Tuesday, November 21, 2017

One Year in AP: Assessment Data (Week Fourteen)

By Mark Heintz

Context

I have two main focuses as I write this weekly blog. Two driving questions that I have in my mind while making decisions.  They are:
  • How do I know if my students know? 
  • How do I get them to know if they know?  
Whether that is a skill or content, I want to know if they know it.   I no longer think it is acceptable for me to guess or get a feeling on whether or not they know it. Getting the students to know if they know it is down right hard, but I am really attempting to get to a point where the students can recognize their understandings or progress on their skill levels and content knowledge.  Therefore, the purpose of this year of reflection is see how I make progress towards these two goals and elicit feedback from staff, students, and hopefully people who follow along in the journey.  You can read how last week went here.

Week Fourteen: Answer the Question


This week the content focus was on all of the standards the class has covered this year so far.  The primary focus was the 600-1450 time period.  Here were the standards for this unit:

    1. List and locate the major trade routes and major cities during the time period of 600-1450.
    2. List and locate the Sui, Tang, Song, Mali, Byzantine, Caliphates, and Mongol Empires.
    3. List technologies used and provide one example as to how the technology encouraged interregional trade of luxury items.
    4. List five historical example as to how Empires facilitated Afro-Eurasian trade.
    5. List four examples as to how empires used conquered people in their economies
    6. List three methods used in the expansion of Islam throughout Afro-Eurasia.
    7. List one historical example as to how cross-cultural interactions resulted in the diffusion of advancements in Afro-Eurasia.
    8. List the crops/diseases diffused and their effects.
    9. Provide two examples as to how the Byzantine, and the Sui, Tang, Song reconstituted classical era governments through traditional and innovative sources of power to legitimize their rule.
    10. Provide two examples to how new forms of governance emerged in Afro-Eurasia. 
    11. Provide one example as to how the Islamic Caliphate and Japan each synthesized local with foreign traditions. 
    12. Provide two examples as to how the Inca and Aztec created an imperial system in the Americas. 
    13. Provide one example for how contacts or conflicts encouraged significant technological and cultural transfers.
    14. The fate of cities: Provide three reasons that contributed to the decline of urban areas between 600-1450.
    15. Provide five reasons that contributed to urban revival between 600-1450.
    16. Provide one example as to how women increased their status in the Mongol Empire, West Africa, Japan and Southeast Asia.
    17. Provide one detail as to how serfdom in Europe/Japan and mita in the Inca Empire exemplified coerced labor.
    18. Provide one example as to how peasants revolted in China and the Byzantine Empire.
    19. Explain how the diffusion of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Neo Confucianism changed gender relations. 

This week's skill focus was centered on analyzing charts, maps, and texts and pulling evidence from documents to support a claim.

    1. Write one cause/effect, and one comparative short response that reflects understanding of essential content.
    2. Analyze charts, maps, graphs, and texts.
    3. Write a thesis statement, contextualize a prompt, and draw evidence from two documents to support the thesis.  

Cite Specific Evidence

First, how do I know that the students know they knew the content and how to do the skills?

I largely focused on this question in last week's blog post. I was pretty confident in their ability on the dbq and the stimulus multiple choice, which is cited in the blog post.  To reinforce and assess content knowledge, I relied heavily on the Schoology checklists that the students complete each week. They couldn't take the assessments until they finished the checklists.  It is a small insurance policy to ensure that the students know they know the content.

How do I know that the students were successful on the big three focuses: content, writing, and analyzing?

The students took three exams.

1. An eighty question multiple-choice content exam.  These are just basic fact recall on all content that has been covered in the year.  The majority of the questions were centered on the current unit, but a fourth of the questions were pulled from previous units.

The students scored an average of 67/80 - garnering an 83%.  This was taken in a 48-minute period.  The students were all able to finish in the time.

2. A document based question writing portion on the role cities played in Muslim society with two documents.

The students were assessed using the following rubric:


The students scored an average of 2.68/4.  The students missed the argumentation point the most.

