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September 28, 2022

 

“I Am” Scratch Proposal

Dear Natalie Kuhl, 

There was a lot to think about and to consider how to apply in the classroom, and in this letter, I’d like to focus on how I could use Scratch to teach my students easy block-based visual programming as an educational tool. Using Scratch would allow students to build a community in which they can create their own stories, animations, and games, which would allow them to be engaged while learning the programming language. Students will be able to use Scratch inside and outside of the classroom. When I learned about Scratch I was amazed at how putting a couple of simple blocks together would make my animations come to life. While I was working on different projects through Scratch I learned a lot about myself and realized how beneficial and important it is for students to give this a try. I want students to learn that anyone can do programming, no matter their age and gender. I believe this will help a lot of students overcome their fears and learn new abilities.

Over the summer break, I participated in a professional learning experience with LUTE-STEM where we worked with online programs such as Scratch, Youth Voices, NowComment, and Kumospace at  Lehman College. Through them all, I gained a lot of knowledgeable material, strategies, and skills on how to apply tactics to make student instruction more multimodal.

I would like to propose that we start by teaching the students the basic blocks in Scratch. Then we will give students the opportunity to connect at a higher level by starting a project named “I AM”. This project would allow students to learn the basics of programming while animating a story or poem about themselves so they can later share it with each other. 

To do this we will need a computer lab as this project is computer-based where each student will work on their own project. Due to the age group, students will require the assistance of the teacher in order to guide and complete the project.

When the students complete this activity, they will have made progress on these three standards from the New York State Education Department of Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards 

  • 2-3.IC.6: Identify and discuss factors that make a computing device or software application easier or more difficult to use. 
  • 2-3.DL.1: Locate and use the main keys on a keyboard to enter text independently.
  • 2-3.DL.2: Communicate and work with others using digital tools to share knowledge and convey ideas. 

Here’s how I think we might introduce this activity. After the classroom has settled in and all the students are in their seats the teacher will say, “Today we are going to learn how we can use different programming to create live animations and games with simple coding blocks. Each of you will work on a project called, “I Am”. In this project, you will be able to create a live animation talking about yourself in the computer lab. You can talk about your hobbies, your family, your dreams, anything that represents you. The teacher will explain the platform being used, “Scratch is a platform where the community is designed for children to use coding language to create visual digital stories, animations, and games. Scratch is designed to encourage computational thinking and problem-solving skills”. The teacher will go on to explain the different blocks that Scratch has and will give them the basic 10 blocks that the students will need to create their project.

Once in the computer lab, the teacher will show her own example to the class and then will review once more the 10 basic blocks for those who didn’t understand the first time. The teacher will walk around the room observing, answering questions, and assisting those who need help. The teacher will inform them when they have 15 minutes left and will do a count down every other 5 minutes until it’s time for them to exchange seats.

I would also propose at the end that students exchange seats for sharing and giving feedback on each other’s projects. They could use this checklist to self-assess and to give each other feedback:

  • I can see a lot of details that make his or her project stronger.
  • I can see why he or she decided to add this to their project.
  • I can suggest he or she add a bit more details about him or herself.

This activity should take at least an hour to complete, which should allow time for productive struggle. To encourage persistence, I think we might have them complete the final touches at home after they have received their feedback to revise and resubmit their work.

When they have finished this activity, It would be great if we could ask the students to write and talk about how they used one of these two Habits of Mind.

  • Listening with Understanding and Empathy 
  • Thinking about your thinking 
  • Finding Humor

I will also use these Habits of Mind to give the students both written and oral feedback while they are working and once they finish their work! Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this activity could be for our students. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity. I look forward to working with you on this.


Old Mixed With The New!

Dear Mrs. Jacano:

Over the summer, I participated in a profession learning experience with LUTE-STEM at Lehman College. I learned a great deal about online programs that can help students such as Scatch, Youth Voices, NowComment, and Kumospace. 

There was a lot to think about and to consider how to apply in the classroom, and in this letter I’d like to focus on how to incorporate Kumospace into our teaching because I believe it will help us to connect ad help our students with students have more time to practice with us outside of the school. One way I thought this will help will be with practice time. With Kumospace we are able to set up different stations on a floor where the students can move to and us as teacher can teach them in groups. So we would be able to put each instrument in its own section own section and teach each group together. My personal experience was great with this online program. I found it easy to use and navigate and I believe it will be easy and good for the students to be introduced. I believe this will help with their learning.  

