Category Archives: Reflection

Facilitating student reflection – #LL2LU

The primary and early elementary grades are a natural place to introduce reflection and instill in students the habit of collecting work that demonstrates evidence of learning and growth. (Berger, 281 pag.)

We learn by doing. As a faculty team, we continue to grow our understanding of intentional reflection and the impact on learning.

Deeper understanding is the result when learners think about their thinking.  The My Learning Portfolio process prompts students to think about their thinking when they select artifacts to archive, and as they capture their thoughts about learning experiences through reflection. (Mitchell, n. pag.)

Our young learners have 2+ years of entries in their My Learning Portfolios. For a glimpse of impact, check out Kathy Bruyn’s August post, Student Portfolios: It’s all worth it!.

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As students progress through the grades, it is important that portfolios and passage presentations evolve with them and challenge them in new ways.  (Berger, 281 pag.)

During our last professional development session, Marsha Harris (@marshamac74), rolled out our first draft of learning progressions and a vision of vertical alignment of teacher moves to facilitate student reflection and archiving artifacts.

Grade Learning Targets (Level 3)
3s/
Pre-K
I can document learning moments for my students.  I can show how I know students are learning using images and voice that reflect their strengths and interests.
K/
1st
I can offer opportunities for my students to make choices about their My Learning artifacts.  I can show how I know students are learning using images and voice that reflect their strengths and interests.
2nd I can teach my students to independently use My Learning to capture reflections through prompting into their portfolios that include voice and images/video.
3rd I can empower my students to curate their reflections into their portfolios with simple prompts for reflection that include voice, choice and images/video and I can offer pathways for my students to gain more independence for entering reflections in My Learning.
4th I can facilitate opportunities for intrinsic motivation where students become empowered and proactive learners, reflecting in My Learning with choice, voice and images/video.  I can introduce students to the RIP3 model for reflection.
5th I can facilitate opportunities for intrinsic motivation where students become empowered and proactive learners, reflecting in My Learning with choice, voice and images/video.  I can facilitate student use of the RIP3 model for reflection.
6th I can facilitate student use of the RIP3 model for reflection. I can empower my students to analyze and assess their growth as learners.  I can offer opportunities for students to produce reflective essays through a variety of media to tell their story a.k.a, their learning journey.

The corresponding learning progressions, collaboratively designed by our Academic Leadership Team (ALT),  serve as one way to reflect,  self-assess, and grow as a facilitator of reflection.

They exclaimed, “Look how little I was!” as they flipped through Kindergarten pictures of themselves and classmates. They watched videos of themselves talking in front of their First Grade peers. They chuckled at how they drew noses when they were in Kindergarten. They looked at photographs of their writing and saw how far they’ve already come. The energy in the room was evident– the purpose of online portfolios clear. (Bruyn, n. pag.)


Berger, Ron, Leah Rugen, and Libby Woodfin. Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools through Student-engaged Assessment. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Portfolio Practice As Learning Model.” TRUE Learning. Rhonda Mitchell, 17 Jan. 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.

Student Portfolios: It’s All worth It!” Kathy Bruyn. N.p., 29 Aug. 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.

Lyrics and Improv – creating a flexible base

How many songs do we sing without reading and confirming the lyrics? How often have our lyrics been a source of enjoyment for others?

Be sure to make your instructional goals clear to your students.(Lehman and Roberts, 17 pag.)

Learning targets increase students’ independence by bringing the standards to life, shifting ownership of meeting them from just the teacher to both the teacher and the student. (Berger, 23 pag.)

It is not enough that the teacher knows where students are headed; the students must also know where they are headed, and both the teacher and the students must be moving in the same direction.  (Conzemius and O’Neill,  66 pag.)

Is it that, sometimes, what we hear isn’t really what is being said?

How often do we embrace improvisation?

While this may be a lesson introducing the steps of reading closely for text evidence, show [learners] how it can help them develop new ideas, like understanding their characters in deeper ways.  (Lehman and Roberts, 17 pag.)