3. A twenty question multiple-choice stimulus exam.

The students scored an average of 14.1/20.


Explain the Reasoning 

What do all of those numbers mean and tell me?

1. For the eighty question multiple-choice content exam, the students improved from the last content exam by 2%.  Which is great!  We covered 900 additional years of history in this unit and the students are doing better.  While the average has increased, there some students who did not do so well.  I am working on how to better serve those students while maintaining what is working for the majority.  Overall, the content checklists, ongoing formative progress check throughout the unit, seem to be working for the students.

The biggest concepts missed were centered around sinification, the spread of Islam, and the Song Dynasty. I am very fortunate to work in a district with MasteryManager.  The item analysis feature is amazing.  To give you a sample:




The students struggled with how Islam spread into particular areas. I recognize that the spread is nuanced, but the course deals in generalities for these questions.

Also, there were a  few errors on my account- such as weird wording-and a few questions that could pertain to two or more empires. The averages above reflect that change.

2. For the DBQ, a 2.68 is amazing! The students scored a 2.1 on the previous unit's dbq.  It was the same rubric and skills.  A half point of growth is great.  Also, this is the skill we have practiced in this unit day in and day out.  It is great to see it pay off.

3. For the stimulus exam, the students answered on average about two questions more than in previous unit.  This is a deal breaker.  Two questions on a stimulus exam might be the difference between scoring a 3 or a 4 or a 4 or a 5.  I credit this growth to the document work that we do on a daily basis.  They are reading a ton of primary and secondary sources that a difficult to digest.  Their daily grind appears to have worked!

After the exam, the students went through the tests and recorded what they missed and why they missed the questions. I borrowed heavily from Dan Saken and his Learning Celebrations.   A great tool to get the students to go through the assessments and reflect.

Reflection and Impact

Overall, I am extremely happy with the progress they are making.  There is still a lot to go.  There are three units and multiple more skills to master.  But the daily feedback on their writing and interpreting appears to be working.

I need to do something before the exams to ensure they know the content.  There needs to be a student reflection for them to know if they are ready and if they known it.  I am not sure what it is yet, but I am working on it for second semester.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

One Year in AP: How do you know? (Week Thirteen)

By Mark Heintz

Context

I have two main focuses as I write this weekly blog. Two driving questions that I have in my mind while making decisions.  They are:
  • How do I know if my students know? 
  • How do I get them to know if they know?  
Whether that is a skill or content, I want to know if they know it.   I no longer think it is acceptable for me to guess or get a feeling on whether or not they know it. Getting the students to know if they know it is down right hard, but I am really attempting to get to a point where the students can recognize their understandings or progress on their skill levels and content knowledge.  Therefore, the purpose of this year of reflection is see how I make progress towards these two goals and elicit feedback from staff, students, and hopefully people who follow along in the journey.  You can read how last week went here.

Week Thirteen: Answer the Question

My content instructional goal this week was centered around the rise of empires in the post-classical era. Similar to the last two weeks, but the focus shifted away from Afro-Eurasia placing the emphasis on the empires in the Americas.  I wrote this statement last week and I will write it again, there are a lot of different empires in the post-classical era.


My skill instructional goal was centered on document analysis, contextualizing a prompt, and using evidence to support their claim.  I love that the skills repeat each week. One, because these skills are difficult, but two, it allows me and the students to see improvements in their skills across time. Also, through writing out their understandings of the content, the students see patterns between civilizations and they realize how their skills development reinforces their understandings of the content.


Cite Specific Evidence

How do I know that the students know how Inca and the Aztec created an imperial system and to be able to do the skills above?  Furthermore, how do I know that the students know if they know?

Over a few days the students put together two different document based questions.  One was on the Inca Empire and the other was on the Aztec Empire.  These two dbq's were the last instructional practice before the unit exam.  I wanted one more practice for the students to be able to get feedback and give feedback on all of the skills they have been working on throughout the unit.  In the video clip below I explained the dbq and the purpose behind it.