I would like to propose that we start to teach the students how to work this program. We will ask them to bring their ipad or laptop ( that they received from school with their headphones) and put them in groups with the instrument they play and we teach them. The first example is we should start them using scales( which is something they already know) to get them use to using the program and seeing us use the program. We can play the scale and have then play it after us.  We are also able to   Broadcast which will allow the students to see us bigger on the screen and hear use clearly.   

The students will learn to operate kumospace and make their meetings that they can use to practice music or talk to friends. When the students complete this activity they will have made progress on these two standards which are students learning and building relationships with one another and learning new techniques that can help them become better musicians.  I would also propose that the students give each other feedback on their work. They could use this checklist to self-assess and to give each other feedback:

  • Students can log in correctly 
  • Students will be able to navigate to the designated area for their instrument. 
  • Students will be able to take turns playing the scale on broadcast mode. 
  • Students will be able to know how to meet on their own to practice together. 

This activity should take at least 30 minutes  to complete, which should allow time for productive struggle. To encourage persistence, I think we might assign students that have the same instrument to go home and log on together to practice. When they have finished this activity, I would be great if we could ask the students to write and talk about how they used one of these two Habits of Mind.

  • Taking responsible risk
  • Remaining open to continuous learning

I will also use these Habits of Mind to give the students both written and oral feedback while they are working and once the finish their work!

Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this activity could be for our students. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity. I look forward to working with you on this.


Proposal

Dear Colleague: 

I recently participated in a professional learning experience with Lute-Stem about multimodal methods at Lehman College. I learned a lot about ways to incorporate strategies for students’ instruction to be more multimodal. During the summer, I learned about the Scratch program, multimodal literacy, the habits of mind, and the review of a child. 

There was a lot to consider when it came to applying what I learned in the classroom. In this letter, I’d like to focus on multimodal strategies because I believe this is an excellent method to integrate into our instruction. A multimodal approach means a lesson is introduced in multiple ways; it can be performed using visuals, movement, auditory, reading, and writing to meet students’ learning goals. Thus, ensuring that the students are provided with different approaches subject to their learning abilities.  

I would like to propose that we create an activity that incorporates that aspect into the instruction. I would like to implement an activity called “All About Me.” This activity is designed for preschoolers. The students will be given different options to choose from. For example, they can draw a picture, create a poster or record a video of the things they want us to know about themselves. I believe this activity is perfect when including multimodal strategies. Also, since it is the beginning of the school year, it will serve as an introduction to the class and their classmates. This will help to get to know the students and make connections within themselves. Given the age group, the project requires teacher involvement and assistance to complete the activity, which will take about two days. 

To do this, we will need paper, crayons, markers, scissors, magazines, posters, colored pencils, tablets, and google slides.   

The students will have the option to make either a picture, a poster, or a video to present the things they should know about themselves. The final product will be presented on a google slide to the class. 

When the students complete this activity, they will have made progress on these three standards from New York State Prekindergarten Learning Standards: 

  • PK.SEL.2. Recognizes self as an individual having unique abilities, characteristics, feelings, and interests 
  • PK.SEL.4. Develops positive relationships with their peers
  • PK.ELAL.14. [PKW.2] Uses a combination of drawing, dictating, oral expression, and/or emergent writing to name a familiar topic and supply information in child-centered, authentic, play-based learning

Here’s how I think we might introduce this activity. We could give these directions to the students:

During the morning meeting, the class will gather on the carpet. The teacher will talk about the new faces in the classroom. She will explain that new friends joined the classroom as the new year began. She will then say that an excellent way to get to know each other is by introducing ourselves and the things we like. She will introduce herself as a way to model it for the students. She then will explain what the activity will be about. She would ask the students questions such as “What is your name?” “What is one thing you like to do?” What is your favorite color? “What is your favorite food?” 

The teacher will show examples of “All About Me” projects for the students to understand what is being asked. The teacher will work with small groups to assist them when needed. She will work with groups of 4. Before the activity, she will ask the student what of the three choices they would like to pick from. After, she will ask them the questions presented before for them to have an idea. They will be provided with the materials, and the teacher will provide guidance when needed.

I would also propose that the students give each other feedback on their work. They could use this checklist to self-assess and provide each other feedback:

· I can create a picture, poster, or video of the things I like to do

· I can say one thing I like about my classmate’s work

· I can present my creation to my friend

· I can talk about my creation 

This activity should take at least 10-15 minutes to complete, allowing time for productive struggle. (Given the attention span of this age group, this activity could take more time than mentioned above). The teacher will encourage the students to ask questions about the project to promote persistence. This will provide opportunities to check if they answered all the questions about themselves and to revise and add what they are missing to their project.

