Parker, AZ and the Colorado River are some of my favorite places to photograph! I love how the desert colors can be vibrant or muted... It's a palette I can work with! #Summer2018 at the River!
"Set up a Personalized Learning Plan and help teachers realize their instructional technology goals."
Step One: Technology Use Continuum
We have all heard about how the SAMR Model can be used to design engaging lessons in a connected 1:1 classroom. But one of the misconceptions about SAMR is that the teacher "moves up" the SAMR scale as if moving up a ladder. When using the SAMR Model to inform instruction it is important to remember that it is the instructional technology integration that "moves up" the ladder and not the teacher.
Enter the Technology Use Continuum (view the printable PDF or make a copy of the Sheets original.)
The Technology Use Continuum (TUC) provides a powerful opportunity for teachers to reflect on where they are in their instructional technology integration journey.
Articulated teacher levels are listed across the top of the TUC and the domains are listed on the left of the document. The domains are aligned with the CASE Framework used with your school's BrightBytes data.
Use the TUC as an invitation for a coaching session. Because it can be a little overwhelming to do alone, go through the matrix with the teacher and help them identify where they fall for each of the domains.
Step Two: Classroom Observations
After making first contact with your teacher, it would be a good idea to observe the teacher doing what they do best! This step can be scary for new coaches because they or the teacher may feel like this process is evaluative. It is a good idea to let the teacher know that you are partners in this relationship and none of the observations you make will be communicated to supervisors without permission. Setting up the first classroom observation can be tricky, too. Approach the initial observation with humility and let the teacher know you are there to support them.
Providing yourself and your teacher with a record of the observation lets them know you are serious about helping and provides an opportunity to build a strong working relationship with each other. There are many different options when it comes to observation tools and we have included two different Docs here. While these tools can be filled out online, we have found many teachers value the handwritten, printed copies.
The NR21 Classroom Observation Tool features areas for notes, the SAMR level of the lesson, and which of the Four C's of 21st Century Learning the lesson highlights (view the printable PDF or make a copy of the Docs original.) The observation tool can be scanned with an app on your smart phone so you can leave the original with the teacher and the scanned copy in your Drive
Step Three: Coaching Session
Building a relationship with your teachers is important when helping them achieve their instructional technology integration goals. The Coaching Questions listed here can help you establish and cultivate a rapport with your teachers (view the printable PDF or make a copy of the Docs original.)
Use the questions with your teacher as discussion points. The questions help you direct the conversation towards your teacher reflecting on their practice and choosing an instructional technology integration goal. The goal your teacher chooses should be informed by where the teacher is on one of the domains found on the TUC.
Step Four: Personalized Learning PlanAfter the TUC, the observations, and the coaching session, the teacher should be ready to make a personalized learning plan! Meet with the teacher and go through the questions on the Personalized Learning Plan (view the printable PDF or make a copy of the Docs original.) The plan provides areas for teachers to identify the goal they want to work on, establish a series of professional learning action steps, and reflect on how the instructional technology integration impacts student learning.
One of the questions on the Plan asks teachers to choose a teaching strategy they could use to help them achieve their goals. This question is designed for you to show off your expertise! Since the TUC features domains aligned to the CASE Framework from BrightBytes, we suggest you pull up your school's BrightBytes data, explore Insights, and find a "Quick Win" strategy applicable to the success of your teacher's goal.
The Plan also includes an area where teachers can link to digital artifacts created by students. These artifacts may become evidence teachers can use for their yearly evaluation, if they choose.
Finally, the Plan offers an opportunity for teachers and Digital Coaches to determine the next steps towards long term goals.
Note taking is a skill prized by teachers and professors but the process is often disliked by students. After all, note taking is difficult work that requires active listening, the processing of information on-the-fly, and synthesizing shorter messages, sometimes involving symbols, that hopefully convey the spirit of the original, longer message. Setting our students up for success in this process is critical to their developing this skill over time. If teachers do it right, students will have a skill they can bring with them to college, their career, and beyond.
In this blog post, we will explore analog and digital note taking ideas teachers can use in their classrooms tomorrow.
The Cornell Note system has been around since the 1940s. The system was developed in response to observations a professor made of his students at Cornell University. He noticed students struggled with taking notes from scratch and studying from them. The Cornell Notes System was born!
Students are asked to draw a vertical line 2.5 inches from the left side of a notebook page and a horizontal line 2 inches up from the bottom, as shown in the image on the right.
