What if we empower and embolden our learners to ask the questions they need to ask by improving the way we communicate and assess?
Great teachers lead us just far enough down a path so we can challenge for ourselves. They provide us just enough insight so we can work toward a solution that makes us, makes me want to jump up and shout out the solution to the world, makes me want to step to the next higher level. Great teachers somehow make us want to ask the questions that they want us to answer, overcome the challenge that they, because they are our teacher, believe we need to overcome. (Lichtman, 20 pag.)
On Monday, April 7, 2014, Jennifer Wilson (@jwilson828) and Jill Gough (@jgough) presented at the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics Conference in New Orleans.
Jill started with a personal story (you’re letting her shoot…) about actionable feedback and then gave the quick 4-minute Ignite talk on the foundational ideas supporting the Leading Learners to Level Up philosophy.
Our hope was that many of our 130 participants would help us ideate to craft leveled learning progressions for implementing the Common Core State Standards Mathematical Practices. Jennifer prompted participants to consider how we might building understanding and confidence with I can make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. After giving time for each participant to think, she prompted them to collaborate to describe how to coach learners to reach this target. Jennifer shared our idea of how we might help learners grow in this practice.
I can find a second or third solution and describe how the pathways to these solutions relate.
I can make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
I can ask questions to clarify the problem, and I can keep working when things aren’t going well and try again.
I can show at least one attempt to investigate or solve the task.
Participants then went right to work writing an essential learning – Level 3 – I can… statement and the learning progression around this essential learning. Artifacts of this work are captured on the #LL2LU Flickr page.
Here are the additional resources we shared:
- Learning from Leveling, Self-Assessment, and Formative Assessment
This blog post from Jill has the negative exponents Algebra I example with student work.
- Unit 7: Right Triangles – Student Reflections
This blog post from Jennifer shares a learning progression on right triangles, connections to CCSS Math Practices, and reflections from learners.
- Feedback a la positivity – examples
This blog post shows three examples of I like…because, I wonder…, and What if… feedback to learners.
How might we coach our learners into asking more questions? Not just any question – targeted questions. What if we coach and develop the skill of questioning self-talk?
Interrogative self-talk, the researchers say, “may inspire thoughts about autonomous or intrinsically motivated reasons to purse a goal.” As ample research has demonstrated, people are more likely to act, and to perform well, when the motivations come from intrinsic choices rather than from extrinsic pressures. Declarative self-talk risks bypassing one’s motivations. Questioning self-talk elicits the reasons for doing something and reminds people that many of those reasons come from within. (Pink, 103 pag.)
[Cross-posted on Easing the Hurry Syndrome]
Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.
Pink, Daniel H. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others. New York: Riverhead, 2012. Print.