When they have finished this activity, we can ask the students to talk about how they used one of these three Habits of Mind. Since the students are so young, I will ask them questions about their habits of mind to understand the concepts. Some questions will be: “Did you listen to your classmate?” “Did you wait for your turn?” “Did you create a project? “What was one thing you liked about your classmate’s work?” “What did you learn from your classmate?” Following those questions, the teacher will explain that by answering those questions, they are exercising the habits of mind.  

· Listening with understanding

· Managing Impulsivity

· Creating imagining and innovating

The Habits of Mind will also be used to give the students oral feedback while they are working and after finishing their work. 

Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this activity could be for our students. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity.

I look forward to working with you on this.


Youth and Impulsivity

Dear Colleague,

This summer, I participated in a professional learning experience with LUTE-STEM at Lehman College I learned a lot about different frameworks of learning which promote computational thinking, The habits of mind, descriptive review of a child, and multimodal teaching concepts.

There was a lot to think about and to consider how to apply in the classroom, and in this letter, I’d like to focus on how to create a new format which includes a multimodal approach while developing a sense of what the habits of mind offers and how it’s importance in child development because I personally didn’t know that controlling abrupt responses, and impulsive behavior, as well as learning how to think before reacting are skills needed as children grow.

I would like to propose that we create a unit using the habits of mind that students may feel in need to reinforce. I think we can make a group discussion where we share our weakness and strengths. This unit should start with a preview about the habits of mind and how important it is to learn how to manage our impulses. The teacher can provide visuals, videos and even find an expert who’s willing to meet with the class via zoom to discuss the topic.

To do this we will need newspaper, magazines, pictures, and recyclable items. Also glue, poster board, markers etc. to make a collage. Students will create a collage with pictures and item that can easily trigger their emotions on a negative way. They will be presenting their project in class and explaining the skills they feel they need to work on in order to control their impulses.

The students will be making a collage that can best represent the habits of mind they need to reinforce. They will individually be creating an art piece that can best explain their reaction when predispose to situations that they are not yet ready to face.

When the students complete this activity, they will have made progress on these two standards from the New York State Social Studies Framework, and the New York State Standard for the Arts.

  • A. Gathering, Interpreting, and Using Evidence

3. analyze evidence in terms of content, authorship, point of view, bias, purpose, format, and audience.

5. make inferences and draw conclusions from evidence.

  • A: Cr3.1.7 

a. Reflect on and explain important information about personal artwork, in an artist statement or in another forma 

Here’s how I think we might introduce this activity. We could give these directions to the students: the teacher will ask then to write a short paragraph about the situations they feel they are not yet ready to confront. What situations make you feel vulnerable and for which you may not always have the answers. Students will have 15 mins to do this activity individually and later will be assigned to a classmate to exchange thoughts. I would also propose that the students give each other feedback on their work. They could use this checklist to self-assess and to give each other feedback:

  • I can respond to familiar topics. 
  • I can respond positively if the other person knows how to approach. 
  • I can think before reacting if the situation is favorable. 

This activity should take at least 25 mins to complete, which should allow time for productive struggle. To encourage persistence, I think we might share our letter to see if anyone else can relate to others triggers. If it’s the case, how can we work on controlling our impulses? Students will exchange ideas and suggestions about how they manage their emotions.

When they have finished this activity, it would be great if we could ask the students to write and talk about how they used one of these three Habits of Mind.

  • Managing Impulsivity
  • Listening with Understanding and Empathy
  • Thinking about your thinking.

I will also use these Habits of Mind to give the students both written and oral feedback while they are working and once the finish their work.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this activity could be for our students. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity. I look forward to working with you on this


If you wish to know what justice is, let injustice pursue you.

Dear Colleague:

Recently, I participated in a professional learning experience with LUTE Stem at Lehman College. I learned a lot about Costa and Kallick’s Habits of Mind, Pat Carini’s Descriptive Review of a Child protocol, and multimodal composition.

