Friday, December 14, 2018

Book Chat: Fostering Resilient Learners (Part V: Live, Laugh, Love)

This is part of a series of our school book chat on the book Fostering Resilient Learners.  Search for similar titled blogs to read about our previous chats.  

To start today's book chat, we used the I Notice, I Wonder protocol in looking at the following graphic and answered these two questions:
  • On the left half, jot down anything you notice about the following slide.
  • On the right half to jot down anything you wonder about the following slide.


“People have got to learn: if they don’t have cookies in the cookie jar, they can’t eat cookies.” - Suze Orman

Reflecting on this quote, teachers wrote:
  • On the left half, describe the most meaningful, lasting “cookie” you’ve ever received.
  • On the right half, describe a cookie you gave to a student that had a powerful effect on the student’s life
Fostering Resilient Learners, Kristen Souers with Pete Hall
Thanks to all who joined in one, many, or all book chats!

Book Chat: Fostering Resilient Learners (Part IV: Belief)

(From last week) This is part of a series of our school book chat on the book Fostering Resilient LearnersSearch for similar titled blogs to read about our previous chats.  

Self-Reflection: Think of a specific student that you know who has experienced a significant amount of trauma.
  • How do you typically feel towards this student?
  • What are this student’s strengths?  What are her/his weaknesses?
  • When this student struggles, what do you think this student needs?
  • How does this student respond to praise?  What types work?


Next, we each wrote down how we manage when we are not OK.  Who do we talk to?  How do we cope?  What rituals or routines do we rely on?

Then we shifted this discussion to our students.  Do we have safe places or routines in our classroom for when students are not OK?  

Finally, our goal was to get to the "Your Professional Fears" survey in the book's resources, however, we ran out of time.  Such a great conversations with colleagues!


Fostering Resilient Learners, Kristen Souers with Pete Hall

Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Year in Learning at Elk Grove: Intro to Health Careers - How do you define learning?

by Krista Glosson and Alyssa Trausch

This is part of a blog series intended to document and define learning at Elk Grove High School throughout the 2018-2019 school year in order to increase student learning, give professionals autonomy, increase trust in our learning community, and foster a sense of personal-intellectual collegiality within the building across departments. You can read all of the previous posts here.  I am going into each teacher's class four times and then they are reflecting alongside their students on the learning that took place and what they hope for.

Learning is:
  • risk-taking.
  • trying.
  • application.
Learning occurs best when:
  • it's repetitive. 
  • people are involved in the process. 
  • people collaborate.


How do you define learning?

Krista Glosson (Teacher): I define learning as the willingness to try new things and take risks in the classroom.  When students try (anything at all in the classroom) they will find an end result.  The end result could be positive or negative for them, but even a negative experience could end up contributing to success later on if they continue to try.  For example, in the microscope lesson, all of the students tried to use the microscope.  Some students enjoyed the process more than others and had varying levels of success.  All of the students left the lesson with new information and some left with a new career to think about pursuing.

I always tell students that I expect to see attempts and failures when we start an inquiry lab in class.  Time is built in for students to have at least one failure in their investigation so that they can re-evaluate their approach and try again.  Assignments that require them to try to explain big phenomenon are assignments that I assume I will provide feedback on and they will try again to get it right.

Ultimately, as teachers we are still learning by trying new things sometimes they are successful and we learn to keep going in that direction or we fail and try again.  If we can provide an atmosphere where failure is safe (to an extent) we can help them build a tolerance for momentary failure while keeping the end goal of success in focus.  If we can teach them to learn this way, then I think we have had a significant impact on their success as an adult after they leave us.

Alyssa Trausch (Student):  I would define learning as getting information that is remembered and applied throughout your life. I may be a skill, an emotion or even just a fact, but it’s something that you will use again.



How do you believe people learn best?

Krista Glosson (Teacher):  Since I believe that trying is a big part of learning I like to make sure that the students are involved as often as possible.  They should be creating and contributing to the class material and discussions as often as possible.  I like to have them developing material for their classmates, completing activities in the lab, designing, running, and explaining their own experiments as well as having multiple small group discussions.

Alyssa Trausch (Student): An example would be a skill like writing which you learn at a young age. Writing is something that was consistently done over and over and over until we learned how to do it. It wasn’t one of those things where we “learned” it for 3 days took a quiz and then maybe a final later and then never use it again. That’s what I think learning is.




Thursday, December 6, 2018

A Year in Learning at Elk Grove: AP Spanish Literature and Culture - Defining Learning

by Dean Sanchis, Jackelyn Campos, Daniel Salgado-Alvarez, and Mark Heintz

This is part of a blog series intended to document and define learning at Elk Grove High School throughout the 2018-2019 school year in order to increase student learning, give professionals autonomy, increase trust in our learning community, and foster a sense of personal-intellectual collegiality within the building across departments. You can read all of the previous posts here.  I am going into each teacher's class four times and then they are reflecting alongside their students on the learning that took place and what they hope for.

In this second visit, I asked the teacher and the student two questions: how do they define learning? Under what conditions do people learn best?  In an attempt to have all stakeholders have a similar definition of learning, the teacher and the students answered them, publish them, and then have conversations surrounding their beliefs on learning. This is what they came up with:

Learning is:
  • personal.
  • solving problems.
  • applicable to new situations.
Learning occurs best when:
  • people collaborate. 
  • it's hands on. 
  • it's repetitive.


How do you define learning?

Dean Sanchis (Teacher Dean Sanchis): Cuando aƱades algo de valor y relevancia personal y colectiva a tu ser.

When you add something of value or personal and collective relevance to your personal life and identity.

Jackelyn Campos (Student): I define learning as the process is where we gain knowledge or skills on a particular subject and then apply them to real-life or theoretical situations. It is the process where we are able to solve problems with the knowledge that was taught to us or which we acquired by reading.

Daniel Salgado-Alvarez (Student): Gaining knowledge and being able to interpret and apply it to various situations. While you might not know everything, you are able to use previous knowledge to understand unknown topics.

How do you believe people learn best?

Dean Sanchis (Teacher Dean Sanchis): In collaboration with others, pursuing personal interests,  and self-discovery.

Jackelyn Campos (Student): I believe people learn best by learning hands-on, for example in science courses through labs. Repetition is also a major key to be able to learn something thoroughly and clearly. However, repetition doesn’t always mean making students memorize things, this approach can be taken on by presenting students with the same subject in different ways.

Daniel Salgado-Alvarez (Student):  I think people learn the best when they are exposed to the material in multiple formats and repeated exposure (reading, lecture, discussion, etc…).

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

School Chat S1E4: Natalia Habas "What I love about school"

by Mark Heintz

In the fourth episode of School Chat, I sat down with current sophomore, Natalia Habas.  She has an amazing perspective on school culture and how she takes advantage of everything the school has to offer her.