How Adults Can Encourage Kids to Be Original Thinkers. Adam Grant, author of Originals, writes that taking risks and embracing curiosity can lead to original ideas. He talks about the importance of getting kids to be confident risk takers. Take a moment to read MindShift’s interview with the Grant to catch a glimpse on how non-conformists move the world. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/03/14/what-kind-of-group-work-encourages-the-most-original-thinking/
The Power of Language
As a follow-up to our March 8 PD on language, attached to this Lit Bit is a copy of the 7 types of classroom language Ron Ritchhart shares in Creating Cultures of Thinking. Feel free to print this off to use as a reference tool as you work to incorporate language into your ideal classroom.
PPD Opportunity: EdCamp
There is an EdCamp coming up at Lake Orion. The Unconference is scheduled for May 14 from 7:30 am to noon. Click here to access the link to register and learn more about the professional development opportunity.
CoT at Oakland Schools Reminder- The Celebrate Learning Gallery Walk and Strolling Dinner will take place on Wednesday, March 2 from 5:00-7:30 pm. The cost is $20 per person. Please see the attached brochure for more details.
Beyond Measure at Bloomfield Hills High School: Bloomfield Hills is offering a FREE showing of Beyond Measure for parents, educators, and community members on Wednesday, March 2 at 4:00pm and 7:00pm. Click here to reserve a seat. http://beyondmeasurefilm.com/
About the Film: “Every day we hear stories about America’s troubled education system. And we’re told that in order to fix what’s broken, we need to narrow our curricula, standardize our classrooms, and find new ways to measure students and teachers. But what if these ‘fixes’ are making our schools worse. In Beyond Measure, we set out to challenge the assumptions of our current education story.”
Watch the Trailer: https://youtu.be/m4LTV8jat2o
PPD Opportunity: EdCamp
There is an EdCamp coming up at The Center of Advanced Studies and the Arts in Oak Park. This Unconference is scheduled for March 19 from 8am-3pm. Here is the link to the website to register and learn more about this professional development opportunity. http://unconferencecasa.wix.com/edcamp2016
15 Rules of Great Teaching:
College Ready and Career Ready- How do we ensure that the students we teach today are college ready and career ready? MindShift shares some of the innovative changes happening at the collegiate level. Many of the practices we encourage at Reuther are modeled at these innovative institutions. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/02/17/innovative-colleges-that-give-students-real-world-experiences-2/
Kids’ Standard- The February issue of Kids’ Standard is now available. See what students, parents, and educators have to say about Heartfelt Learning. http://www.kidsstandard.org/?page_id=96
CoT at Oakland Schools- Oakland Schools is offering two opportunities next month to support Cultures of Thinking. Additional details for each opportunity can be found in the attachments.
Wednesday, March 2- CoT Design Studio
Time: 10:00am -4:00pm (come when you want and stay as long as you can)
View the brochure below to learn more about the CoT Design studio
Wednesday, March 2- Celebrate Learning: A Gallery Walk and Strolling Dinner
Time: 5:00- 7:30pm
View the brochure below to learn more about this opportunity
Interested in sharing how students are making their thinking visible in your classroom? Consider volunteering to be a docent for the Celebrate Learning: Gallery Walk and Strolling Dinner. Docents must apply by February 22.
Stories Teachers Share: MindShift just released a podcast devoted to teachers sharing their stories. “Stories Teachers Share” is about what it’s like to be a teacher and what we can learn from them. The first two episodes are live.
My favorite No: Leah Alcala, a middle school math teacher, shares a strategy on how to use mistakes to quickly clarify concepts. She chooses her favorite mistake problem and uses it as a re-teaching opportunity. Take a moment and watch this teacher strategy in action at https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/class-warm-up-routine. I’d be happy to brainstorm ways you can take this math strategy and adapt it to your content area. Let’s collaborate together!
Ways to flip a Kid and turn His Day Around: Vicki Davis, also known as @coolcatteacher, offers ten ways to help make a student’s day better. Be sure to check out her post to learn more. http://www.coolcatteacher.com/10-ways-to-flip-a-kid-and-turn-their-day-around/
State Superintendent discusses his plan for achievement and accountability: Our State Superintendent, Brian Whiston, met with Arina Bokas to discuss meaningful learning, relevant assessments, and engaging communities to create support systems for success of every child. Click here to watch his interview and hear his educational plans. https://youtu.be/gD2Y5oDy9PE
Think Tank Offering: There will be an after school Think Tank offered on Tuesday, January 19 from 2:30-3:30. We will continue to focus on building and re-building impactful lessons and unit plans for our students. Bring a teaching partner and your lesson materials. You can login to KALPA and register for this course: 564140. It counts for PPD! https://www.kalpapdms.com/
Kids’ Standards: The January issue of Kids’ Standard is available. The theme for this month’s issue is Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn. Be sure to check out what students and teachers have to say about it. http://www.kidsstandard.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/jan16-web.pdf
CoT News: Harvard University’s Project Zero is offering a new online course about creating cultures of thinking. Here is the preview video for the class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkPrmZ9Ux8w. Be sure to check out the course description and details in you are interested in learning more about the course http://www.gse.harvard.edu/ppe/program/cultures-thinking.