I had some time to think about how to apply these new ideas in the classroom, and in this letter, I’d like to explain my enthusiasm for supporting learners as they work to understand themselves better. I believe that an effective way guide students towards self-discover it to build awareness around the Habits of Mind. Costa and Kallick, the authors of the Habits of Mind Framework state,” Habits of Mind are dispositions people use when confronted with problems and situations to which the answers are not immediately apparent.” The introduction of these habits to our learners will benefit them greatly while they work through academic, social, and emotional challenges. One realization that I had while diving into the depth of the Habits of Mind Framework was that I had many moments in my life that I could link to a specific habit. Frequent reflection during and after activities offered me opportunities to pause and identify the habit that I used to work through a task. I think that this metacognitive work is essential for all people, and I am eager to introduce it to the learners in our classroom.

I would like to propose that we develop a mini unit on stories when problems were solved or learned a new skill. Applying past knowledge to new situations is one vital Habits of Mind and I feel like it is a fundamental backbone to building upon prior knowledge from our multicultural students. Transferring knowledge according to new material conditions resonate with this Habit of Mind because student need help how to think dialectically to understand a world in constant motion. Our learning objective would be that students would craft a multi-modal story about a time when new insights of knowledge was discovered, emphasizing the stages of that process of struggle.

To do this we will need a brainstorming map, laptops/chromebooks/ipads, and access to Youthvoices.live, and Youtube.

The students will create a video that tells a story about a time when they applied past knowledge to new situations. They will collect ideas on the paper brainstorming map. Then, they will create discussion posts reflecting on their work and publish it. Using Youthvoices students, can include music to connect with emotions, a gif or image that deepens the meaning or message of the story, and/or text that highlights and emphasizes certain phrases and words from their story or other language modalities. This multimedia story will appear on a student’s Youthvoices wall for our our group of learners. After each student posts an idea, they can listen to one another’s stories, view each other’s post and leave written or recorded feedback.

When the students complete this activity, they will have made progress on these four standards from the New York State Social Studies Middle School Standards:

STANDARD I: HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES AND NEW YORK Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York.

STANDARD 3: GEOGRAPHY Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live—local, national, and global—including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the Earth’s surface.

STANDARD 4 – ECONOMICS Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of how the United States and other societies develop economic systems and associated institutions to allocate scarce resources, how major decision-making units function in the United States and other national economies, and how an economy solves the scarcity problem through market and non-market mechanisms.

STANDARD 5 – CIVICS, CITIZENSHIP, AND GOVERNMENT Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments, the governmental system of the United States and other nations, the United States Constitution, the basic civic values of American constitutional democracy, and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.

We can start by showing them this video:

  • Animation studios when they start a new anime – Animated video – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V693Djjw_hA
  • Then we can introduce the Habit of Mind “Applying past knowledge to new situations” and define it. We can ask students to identify how the video demonstrates this.
  • After that, we can introduce this prompt with the brainstorming map: Think of times when you endured productive struggle in the process of discovering new insights of knowledge related to something you care about in the world.
  • Consider changes in your life and the social circumstances of the world, the opposing forces in them, and moments of development in your consciousness (thinking).   
  • After students have a few minutes to brainstorm, they will create a discussion post on Youth voices and select a YouTube video.
  • We will demonstrate and model how to tell a story. We will also think aloud and show them how to make decisions on how and when to add other multimedia features to the video.
  • We would confer with students while they work and provide personalized feedback that is responsive to their immediate needs.

I would also propose that the students give each other feedback using YouthVoices. They could use this protocol to provide meaningful and relevant feedback:

  • Leave your partner a star by telling them something that they did really well.
  • Leave your partner a wish by telling them something that you wish they would continue to do more of or try next time.

This activity should take at least 45 minutes to complete, which should allow time for productive struggle. To encourage students, I think we might set up practices where students support one another with technical components such as an expert board.

When they have finished this activity, it would be great if we could ask the students to write and talk about how or if they encountered the Habit of Mind of Applying past knowledge to new situations to create their document and video on YouthVoices and YouTube.

I will also use these Habits of Mind to give the students both written and oral feedback while they are working and once they finish their work!

Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this activity could be for our students. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity. I look forward to working with you on this. Who knows – if it works well – maybe we can do this for all of the habits!