Here the students used their content knowledge and skill sets to reconstruct the deconstructed Aztec dbq.


In the clip below, the Students provided feedback to peers using the rubric they will be evaluated on later in the week.  The students wrote their responses on the tables and the feedback was written right next to it.



Here is just a cool compilation of photos and videos from the day.  Thanks to Linda Ashida for coming in each week and documenting the work! 

Explain the Reasoning

The evidence in the videos above represented the final practice and direct instruction of the unit.  As stated above, I wanted one more final preparation for me and the students to know what they need to do for the exam.  In the video below, the students wrote their understandings and then gave feedback to their peers.  I took pictures of their work/feedback and then shared their understandings via AirPlay with the class.



I love that the students were able to give feedback that was accurate!  I want them to know what they know and how to do it.  In the clip above, they were able to do that.  The goal this year is to get the students to the point where they know how to do it and can identify when they have done so without me giving them feedback. The sample above shows that the students correctly identified common, simple mistakes such as writing on topic but not on prompt.  Therefore, not only did the students master the writing, they were able to determine if they knew it or not.  

Here is another example of me explaining to a few students of how the dbq will continue to grow.  I also state that perfection is not a realistic expectation in the context of the dbq.  The College Board knows that and students can still get a 5, the maximum score, without getting anywhere near a perfect score on any of the components of the exam.




Reflection and Impact

Overall, their progress this unit was great.  The workflow has increased exponentially.  I spend less and less time spent explaining the process or steps, as students are accustomed to the routine.  The students go right into the activity and get to work.  I believe this has been accomplished by the constant dedication to the process.  But it also shows they know how to do it because they are not needing me to explain it each time.  I am encouraged by their progress in the past few week.  In the next blog post I will digest the latest unit exam.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Amazing Things Happen When Students Lead Their Own Learning!

By Linda Ashida

That is exactly what English teachers Kristen Guth and Jackie Randall discovered when they gave up control and used literature circles to let students lead their own learning in a month-long unit reading memoirs. They created conditions for students to enjoy success in driving their own learning and the results exceeded their expectations! Kristen and Jackie noticed increased student engagement and motivation, as well as deeper understanding and insight in analysis. After the month was over, it was hard for them––and their students––to go back to the traditional teacher-controlled instruction!

Prior to the start of the unit, Kristen and Jackie took took time––very intentionally–– to create conditions for their students to connect with their peers and support one another in meaningful learning. They established and clearly communicated the purpose of the unit, the learning goals, the assessments, both formative and summative, and the process the students would engage in each day. All students would work on the same literacy skills, but they would have choice in their groups and the books they would read. Students would rotate leadership roles throughout the course of the unit.

Kristen and Jackie generously gave their time on Institute Day, and again on a recent Teaming on Tuesday, to share their work with their peers. Participants Matt Snow and Kim Miklusak also shared a variation of literature circles that they used in their classes with similar success. While their examples are from English classes, they all agreed that the process could be easily replicated in any discipline that involve reading and analysis of text. Quinn Loch concurred, sharing possibilities to use the same process in science to engage students in inquiry labs.

Check out Kristen and Jackie's presentation below to learn more about how they created the conditions for student success, and to see the feedback from students.





Check out this video clip below for insight on how the teachers gave feedback to students and their reflections on giving up control.




Check out this video clip to hear some "Aha" moments the teachers had and what they learned from their students!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

You're Not Alone. We Are EG Podcast


Take a listen to Luna Corchado's story. This senior student shares her journey from troubled freshman, to coming to terms with her sexuality, and now looking forward to a career in criminal justice in college. Her story is sure to inspire.



Don't miss future podcasts! Subscribe on iTunes (if you have an Apple device) or Stitcher or PlayerFM for Android.
You can even listen on TuneIn!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Tech Tips and Tricks: A Teaming on Tuesday Roundtable

By Linda Ashida




There are always new tech tips and tricks to discover to improve organization, productivity, and efficiency in creating, collaborating and sharing our learning.

