Sunday, February 18, 2018

Questioning Shells

Excellence in Education: Questioning Shells and Stems
The questions we ask affect the level of thinking. But an equally and even more evidence-based strategy is having students devise questions about their learning with correct solutions. Additionally, when students create the questions it provides us with a means to formatively assess their learning as their questions reveal their understanding. Questioning shells assist students in developing higher-order questions. 

What are questioning shells?
Questioning shells are a partially scripted means of providing assistance to students in asking questions beyond factual recall. Expert teachers almost intuitively use questioning shells in their day-to-day teaching. Instead of asking, "Is 23 a prime number?" the expert teacher will ask, "Why is 23 a prime number?" or "Why is 23 a prime number and 24 not?" 

Examples
Explain why...
How are....and...different?
What do you predict will happen next? 
Can you explain how _______ affected ________? 
How is _________ related to _________? 

Many of us have the Bloom's taxonomy flip charts at our disposal. I found it helpful to produce questioning shells and stems charts and to laminate them for students. A simple Google search for Questioning Shells/Stems (DOK, Bloom's, etc.) will produce a ton of results. My stem cheat sheet had two sides, one for use by my history students and another for my reading students.

After creating questioning shells and distributing them to students, How Can Questioning Shells Be Used?
  • Use questioning shells as an introductory technique. The could be used as part of a K-W-L Chart or have students create questions before the lesson and have students create 3-5 questions that they would like answered. Have students share their questions and create a list of the top 10. 
  • Use questioning shells or stems with reading. This active reading technique can be used individually or in pairs. Using individually, provide students with question shells and a relevant reading and have students generate three or four thoughtful questions. These questions can be written down and later used to ask classmates. They could also be a leaping point for a classroom discussion or a Socratic Seminar.
  • You can have students read quietly with pairs. Have students turn their chairs so they are near each others ears and have 1 student quietly read a section of the reading. After finishing the reading, the other student uses the question stems to ask a question which the reader then answers. This can also be done with 3 students with the 3rd student answering the question. Rotate rolls. (As a bonus, this is also a means of informally assessing student reading fluency and comprehension as you listen to the students reading and it lends itself to flexible grouping). 
  • At the end of a lesson, have students create 2-4 questions and then have students partner up to answer their questions.

What are some ways that students can use questioning stems in your class? 

Need to Knows 

February 19: Normal School Day


February 20-21: AdvancEd Visit Visitors will be viewing your classrooms and may ask to interview you during your planning period and may want to speak to your students. 

February 23: End of Interim Period

February 28: Interim Grades in PowerSchool (9am) 

Grade Change
Please use this link to submit Grade Change Forms online. If you have any questions about the form, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Please understand that if you change a grade in one term, it more than likely affected another term. Example, if a grade changes in the Q2 category, it will also affect the T2 grade. I will need all of the grade changes to be submitted. These changes can be made to a single form. Please make sure to indicate which term you are changing.

Graduation Gowns for Faculty
If you are a new teacher to Monticello and are in need of a gown, please fill out the form sent by Ms. Seale and return by February 23. 

March 8: Parent-Teacher Conferences 
 
Shout Outs
Thanks to everyone for making LoveFest 2018 a successful one. Your patience and participation were appreciated by our students. Thanks Ms. Meade and Ms. Lawrence for the organization of this event. 



Field Trips


March 2: Adaptive PE Field Trip 











Birthdays
Feb 21: Paul Shepherd
Feb 22: Najwa Tatby
Feb 23: Heather Charles, Kossi Djamessi (custodial)
Feb 25: Paul Jones, Krista Matheny, Joe Weaver

Useful Information
Activity Period Calendar : Club day with Club Pictures this Friday
Technology / Website Permission Request Form Please use this form to request use of a website or any resource that requires student log-in if the site is not already on the approved list. DART approved list
Worth Your Time


Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Hot Seat

Excellence in Education: The Hot Seat
Last week I had a former student reach out to me, "The one thing I hated about your class was the Hot Seat." 

When I talked to him about, it became clear that he didn't really hate it but rather found it to be stressful. I'm not really sure if the stress was a bad stress though. Tell me what you think. 

