Tag Archives: Tim Kanold

Review, revisit, recommit to norms – our hopes and dreams

Strong teams regularly self-assess how well they function within their norms – the hopes and dreams for how they are when together. As we learn and grow together, we pause to reflect, revise, and recommit to strengthen our teams by reviewing our community norms.

norms2017

  • We commit to collaboratively design the agenda for each team meeting and that the agendas are shared ahead of the meetings. (ALT)
  • We commit to fostering a growth mindset with our learners and ourselves. We embrace the power of yet. (Carol Dweck)
  • We commit to use technology as a tool for learning and not as a barrier between us. (ALT)
  • We commit to speaking about our learners as if they are in the room with us. (Katherine Boles, Harvard)
  • We learn, i.e., we have permission to change our minds. (Elizabeth Statmore)
  • We agree to ask for and offer the umbrella of mercy. (Tim Kanold)
  • We serve all learners. Teams committee to take responsibility, together, to differentiate to help all learners learn and grow.
  • We resist labeling students – all learners.  We agree to design for the edges to dramatically expand our talent pool. (Todd Rose)

How might we strengthen our team? What if we review, reflect, and recommit to our hopes and dreams of how we are?

Doodling: concentrating, sifting, generating, focusing

I have been experimenting with doodling, a.k.a. sketch noting, seriously since August, 2015.  You can see my growth, setbacks, and learning on my Pinterest page MyLearning Journey for #ShowYourWork Doodles and Sketch notes.

A doodler is connecting neurological pathways with previously disconnected pathways. A doodler is concentrating intently, sifting though information, conscious, and otherwise, and – much more often than we realize – generating massive insights. (Brown, 11 pag.)

How might we practice, experience, and engage in a different way of connecting with information? What if we exercise our own creativity to create visuals of what we are learning?

TKanold-MathatPLC-Pasadena_JGough[1]

Sketch notes from Tim Kanold's April 29 session in Pasadena, CA.  See Seven Stages of Team Collaboration worksheet for support of 7 stages doodle.

Rather than diverting our attention away from a topic (what our culture believe is happening when people doodle), doodling can serve as an anchoring task – a task that can occur simultaneously with another task – and act as a preemptive measure to keep us from losing focus on [a] topic. (Brown, 18 pag.)

It seems counterintuitive, but I can attest to my own improvement in focus, attention, and engagement.

People using even rudimentary visual langue to understand or express something are stirring the neurological pathways of the mind to see a topic in a new light. (Brown, 71 pag.)

Yes, it takes practice.  Yes, it is difficult at first.

Isn’t that true of most learning?

Experiment. Learn by doing.

Be brave; #ShowYourWork.

And… have fun!


Brown, Sunni. The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently. New York: PORTFOLIO/Penguin, 2014. Print.

Gough, Jill. “MyLearning Journey for #ShowYourWork Doodles and Sketch Notes.” Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2015.

Assessment of Assessment part 2 #LL2LU

Continuing to consider how we assess the quality of the assessments we use with our learners, I wonder what might happen if we take the time to learn more about and from the instruments and products of our work.

In Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work  written by Juli K. DixonThomasenia Lott AdamsEdward C. Nolan and edited by Timothy D. Kanold, they offer an Assessment Instrument Quality – Evaluation Tool and a High-Quality Assessment Diagnostic and Discussion Tool.

What if we, as a team, use similar tools to reflect and assess the quality of our assessments?

Last week, I began this conversation with one team to pilot a couple of items using their most recent assessment.  The draft of the first two items are shared in my previous post Assessment of Assessment #LL2LU. As strong, motivated learners, they asked about next steps and goal setting. (Wow! and Yay!!)

Here is a draft of the next two items I’ve selected  based on their request and desire to learn.

Balance of higher- and lower level- cognitive-demand tasks
What percentage of the assessment tasks are of higher-level cognitive demand? Have we, as a team, agreed on an appropriate balance?

Level 4
I can connect higher-level cognitive demand tasks to process learning progressions to support and motivate learning.