The resulting two columns have specific roles. The column on the right is for notetaking and the column on the left is used for students to write higher-order thinking questions based on those notes. The idea is that when students study, they can cover up their notes and try to answer their questions. If they need a little extra help answering their questions, they can peek at their notes to find the answers.
The bottom section of the note page is reserved for writing a summary of the notes, which is helpful when studying but it also forces the students to go back through their notes and translate them into a shorter paragraph.
Some teachers reserve the larger column on the right for content other than notes. For example, a teacher might ask students to glue a reading passage or a list of vocabulary terms onto the page. If students create concept maps, they can draw them in this section, too.
Peer-Reviewed Digital Notes
One of the challenges teachers face when transitioning to a 1:1 classroom is what to do with student notes. Way back in 2016 BC (Before Chromebooks), teachers lectured from PowerPoint presentations as students quickly scribbled down notes into their notebooks. But in 2018 AD (After Device), some teachers found the notebook option lacking, especially with all of the things you can do with Google Docs.
The Cornell notes method of notetaking works great when students are using notebooks, pencils, and paper. Teachers working at 1:1 schools, however, may want to harness the power of Docs and transform notetaking with peer-reviewed digital notes.
Teachers can increase collaboration between students, which is one of the skills identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as important for today's students to master. To get students to collaborate with one another, pair students up and make both partners peer-reviewers. Students can share their notes with their collaborative peer reviewer and help one another come up with annotations, ideas for questions, and a review of summaries.
Like the Cornell Notes setup, the peer-reviewed digital notes use columns. There is a column for higher-order thinking questions students can write based on the content of the notes and a section to write a summary of the notes. But one of the biggest differences between the peer-reviewed digital notes and the Cornell Notes setup is that the teacher provides the notes to her students. The idea behind giving the notes to the student is that this frees the student up to synthesize their own notes in the third column. Students can use the power of Docs to define vocabulary terms they might not know, and to add images, links, and additional research to their notes.
Want to make the note taking process more visual and access your students’ creative side? Sketchnoting can do just that! Mike Rhode, author of The Sketchnote Handbook, says, “Sketchnotes are rich visual notes created from a mix of handwriting, drawings, hand-drawn typography, shapes, and visual elements like arrows, boxes, and lines.” Taken together, sketchnotes can convey the overall big ideas from a lecture or reading.
Why should teachers bring the sketchnoting practice into their classroom?
When students use sketchnoting to take class notes, students become active listeners as they translate the written and spoken word into a visual representation of the discussion. Students use their critical thinking skills to do this, which is one of the 21st century skills identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning as important for students to be successful in college and career. Studies have also shown that “longhand notetakers outperformed laptop notetakers on conceptual understanding and long-term recall” (source).
If a teacher wanted to integrate sketchnoting in their classroom, she should start small at first. Teachers are encouraged to take it slow with students at first and model the process as much as possible. One way to do this is through a “Think Aloud.” During this strategy, a teacher explains their thinking behind why they chose a specific image to draw, or placed an arrow, or wrote text, for example.
Slides presentations are classroom staples used to transfer knowledge from the teacher to the student. This "sit-and-get" style of information input, however, can be very teacher-centered. Note taking doesn't have to be so one-sided! You can make note taking student-centered by having your students create concept maps as notes.
Concept maps help students organize their thinking, and are made up of a series of terms or concepts linked by connecting phrases. The concepts are enclosed within a rectangle, which are called nodes. Students draw arrows and create connecting phrases between the nodes.
Teach your students to build simple concept maps by imagining the two nodes and the connecting phrase are parts of a sentence. Node 1 is the beginning of the sentence and node 2 is the end of the sentence. The connecting phrase links the beginning with the end. Look at the green graphic for an example of a simple concept map. Note how the direction of the arrow tells the viewer which direction to read the concept map.
From there, students can begin to add more nodes and connecting phrases to their concept map. I tell my students to add interconnections between nodes so their concept map looks like a spider web rather than the spokes of a bicycle tire. Teachers can use the number of interconnections between nodes as a type of formative assessment. The more interconnections between nodes and the more web-like the concept map, the deeper the understanding of the content.
While concept mapping should be mastered first with pencil and paper, students can eventually transition to an online tool like Drawings or Lucidchart to create and share their concept maps.
Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID for short, provides a framework educators can use to “shift to a more equitable, student-centered approach” to teaching (source).
The foundation of an AVID lesson is “WICOR,” which stands for Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading. The idea is that a teacher can support AVID students by incorporating WICOR into their everyday lessons. For example, a teacher can plan opportunities for students to write, use inquiry and critical thinking, collaborate with other students, use a system to organize their work, and read. When teachers use WICOR in their lesson plans, they help AVID students achieve their academic goals and will ultimately set these students up for success in college.