First, let me explain another technique I used in my class. Every class period, I started with an index card with each students name on it. Some time during the class the student had to earn their card by either asking a deep question (Can I go to the bathroom? Is there homework tonight? definitely didn't count) or answering a question. Of course, I varied up the questioning techniques. Sometimes I used the cards to randomly select students (like the Popsicle stick method), other times I used Cold Call, often it was part of structured learning activity, and on some occasions, I simply asked questions. Honestly, I think this worked well as it kept students engaged and added an element of fun to the class. 

Here was the catch, the student whose card was the last in my possession, earned the Hot Seat the next day. This wasn't a punishment and it was just as likely that the top student ended up in the hot seat as the student who struggled the most.

The Hot Seat student was required to answer several teacher questions, while the second to last student, who was in the Warm Seat, was required to summarize or report to the class what the Hot Seat student answered. Usually, these questions would require summarization or an analysis.  After that I would provide an evaluation. Of course, I varied the questions based on the student's readiness, but the process was intended to give the students time to process and evaluate their own work and that of their peers. Essentially, it was a way of forcing wait time. 

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think my students saw the Hot Seat as a punishment? Was there too much stress caused by the Hot Seat?


Need to Knows  
Time to nominate students and peers for various honors. Click here 
. February 14: LoveFest, All 8 Periods Meet (schedule below) 

February 16: A-Day (schedule below)

February 15: All Staff Meeting (AM ONLY)  

February 19: Normal School Day

February 20-21: AdvancEd Visit


Field Trips
February 12: Wired Playwrights

February 16: AVID to UVA











Birthdays

February 12: Jeff Lloyd
February 14: Barry Keith



Useful Information


LTI Newsletter on computational thinking/coding❢❢

Activity Period Calendar : Club day this Friday
Technology / Website Permission Request Form Please use this form to request use of a website or any resource that requires student log-in if the site is not already on the approved list. DART approved list

Worth Your Time
To Improve Learning Outcomes, We Need to Take a Hard Look at Our Instructional Design

Mental Health First Aid: What is It and How Can I Do It? The article is written for a British Audience but the concepts are universal...Region 10 offers training btw. 


More Calendars

 


February 14th LoveFest Schedule
0 Period
7:40-8:40
1A
8:55-9:40
1B
9:45-10:27
2A
10:32-11:14
2B
11:19-12:44

Lunch
Class
1st: 11:14-11:46
11:51-12:44
2nd: 11:46-12:14
11:19-11:46 and 12:19-12:44
3rd: 12:14-12:44
11:19-12:14
3A
12:49-1:31
3B
1:36-2:18
4A
2:23-3:04
4B
3:09-3:50




Friday Schedule with Long Lunch
A-Day
January 12, January 26, February 16
“0” Period (7:40 – 8:40)
1st Period
8:55-10:15
Mustang Morning
10:20-10:55
2nd Period
11:00-1:00

Lunch
Class
1st: 10:55-11:35
11:40-1:00
2nd: 12:20-1:00
11:00-12:20
3rd Period
1:05-2:25
4th Period
2:30-3:50






Monday, February 5, 2018

Effective Feedback

Excellence in Education: Feedback 
Research (John Hattie, Susan Brookhart, Robert Marzano) clearly indicates that feedback, whether it be positive reinforcement, areas for improvement, or clarifying goals, is one of the most important things we can do to advance student learning.

Since high quality feedback can be provided in a variety of ways, I’ve been on the lookout for ways to provide effective feedback. Here are some extremely awesome strategies I've seen this year:  
  • Written notes on student work, especially with no grade attached or comments/questions that require students to respond. 
  • After students completed an assignment, the teacher grouped students based on the feedback they needed. This created about six different feedback groups and the teacher was able to provide specific feedback to the groups and they were able to work together to solve their problems.
  • Self-reflective feedback that required students to evaluate and reflect on their own work.  
  • Pluses and minuses was a peer feedback technique that I saw a teacher use. Students simply commented on what was done well (based on a general rubric) and what could be done better. The teacher prompted them with the discussion question: What’s next? as a conclusion to peer feedback.

