Leading through Learning Cadre #KASCLTL

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I spent a couple of days this week re-energizing and learning with a great group of educators and instructional coaches…in an effort to become a better leader.

Many of the topics KASC presented were ones I felt quite familiar with, however, the tools and resources they provided will have a great impact on refining my implementation of these ideas.

Our 5 focus areas were: Growth Mindset, Feedback, Student Engagement, Relationships and Cognitive Skill Building – all chosen because as high-effect size factors for student achievement.

The two days were filled with exemplary models from our Framework for Teaching.  I was challenged to work outside my comfort zone, encouraged to share ideas, learn from others and given opportunities to reflect on ways I could implement the ideas in my classroom and school.  It was refreshing.  Quality, purposeful, inspiring.

Several ideas on working memory and processing strategies supported the reading and discussion of our summer with #eduread Make It Stick.  This encouraged me to continue formulating exactly how I will incorporate these structures into our learning this school year.

I think I appreciate most the amount of retrieval practice and reflection we were asked to do at LTL.

Here are 3 activities we did that I can see using in my classroom.

Up, Up and Away

As a quick review, we were asked to jot an idea that stuck with us from our reading and videos prior to attending our cadre.  We then folded the paper, placed it in a balloon, blew up the balloon and tied it.  Music played and balloons bounced around the room, floating from table to table and participant to participant.  There were smiles and laughter – something we need in our classrooms, daily.  Music stopped, we grabbed a balloon, returned to our groups and popped them – yes you need to warn nearby classrooms and administration/front office prior to doing this activity!

We took turns reading the statements, sharing our response – whether we agreed/disagreed and how it impacted our own thinking.  Great discussion and sharing.

I see doing this on occasion, even modifying to the paper-wad / snowball fights.  It may be a great way to begin the week as a retrieval over last weeks learning or to end the week as a time of reflection.  It was an energizing activity with much laughter and smiles. Totally worth it.

Koosh Ball Review

First thing on Day 2, each table had a koosh ball (any soft object would work here) and we were asked to stand in a circle.  Music played, and we threw the ball randomly around the circle.  When music stopped, round 1 question was on power point slide and person with the ball answered the question.  The ball was thrown around the circle until every person had a chance to respond to the question.  Music played again, tossing randomly, music stopped, person holding ball answered Round 2 questions, koosh was tossed around until everyone had a chance to respond. etc.

Our questions we responded to were:

  1. The most important thing I learned yesterday is… because…
  2. I was surprised to learn… because…
  3. My students will be interested to learn about… because…

Again, music, movement and laughter were present.  A great activity that can be easily modified to any topic or content area, age-group.  It was a bit tough right off the bat – having to dig back to yesterday, retrieving information we had discussed and work with – but totally supports our Make It Stick research.

Examples vs. Non-examples

I love a good card sort.  This particular activity we had statements concerning fixed vs growth mindset.  Though not the exact statements, I was reminded of @mathequalslove bulletin board she devised from this pin shared by @druinok

9 Ways Students Can Develop a Growth Mindset - Ferndale, MI, United States, ASCD EDge Blog post - A Professional Networking Community for Educators

Each person in our groups was given several different cards.  We had to read it aloud and place it into one of 2 piles and explain why it belonged there.  The key was everyone holding everyone accountable as to why they chose to place it there.  This supports one of the chapters in Make It Stick which discussed students who study the examples.  It suggested rather than looking over one example at a time to actually compare examples as they studied.  This would allow them to better process new situations when examples are varied.

The next phase of the card sort was to take the non-examples and rewrite them so they would represent phrases to model growth mindset.

Initially, I think of using this when comparing different types of functions – whether like models, all equations or graphs or tables of values.  But I can also see in evaluating expressions, maybe.  Maybe if students use a frayer model style of examples vs. non-examples of a particular concept, then share how they could change the model so it becomes an example of said concept.

I just really like the wrap up of having to modify after the sort and create/change something that would change the representation some how.

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