Mark Heintz and Quinn Loch helped us do that this week by facilitating Teaming on Tuesday with a repeat of their popular Institute Day session. Once again they shared some of their favorite tips, and they invited participants to share some of their own.






There were definitely a few "Aha" and "Wow! Why didn't I know about this sooner?!" moments.

Check out the Video clips below and maybe you'll have a few "Aha" moments of your own!

Screen Record with iPad to create resources for students

Quinn Loch shared an easy way to screen record with the iPad with just a quick adjustment in the settings. He uses screen recording often to create video notes using Notability.  In addition to buidling a repetoire of video resources for students to einforce learning from class, Quinn has also used this to allow students to complete a lab, even on a day he was absent. Using the screen-record feature he shared "how to"  instructions for students via Schoology. To learn more, check out Quinn's earlier blog post from this topic.

Just imagine the ways your students could use this feature as well to create demonstrations of their learning and make their thinking visible!
 



Use Google Docs to foster Team Collaboration

Mark Heintz shared how he and his PLC use Google Docs to facilitate collaboration with team members by sharing course calendars to share lessons and resources.




Use Mark-Up Tool on Screen Shots to annotate, clarify, edit, revise . . .

Cliff Darnall had some great tips for using the Mark-Up tool on screen shots that few of us knew about or had used in the creative ways he suggested! Check it out!




Use Split Screen and other Google Chrome feature to Improve productivity and organization!

Katie Winstead is a master of maximizing tech resources  to keep organized and improve efficiency for herself and her students. Check out some of her favorite tips in the clips below!



Thank you to all who joined us and for sharing!

Do you have some tips of your own to share?  We'd love to hear from you!

One Year in AP: Learning with your students (Week Twelve)

By Mark Heintz

Context

I have two main focuses as I write this weekly blog. Two driving questions that I have in my mind while making decisions.  They are:
  • How do I know if my students know? 
  • How do I get them to know if they know?  
Whether that is a skill or content, I want to know if they know it.   I no longer think it is acceptable for me to guess or get a feeling on whether or not they know it. Getting the students to know if they know it is down right hard, but I am really attempting to get to a point where the students can recognize their understandings or progress on their skill levels and content knowledge.  Therefore, the purpose of this year of reflection is see how I make progress towards these two goals and elicit feedback from staff, students, and hopefully people who follow along in the journey.  You can read how last week went here.

Week Twelve: Answer the Question

My content instructional goal this week was centered around the rise of empires in the post-classical era. Not any different than last week, but I am looking at other empires.  There are a lot of different empires in the post-classical era.


My skill instructional goal was centered on document analysis, contextualizing a prompt, and using evidence to support their claim.  The students displayed their understanding of the documents through a document based question.  This skill has repeated for the past six weeks.  That was very intentional.


Cite Specific Evidence

How do I know the students learned and how do I know if they know what they were supposed to learn? This week was a bit of a challenge.  The students went on a all sophomore college visit in the middle of the week.  But there is still some great evidence to support my outcomes.

How do I know the students have learned?  The writing this week was amazing.  In the two examples below, the students pulled evidence from two documents to support the thesis.





As for the contextualization skill, the students contextualized the rise of all the different empires. In the example below, the students contextualized the Swahili City-States. 

How do I know if they know what they were supposed to learn?

In the example above, I took three samples throughout the day and put them in a Notability document with a rubric.  In front of the whole class, I modeled how to grade one.  Then they graded the other two to see if they could recognize mistakes or evidence of mastery. They evaluated the three samples and then I revealed how I would have graded it.  Then they assessed their own writing.

As for the content, the writing in each of the above samples showcased a deep understanding of the rise of empires. The students used specific evidence on the rise of the empires.  In the second picture, the student cited how the lucrative Indian Ocean trade helped the rise of the Swahili City-States.  The author goes further and justified their argument with eight details! 

Explain the Reasoning

Here is the rubric that I am using for this unit. It will grow throughout the semester. Right now I am only concerned with the students using two documents.  Therefore the rubric has been paired down.


