Tag Archives: peer-to-peer learning

Doodling the C’s – Lesson 08: Explaining

How do we practice Information Age skills?  Which of the C’s do we actively engage with, share in the-struggle-to-learn with others, and intentionally insert into daily practice?

Creativity and innovation, Communication, Critical thinking and problem solving, Collaboration, …

Last week’s lesson was about observing.  Lesson 08 is about explaining.

Project:  What if we doodle to convey additional meaning for a learning progression?
  1. Select or write a new learning progression to highlight a pathway to success for a skill, topic, or process.
  2. Doodle to add additional information and/or meaning.

Remember… It takes practice.

  • Share your poster with someone and ask for feedback.
  • Scan or take a photo of your work and insert it in your Doodling the C’s Google doc, on your blog, or in your My Learning portfolio.
  • Bonus: Tweet a copy of your poster using the hashtags #LL2LU#ShowYourWork #TrinityLearns (or your school’s hashtag)


Doodling the C’s – Lesson 07: Observing

How do we practice Information Age skills?  Which of the C’s do we actively engage with, share in the-struggle-to-learn with others, and intentionally insert into daily practice?

Creativity and innovation, Communication, Critical thinking and problem solving, Collaboration, …

Last week’s lesson was about reading and comprehension.  Lesson 07 is about observing.

Project:  Doodle as you observe.  Choose from 2 of the 3 choices listed below:
  1. Observe a colleague teach a lesson.  Doodle what you learn and notice.
  2. Sketch-note through a faculty meeting.
  3. Doodle the big ideas and salient points from a professional development session or workshop.

Remember… It takes practice.

  • Share your poster with someone and ask for feedback.
  • Scan or take a photo of your work and insert it in your Doodling the C’s Google doc, on your blog, or in your My Learning portfolio.
  • Bonus: Tweet a copy of your poster using the hashtags #ShowYourWork #TrinityLearns (or your school’s hashtag)


  •  Observe another teacher.  Capture the teacher moves, essential learnings, student questions, and student actions.
  • Capture the big ideas from your next faculty meeting.
  • Illustrate the important points from a conference session or keynote.  Ask the speaker to sign your sketch-note.

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.

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 9.22.05 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 8.43.09 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 9.04.16 PM

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?

PD experiment: I want to learn… & I can teach… (5 of 4)

I’m not sure what I originally planned when I started this series, PD experiment: I want to learn… & I can teach…, but I’ve learned more than I predicted.  So, I have a 5th post.  It is not enough to go through professional development learning episodes.  Reflection is a necessary responsibility for my growth.  What did I learn? What went well? What would I do differently next time?  What does the feedback from the learners tell me?

We consistently use the same feedback form for all in-house professional development. (Feel free to investigate the form.  It is a copy of the original.  One of the goals is to sort the spreadsheet to have a record of each community member’s participation in our in-house PD for the 2012-13 school year.)

Here’s some of the feedback (view all the feedback) from this particular session:


Wow! This class was the best EVER ! the program was easy and Jedd was a delightful teacher! I can’t WAIT to have the kids use this for Colonial things that are coming up!


I enjoyed being able to “play” with activities that could immediately be put into practice in my classroom.  I also enjoyed how we thought about how the activities could be modified for different subjects or ability levels.


Students write reflections in the art room– I now know I can reinforce this style of writing in art too.


I thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to new apps and websites from other teachers and seeing how they would use them in the classroom. It was great to see how “fun games” can be applied to everyday classroom instruction. The Smackdown was a helpful session because Marsha would give us an app or website and then everyone else would chime in on one they found useful.


I enjoyed Sarah’s presentation very much.  She modeled the “lesson” almost as if it was a classroom and even had the teachers participate in a couple of games.  It was great to see how her ideas could be incorporated into our daily activities.


Kindergarteners need a lot of movement throughout the day.  Rather than doing the “Trinity runaround”, I now have new ways to get them moving.  Not only will I use what I learned to give kids movement breaks throughout the day, we also learned many games and movements that can be used to learn and review content that the kids are learning everyday.


