Tag Archives: Rhonda Mitchell

Reflection required: Learning over time #MyLearning

I am not defined by my performance today. I can grow and learn more with continued goal setting, practice, and feedback.

Yesterday I posted Patience required: Learning over time (#MyLearning) (#ShowYourWork). I ended the post wondering my learning is evident to the viewer of these artifacts.

“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” ― John Dewey

When serving as Trinity’s Personalized Learning Specialist, our Early Elementary Division Head of School, Rhonda Mitchell (@rgmteach), developed and refined a protocol for reflection.

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We want learners to collect, select, and reflect.

My COLLECTion is archived on my MyLearning Journey for #ShowYourWork Doodles and Sketch Notes Pinterest board.

I SELECTed these two from the collection:

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And, I REFLECTed on my growth and learning:

Throughout the 2014-15 school year, I doodled notes during every professional development learning session that I attended.  I remember how nervous I felt about taking notes this way during Joe’s opening faculty meeting last August.  I used an erasable pen because I was so scared of making a mistake. I remember most of his talk. The importance of our vision of pedagogy to deepen understanding, empower learners, and to cultivate community through personal experiences is clear. These tenants are reflected in our actions with learning progressions and our My Learning e-portfolios.  George’s comments in June actually connect to Joe’s comments from August.  We are in an age or era where we have connections at our fingertips.  No longer are we promoting a Jeopardy version of success.  How will we offer learners voice and choice? What if we co-create knowledge, problem-finding and problem-solving, and joyful experiences with our learners?

It is clear to me that I am more confident with the process of doodling to learn. I’m no longer using an erasable pen; in fact, I’m informed and opinionated about what works best for me. Clearly, color adds value and communicates ideas.  I see growth in my sketches of people, ideas, and connectors. I am still in awe of how much impact doodling has on my retention and recall of ideas.

I’ve learned that I listen better, think differently and more deeply, and remember more when I exercise my creativity to use visuals to represent ideas.  It is true that a picture is worth 1000s of words.  When I frantically tried to write everything down – before doodling – I could record lots of words, but did I capture any ideas? Not often.

This reminds me of timed math tests. I know! Weird connection.  It reminds me of timed math tests because of the stress and pressure of time.  I learn and remember more through doodling because I’m not frantic. I’m not afraid that I’m going to miss something.  I know that I’m visualizing big ideas and their surrounding details.

I’ve also learned that the more I practice, the more I want to learn.  I see improvement, and I see where and what I want to learn next.

I plan to continue making my thinking and learning visible using sketch noting.  I am encouraged to learn and to share.  I am not defined by my performance today. I can grow and learn more with continued goal setting, practice, and feedback.

Again, I find value and real joy in having the collection.  My portfolio of doodles shows me several concurrent learning journeys. Reflection offers glimpses of what I’m learning and where I am now. I have choice in where I go next and in how I’m going to get there.

Worth repeating:

I’ve also learned that the more I practice, the more I want to learn.  I see improvement, and I see where and what I want to learn next.  

How might we teach, model, and facilitate experiences to collect, select, and reflect learning over time? What if we offer time, encouragement, and opportunities?

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.

Job-embedded PD: MyLearningEdu 1.5

If we want to support students in learning, and we believe that learning is a product of thinking, then we need to be clear about what we are trying to support. (Ritchhart, Church, and Morrison, 5 pag.)

Interested in e-portfolios? If we want our young learners to document their learning and growth using a portfolio, should we also have a portfolio?  Inspired by working, learning, and collaborating with Rhonda Mitchell (@rgmteach), I’ve curated a set of resources to help teacher-learners get started (or renewed) on a journey to develop a professional e-portfolio.  In her post, My Learning Student Portfolios – by the student, for the student, Rhonda writes:

Its purpose is to allow students to externalize their experiences and understanding, and then use that information to set goals, self-monitor their progress, and see themselves evolve over time.

What if we exchange the word students with the word teachers?

Its purpose is to allow [teachers] to externalize their experiences and understanding, and then use that information to set goals, self-monitor their progress, and see themselves evolve over time.

I like it.  What if we exchange the word students in the original quote with the word learners?

Its purpose is to allow [learners] to externalize their experiences and understanding, and then use that information to set goals, self-monitor their progress, and see themselves evolve over time.

What if we, the adult-learners, practiced with our young learners? What if we practice reflection and questioning to see how we continue on our journey as lifelong learners? What if we support and encourage each other as we go?  Will we learn more about reflection? Will we learn more about ourselves? Will we improve in ability and in confidence when guiding young learners through the reflection and portfolio process?

Will we try?

From an email sent to our community:

How do you feel about blogging?  The School Improvement Division of GADOE has approved awarding 2 PLUs for completing the course MyLearningEDU 1.5. This course will also officially launch after Labor Day.  As an experiment in online learning, this course is written in seven two-week chunks offering participants articles to read and videos to watch to prompt thinking and reflection.  See 01 – Getting Started as an example. The expected product is at least one blog post per week for 14 weeks.  Contact Jill if you want to meet face-to-face for a Q&A session with a small group or individually.

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The course has seven chunks with each chunk spanning two weeks.  The goal for learners is to publish at least one blog post per week and comment of the posts of others in our cadre.  Each week has something to read and something to watch as inspiration and instruction.  However, there is very little direct instruction.  The blog posts should be for the learner, by the learner.

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Ritchhart, Ron, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison. Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print.