If you’re anything like us, now that the school year is well underway a question or two has begun to surface. Questions focused on areas where you'd like to grow as an educator, such as:
Whatever your question, our team wants to help you access the PD you crave, which is why we are again offering an independent study professional development opportunity for staff.
Still on the fence? Here is some of the feedback from past participants:
If you’re interested in this opportunity, sign up by December 7, 2018 via the link above. Know that you can enroll as an individual, as a partnership, as a PLC, or as department.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to connect with your site staff development chair, an instructional coach, or an implementation associate. We'd love to help you get started.
This post brought to you by Heather Lyke, Secondary Implementation Associate;
and Rebecca Mecikalski, Elementary Implementation Associate
Larry Ferlazzo notes in his Educational Leadership article “Micro-Writing for English Learners,” that “short burst of writing can boost English language learners’ confidence and skills.” Ferlazzo explains this to be because micro-writing:
As a bonus, the benefit extends beyond our EL students. For all learners—not just EL learners—the above bulleted list still applies. Plus, the recently published Ed Surge article “Micro-Writing is having a Macro Impact on Identity Development,” Bryan Christopher notes that micro-writing can be used as a check for understanding, a pre-write for what will later be shared aloud, or even as a vocabulary builder. Moreover, he notes that, “the value of micro-writing goes beyond academics, addressing social and emotional needs like self-perception and confidence.”
Personally, I love that micro-writing often pushes students to the highest level of Bloom’s, but without taking up large periods of valuable class time. When students write, even just for a small amount of time, they hit the “Creating” stage (level 6) of Bloom’s Taxonomy because they are generating something new with their knowledge. As a bonus, in getting to level 6 of Bloom’s, students often cross through the “Evaluating” stage (level 5) as they create an argument, make a value judgement, or evaluate a problem.
If you would like to try micro-writing in your own classroom, here are three strategies to help you get started:
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Below are 8 suggestions for supporting our American Indian students and families:
For more information on the ideas touched on above, consider the following:
Pilamaya. (Thank you.)
Feel free to contact Bjoraker at 507.328.4236 or to connect with her via email
When asked why this works for him Sam says, “When I have to talk about what I was thinking it helps me to understand it better. I also like hearing what other people think about things that I might not have thought about.”
We’ve all heard the adage, “More student talk, less teacher talk,” but why is this so critical in learning? Vygotsky (1962) suggested that thinking develops into words in a number of phases moving from images to inner speech to inner speaking to speech. Following this theory, talk is really the representation of thinking. We want our classrooms to be filled with talking because this means they are filled with thinking.
So, how can we build purposeful talk into the classroom and ensure that it really is deepening thinking and not just a recap of Friday’s football game?
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Ensure that everyone answers every question.
- T: What was today’s reading mostly about?
- S: The Cold War
- T: Yes, and the events that led up to the Cold War. (The teacher then summarizes the reading and students know they are off the hook )
Imagine flipping this scenario with the following moves:
- T: In your notebook write down what today’s reading was mostly about. Jot down at least three ideas.
- S: All student write in their notebook. (The teacher notices those who are struggling and provides some key words)
- T: Now, turn and talk with someone near you about what you wrote. Pay attention to what you have in common and what was different.
In the second scenario, all students had to write, talk, and summarize. In other words, all students had to think. (For two other strategies that help avoid the teacher-pivot, check out this post on spider-web discussions and this one on fishbowl discussions.)
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Ask open ended questions.
Seven Open-ended Questions for the Classroom:
- Would you explain that to me?
- What reasons do you have for that?
- How is that different from your classmates' idea?
- What do we know about this?
- When wouldn't that happen?
- How does that fit with what we said earlier?
- Can anyone think of how that might happen?
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Increase your wait time.
Vygotsky (1978) observed that “Children grow into the intellectual life around them” and that cognitive growth is “more likely when one is required to explain, elaborate, or defend one’s position to others as well as to oneself; striving for an explanation, often makes a learner integrate and elaborate knowledge in new ways.”
Our Rochester Public Schools classrooms should be filled with thinking and that means they should be filled with student talk.
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Members of the Secondary C&I team weekly post useful tools, tips, and tricks to help you help students.
Analysis & Inquiry
Grading For Learning
Instructional Learning Formats
Planning For A Sub
Quality Of Feedback
Regard For S's Perspective