Friday, September 15, 2017

Revisiting Summer Research

It's so easy to read and research, and then to let go of what you've learned. To truly embed new research into the school year, one has to revisit that research often and reflect upon application. This morning I'm reflecting on the research I read by Friedman, Darling-Hammond and others, and Emdin. I highlighted main points in these mini posters, and then reflected on what needs to happen in the classroom below. In the days ahead I will review other research posts related to brain-friendly learning and cultural proficiency to look more deeply at how research may positively affect the teaching/learning this year.

Continued dialogue with students as we co-construct the classroom. Infusing this language into the daily teaching/learning efforts.

Curriculum Focus:
  • Reading and talking/writing about reading daily.
  • Math everyday utilizing the math practices effectively and deeply
  • Blended learning and focus on how to maximize the use of "intelligent assistants."
  • Critical and creative learning projects, activities
  • SEL focus throughout the curriculum that emphasizes respect, ethics, character, metacognition, and more. 

Equity Efforts
  • Team emphasis
  • How can we provide opportunity to students?
  • When and how do we listen?
  • Differentiation
  • Informal/formal data analysis to lead learning/teaching
  • Everyone belongs focus
  • Effectively embed equity efforts.
  • Revisit the "No Prejudice Here" theme/discussion regularly.

Starting with Emdin's research, I have the following to do:
  • Institute call and response routines
  • Create expression/question bulletin boards
  • Foster positive team competition (we'll do that with upcoming STEAM activities)
  • Continued teaching with the arts
  • The hello project - multiple greetings. We'll focus on this in Open Circle too. 
  • Continue to co-construct class protocols.
  • Open-ended math teaching project. We'll do this at the end of the place value unit.
  • I've used recess as a time to have open ended, friendly conversations with students regularly.
Darling-Hammond and others' research about future-ready teachers and students.
  • We started showcase portfolios earlier, and have slowed down the classroom to include more reflection, analysis, and reasoning.
  • I've advocated to include lots of tech into teaching, and have received some refusals here, but I am including what tech I can, and will continue to advocate for more and better as I research.
  • We've done initial assessments, and as new data comes in, we'll continue to analyze. 
  • As I get to know students more and have more analyses, we'll begin to differentiate more. At this point, we've begun to differentiate in small ways with teaching assistants' support.
  • We've been focusing a lot on vocabulary across the curriculum, and looking at curriculum through multiple lenses. 
  • Teamwork has been a strong initial focus and will continue throughout the year. 
  • Our initial STEAM explorations have fostered creativity as did our initial selfie project--we have many more projects planned that will include lots of creativity. 
  • We began with a deep look at cross-cultural issues with a historic lens and will keep that focus going with projects, discussions, current events, reading, and more. 
  • We've emphasized that students need to lead their own learning in brain-friendly ways. We also discussed that the sum of passion plus knowledge equals success. We'll continue to focus on growth mindset and brain/cognitive knowledge.