Expectations that begin with the word “understand” are often especially good opportunities to connect the practices to the content. Students who lack understanding of a topic may rely on procedures too heavily. Without a flexible base from which to work, they may be less likely to consider analogous problems, represent problems coherently, justify conclusions, apply the mathematics to practical situations, use technology mindfully to work with the mathematics, explain the mathematics accurately to other students, step back for an overview, or deviate from a known procedure to find a shortcut. In short, a lack of understanding effectively prevents a student from engaging in the mathematical practices. (CCSS SMP)

How might we create a flexible base where we are moving in the same direction, singing the same tune, and confident enough to improvise?


Berger, Ron, Leah Rugen, and Libby Woodfin. Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools through Student-engaged Assessment. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Conzemius, Anne; O’Neill, Jan. The Power of SMART Goals: Using Goals to Improve Student Learning. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree, 2006. Print.

Lehman, Christopher, and Kate Roberts. Falling in Love with Close Reading: Lessons for Analyzing Texts and Life. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Standards for Mathematical Practice.” Standards for Mathematical Practice. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

 

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.

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.

Labeled…Mislabeled…Relabeled (TBT Remix)

There are few things sadder to a teacher or parent than being faced with capable children who, as a result of previous demoralizing experiences, or even self-imposed mind-sets, have come to believe that they cannot learn when all objective indicators show that they can. Often, much time and patience are required to break the mental habits of perceived incompetence that have come to imprison young minds.
~ Frank Pajares, Schooling in America: Myths, Mixed Messages, and Good Intentions

Watch and read about labels from The Power of Dyslexia:

Do you carry a label?
Was it of your own choosing, or were you labeled by others?

Do we listen to others or collect evidence ourselves when confronted with labels?

Knowledge is power.  Knowing where you are today, right now, affords the opportunity to take action and next steps.  Fear of the unknown…well, that’s a problem.

How might we uncover what is not known while celebrating what is known?

New perspective. Mindset shift. Remix.

Ask. Act. Learn.


Labeled…Mislabeled…Relabeled was originally posted March 12, 2012

Enhancing Growth Mindset in Math – Learning together

We asked:

How might we, as a community of learners, grow in our knowledge and understanding to enhance the growth mindset of each of our young learners?

As a team, we have completed Jo Boaler’s How to Learn Math: For Students and have shared our thinking, understanding, and learning.

Blending online and face-to-face learning, we worked through the Stanford units outside of school so that we could explore and learn more when together.

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Here are some of the reflections shared by our team.

As a teacher my goal is to help children approach math and all subject areas with a growth mindset. It is of utmost importance that my students truly know that I believe in them and their ability to succeed!

Everyone my age should know that you should never equate being good at math with speed. Just because someone is a slower problem solver does not mean that they are a weak math student. Rather, sometimes the slower math thinkers are the strongest math thinkers because they are thinking about the problem on a deeper level. Being good at math is about being able to think deeply about the problem and making connections with it.

When talking to yourself about your work and learning new things, reminding yourself that you can try harder and improve is critical to potential success.  People are more willing to persevere through difficult tasks (and moments in life) when they engage in positive self talk.  

Mistakes and struggling, in life and in math, are the keys to learning, brain growth, and success.

Thinking slowly and deeply about math and new ideas is good and advantageous to your learning and growth.

Taking the time to think deeply about math problems is much more important than solving problems quickly.  The best mathematicians are the ones who embrace challenges and maintain a determined attitude when they do not arrive at quick and easy solutions.  

Number flexibility is so powerful for [students]. I love discussing how different students can arrive at the same answer but with multiple strategies. 

Working with others, hearing different strategies, and working strategically through problems with a group helps to look at problems in many different ways.

“I am giving you this feedback because I believe in you.”  As teachers, we always try to convey implicitly that we believe in our students, and that they are valued and loved in our class.  However, that explicit message is extraordinary.  It changes the entire perception of corrections or modifications to an essay–from “This is wrong, you need to make it right” to “I want to help you make this the best it can be,” a message we always intended to convey, but may not have been perceived.  

Good math thinkers think deeply and ask questions rather than speeding through for an answer.

Math is a topic that is filled with connections between big ideas.  Numbers are meant to be manipulated, and answers can be obtained through numerous pathways.  People who practice reasoning, discuss ideas with others, have a growth-mindset, and use positive mathematical strategies (as opposed to memorization) are the most successful.

We learn and share.

#ILoveMySchool