Taylor Mali – Need I Say More?

If you liked this; you’ll LOVE this: WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

 

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Thinking Routine – 3,2,1 Bridge

21st March – As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I will be using a new thinking routine with my Year 9-12 (combined class) for English tomorrow. The routine is explained here (CLICK HERE: 3-2-1 Bridge Routine). My class will be looking at resumes … sounds boring right? After initial responses on what CVs and Resumes ARE we will then look at “other” examples and then investigate what a resume COULD be.

Have a look at these: 20 Resumes to Blow Your Mind. Part of our activity tomorrow will be to write down the evidence of students “thinking” and I will post their responses directly here.

24th March – As promised; here is the feedback. I found the activity quite interesting. The final box asks students how motivated they are to write their own resume – once BEFORE the activity and then a response AFTER the activity. “1” is LOW and “10” is HIGH. I have highlighted the responses I thought were most interesting from the students;

 

 

 

Cultural Capital or Culture Clash?

Whether it is wise to write a blog immediately after attending a fantastic Professional Development session; I don’t know. BUT… I am throwing caution to the wind (BEFORE I return to the classroom) to jot a few thoughts down about today’s (grossly under-populated) experience with Mark Church on MAKING THINKING VISIBLE. Mark is the co-author (with Ron Ritchhart & Karin Morrison) of a newly released book by the same name (some core resources from the research/book are available at www.pz.harvard.edu/vt)

I was particularly engaged with the challenge to investigate the “culture” of our classrooms. Mark drew the analogy that walking into a classroom (or indeed any SCHOOL) is like walking into a new country; we are immediately bombarded with new sensory experiences, we quickly ascertain what kind of learning and teaching is privileged, what activities and actions are rewarded or rebuked, how ‘mistakes’ are managed/dealt with. Like the sights and sounds of a new country – we quickly draw conclusions; many of which are long-standing and most acutely accurate!

  • Do we develop group culture?
  • How do we make THINKING (intrinsically “invisible”)… VISIBLE?
  • What do we want the children we teach to be like when they are adults?
  • Does our classroom culture reflect healthy social, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and functional dispositions?
  • What is the “story” of our classrooms? Does it reflect the learning we enjoyed (or despised) in our OWN educational journey?

I’m sure that Mark would be horrified by my butchering of his content into a bite-sized, take home pack! Sorry Mark! The truth is after immersion in self-reflection on the values that we see communicated through our classrooms/schools – we were better positioned to answer the two cornerstone questions;

  • What is learned here? AND
  • What is learned ABOUT LEARNING here?

With the political mandates dictating the direction of our curriculum it is easy to see how many classrooms are a story of WORK rather than a story of LEARNING… as Mark put it; “Curriculum has become a mile wide and an inch deep”. I didn’t find the session a “preach” against these curriculum initiatives; in fact the focus was more directed to the fact that Testing, Curriculum and Syllabus are all delivered WITHIN the context of the CULTURES we DO control (e.g. modelling, environment, expectations, behaviour, interactions, relationships, structures, opportunities, language and allocation of time).

The methods and routines suggested to make thinking visible are best packaged by the team themselves but I can highly recommend the book (complete with DVD) and the website (noted in my first paragraph) as a source for unpacking these strategies.