High Impact Instruction breakout Day 1

Midwest Leadership Summit @ St. Paul RiverCentre  

Content Planning

  • Provides a learning target
  • Supports differentiation 
  • Supports formative assessment
How to create great guiding questions
  1. Identify knowledge
  2. Identify skills 
  3. Identify big ideas 
Standard: c. Promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes. 

  • Able to reflect on student understandings
  • Use a collaborative tool to explain some concept
  • Reinforce support student understanding and thinking 
Big Idea: 
  • Student reflections can be used in 
Guiding Questions: 
  • How do you promote student reflection on understandings? 
  • In what ways are students able to explain their thinking and planning of concepts? 

Learning Maps
Start with the pre-organizer - students complete the pre-organizer at the beginning and end of every class that answer these four questions: 
  • What did we learn already? 
  • What are going to learn today? 
  • Why is it important? 
  • What's coming next? 
Formative Assessments
Provide students a CLEAR picture of where they are, and where they are going. Goals and feedback are crucial to engagement. 
As our skill gets better, the challenge has to go up to get us engaged. 
WHY formative assessments? 
  • Increases engagement
  • Increases hope 
  • Increases learning
Thoughts to start creating formative assessments: 
What's the guiding question? 
What are the answers to the question? What are the little specific proficiencies that you can measure and assess for knowledge? 

Use assessments effectively 
  • 5:1 ratio to positive attention corrective attention 
  • Ask questions of all students
  • Connect and redirect
  • Non-verbals
  • Signals 

Autonomy, accountability and instruction with Dr. Jim Knight

What do we mean by Autonomy?
Autonomy: All teachers need to recognize that we are all working toward the same goals. We have to allow teachers to be professionals, and give them many choices in their work. Compliance is not an effective way to have teachers respond to feedback and professional learning. 

Equality: We see each other as counting the same. Not that we are all doing the same things, but that we are all working on or with the same things. 

Choice: deciding what we should evaluate, and how we evaluate, is extremely important to be effective. When we give people the freedom to choose what they evaluate on a regular basis, what they evaluate and the feedback provided will be more useful. Be firm on the standard, but flexible on how you get there. 
Also, providing the choice to learn or not learn as a teacher is part of being a professional. 

Reflection: What does it actually mean to be a reflective practitioner? You need to think for yourself. Even though you might have built the curriculum over the summer yourself, others should be included in evaluating and reflecting upon the curriculum and teaching as a whole. 

Dialogue: A back and forth conversation about the thinking of teaching and learning. All teachers need to be a part of the thinking, not simply the outcome of the the thinking. 

Voice: I want people to tell me what they think - what are your thoughts about what I am doing? People count the same, not one more powerful than the other in regard to your professional practice as a teacher. 

What do we mean by accountability? 
Teaching is almost as personal as parenting. Goal setting and critism can be hard as a teacher, but avoiding the conversation avoids the truth. 

Partnership coaching is much different than top-down coaching. In the partnership coaching model, teacher sets goal, both the coach and the teacher have a dialog about the data, goal and experiences. Goals need to be a student goal, such as 70% of the students involved in discussion, instead of a teacher goal. 

Very clear goals involve; a clear picture of the current reality, and what can happen in to reach the goal. 

Article from Dr. Gawande on coaching that inspired Jim Knight: 

Video is a one of the best ways to help teachers understand the current reality in their classroom. Goals will not be effective if a teacher does not have a clear picture of current reality. 
In regard to the current reality, can a school move forward without; Understanding, agreement, and commitment? 

Formative assessment: take the guiding question, break those into specific understandings, and figure out how to assess them. Planning formative assessment needs to be clear on what you are assessing, but also needs to include what you are going to do to make up for those who are not reaching the understandings. 

Community building: set clear expectations, reinforce positive interaction, and use the power of the group to interact and engage within the group. 

Closing Question from Dr. Knight: what would happen if we really respected the autonomy of teachers and provided professional learning experiences that relate to engagement? 


Update to Google Drive iOS App - Worth taking a look

The Google Drive iPad/iPhone app was updated a few days ago to make your life easier. I normally wouldn't send out information about app updates, but I really think Google Drive's new layout will allow me to make more use out of using Google Drive on my iPad. 

Checkout the highlights on their blog post here: http://googledrive.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-completely-new-look-for-drive-on-ios.html

Download Google Drive with your own Apple ID for free here: 


Three Rules to Spark Learning: Ramsey Musallam

As we start a new school year and begin down the journey that is your curriculum, instruction and the student learning that takes place in a classroom, I encourage you to watch this six minute TED talk about three rules to spark learning from Ramsey Musallam, a chemistry teacher in San Francisco. Technology, used purposely and thoughtfully, can help spark or engage students can be very meaningful to the learning process.