Cheryl Gambaro and Deanna Knox joined colleagues from other schools in Oakland County on a panel that was aimed at sharing our Cultures of Thinking journey with Year 1 Leadership Foundations participants. This opportunity made us realize just how much we have been able to accomplish in such a short period of time, and we also gained much from hearing the stories of others. It provided us with additional ideas to use with our staff. The day also included the opportunity to participate in the LAST Protocol, which is a routine used for examining students' thinking as a part of professional development. It is a non-threatening way for colleagues to discuss the instructional methods while also examining student work. We have planned to introduce the LAST Protocol with staff at our February 2013 PD.
Principal Cheryl Gambaro, Bill Staugaard, and Deanna Knox traveled to Clarkston High School to dialogue with their CoT leaders (Principal Gary Kaul, Amy Hohlbein, Amy Quayle, and AP Liz Walker) and staff members about their transformation journey into a Culture of Thinking school. Some key items obtained from our visit included organizing Curriculum Night into stations for parents to see thinking routines in action, using Connect-Extend-Challenge as a self-assessment tool, displaying the day's agenda in the classroom to be a list of the types of thinking that will be utilized (vs. a list of the activities to be done), creating classroom posters of each type of thinking in the Understanding Map, incorporating the Depth of Knowledge Chart with the Understanding Map, reading Chapter 2 of Ron Ritchhart's new upcoming book (Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools) when introducing the 8 Cultural Forces in year 3, incorporating thinking routines into all PD discussions around various topics, working with reluctant staff members, offering design studio sessions in our own buildings (similar to Oakland Schools), staff keeping a photo journal of their use of thinking in the classroom, and additional ways to use thinking routines for assessment.
At today's Professional Development session, Reuther staff members brought their student documentation of a thinking routine that was conducted in their classrooms. The staff conducted a Gallery Walk in three rounds which allowed for every staff member to introduce and explain their experience with the routine. Staff used the Compass Points routine to guide their explanation. Following the Gallery Walk, staff reflected in their journals using the I Used to Think, Now I Think routine.
This is Reuther Middle School's Culture of Thinking journey.