Fail and Fail Often: A recent article published on Scientific American talks about the importance of failure and how it leads to success. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/why-creativity-is-a-numbers-game/
Schools and a Sense of Agency: Rod Rock, Superintendent of Clarkston Community Schools, and Arina Bokas, the editor of Kids’ Standards Magazine, discuss ways to build a student agency in the digital age. Take a moment and explore the five ways schools can empower students and develop a sense of agency. http://gettingsmart.com/2015/12/61850/
Last month I introduced Kids Standard in a Lit Bit. The magazine goal is to create an integrated community to promote creativity and lifelong learning in all children. The December issue of Kids Standard is available online. Be sure to head on over and read what students in the area have to say about Peace on Earth. http://www.kidsstandard.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/dec-web.pdf
What types of questions are you asking in your classroom? While most classrooms are dominated by review and procedural questions, CoT classrooms make more use of generative, constructive, and facilitative questions. This new graphic released by Project Zero captures the typology of classroom questions.
Thought of the week: Truly wonderful the mind of a child is. -Yoda
The Cultures of Thinking project at Harvard released a new interactive graphic of the 8 Cultural Forces. All of the links used for the graphic connect to our RCS Think from the Middle website. This graphic might be just the tool you want to use when focusing on the Cultural Forces. https://123alexmuir.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/8-cultural-forces.pdf
Last week I shared an article that outlined some common misconceptions associated with Growth Mindset. This week I want to continue our discussion of Growth Mindset and share some tips from the Teaching Channel on how to foster a community of Growth Mindset Learners. https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2015/11/24/fostering-mindset-learners-perts/?utm_source=newsletter20151128%2F
Edutopia posted an article last week on how grading harms student learning that ties in to our recent discussion on standards-based learning. The author offers some interesting points to ponder and reflect on. He ends his post with a challenge: How can we grade and asses in a way that provides hope to all students? http://www.edutopia.org/blog/when-grading-harms-student-learning-andrew-miller?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialflow%20
If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow. –John Dewey
One of the 5 belief sets Ron Ritchhart presents in chapter 2 of Creating Cultures of Thinking is Developing a Growth vs. Fixed Mindset. I recently came across an article on MindShift that connects to this belief and identifies some common misconceptions about Growth Mindset. Take a moment to read it. It is full of some excellent information. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/11/16/growth-mindset-clearing-up-some-common-confusions/
Another great read from MindShift this week deals with the idea that we can learn from our mistakes. The article identifies four types of mistakes we can make and the impact each has on our ability to improve our understanding. The graphic highlights the four mistakes types addressed in this article. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/11/23/why-understanding-these-four-types-of-mistakes-can-help-us-learn/
The final bit of information I have to share with you comes from the Making Thinking Visible facebook page. Ron posted a video of a group of drama students using the GSCE thinking routine to discover a creative ideogram (a symbol) that carries the conceptual weight of the play. The short video guides you through the steps students took to deepen their understanding of the text. https://vimeo.com/14569597
“A life spent making mistakes is not only most honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing” – George Bernard Shaw
This week’s LitBit focuses on opportunities and interactions. Be sure to read the bits of information and see some of the great opportunities available to your students.
What is the purpose of school?- Ted Dintersmith is a successful venture capitalist, father of two, and producer of the documentary “Most Likely to Succeed.” He’s working on encouraging communities to re-think the purpose of school. Take a moment and read his thoughts and findings in this Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/11/03/a-venture-capitalist-searches-for-the-purpose-of-school-heres-what-he-found/?postshare=9491446773811032
Opportunities and Interactions- Recently added to the website is a new Writing Feedback protocol you can use with your students. It is designed to provide a small-group writing conference led by students to offer suggestions for writing improvements. I’ve had great success with the protocol in my language arts classes and the learning center. Instead of hearing “I like your paper. You did a good job!” students are able to receive specific feedback that they can take back and use to enhance their writing. http://www.rcsthinkfromthemiddle.com/writing-workshop-feedback-protocol.html
Kids Standard- Motivate. Activate. Celebrate. Kids’ Standard Magazine is a publication dedicated to letting the voice of students be heard. The purpose of the magazine is to help kids believe in themselves, learn and research, and to become self-motivated learners. November’s issue focused on the theme of Growing through Failure. It featured articles from students across Oakland County as well as our own Erika Lusky and a parent from Long Meadow/West Middle School. You can read the November issue here http://www.kidsstandard.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Kids-Mag-Nov-2015-Issue.pdf
Be sure to check out the Kids Standard website and see how you and your students can get work published in an upcoming issue. http://www.kidsstandard.org/
Thursday, November 19- Clarkston will visit to learn about Reuther’s CoT journey and see a lesson in-action in the Think Tank.