Level 3
I can collaboratively design an assessment that has the appropriate balance of age and grade appropriate higher-level and lower-level-cognitive-demand tasks.

Level 2
I can collaboratively determine the balance of age and grade appropriate higher-level and lower-level-cognitive-demand tasks include on our assessment.

Level 1
I can assess student learning using items identical to tasks completed in class.

Appropriate scoring rubric (points)
Are the scoring points assigned to each task appropriate and agreed upon by each teacher on the team? Are the point valued for every task clearly indicated on the assessment? Do our scoring rubrics  make sense based on the complexity of reasoning for each task?

Level 4
I can facilitate reflection and goal-setting for learners based on the areas of success and growth on the assessment.

Level 3
I can embed collaboratively assigned point values for each assessment item on the assessment.

Level 2
I can collaboratively assign point values to all assessment items prior to implementing the assessment.

Level 1
I can assign point values to all assessment items prior to implementing the assessment.

I am wowed by the engagement and interest in assessment and design. I am grateful for the time given and questions asked to help further my learning.

Co-learning in progress! More coming soon.


Dixon, Juli K; Adams, Thomasina Lott (2014-10-13). Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work™, Grades K-5 (Kindle Locations 720-722). Solution Tree Press. Kindle Edition.


Connected posts:

#HLTA: High-Leverage Team Actions

I’m reading Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work  written by Juli K. DixonThomasenia Lott AdamsEdward C. Nolan and edited by Timothy D. Kanold.

In their handbook, they offer tools that scaffold collaborative pursuit.   They identify 10 high-leverage team actions (HLTAs) to  impact learning and improve team work, instruction, and assessment.

What if we use this to set goals for our team and guide our actions in one team meeting per month/week/quarter? If we are not there yet, could we pick 1-3 and take concentrated action?


Dixon, Juli K; Adams, Thomasina Lott (2014-10-13). Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work™, Grades K-5 (Kindle Locations 3-5, 241-243, 273-279, 286-289, 300-302). Solution Tree Press. Kindle Edition.

Assessment of Assessment #LL2LU

How do we assess the quality of the assessments we use with our learners? Do we?

In Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work  written by Juli K. DixonThomasenia Lott AdamsEdward C. Nolan and edited by Timothy D. Kanold, they offer an Assessment Instrument Quality – Evaluation Tool and a High-Quality Assessment Diagnostic and Discussion Tool.

What if we, as a team, use similar tools to reflect and assess the quality of our assessments?

Next week, I plan to begin this conversation with at least one team and pilot a couple of items using their most recent assessment.  Here is a draft of the two items I’ve selected as a start.

Identification and emphasis on essential learnings
Are the essential learnings included on the assessment as  “I can . . .” statements, and are they student friendly and grade appropriate?

Level 4
I can collaborate with my team to analyze the assessment data from each learning target to plan for continued learning.

Level 3
I can embed learning targets in assessments for student learning, feedback, and reflection.

Level 2
I can display and use the agreed upon learning progressions during and after the unit to help students learn and grow.

Level 1
I can reach consensus with my team on the essential learning progressions for the unit and write them in student friendly and grade appropriate language.

Visual presentation
Do our learners have plenty of space to write out solution pathways, show their work, and explain their thinking for each item of the assessment?

Level 4
I can collaboratively agree upon and include the point values for each assessment item on our formal assessments.

Level 3
I can collaboratively design and implement an assessment that is organized, easy to comprehend, and has enough space to show both student thinking and teacher feedback.

Level 2
I can design and implement an assessment that is organized, easy to comprehend, and has enough space to show student thinking.

Level 1
I can implement an assessment that is organized, easy to comprehend, and has enough space to show student thinking.

I am curious about how our teaching team will assess their assessment. I am grateful for the engagement and interest in assessment and design.


Dixon, Juli K; Adams, Thomasina Lott (2014-10-13). Beyond the Common Core: A Handbook for Mathematics in a PLC at Work™, Grades K-5 (Kindle Locations 720-722). Solution Tree Press. Kindle Edition.