Tag Archives: questions

#AmericanPromise – PD Reflection

Have you watched American Promise?

As part of our PD day, we gathered and watched a 45-minute version of the film.

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American Promise Sketchnotes Jill Gough

What happens when you don’t fit in? Are you coached to change to become like the norm? Do you choose to change to be more like the norm? Does the environment change to fit you?

How might we continue to grow as a community? What actions will we take?

Foster bravery, gain and maintain a strong sense of self, acknowledge and expand success.

For every learner.

Visual: SMP-3 Construct Viable Arguments and Critique the Reasoning of Others #LL2LU

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

I can construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP3

But…what if I can’t? What if I’m afraid that I will hurt someone’s feelings or ask a “stupid” question? How might we facilitate learning and grow our culture where critique is sought and embraced?

From Step 1: The Art of Questioning in The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School.

By learning to insert feedback loops into our thought, questioning, and decision-making process, we increase the chance of staying on our desired path. Or, if the path needs to be modified, our midcourse corrections become less dramatic and disruptive. (Lichtman, 49 pag.)

This paragraph connects to a Mr. Sun quote from Step 0: Preparation.

But there are many more subtle barriers to communication as well, and if we cannot, or do not choose to overcome these barriers, we will encounter life decisions and try to solve problems and do a lot of falconing all by ourselves with little, if any, success. Even in the briefest of communications, people develop and share common models that allow them to communicate effectively.  If you don’t share the model, you can’t communicate. If you can’t communicate, you can’t teach, learn, lead, or follow.  (Lichtman, 32 pag.)

How might we offer a pathway for success? What if we provide practice in the art of questioning and the action of seeking feedback? What if we facilitate safe harbors to share  thinking, reasoning, and perspective?

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Level 4:
I can build on the viable arguments of others and take their critique and feedback to improve my understanding of the solutions to a task.

Level 3:
I can construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

Level 2:
I can communicate my thinking for why a conjecture must be true to others, and I can listen to and read the work of others and offer actionable, growth-oriented feedback using I like…, I wonder…, and What if… to help clarify or improve the work.

Level 1:
I can recognize given information, definitions, and established results that will contribute to a sound argument for a conjecture.

How might we design opportunities for intentional, focused peer-to-peer discourse? What if we share a common model to improve communication, thinking, and reasoning?

[Cross-posted on Easing the Hurry Syndrome]

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

SMP3: Construct Viable Arguments and Critique the Reasoning of Others #LL2LU

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 5.14.27 PMWe want every learner in our care to be able to say

I can construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP3

But…what if I can’t? What if I’m afraid that I will hurt someone’s feelings or ask a “stupid” question? How may we create a pathway for students to learn how to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others?

Level 4:
I can build on the viable arguments of others and take their critique and feedback to improve my understanding of the solutions to a task.

Level 3:
I can construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

Level 2:
I can communicate my thinking for why a conjecture must be true to others, and I can listen to and read the work of others and offer actionable, growth-oriented feedback using I like…, I wonder…, and What if… to help clarify or improve the work.

Level 1:
I can recognize given information, definitions, and established results that will contribute to a sound argument for a conjecture.

Our student reflections on using the Math Practices while they are learning show that they recognize the importance of construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

Jordan says “If you can really understand something you can teach it. Every person relates to and thinks about problems in a different way, so understanding different ways to get to an answer can help to broaden your knowledge of the subject. Arguments are all about having good, logical facts. If you can be confident enough to argue for your reasoning you have learned the material well.jordan quote

And Franky says that construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others is “probably our most used mathematical practice. If someone has a question about a problem, Mrs. Wilson is always looking for a student that understands the problem to explain it. And once he or she is finished, Mrs. Wilson will ask if anyone got the correct answer, but worked it a different way. By seeing multiple ways to work the problem, it is easier for me to fully understand.”

franky quote

What if we intentionally teach feedback and critique through the power of positivity? Starting with I like indicates that there is value in what is observed. Using because adds detail to describe/indicate what is valuable.  I wonder can be used to indicate an area of growth demonstrated or an area of growth that is needed.  Both are positive; taking the time to write what you wonder indicates care, concern, and support.  Wrapping up with What if is invitational and builds relationships.

Move the fulcrum so that all the advantage goes to a negative mindset, and we never rise off the ground. Move the fulcrum to a positive mindset, and the lever’s power is magnified— ready to move everything up. (Achor, 65 pag.)

The Mathy Murk has recently written a blog post called “Where do I Put P?” An Introduction to Peer Feedback, sharing a template for offering students a structure for both providing and receiving feedback.

Could Jessica’s template, coupled with this learning progression, give our students a better idea of what we mean when we say construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others?

[Cross-posted at Easing the Hurry Syndrome]

_________________________

Achor, Shawn (2010-09-14). The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work (Kindle Locations 947-948). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Observation of Practice – Learning Together

What if we lend another our perspective?

