s ability, and to send the right signals to help the student reach toward the right goal, over and over. (Coyle, 178 pag.)

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.)

```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?

```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.)

```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.

# Visual: SMP-8: look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning #LL2LU

Many students would struggle much less in school if, before we presented new material for them to learn, we took the time to help them acquire background knowledge and skills that will help them learn. (Jackson, 18 pag.)

We want every learner in our care to be able to say

I can look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
(CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP8)

But…what if I can’t? What if I have no idea what to look for, notice, take note of, or attempt to generalize?

Investing time in teaching students how to learn is never wasted; in doing so, you deepen their understanding of the upcoming content and better equip them for future success. (Jackson, 19 pag.)

Are we teaching for a solution, or are we teaching strategy to express patterns? What if we facilitate experiences where both are considered essential to learn?

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.)

What if we collaboratively plan questions that guide learners to think, notice, and question for themselves?

What do you notice? What changes? What stays the same?

Indeed, sharing high-quality questions may be the most significant thing we can do to improve the quality of student learning. (Wiliam, 104 pag.)

How might we design for, expect, and offer feedback on procedural fluency and conceptual understanding?

Level 4
I can attend to precision as I construct a viable argument to express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Level 3
I can look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Level 2
I can identify and describe patterns and regularities, and I can begin to develop generalizations.

Level 1
I can notice and note what changes and what stays the same when performing calculations or interacting with geometric figures.

If we are to harness the power of feedback to increase student learning, then we need to ensure that feedback causes a cognitive rather than an emotional reaction—in other words, feedback should cause thinking. It should be focused; it should relate to the learning goals that have been shared with the students; and it should be more work for the recipient than the donor. (Wiliam, 130 pag.)

[Cross posted on Easing the Hurry Syndrome]

Jackson, Robyn R. (2010-07-27). How to Support Struggling Students (Mastering the Principles of Great Teaching series) (Pages 18-19). Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Kindle Edition.

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

Wiliam, Dylan (2011-05-01). Embedded Formative Assessment (Kindle Locations 2679-2681). Ingram Distribution. Kindle Edition.

How might we foster a community of learners where everyone bravely and fiercely seeks feedback?

I was at EduCon in Philadelphia when this tweet arrived last week.

Am I showing enough work? How do I know? What if we partner, students and teachers, to seek feedback, clarity, and guidance?

Success inspires success.

Yesterday, I dropped by Kato‘s classroom to work on the next math assessment and found our learners working together to apply math and to improve communication.

Now, I was just sneaking in to drop off and pick up papers.  But, how could I turn down requests for feedback?

Here’s the #showyourwork #LL2LU progression in the classroom:

Level 4
I can show more than one way to find a solution to the problem.

Level 3
I can describe or illustrate how I arrived at a solution in a way that the reader understands without talking to me.

Level 2
I can find a correct solution to the problem.

Level 1
I can ask questions to help me work toward a solution to the problem.

And here’s one child and her work. “Ms. Gough, will you look at my work? Can you understand it without asking me questions? Is is clear to you?”

I see connected words, pictures, and numbers. I like the color coding for the different size bags.  I appreciate reading the sentences that explain the numbers and her thinking.  I also witnessed this young learner improve her work and her thinking while watching me read her work.  She knew what she wanted to add, because she wished I knew why she made the final choice.  I’d call this Level 4 work.

What if we foster a community of learners who bravely and fiercely seek feedback?