Friday, January 30, 2009

LC week 4

Our LC meeting this week seemed to come out of no-where. Part of the reason was that we had just returned from FETC and our F2F so it was a shock to the system to not have some time off. I spent most of my time coming home from FETC in the airport and on the plane working ahead on projects, getting caught up on my reading and trying to put things together in my head of what I need to accomplish.

Our meeting started out with us reviewing our AR projects since this is probably the first time we have had the chance in our new LCs. MR was there to encourage us along thinking about pulling in the aspects we discussed while we were meeting with her in Orlando. When I shared my progress on my AR I focused on my work with making my students more successful through the No D policy, the ability to redo assignments multiple times, and now how I am mentoring Randon and focusing not only on making my students more successful learners but my student teacher as well. By helping Randon become a more successful teacher, I will be helping myself grow and change and help my students at the same time. How? Because if I can help Randon grow, learn, and reflect while I model these same behaviors, he will do his best work teaching for our students. With this change, and focusing specifically on giving students multiple sets of feedback, I will be helping Randon grow and learn about giving feedback and at the same time, this will benefit our students because they will be receiving multiple sets of feedback on their work with 2 teachers helping them learn versus one. Also, I think what will be really interesting is to notice the change in myself from teacher to mentor. I am hoping with the mentorship classes and being Randon’s mentor, using the mentors I have around me, that all of this will work together to create a dynamic transformation in all of us.

Concerning the feedback, Randon and I are going to begin by giving feedback on my freshman’s position papers focusing on paragraph to paragraph. This weekend I will spend the time going over their intro paragraphs first modeling good feedback to our students. Then I will give the papers to Randon for him to add his feedback to as well. Then I will do the same with the 1st body paragraphs with Randon following and giving additional feedback. I think moving forward we can split the second body and then move him into the lead position on the third body and conclusion paragraphs where I am providing supportive feedback to what he has already done. Finally, I need to think about what would be the best result on the final papers. Maybe just a sampling where he and I spend detailed time looking at each others feedback discussing the papers and then reflecting on each others comments and assessments? Hmmm. I will need to talk about this with my LC. The important things to keep in mind are looking for an absence and presence of notes. Do we do things similarly or differently? What do we each bring to feedback. And for sure, making sure we reflect on what we are learning from one another . What is really going to help is that Kristin Leclaire is going to do this with him as well so I hope we really help him along in this process. Feedback is such an important aspect of teaching and something all teachers struggle with in making sure you are giving enough, that you are praising enough and challenging enough. Maybe we can use MR’s model for feedback: affirmations, mechanics, extensions, and critique. That might be the best format to use then we have consistency with the areas we are trying to comment upon. I will need to go over that with Randon and KK.
MR reminded me at the end of my session time that really what this is all about is knowledge building both for my self and Randon and even I would say for my students. Overall we all want to be successful it is about supporting one another through these changes that we will all learn and grow.

At the end of the meeting we had time to go over our schedule for the remainder of classes:
Before Feb 3 meeting: short description of AR project, AR plan revised, AR timeline- all of these posted on your website
Feb 3: review Abrash and Leah projects, review calendar of suggested due dates, look over one another’s websites
Feb 10: tutorials due, suggestions for surveying students, cycle one report structure
Feb 17: cycle one report feedback,
Feb 24: cycle one report feedback, (cycle one report due 2/28)
Mar 3: cycle two report structure
Mar 10: cycle two report structure
Mar 17: cycle two report feedback
Mar 24: cycle two report feedback
Mar 30: cycle two report due

And then we had some great time to just talk with MR. We talked about conferences, learning, and of course, she gave us some more reading to reflect on. What I love is that she continues to challenge us. She pushes us to do more and be more. More as teachers, as professionals, as examples of technology, and as people. She holds us accountable for one another and that is something that I am really going to be focusing on this semester. I am helping everyone in my cadre? I am extending myself to make sure everyone is successful and is heard. As Matt indicated and Tanner echoed, we are here to make sure all of us graduate. I am on board and I will help.

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