To help encourage conversations and dialogue about the ways we actively develop ourselves as learners, our topic/question for the dinner table is: How do conversations help us learn? Starting With Conversations (Week of 10/21/18) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
Blake's Guiding Lights
Blake's Core Values: Respect, Responsibility, Resourcefulness, Reflection
Our Essential Question: How can we cultivate and curate the progression of student learning and growth?
Our Mission: Blake Middle School believes in a living mission statement, based on the concept that our community seeks and respects knowledge, integrity, character, wisdom, and the willingness to adapt to a continually evolving world.
Having spent the end of the week at #MassCue18, it was great to go for a run on Friday afternoon before the 7th/8th grade dance. Special thanks are expressed for the staff members who chaperoned and helped provide a safe and fun night for the students: Lisa Matthews, Jillian Shaw, Kath McCullough, Kelly Ruminski, Kelly Campbell, Kristin Corcoran, and Matt Marenghi. We had a nice weekend with the kids, taking in some of their games, getting our pumpkins (feels late for us this year!), and starting to put the garden to bed.
In an effort to take a step back and ground this thinking in conversations with an eye towards growth, below are a few items that connect - a few ideas from #MassCue18 (always happy to talk them through), a sampling of responses to last week’s question (seeing conversations as an additional way that we can seek, foster, and develop our own learning), and two posts - one highlighting attributes for teachers to grow and one regarding the importance and power of conversations...
Some #MassCue18 Notes, Ideas, Mindsets, and Thoughts
- How can we make more connections with one another?
- ‘We the People’ - student voice
- Ideas with Beth (Isomorphism, morphism, concept mapping, Richard Elmore - the ideas!!!)
- Kids today have the same needs we had, but they have more opportunities to change the world
- Culture is everything
- Culture is built 30 seconds at a time - 30 seconds (Joe Sanfelippo)
- More opportunities to change the world
- Sometimes our own lens gets in the way
- Pedagogy is the driver - technology is the accelerator
- ‘Digital Use Divide’ vs ‘Digital Divide’ - an important distinction
- ‘How will you fail forward?’
- ‘Today’s technology is the worst technology that our kids will use moving forward’
- ‘What is Your Why?’ - Would others recognize your why?
Topic/Question (Week of 10/14/18): How do you seek, foster, and develop your own learning?
- Naturally...thinking every day, listening to my inner teacher's intuition
- I just do it.
- I do math and school to develop and get better at subjects and I seek learning in sports and friendships.
- Digging deeper, reading, talking to others, listening to others, asking questions
- Listen and watch students and how they go about learning. Spend time experimenting with materials to find new solutions in using. Read George Couros' blog.
- Courses, articles, and other teachers
8 Things Every Teacher Needs to Grow
by Terry Heick (@terryheick) in TeachThought
The image below is a ‘snapshot’ of these attributes, but I encourage everyone to read this brief article as the ideas within apply to all educators on all levels.
by Bari Walsh in Usable Knowledge (HGSE)
Although this post is focused on the conversations and ‘interplays’ between parent/caregivers and children, the implications are important. We need to make sure we are present with students and one another, taking time to have conversations and learn.
A study in Psychological Science shows how conversation — the interplay between a parent or caregiver and a child — ignites the language centers in a child’s brain. It’s the first study to show a relationship between the words children hear at home and the growth of their neural processing capacities — showing, in effect, that how parents talk to their children changes children’s brains.
The “conversational turns” are key here, the researchers say. Conversational interplay — a verbal version of the serve-and-return caregiving that helps kids thrive — “involves not only a linguistic exchange, but also a social interaction that we know is crucial to cognitive development as well,” Romeo says. This work suggests how important it is that caregivers “not just talk to your child, but talk with them,” says Romeo. “Even from infancy, we can consider children to be conversational partners. Obviously, a ‘conversation’ looks very different with much younger children: with infants, it might be taking turns exchanging giggles or coos; with toddlers, it might be repeating and expanding their sentences; and with older children, it might be asking ‘who, what, where, and how’ questions. “Either way, it seems to be the interaction that best supports children's language skills and the underlying neural development.”
Each day we have many opportunities for learning, both formal and informal, and I hope that we can help our students and one another #slowitdown (certainly one of my ongoing goals) to have the necessary conversations to keep these opportunities present and moving forward.
I look forward to the work that lies ahead for all of us.
Enjoy the week and take care.