Your Partner in Education,

Rafael Peña


Proposal Letter Implementing Habits of Mind

Dear Colleague,

Recently, I participated in a professional learning experience with LUTE-STEM at Lehman College. I learned a great deal about the Sixteen habits of mind, how to write a child description that include physical, social, academic, and emotional, and how to use multimodal teaching concepts that include teaching through the using of visual, text, auditory, reading, writing, and kinesthetic methods. There was a lot of information to think about and to consider to apply in the classroom to create a new generation of learners, and in this letter I’d like you to think about focusing on providing students with an activity aimed to develop how to use the persisting habit of mind in conjunction with multimodal concepts to create a digital story using Scratch. Each activity or program will include the use of visual, text, auditory, reading, writing, and kinesthetic. By engaging in these tasks, students will learn how to face challenges they face even with problems where the answers are easy to find in addition to other habits of mind (HOM). This framework focuses on teaching students to persevere in a task through to completion( persisting), devote mental energy to another person’s thoughts and ideas(listening with understanding and empathy), to be able to change perspectives, generate alternatives (think flexibly), to consider options. how to be able to work in groups and learn from others in reciprocal situations(thinking interdependently), to have a questioning attitude; knowing what data is needed & developing questioning strategies to produce those data(questioning and posing problems).

At first, I found that learning about the habits of mind and multimodal concepts was complicated, but after reading deeply, I found out that students can benefit as well as teachers in learning how to use them when confronted with difficult situations. In this proposal, I know students will create their own story using visual, auditory (voice) text, etc., and will learn how to be persistent in obtaining accuracy by using different strategies present in Habits Of Mind.

Using multimodal concepts is a great way to offer the demand of the diverse learning style in our student population. This is an effective method because one piece of work can be read, listened to, or visualized by a person or students who has deficiency in reading text, and using the habits of mind they will approach any situation using the proper skill or strategy.
I would like to propose that the students use the coding program Scratch in which students use coding blocks to create stories where text, audio, images, and sound are included. To do this we will need to create accounts Mindmeister, StoryboardThat, and in Scratch by going to Login to Scratch. Each student will need a tablet or computer with a microphone. Watch this tutorial for more information Getting Start with Scratch

The students will be using three different online learning environments for developing a foot print, a storyboard and creating their own stories. They will use their favorite characters, settings, voice, special effects and/or musical sound or video. They will be able to share their work using the email option or sending it to a cell phone as text. When the students complete this activity they will have made progress on creating digital literacy artifacts, learning the basic vocabulary used in computer science, as required in the New York State Computer Science, Digital Citizenship Curriculum Standards, and the Alignment and Digital Fluency Learning Standards GRADES K-12.

Digital Citizenship: Integration of knowledge and ideas
RI.3.8 – Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
RL.3.7 – Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text

Digital Citizenship – Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
A.L.1.6 – Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.

Computer Science: Algorithm Programming
K-1.CT.8 – Identify a task consisting of steps that are repeated, and recognize which steps are repeated.
K-1.CT.9 – Identify and fix (debug) errors within a simple algorithm.
K-1.CT.10 – Collaboratively create a plan that outlines the steps needed to complete a task.
Digital Use
K-1.DL.4 Use at least one digital tool to create a digital artifact.
Here’s how I think we might introduce this activity. We could give these directions to the

Objectives
Define their own digital footprint
Brainstorm ideas for a storyline about digital footprint
Create a storyboard that covers the major events in their music video “story.”
Program a short animation of their digital footprint music video in SCRATCH

Retrieving Prior Knowledge
Teacher says: “We have been talking about digital footprint and programming recently. Today I would like to show you a music video I created that describes my own digital footprint.”
Teacher will show the class her music video about her digital footprint. (SCRATCH is used for upper grades, SCRATCH JR. can be used for younger students who are less experienced with SCRATCH.) This lesson flow should follow a lesson on basic programming techniques.

Student Instruction
Students will watch videos to get an idea of what they can create with their digital footprint story and SCRATCH/SCRATCH JR.

Brainstorming
Teacher says, “Before beginning to write out your story, we must first think about all of the possibilities. If you currently have a digital footprint, what is it made up of? If you do not have a digital footprint yet, what do you want it to be like? “

Guided Instructions
Teacher says, “Turn and talk to a partner about what your digital footprint is or how you would like to build your digital footprint. When people see your name on the internet, what do you want it to be connected to?”
*Note: Younger students will most likely have little to no digital footprint, so encourage them to focus on building a positive footprint.
Teacher says, “Now we will be using a mind map to think about what we can include in our story about our own digital footprint.”

Student Instructions – Digital Footprint
Students will open a mind map on mindmeister. They will need to create an account to save and print their mind maps. In the center they will put “My Digital Footprint” and they will add bubbles about their current digital footprint or what they want their future digital footprint to be. (https://www.mindmeister.com/mm/signup/basic)
Students can work in groups to help generate ideas to add to their mind maps.