Integrating WICOR into lessons works great in STEAM Academies, too, since students are using the science and engineering practices as they learn. The following list includes AVID strategies that will support STEAM teachers.
Strategy: Cornell Notes
How it Works
Students divide their notebook page into something that looks like this. Students fill out the topic and the essential question. Students write their class notes in the notes section. The notes can be informed by a reading passage that aligns with the lesson objectives. Afterwards, the teacher asks the students help each other come up with higher-order questions based on the content of their notes. Students are also asked to synthesize a summary of what they learned in the summary section.
Have students create a Cornell notes template in Google Docs.
Strategy: LENSES Graph Analysis
How it Works
“LENSES” is an acronym students can use to navigate their way through a graph. This process works great in small groups, as it gives a chance for students to collaborate with each other. When students see a graph in a textbook, test, or handout, they should Label and List the essential components of the graph like the graph’s title, independent variable (including units), dependent variable (including units), and the high and low data points into a graphic organizer. Students then find the Equation of the graph and determine if the line is showing a direct, indirect, linear, or exponential relationship between the variables. Students then ask themselves, “What do I Notice about the graph?” Specifically, what is the story the graph is trying to tell? Students then Speculate on what may happen to the dependent variable if the independent variable increases or decreases. They can extrapolate the next data point and predict what that value might be. They are asked to make inferences about the graph. Students then Explain their predictions and inferences by writing a paragraph. Finally, students Summarize what they have learned from the graph.
Have students make their graphic organizers in Google Docs.
How it Works
A One-Pager is a creative response to a student’s learning experience. It allows students to use their imagination as they make connections between vocabulary words and ideas from a curricular unit and it creates an opportunity for students to share their work and use it collaboratively to study. Students are asked to use unlined, white paper to create their one-pager and follow these specific instructions: Title the one-pager to reflect its topic. Students may use pencils, markers, and colored pencils and are encouraged to fill up the entire page. Tell students to be purposeful about how they organize their one-pager and have a reason why a certain color is used or for placing an object in a certain place, for example. Have students include two quotes from their notes, draw three visual images, place five essential vocabulary terms around the images, and write a main idea from one of their readings. Have students write two of their higher-order questions from their Cornell notes onto the one-pager and answer them. Finally, students are asked to draw a symbolic border around the edges of the page.
Have students create their one-pager in Google Drawings.
NOTE: This blog post first appeared on the Nevada Ready 21 Water Cooler. Read it here.
Ever since 2009, computer programmers have pushed the limits of what you can do with Google and Chrome through the design of Google Experiments. These web-based apps can pack a big punch and supplement your digital-infused lessons. For example, art teachers can have students study color palettes from famous paintings using the the Art Palette Google Experiment from its Arts & Culture subdomain.
Users can upload or take a photo and find other art works with similar color palettes to the one you submitted. Take a look at the looping GIF below to see Art Palette in action! If you can't use this in your art classroom, maybe you can use it for your next interior redesign of your living room!
Another cool Google Experiment, Song Maker, can be harnassed by music teachers during a composition unit. Our students can easily make music in Chrome! Students can click on one of the boxes on Song Maker to place a note. Adding more notes can make a song! Students can change the tempo, the musical instrument they're using in their composition, and even the scale. There's a "Mic" option on Song Maker which I did not check out (trust me, I'm doing you a favor) but I'd love to hear from you what it does and how it works! The best part is that once the student saves their masterpiece, the system generates a link students can turn in to Google Classroom or your class's Canvas LMS.
Check out my attempt at writing the theme song to Jeopardy... It (kinda) sounds like it!
The last Google Experiment I'll spotlight in this blog post is, in my opinion, the COOLEST! You know how sometimes you write lessons that ask students to draw a picture? And every time, it seems, a few of the students say, "But Mister, I can't draw, I'm not an artist!"
AutoDraw takes the frustration out of drawing by using artifical intelligence to guess what your chicken scratch is supposed to represent. A professional clip art-style version of your drawing is then swapped out for your doodle.
For example, if you are attempting to draw a top hat, the system may guess that it is a top hat or a boat or a shirt or a hot dog or a building or a... you get the point. You choose which of those guesses you want to replace it with.
The cool part is now you have a pretty good drawing you or your students can use in a Slide show or in a Google Drawing. Take a look at the looping GIF below to see AutoDraw guess that the lobster I am trying to draw is, in fact, supposed to be a lobster!