More than that, is how well each one of YOU know yourself, your team and your students. With every opportunity that arises to tweak, move forward or present next steps, YOU ALL are talking about it BEFORE it is even brought to you by the leadership. Your PLC notes, conversations you share with us or the initiative you take to reach out to coaches and others for supports and resources speaks to your constant desire to learn and grow.
We see so many amazing things happening because of this "learner mindset." Those things include:
- Alignment between classrooms with instruction
- Lesson plans that show evidence of intentional planning both as a team and individually and thought to how lessons connect to previous lessons or future lessons
- Lots of intentional use of academic/content vocabulary in journals
- Guided math groups and reading groups have become a routine practice
- Use of student goal setting is in place
- Teachers AND students utilize academic vocabulary in conversations and in instruction
- High quality of writing/justification in journals in 5th grade
- Good organization in journals
Wonderings or Next Steps that have been both for our campus and as a district include:
- How can the cycle feedback (feedback, response, reflect) become part of journaling in our content areas? (both peer and teacher feedback)
- What are ways that we can continue to grow in our content knowledge and vocabulary, and build awareness of vertical alignment to aide student understanding and prevent unintended misconceptions?
- What are our teacher model journals needing to look like and to what extent should we take our models to support student journal entries?
- How can we ensure that students are revisiting goals that are set and are able to determine where they are as learners?
- Does the value we place in literacy rich tasks reflect in student work particularly in our student journals? Are we seeing growth and development in their journal responses?
- In reading/writing are we seeing growth since BOY and better organization, clear explanations and ideas?
- In math problem solving block journals are we seeing written explanations that mirror verbalized explanations (K-2) and depth in justifications (3-5)?
- In science are we seeing well organized journals/observations with diagrams with labels (K-5), clearly stated and supported conclusions with 1-2 CERs per unit(3-5)?
Many of you have already begun to think in the direction of the above wonderings/next steps. One thing many of us forget is where we have been and just see where we have to go. Then, for those of us who have the historical frame of reference, we remind those who don't how far we have come in just a few short months. Just think... a year ago, where were your reading response journals, your problem solving block journals, your lesson plans, the conversations in your PLCs? Congratulate yourself, your team, your students... YOU have come so far. YOU do have the power to change things and YOU have. When we all commit to have a growth mindset, we have the power that is going to transform learning.
The change happens because of the POWER in YOU and through YOU. Thank you for being YOU!
John and Kirsten