We are incredibly fortunate in our district to have Teachers College Staff Developers come and work with us a few times a year. Since I have been in my position of Writing Coordinator, Kate Roberts has worked with our sixth-grade teachers. This year, Maggie Beattie Roberts has taken over this role, and I met her face to face for the first time yesterday.
I'm going to pause and take a minute to give Twitter a plug. When Maggie walked into the building, I felt like I knew her because I have been in twitterchats and I have tweeted with her back and forth. I have read her blog, and I have tweeted favorite posts (all of them, actually, I think). I would not have believed that I would write this a couple of years ago when I was new on Twitter, but we hugged each other like old friends yesterday morning. If you are debating twitter, if you are on the fence...join. It really is an incredible forum for learning and developing friendships with like-minded people.
Maggie said so much that inspired me yesterday, but the first share I will offer on this blog is an idea that she shared from Kylene Beers.
I think that in context, Kylene was talking about notetaking, but the shared comment from Maggie made me think and reflect on many aspects of teaching and learning. When do we take the time to ask ourselves and our students:
"We're always so busy moving forward that we don't have a time to reflect."
- What did I learn today?
- What helped me learn?
- Why did it matter?
- How does the work I'm doing now compare to the work I was doing at a different point in my learning path?
- What knowledge/understandings do I have from past units or experiences that can help me with new challenges?
- What tools, lessons, or other experiences helped my learning?
- How can I learn from the other members of my community?
- What has been hard or held me back and how can I overcome similar obstacles?
I tried this with a group of third-graders, and the conversation we had amazed me. I will share their reflections tomorrow.