Reflections from the TLLP Team

Our TLLP team is exploring new learning partnerships with our students, focused on student inquiry, and the meaningful application of assessment for, as and of learning. Our project aims to improve student learning in K-6 Numeracy, while at the same time leveraging the power of digital tools like the use of iPads and blogging to improve student outcomes in the areas of 6C’s and P (creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, citizenship, character, and problem solving).

TLLP Focus and Goals

These are some reflections from the group . . .

Nancy Bicknell

My learning was not only deepened during our discussions but also broadened with the article we read. Michael Fullan in his text, “Rich Seam:  How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning” outlines how we are at a time of change, that leadership is changing to one that envisions a direction, empowers others to experiment and dabble, all the while helping others to consolidate their understanding of their learning.  It always strikes me that at whatever level we examine learning, rich learning thrives under the same conditions –from classroom children to adults. It occurs in an environment where the learner is in charge of his/her learning but is guided by others.

The other key point that struck me in this article is the idea  that technology enriches student learning only in conjunction with effective instructional practice.  It is learning how to richly incorporate technology into what we already understand to be effect practices.  It was a reminder to me that the focus must always be on the student and his/her learning first and then to determine how technology might be used to deepen understanding.

Hilary Reinecker

Wow!  My mind is spinning.  There are a couple of things that resonated with me today. If kids know how to learn, they can learn anything. I will be focusing on documenting not only the outcome of a task but the process that the kids use to get there. I need to give my students more time to reflect and think critically about their learning and how we can use documenting to achieve that. I will be teaching the students how to comment on each other’s posts in order to encourage the students to, not only think about their own work, but to use their knowledge to help their peers in a constructive way. This will be one way to give my students more time to ‘teach’ what they have learned as a means of consolidation.

Nicole King’s New Learning:
– sharing ideas of how others are doing similar tasks and be able to talk out the challenges has been some of the most valuable experiences as we learn together.
– exploring the concepts of Michael Fullan: A Rich Seam, How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning

Wonderings and Challenges?
– finding ways to re-evaluate the curriculum expectations to meet the needs of 21st Century learners and giving myself permission to follow the inquiry process for skills rather than just content
– continuing to be an innovator and defend my practice although there may be many that challenge or do not understand my methods
My Next Steps…
– setting up individual accounts for students on their iPads
– diving into more Open Question tasks from Marian Small’s resource
– finding and efficient and effective way to comment on student blogs as a way to provide feedback and allowing students the time to continue conversations about each other’s learning
– finding ways to effectively document learning allowing more emphasis on the process rather than just the product (ie. Rather than just oral responses – have students conduct practice open responses and share on padlet then post to the blog to document the learning)

Kerri-Lynn’s Deep Thoughts from Today’s TLLP:

-shift in the importance of the process of learning vs the final product

PEDAGOGICAL DOCUMENTATION:  (from a student’s perspective) we discussed ways students can creativity document their learning processes and making their thinking visible (e.g., video bloopers, follow-up conferences, written/video reflections, what were the problems/challenges you faced during your learning?, stop the class and have students record their reflections every few minutes throughout the activity)

-shared Marian Small’s Open Questions for the Three-Part Lesson teaching resource

-reflected on the article, A Rich Seam How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning, by Michael Fullan & Maria Langworthy to discussed how new pedagogies are helping students master the process of learning

Anne McBride

Our blog is a space to document learning and to showcase student outcomes. Every time we document, we must be reflecting on: What is the purpose? Who is the audience? I left a thorough documentation discussion with the personal goal of striving to capture not just the end product in my documentation, but the beginning and middle as well. The process that students go through to create a product is the proof of the skills and strategies they posses to learn and to tackle tasks. I will also challenge myself to remember that documentation does not just have to be done by the teacher, but the students as well. When students document the process and are given sufficient time to compile documentation of their learning they get the chance to reflect and thoroughly debrief the topic.

For a student – it is not the topic, but the skills they need to learn. We are teaching students how to learn and learning with them as we go. “Teaching is learning again” – Anonymous.

Sherrie Hearn-Smith

My learning today has been using Padlet to facilitate add on thinking on the Smartboard. This will hopefully spur new thinking as we build on each other’s ideas.
Also, concentration on the action words of the curriculum document will hopefully foster the 4Cs and P for our students. These skills then shall transfer to any topic and challenge and prepare them for the future as the jobs they have in the future are hard to even visualize.

 

Allison Plumsteel

There were many learnings thrown around in today’s meeting. Some of this learning wasn’t new but it was learning that I’d forgotten about. One of the key points discussed was about asking ourselves “Why are we doing this?” If we don’t have clear expectations about why we are having our students do some of the tasks we ask them to do, then what is the point? It is important for both the teacher and the students to have a clear understanding of what is supposed to be accomplished and what is purpose behind a task. It is also important to consider that overall expectations rather than focusing on specific expectations for these tasks. This allows for more inquiry driven tasks to be constructed together with student input and interests leading the direction of the learning.

What are my next steps?

I am going to make sure that I allow time for my students to comment on blogs, as well as respond to comments on their own blogs. I’m also interested in reading the new text “The Innovator’s Mindset.”

Charlene Stein

We had a rich conversation today in our blogging TLLP group, raising topics such as deep learning, the role of the teacher in our new digital era and a new term for me, “new change leadership”. We discussed some of the roadblocks that we are encountering along the way – curriculum expectations, communication with parents, documentation, limits of time and resources. As we embark on new learning and ways of teaching in our classrooms, we are aware that this will not always look “pretty” and organized and may be misunderstood by others. We need to give ourselves the permission to make mistakes and be vulnerable. Aligning ourselves with others who are also re-thinking and changing their pedagogy and willing to offer ideas and collaborate is vital.
My next step, moving forward is to continue to seek ways to introduce and allow deep learning opportunities, especially in math. I struggle to balance this with the requirements for evaluation, especially for report cards.

Heather Rempel

In learning about the New Pedagogies, I wonder about reading our curriculum with a new lens; one that looks to the future of student learning and allows me to see how blogging, and digital tools will play a role in helping my grade one students learn deeply about topics and give them the skills that will allow them to be successful in our modern society. At the same time I have to balance this with all the basics that they have not yet learned. Can students with limited “basics” still engage deeply in the learning? How will I help them to transfer or use these basics for deeper thinking?

Jenna Lange

New Learning Today:

  • the importance of using technology to document the entire process of students learning from start to finish as it can demonstrates various areas of the curriculum they have achieved intentionally or unintentionally.
  • the use of Padlet to create a quiet yet collaborative learning space online using various topics of the curriculum
  • my role with regards to new change leadership and how to promote and create ownership in students learning that is meaningful and purposeful to them
  • how the use of other teachers blogs allows for Professional Development in your own classroom

My Next Steps:

  • begin using Padlet to create a new type of collaborative learning environment in my classroom
  • continue to document the process of students learnings through the use of digital documentation

 

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