I constantly display student samples. Everyday I showcase multiple models and evaluate it.  The students are peer and self evaluating daily.  This daily process has led to improvement in writing in the samples above.  Their writing is using specific evidence beyond what is expected.  Eight details is unbelievable. According to the rubric, they only need one specific piece of evidence.  For a student to eight, is exceeding the expectation.  I am glad I took a picture to document the mastery.  Additionally, they are linking their evidence back to their thesis statement.  Not all of the students can do the later part yet.  That is an incredibly difficult skill. But they are making progress.


They are beginning to have the documents "talk" to one another.  They are using the documents together to build an argument.  Their writing is beginning to become sophisticated.  In the samples above they students are seeing the connections between evidence and recognizing that not all evidence is equal.  Some evidence needs extra support and when brought together with other evidence, it is much stronger.  


As for contextualization, they are amazing!  This has been one skill that they continue to impress me. They have to situate the prompt in context. To do this, they must recall pertinent information from the past to help understand the present.   That in of its self is challenging.  To be able to express that in writing is harder.  But in the examples above they are doing it! Furthermore, they know how to do it and can not recognize good and poor samples.  

Reflection and Impact

I have stated in previous blog posts that I can get lost in the curriculum.  Sometimes, when I am teaching it can be difficult to recognize when progress is being made.  This weekly blog has forced me to recognize their improvements.  They are getting so much better at reading and writing.  Their content knowledge impresses me.  They are not perfect and there is a lot of work ahead, but they have improved.

What impresses me the most is their ability to recognize when their writing is on target and not. Slowly, they need me less to evaluate and confirm what they already know.  Because the process of writing, showing samples, and peer/self evaluating takes place daily, it is ingrained in them.  I don't have all of the answers nor do I profess to have them.  But the great thing about this process, I am learning along side them.  AP is tricky and there is not one right way to write.  The more I read students samples and work alongside my students as they learn to write, I am shaping my own understandings of what mastery is.  I have a better understanding of what is expected and then can relay that information to the students in hopes to get them to recognize it as well.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

6-Step Process to Designing Curriculum (Part 2)

From Kern, Thomas, and Hughes. See link above.

I am currently taking a Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction course at UIC.  Our textbook, while a medical curriculum textbook, reminds us that curriculum design crosses education fields and that what we are doing in our classes every year has its grounding in research.  Kern, Thomas, and Hughes in their book provide a 6-step approach to curriculum development.  My goal is to share the theory behind our current practices to serve as a guide as design and redesign our courses.  Step 1, the General Needs Assessment, can be found here.

Step 2: Targeted Needs Assessment.
With the information gathered from the general needs assessment, the curriculum developer will now address their specific learners and learning environment.  This step allows developers to clarify what is already being taught and how it is being taught, including a focus on unmotivated learner.  Furthermore, the developer can set goals for future planning using information gathered.

There are two areas of focus in this stage: 
  • The learner: what are the expectations on knowledge and skills?  What previous education do they have?  What characteristics do they have?  What are the perceived deficiencies and attitudes?  What are their preferences to learning strategies?
  • The environment: What other curricula exist?  Who are other stakeholders affected?  What resources are available?  What barriers and reinforcing conditions exist that affect the learners (positively and negatively)

From this, the developer needs to consider by what means they will gather this information.  Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks related to resources, time, reliability, and so on.  For example, will the developer use surveys, interviews, questionnaires, tests, observation, etc.?  Will the results be quantitative or qualitative?  Would results be consistent across all developers?  Are the questions geared toward the targeted goals?


In Practice:
For this step I wonder how often we gather information from our learners when we re/design our curricula beyond looking at grades or testing data.  On Twitter I have seen an increasing number of teachers using surveys and questionnaires to gather feedback from students about things such as various attitudes, prior knowledge, or feedback on lessons.  We have tried this with our Senior English course this year, and from the information gathered, we decided we needed a SEL focus built into our course.  However, these methods are, as mentioned above, time consuming and not always accurate.  What would it look like to have one-on-one or small group interviews?  What qualities would we look for if we were observing a course in order to redesign it?  How do we ask the right questions in order to get the information we need?