Tips from John Hattie’s Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn

  1. It is important to focus on how feedback is received rather than how it is given
  2. Feedback becomes powerful when it renders criteria for success in achieving learning goals transparent to the learner
  3. Feedback becomes powerful when it cues a learner’s attention onto the task, and effective task-related strategies but away from self-focus
  4. Feedback need to engage learners at, or just above, their current level of functioning.
  5. Feedback should challenge the learner to invest effort in setting challenging goals
  6. The learning environment must be open to errors and to disconfirmation
  7. Peer feedback provides a valuable platform for elaborative discourse. Given opportunities, students readily learn appropriate methods and rules by which respectful peer feedback can be harnessed
  8. Feedback cues teachers to deficiencies within their instructional management and can lead to efforts to improve teaching practices 

Need to Knows  
February 9: School Safety Survey with extended 1A block (schedule below). We'll be asking that all teachers submit a separate attendance document just for the survey (more info will be forthcoming). 
Thanks for your help in administering (re-administering) the SpeakUp Survey. 

February 14: LoveFest, All 8 Periods Meet (schedule below) 

February 16: A-Day (schedule below)

February 15: All Staff Meeting (AM ONLY)  

February 19: Normal School Day


Field Trips
February 5: Wired Playwrights
February 8-9: Model UN to Baltimore
February 9: District Chorus and trip to CATEC 
February 16: AVID to UVA











Birthdays



CeCe Brown, cafeteria - February 5
Ruth Tapscott - February 6
Ronnie Brown - February 8
Dave Waters - February 11

Useful Information

The inline grading feature in Blackboard is being disabled until after spring break. This feature allows you to look at a submitted assignment in the web browser, rather than having to download it and open it. If you use this feature, please contact Gene Osborn for more info. 

LTI Newsletter on computational thinking/coding❢❢

Activity Period Calendar : Club day this Friday
Technology / Website Permission Request Form Please use this form to request use of a website or any resource that requires student log-in if the site is not already on the approved list. DART approved list

Worth Your Time

A Support Team for Every Student

6 Ed-Tech Tools for 2018 Some great suggestions here! 

Don't Know Much About History: A Disturbing New Report on How Poorly American Schools Teach Slavery  I know many of you received your Teaching Tolerance magazine from which this article emanates. Reading it caused me to think back to the fall when we were experiencing the BLM and Confederate Flag issues and over the course of the days, a few students make the following comments. 

  • Blacks fought for the Confederacy. The number of blacks that fought for the Confederacy was statistically insignificant. 
  • The Civil War was about states' rights, not slavery. Please read the Declaration of Immediate Causes--slavery, not states' rights nor anything else is the cause of slavery, and these other issues were inseparable from slavery. 
  •  There were white slaves too. The differences between indentured servants and slaves is vast  and not worthy of a comparison. 
Somewhere along their lives, these students had been incorrectly taught (note: they were all sophomores or freshmen, so they haven't had US History yet. But for me, when we don't teach the history of slavery correctly, we become partially responsible for the current rift between blacks and whites.




More Calendars 
Friday, February 9
Extended First Block for  Survey
0 Period
7:40-8:40
1A
8:55-10:01
(66)
Students Complete Peer Support Video/Survey
1B
10:06-10:44
(38)
2A
10:49-12:14

Lunch
Class
1st: 10:49-11:29
11:34-12:14
2nd: 11:34-12:14
10:54-11:34
2B
12:19-12:57
(38)
3A
1:02-1:40
(38)
3B
1:45-2:23
(38)
4A
2:28-3:06
(38)
4B
3:11-3:50
(39)
February 14th LoveFest Schedule
0 Period
7:40-8:40
1A
8:55-9:40
1B
9:45-10:27
2A
10:32-11:14
2B
11:19-12:44

Lunch
Class
1st: 11:14-11:46
11:51-12:44
2nd: 11:46-12:14
11:19-11:46 and 12:19-12:44
3rd: 12:14-12:44
11:19-12:14
3A
12:49-1:31
3B
1:36-2:18
4A
2:23-3:04
4B
3:09-3:50
Friday Schedule with Long Lunch
A-Day
January 12, January 26, February 16
“0” Period (7:40 – 8:40)
1st Period
8:55-10:15
Mustang Morning
10:20-10:55
2nd Period
11:00-1:00

Lunch
Class
1st: 10:55-11:35
11:40-1:00
2nd: 12:20-1:00
11:00-12:20
3rd Period
1:05-2:25
4th Period
2:30-3:50