Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

AVID National Conference Inquiry Resources

December 8, 2013

Had a fabulous time today! I am always grateful for the energy of  those who attend my  sessions. I hope you embrace the Habit of Mind “taking responsible risks” as you begin an inquiry into your practice. Let’s figure out how we can put our students behind the wheel as they navigate their personal road to college and career readiness.  Remember the journey can be as important as the destination !

Welcome to my participants and to any one else who happens upon this post. Here you will find the resources I mentioned during my sessions. Unlike the paper copies we educators so often receive at conferences these resources will not get crumpled in a suitcase or lost in the pile papers that seem to surround educators.

 Ways to Encourage Inquiry

silent-conversation

quotes

inquiry-resources

2013 AVIDNC_PowerPoint_Inquiring Minds

Ideas for Double Entry Journals

Habits_of_Mind_Summary

costas poster

blank-cube-template

4 Corners and Position Paper

Characteristics of 21st Century Classroom copy

All for One and One for All

February 26, 2011

 

The Power of Collaboration

 

Exciting things are happening in my AVID class of late. The change arose out of my desire to increase student ownership of their twice weekly tutorials where trained college aged tutors facilitate small groups of six students as they help one other discover the answer to a problem each student has identified from their classes or homework.

I had been concerned that some students asked multiple questions of the student who was presenting, while others seemed content to take a back seat. I was also dissatisfied with the quality of my students’ tutorial notes and reflections.  Although I had tried speaking to individual students and even addressing the group and class as a whole I saw little had improvement.

That’s when I happened to stop by the office of an AP at my school. He and I somehow began talking about an experiment a college professor he knows conducts in his classes. He offers his classes the option of group or individual grades and although no class has chosen group grades the professor commented on the quality of the discussion as students were deciding which option to take. Furthermore the professor pointed out that research indicates that the achievement of all students increases with the group option.

This last comment is the one that sparked my interest. It stayed in my mind throughout the day and rumbled around in my head all evening. Eventually I made a decision to revamp how I graded the AVID tutorials. Students would continue to receive the grade they earned, but they would also earn the lowest grade in their tutorial group. So if someone earned a 38 and the lowest score for their group was a 30 that individual would receive the average of 34.  I presented the new approach to tutorial grading to the AVID students and tutors. I pointed out that the power of a tutorial lies in the involvement of everyone in the process. A good tutorial I underscored was present when everyone did well. We discussed the idea that each group member in a tutorial has a responsibility to the other group members. I asked them to think about their role in making sure that everyone in their group was successful.

It has been six weeks since our first “All for one and one for all!” tutorial and the results are in. On average tutorial scores have risen 10% over the scores prior to the scores when every student received just their individual grade. More encouraging is the lack of outlier low scores where students earn less than a B. Indeed the class average is now at an A-.  Students are more engaged and the discussions are becoming more complex. This is definitely becoming a routine of success.

Here is a link to the AVID Tutorial Worksheet we use.

Busy weekends ahead!

April 17, 2010

I am most blessed to be able to work with four maybe five different GEAR UP schools over the next few weekends. My research for two of the sites has led to some very interesting discoveries on the topics of effective group work and effective inquiry particularly in the way we as teachers ask questions. As usual my handouts and comments will be posted here after the workshops.

Currently I am incorporating some of these techniques into my own classroom. This has meant some revamping of how I form my groups for a jigsaw for the social history of the US from 1820 to 1865. I am eager to see how it affects student learning.

Look at this site for some info and resources on these topics http://www.fisherandfrey.com

LA and Denver a tale of two cities?*

March 7, 2010

This was a most interesting week. I got to work with two groups of teachers…one a large group of mixed content areas in LA and the other an intimate group of 6 content alike teachers in Denver. The LA workshop was a brief one hour and the Denver was day long. One was in a middle school setting and the other was at a high school. Both however revolved around the idea of increasing rigor. (Scroll down and read the definition of rigor we worked with then click on the link to the voicethread discussion. It is a free registration and a new technology tool that can be used  in a myriad of ways.)  Just as the timeless story by Dickens was meant to warn England of the dire consequences it would face if  factory workers were not treated fairly (remember the industrial revolution was the new technology of the time) so did our discussions revolve around increasing the rigor of what we do with students and how we would support the growth of that rigor. The work that took place in both schools had different content …Cornell notes in LA and visual literacy in Denver…but both were about giving our students the critical thinking skills they need to survive in a 21st century world. For me both showed me that despite the challenges of the current economy many teachers are still focused on making it the  “best of times” for those whose lives they touch.
Porter teachers…See Carol for the handouts and powerpoint.

Cherry Creek attendees. VISUALS primary source strategies Pre-AP visuals 3-7-10 I AM POEM directions Costa’s Three Story Intell avidAnticipation Guidewriting supportwriting support If there is something else you need just leave a comment and I will get back to you:)

*This metaphoric commentary was inspired by Rick Wormeli’s new book entitled Metaphors & Analogies. Check it out at Stenhouse Publishing.

How do you define rigor?

March 7, 2010

Join me in a voicethread discussion on this topic. Here is the definition we will be using as a foundation.

“Rigor is the goal of helping students develop the capacity to understand content that is complex, ambiguous, provocative, and personally or emotionally challenging.“

Source: Teaching What Matters Most; Standards and Strategies for Raising Student Achievement by Strong, Silver and Perini, ASCD, 2001.

What do you think? How would you define rigor? Does your classroom reflect rigor?

Here is the link to the discussion. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.  Voicethread Rigor Thread

If you have never visited voicethread do so! How do you see it being used in your classroom?

Upcoming CLMS Presentation!

February 25, 2010

I have posted links to the powerpoint and handouts for my presentation under  my recent activities page. I will be presenting a session on February 28, 2010 entitiled “Flipping Through History” at the California League of Middle Schools Conference this weekend in Sacramento. Check back to see how it went.

Check out the recent Activities Page!

February 21, 2010

Recently I spent a morning working with the staff at my school site. This is usually my most challenging audience. Add on to that I was given a topic from the District Office and my alloted time was almost cut in half about a week prior to the presentation! Find out what happened in my February 2010 entry under Recent Activities. Could your site use this rubric on Expectations and Rigor continuum?