Additionally, I wonder to what extent we consider the environment when redesigning our curriculum.  Do we consider barriers students have to success?  Do we consider reinforcing conditions that encourage them to succeed or not succeed?  In fact, do we survey our students who are unmotivated or unsuccessful to see how we can better adjust our curriculum to meet their needs--what would that method of information gathering look like? 

If you have samples of ways you have surveyed your learners in order to redesign your curricula, please share examples below!  Thanks!

In the next blog post I will discuss Step 3 where we analyze our goals and objectives.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Helpful Tech Feature: iPad and Laptop Screen Recording

By Quinn Loch

Did you know that there is a way to record the screen of your iPad? You can also record the screen of your laptop! Both of these have become useful tools for me inside and outside of the classroom. Here I'll break down how to access these features and how they could be used.

Screen recording in iOS 11

New to iOS 11 is the ability to record whatever is on your screen. You can also record audio with the built in microphone. This can be a great tool if you make your own video notes as you are no longer tied to a specific recording app to make videos from. The video below shows how to turn this feature on. Step by step instructions can also be found here.

How to turn on screen recoding in iOS. Press and hold the record button in control center to toggle settings for the microphone.

You can also record the screen of an iPad through Quicktime if it is connected through a lightning cable. Those instructions can be found here.

Recording Videos with Quicktime 

With Quicktime on the Mac, you can record your entire screen or even a specific portion of your screen. You can also record videos with the built in camera. The video below shows how. Step by step instructions can also be found here.


I really like recoding videos with the camera for days that I have a sub. I can quickly record and explain what I would like students to work on while I'm out and I can even quickly explain something new. I have a had a very positive response to this from students and it allows me to give my students clear instructions and expectations when I'm not in the classroom - all I need to do is post the YouTube link to Schoology.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

One Year in AP: Proud (Week Eleven)

By Mark Heintz

Context

I have two main focuses as I write this weekly blog. Two driving questions that I have in my mind while making decisions.  They are:
  • How do I know if my students know? 
  • How do I get them to know if they know?  
Whether that is a skill or content, I want to know if they know it.   I no longer think it is acceptable for me to guess or get a feeling on whether or not they know it. Getting the students to know if they know it is down right hard, but I am really attempting to get to a point where the students can recognize their understandings or progress on their skill levels and content knowledge.  Therefore, the purpose of this year of reflection is see how I make progress towards these two goals and elicit feedback from staff, students, and hopefully people who follow along in the journey.  You can read how last week went here.

Week Eleven: Answer the Question

My content instructional goal this week was centered around the rise of empires in the post-classical era.


My skill instructional goal was centered on document analysis, contextualizing a prompt, and using evidence to support their claim.  The students displayed their understanding of the documents through short answer and the document based question.


Cite Specific Evidence

How do I know the students learned and how do I know if they know what they were supposed to learn?

We have been working on contextualization as a class this whole quarter. This week was no different.  The students worked on the contextualization skill with a prompt on new forms of governance that emerged in Afro-Eurasia.  I had the students write one with their elbow partner.  In the clip below the students are working together and writing it.



In this clip, I am walking around giving feedback and then AirPlaying several examples of their contextualization.



Another skill focus this week was selecting evidence to support a prompt.  I had several prompts this week that the students wrote evidence related to the topic.  Then, I had the students select from the evidence that was on topic to see what was on prompt.  Then from there, I had the students use the evidence to defend/support the claim.  In the clip below, the students were working through this process.


Another skill focus this week was document analysis.  The students read and wrote about documents pertaining to the Byzantine and Song Dynasties.  Again, they wrote out their understandings about the documents as it related to the rise of these two empires. They had to select evidence from the documents to support their claim.  