What if we focus on what is happening in classrooms in purposeful and focused ways? What if we model and embrace formative assessment of our practice?

What if we add additional feedback loops in our culture?  How and when do adults in our schools receive formative feedback? If I have a question about my practice, how do I and from whom do I seek feedback?  If, as a school, we are studying formative assessment, self-assessment, and peer feedback, how are we practicing? Do I blog, journal, or keep a portfolio of my learning?  What might I want to learn? Are my students learning?

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Reading, Research, and Questions

How might we learn more about our practice? What if we team to discuss questions, concerns, and strengths of our learning environment, classroom culture, and planned learning episodes? What might we learn if we observe each other and discuss what we see, experience, and design?

What if we reflect, self-assess, and coach peers using the following protocol:

  • As a result of this observation of practice and feedback loop, which aspects of my teaching do I feel are bright spots?

  • As a result of this observation of practice and feedback loop, what questions do I have about my own teaching?

  • As a result of this observation of practice and feedback loop, what new ideas do I have?

In other words, will I see myself in my colleagues? Will I recognize effective strategies that we both use? Will I observe strategies that I might like to try? Will I want to know more about the instructional design? Will we ask each other questions where we need support?

As we piloted this 1-PLU course last spring, I enjoyed the observations and writing the reflections. I liked the emphasis on bright spots and questions about my own practice.  However, the most powerful part of this learning experience was the debrief after each lesson.  I was wowed by the questions, the vulnerability, and the humanity of discussions.

What if we shift the focus of peer observations from observing our peers to observing the products of their work – the actions of students?

Continued Co-Teaching World Languages with @j_kuipers3 – #TrinityLearns

photoIt’s the Monday after Spring Break.  As I am finishing up carpool duty, my phone dings.  It is my calendar notifying me of a meeting.  The invitation was from Julia inviting me and our Director of Technology to discuss YouTube and iBooks. When I arrived, I was surprised to find students in Julia’s classroom.  When I asked about our meeting, Julia replied that yes, I was supposed to be there; we were team-teaching part 2 of the project in 6th Grade World Languages. Yikes!

Inspiring…don’t you think? I wondered if I could be any less prepared.  Julia pointed out, very nicely, how improbable it was for me to be prepared since I don’t speak any of these languages.  She reminded me that I didn’t need to be prepared to deliver content, and I’m always prepared to facilitate learning through the art of questioning.

During our debrief before Spring Break, we talked about helping our young learners have a stronger sense of purpose and contribution to our community.  We thought it might help to ask these project developers to interview the teachers for whom they are designing.

I happened to catch two different groups interviewing with Carrie Peralta, a teacher of kindergarteners.

I love how Carrie offers our 6th graders feedback.  She likes what they show her, and she asks them questions to help guide their progress.  Isn’t it great that our young learners are willing to revise their work based on her feedback?

I wonder how to leverage and expand this type of feedback.  When we do peer observations, are they strength-based? Do we celebrate what we see others doing well?

I continue to think about Julia’s comment to me about being prepared.  Now, I am NOT suggesting that we “wing it” in class.  I did not have to be prepared to direct language learning; Julia, the expert, was in the room. I did have to be present and prepared to add to the conversation.

I do wonder if we might risk visiting, collaborating, and contributing to learning by showing up, listening, and adding to thinking.  What if we roll up our sleeves and participate in a class out of our comfort zone? What if we engage in and model authentic learning with our peers and others?

I have graduated from college twice.  I know stuff.  How can I push through the fear that I feel when asked to learn new things? Why do I immediately think I cannot contribute to learning experiences outside of my field of expertise and comfort? Why do I focus on what I cannot do? Why do I focus on what I cannot do when I work hard to focus on what others can do?

What if I give myself the same opportunities I offer other learners? What if I suppress some of the negative self-talk that runs through my mind and focus on the bright spots? How might I grow and learn if I expand my experiences and learn along side the young learners in my school?

 

Co-Teaching World Languages with @j_kuipers3 – #TrinityLearns

Is it possible to serve as an active co-teacher in a course completely out of my field of expertise? Am I willing to put myself in learning experiences where I am a beginner or a novice rather than someone who is proficient or advanced? I’ve written about this before.  If interested, please read s=v*t + 0.5a*t^2 ~ Wanneer heeft u vorige bezoek? and Sightseeing in “foreign lands” (Integrated Studies PD) #ASI2012 if interested. I’ve tried visiting the “foreign lands” of science and humanities when attending conferences with other educators.  Have I been willing to risk a visit to a “foreign land” with students in my new school?

Last week, Julia Kuipers (@j_kuipers3) and I planned a World Language project for 6th graders.  I enjoy working with Julia because she is so creative and forward thinking. The children asked her for a project – Yay! – and she asked me to brainstorm and design with her.  After planning, Julia invited me to come to class to help with the lesson.  That should be fun, right?