I’m pleased with the feedback.  Our community members indicate that they are learning.  They indicate that they are able to apply what they are learning.  One teacher sent me a note that she had video to share with me concerning what she learned.

While I’m very pleased with the feedback, I wonder what we might do better next time.

  • I know that we frustrated several by not making the sign-up online.  We can make that change if needed.  I do wonder if part of the experience was gathering at the board to discuss the possibilities.
  • Could we offer sessions that would interest more of our staff?  Isn’t it interesting that we wait for others to offer learning sessions of interest to us?  Did everyone have the opportunity to record something they would like to learn? Could anyone offer a session to meet their own needs and/or the needs of others?
  • Should I be more clear about the meaning of facilitating a learning session?  How many facilitators prepared handouts and PowerPoint presentations?  How many facilitators organized conversations to learn from and with others? How many facilitators felt they had to be “an expert,” and how many felt they would learn from others?

Then I read Bo’s post, PROCESS POST: How are schools planning and designing their pedagogical renovations?. Now, Bo was not writing about the PD at my school.  But, I should reflect on his good (paraphrased) questions.

  • Are we architecting and blueprinting the systemic transformation of which these learning episodes are parts of a whole?
  • How do these learning episodes fit into a master plan that harmonizes the curriculum, instruction, assessment, and learning environments that function together as the ecosystem of our school’s teaching and learning core?
  • Is it enough to have community members enrolling in such courses and enhancing their individual practices?

Which led me back to Grant’s post, Three Foundational Questions Schools Must Ask.

  • What are the essential learning outcomes or qualities of your students when they graduate?
  • What is the desired relationship at your school between students, teachers, and knowledge?
  • What is the differentiated value that your school offers to your clients?

As a community, have we identified the essential learning outcomes for our adult-learners? Are these ongoing learning experiences and the overarching methodology transferable (and transferring) to classrooms for young learners? How can I be more strategic and purposeful about content as well as process?

As with all good learning experiences, I’m left with more questions than answers.

PD experiment: I want to learn… & I can teach… (4 of 4)

PD experiment: I want to learn… & I can teach… (3 of 4) should actually be titled Learning by Request and by Invitation.  After compiling the I want to learn… and I can teach… requests, we ended up with 16 peer-to-peer learning sessions for Wednesday’s workshops.  We asked the facilitators to email their learners with information about location, materials needed, and anything else that is pertinent.

From: Molly Flavin

Date: February 25, 2013, 4:13:27 PM EST

To: Sarah Mokotoff, Learning Team, Mary Jacob Rankin, Vrieland, Ashley Johnston, Marilyn Bauer, Marsha Harris, Samantha Steinberg, Maryellen Berry, Ginny Perkinson, Jedd Austin

Subject: Info for Instructors

Dear Instructors,

In your mailboxes you will find the list of individuals who signed up for the Wednesday class this week (2/27/13).  Please email them with information about the location of your class, what materials/devices will be needed, and any other information they need to know.  Thank you so much for volunteering to teach a class.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me, Erin, Laurette, or Jill.

Thank you,

The Faculty/Staff Forum

I have so much to learn from my colleagues! I guess I expected the type of email that I would send.  I am wow-ed by the invitational, we will learn this together, and we’ll have fun messages that were sent to our learners.  I should publish all 16 emails – because they are all that good – but I’ll exercise restraint and only offer four samples.

From: Samantha Steinberg
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:39 PM
To: * *
Cc: Jill Gough <jgough@trinityatl.org>
Subject: workshop tomorrow!
Hi Ladies,
Thanks so much for signing up for this workshop!  We will be talking about using strategy groups during CAFÉ reading.  Disclaimer:  I am not an expert on this topic, however, I am using strategy groups in my classroom to meet with small groups of students who are working on the same reading strategy, not necessarily the same reading level.  I will show you some examples and then we can brainstorm together how this might be beneficial for you in your classroom.
You do not need to bring anything; just yourself.  If you are familiar with CAFÉ and/or Daily 5 and you have the CAFÉ book, you might want to bring it.  If not, no worries!
See you tomorrow afternoon in room 2229!