Reasoning

As the students wrote they used their content knowledge. In each of the videos and pictures, the students displayed such great understandings of the content. This week I have been visiting a lot of teachers in a variety of disciplines, and one of the constants that I am seeing is if students write out their understanding then they know it.  When they verbalize it, they don't always have a great grasp of what they know.  So, quick verbal checks are great, but I love that I can see my students understandings in their writing. I feel so much stronger about their comprehension.  And they do, too.  It is clear that they are able to recall information and know they can.  At one point I said, "I'm so proud of my baby historians."  They were excited at the progress they have made.  

I failed to use documents on the last day of the week.  I wanted to have the student showcase their abilities with a small dbq, but I did not get to it.  Again, I wish I could stay totally focused, but sometimes I go off the rails and shift towards the end of the week onto a different skill.  In that same vein, I have moved lessons around to ensure the biggest skills are being targeted by the end of the unit. But sometimes I revert back to things I think I am missing.

On to more positive notes!  In the video I love the students abilities to contextualize.  They are improving on it and are able to consistently hit the skill.  Also, they know what they are doing!  When I ask them what goes into it or have them grade a sample, they nail it.  They know what goes into it and how to do it.  They are getting great at selecting evidence to support a prompt. The video above supports this as the students work through their understanding.  

However, the students ability to relate the evidence back to the prompt remains difficult.  I need more students examples of it and need to continually emphasize this skill.  I need to give more feedback on this specific skill and they need more time to work on it.  

Reflection and Impact


The students read and wrote daily.  This has not been a change this week, but I am constantly reminding myself that I am making their thinking visible.  They are writing to learn and writing to show their understanding. Doing this daily can be a time consuming process that can be tedious as it relates to students selecting evidence to support a prompt. But the routines are so clearly established. The students don't hesitate at all in jumping into the process. As I watch the videos and reflect back on the daily pictures, it is encouraging to see how quickly they dive into the process without needing to be redirected as to what the skill is.  

Furthermore, watching the process each week I realized that I am constantly giving feedback and showing high, medium, and low student samples.  This allows students to see what they need to do grow.  If a student is low, I am meeting them where they are at and providing feedback.  AirPlay and the whiteboard tables are crucial for this. I am not using technology for technology's sake.  I am not waiting a day to provide students with feedback about their writing.  Or handing high samples to certain kids and low to others. All students are a part of the process and getting the feedback instantly.  



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Engaging the Unengaged

By Linda Ashida


For the tenth in our 2017-18 series of Teaming On Tuesdays, Sean Mulcrone facilitated a follow-up session from the workshop he led for our October 16th Institute Day.

Sean facilitated a conversation that engaged the 17 staff who attended––including teachers, students services staff and instructional aides––in a rich conversation to share challenges, solutions and resources to help us foster a culture of learning to engage all of our students. Specifically, we focused on strategies to engage our most un-engaged students.






Check out the photos below to see all the ideas we brainstormed on the Collab Lab Whiteboard wall:




Many of the ideas we shared align with our school goals of creating a culture of learning and mastery, and building relationships with our students.  That is, we talked about how important it is to reflect on and communicate explicitly the "Why?" ––The purpose–– for the activity or lesson we are teaching, and how it connects to the broader learning of the unit, and real-world skills when possible. We also talked about the importance of building relationships and connections with students to better understand the root cause of the challenging behaviors or lack of engagement.

To curate all of the ideas shown in the photos above, and to facilitate our ongoing conversation––and to share our learning more broadly with those who were unable to attend––we created a Google Doc (of course, we did! :-)

Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/EngageAllStudents

The doc is editable so please feel free to add your own ideas, resources, and questions!

 


It was great to bring staff together who don't otherwise have this opportunity during the school day to connect with colleagues across departments and roles.  It was also really great to get to know each other better and I believe we all left with new insights; everyone concurred that we should keep the conversation going and meet again.

So, stay tuned for news of future Teaming on Tuesdays when we will continue the conversation, including dates when we will invite students to join us as we have so much to learn from their perspective and insights!

We can't end this post without a S/O to Sean! We're grateful for his willingness to facilitate professional learning experiences for our Institute Days, Teaming on Tuesdays and the days in-between!