So, here’s what we planned from my perspective:

    • Problem: Early Learning Division (ELD) teachers need a digital resource for their young learners to use when learning the target language, and 6th graders are asking for a project.
    • Initial idea: Develop iBook for young learners to open to see and hear how to say common phrases in the target language.
      • What if 6th graders could design a resource for the ELD students to learn “May I go to the bathroom?” in the target language?
      • What if this phrase could be represented in text, visually, and in video?
      • What if we introduced the problem to the 6th graders and followed their ideas?

Now, in the most narrow of definitions, my subject area of strength is math.  I teasingly say that I speak several languages: English, math, and southern.  As far as school content goes, I am more diverse than math, but I do not speak any language other than English.

Julia’s facilitation of the first 6th grade World Languages class was masterful.  She began the class by having the 6th graders develop behavioral norms for working together.

WL_Norms

Her resources were posted on the link to languages wiki space.  It said

Problem solving with Mrs. Gough –
Use the google doc below.

On these Google docs, Julia had predetermined the groups of learners as shown in the screenshot below:

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For those who don’t know, we use Rosetta Stone to allow our young learners to choose a 2nd language to study.  In the first class of the day, there are many languages being learned: French, Spanish, Greek, Latin, Japanese, etc. Needless to say I am way out of my content league! I assumed I was there to help with the technology aspects of the project.  In my normal fashion when asked, I replied “have you Googled it?” as a first response.  The kids made progress and seemed energized by the project work.  They were creative about using our spaces to work together.  I love their sense of independence.

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Before class ended, Julia reconvened the learners and facilitated a discussion (a formative assessment) on how well they met the established norms.  Successes and struggles were also discussed with brainstorming toward possible solutions.

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Then, a scary thing happened.  Julia asked me to lead the second class.  She said she felt she would learn if she saw me introduce the lesson.  <GULP! I don’t teach languages, and I haven’t taught 6th graders.> I agreed as long as she would help me establish norms.   So, I set about facilitating the class my way – through questioning.  I explained the problem, and asked these young learners what they thought we could do to address the problem for our teachers.  We talked about leadership of 6th graders to our younger learners.  Through the questions – I don’t know what they were because I did not record them – we arrived at the same tasks to attack as the previous period.

Here’s the interesting thing.  Julia and I set out to help them write an iBook.  Through their questions, we learned that these young learners could be interested in writing an iBook, but they could also be interested in designing a website, using QR codes, and other web 2.0 tools.  A website could be accessed at home, Ms. Gough, so students can practice. QR codes could be posted in the classroom and at the entrance of the bathroom.

Wow! Listening to our young learners…letting them take charge improves the work and product.

And then…I received feedback from Julia.  Real, in the moment, feedback with a request for application.  Feedback about something that I was unaware that I was doing.  The power of peer feedback never ceases to amaze me.  She liked the questioning technique to guide and elicit ideas.  She liked that I positively acknowledged every offered idea and help  learners refine ideas based through more questions.

Julia took the lead for the third class and facilitated the lesson using questions.  It was awesome! I loved seeing her practice a different way to launch a project.  How often am I willing to let go of my really good, nicely planned lesson method to try something new?

How often do we risk trying something new and out of our planned comfort? How often do we risk collaborating with others to observe and learn from each other? Is it so easy to do what I’m good at that I am unwilling to risk? Why would our learners take risks if I won’t?

Even though I don’t speak any World Language other than English, I’ve been invited back to c0-teach again.  Now that I’ve done it once, I’m excited to try again.

Celebrate and Grow…Protocol for offering and receiving feedback – Implemented

On our quest to collect feedback about our community so that we may continue to grow and improve, we have developed our feedback protocol, and we have practiced to test the feedback prompts, the lesson plan, and the technology we intend to use.

Every member of our community was invited to have lunch.

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Isn’t the establishment of purpose in Stephen’s message wonderful?

“The new Luncheons, to begin soon, will be facilitated by Jill Gough and attended by Michelle Perry and Kato Nims – and will focus on conversation that leads to genuine and healthy communication.”

Can you imagine inviting 150 people to lunch in small groups where they can select the date?  Ginny Perkinson did just that so our community could participate in this celebrate and grow experience.  Wow! What a task.

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On behalf of the Faculty Staff Leadership Team (FSLT) and the Academic Leadership Team (ALT), Michelle sent the following email to our community:

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We met in Conference Room A. Lunch was served in this space.  As we gathered the following slide was showing on the screen.

We followed our intended plan watching the video, the story of thus,  two rounds of Think-Pair-Share, and a discussion.  It was awesome! I learned so much more about my community.  I enjoyed hearing, well, everything.  Below are the notes we took during the lunches.

If we are an open community of learners, how will we grow? Will we seek, offer, and consider feedback?

    • As a member of this community, what can we celebrate?
    • As a member of this community, how can we continue to grow?
    • As a member of this community, I wish…
    • As a member of this community, I’m grateful…