Don’t you just love the message from Samantha?  How great is it that she is willing to share what is working for her learners?  What a wonderful invitation to learn together!

From: Jedd Austin
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 7:41 AM
To: * *
Cc: Molly Flavin, Erin Lindsey, Laurette Sirkin , Jill Gough
Subject: FACULTY FORUM –> iMovie on iPads Extravaganza!
Congratulations!  You have been officially selected (by you) to be a part of an amazing experience that will take place in Caroline Peevy’s room THIS Wednesday from 3:30-4:30!  Because this “class” will be all about making iMovies on iPads, please take the next 31 hours to make sure you have the iMovie app installed ON your iPad.  The icon you’re looking for is below.  Also, over the course of today and tomorrow please do some filming (with your iPad) of interesting classroom things (if you don’t have a bunch already) that you’ll be able to use to practice with on Wednesday.
P.s.  After the class you will be filling out this feedback form –> http://bit.ly/FacultyForumFeedback  Please remind me to have you do that. .  🙂 🙂 🙂


You can just feel Jedd’s enthusiasm and encouragement! He does awesome, creative work with formative assessment using iMovie and his iPad.  I love that he said this “class,” because it is really so much more.  I’m also pleased that he thought to include the link to the Attendance and Feedback form. (The link above takes you to a copy; explore if you’d like.)

From: Marsha Harris
Date: Monday, February 25, 2013 6:34 PM
To: * *
Cc: Jill Gough, Stacey Goss, Rhonda Mitchell
Subject: Faculty Forum SMACK DOWN
Hello Everyone!
I’m looking forward to meeting with you on Wednesday afternoon!
I’m planning on sharing a TON of really neat things that I learned while at my last PD opportunity in Orlando.  I plan on spending about 2 minutes on each item…which is where the term “smack down” comes from! All of these are NEW to me and I haven’t had much time to master anything, but I’d love to share them with you for further exploration!
What to bring: your computer and iPad or iPhone or all 3! Some are websites, some are apps! However you learn best!
What to prepare: no pressure…but I would love it if YOU could be part of the SMACK DOWN as well! Please plan to share and app/website/tool with the group! 2 minutes MAX on the time…I will have a timer!!! It doesn’t necessarily have to be about education…maybe just something that you deem worthy of sharing! The plan is that I will share ONE and YOU will share ONE! Fair?
Incentives?: I know that we will ALL walk away with something that you didn’t know before! And…I have cookies! 🙂 I’m looking forward to learning something new from you as well!
This should be FUN…it’s not a presentation!

Marsha’s plan is to share new things she has learned, but has not mastered. Wonderful modeling for learning by doing! I LOVE “The plan is that I will share ONE and YOU will share ONE! Fair?” Sharing responsibility, sharing learning, and sharing the exploration. I am also thrilled to see the differentiated plan indicated by “However you learn best!

From: Ginny Perkinson
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 7:50 AM
To: * *
Cc: Molly Flavin, Erin Lindsey, Laurette Sirkin, Jill Gough 
Subject: outlook tips

Good morning,

Thanks for signing up to for the Outlook Tips Forum tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 PM in Conference Room C.  I am looking forward to all of us getting together to share what we know and don’t know about Outlook.  It will be helpful if you bring your computers with you.  Also be thinking about how you use Outlook or might use it if you had a better understanding of the program.  My bet is that together, we may all learn from each other.

At the end of our time together, it will be important for us to complete the attendance and feedback form – the link is listed here now just in case we have too much fun together tomorrow afternoon and I forget to mention it!

Attendance and Feedback Formhttp://bit.ly/FacultyForumFeedback


Ginny summed it up beautifully! We are getting together to share what we know and what we don’t know.

Together, we can learn from each other.