StoryBoard
Teacher says: “Now that we have all of these wonderful ideas, we need to find a way to organize them. Today we will be using a program called “Storyboard That” to put our ideas into a storyboard. A story board will define the beginning, middle, and end of our music videos. Your goal is to make at least three frames, one to show what will happen in the beginning of your video, one for the middle of your video, and the final one for the end. Remember that you will use this story board to build your music video in
SCRATCH.”

Student Instructions- StoryBoard
Students will open a storyboard (https://www.storyboardthat.com/) that they will need to make an account in order to save their storyboards. Students will choose backgrounds and characters for their story and utilize the “drag and drop” interface of the program. They will also place captions along the bottom of each frame to describe what is happening in that scene.
Teacher encourages students to look back at their mind maps to gather ideas for their story board.

Programing in Scratch
1 – Students should have had a basic introduction to programming before beginning work in SCRATCH/SCRATCH.
2 – Students will need a SCRATCH account in order to save their work. (https://scratch.mit.edu/)
3 – Remind the students of the layout of SCRATCH- The stage is on the left, the command blocks in the center, and workspace on the right. The sprites used are below the stage.
4- Students should use their storyboards to build their scratch animation. Many times students are concerned about the length of the animation, but I remind them that they need to include all important points from their storyboard rather than focusing on length alone. I also give students the option of recording their voice to narrate, or typing in the narration depending on their comfort level.

Student Instructions – Using Scratch
Students will review the basic layout of scratch
They will use their storyboard to build the music video based on the story they created.

Closing
Have students share animations in groups or as a full class
Review the importance of digital footprint. Teacher says: “You can choose how you are represented on the internet. It is the choices you make on what you post that can help you build your footprint. Others can post articles about you that contribute to your footprint as well, so it is important to be a responsible individual in the digital world and outside of the digital world as well.” At the end of each activity I include questions such as, What was your favorite part of the activity? What was the most challenging part of the activity and what did you do to solve the challenge? (Persist) If you could go back and change one thing about this activity, what would it be?(Flexible, Thinking about Thinking) What did you learn about your digital footprint and your classmate’s digital footprints?

Student Instructions – Persistence
Students watch videos and then fill out the google form to provide feedback to the teacher about the activity related to the challenges

Exit Ticket
Share your biggest learning challenge and how it was resolved?
I would also propose that the students give each other feedback on their work. They could use this checklist to self-assess and give each other feedback. I can:
Persist on the task until I get it done
Change my mind and be flexible while working on a task
Think about my thinking to get the work done
Retell my story well with clarity for the viewer
Be creative, imaginary, and innovating

These Habits of Mind can be given to the students both written and oral feedback while they are working and once they finish their work!
Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you think how valuable this activity could be for our students to develop digital literacy. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity. I look forward to working with you on this


Lesson Plan proposal: Using the “Thinking Interdependently” Habit of Mind to Play Music Better

Dear Colleague,

This summer, I participated in a professional learning experience with LUTE-STE(A)M at CUNY Lehman College. I learned a lot about frameworks of learning which promote computational thinking, student-driven success, and multimodal literacy.

There was a lot to think about and to consider how to apply this material in the music classroom, and in this letter I’d like to focus on Arthur Costa’s Habits of Mind because I believe that this model can be applied quite effectively in the music education.

So often in our field, it is unfortunately the case that creativity is taught at the expense of accurate and methodical interpretation. The well-trained jazz player, for example, often suffers in their ability to sight-read in a symphonic or concert setting. Classical musicians, on the other hand, are often not comfortable with improvisation, more personal interpretation or the assumption of creative musical risks. Self-taught musicians, as well as those who are limited to more popular forms of music, often suffer from both deficits.

Because the Habits of Mind system outlines a variety of metacognitive approaches and techniques useful for all types of learning, its implementation in ensemble playing has the potential to foster intentionality and systematic thought in application to any and every musical style. I found that the several of the ways of thinking presented in Costa’s work were habits that I had already started to develop in my years of playing in a multitude of professional musical situations. I think you might also find the same.

Although there are 16 Habits of Mind in total, I would like to propose that we do an activity that focuses on just one: “Thinking Interdependently.” We would first begin with a discussion on the main principles of this habit — 1.) Establish Roles, 2.) Test the Feasibility of Solutions, 3.) Listen Closely, 4.) Agree on Group Norms, 5.) Be Okay with Disagreements 5.) Learn how to Give up Your Idea When It Is Not Working.

We would then listen to a Howlin’ Wolf’s “Spoonful” (E blues/E minor) and attempt to play through it by ear. After the first play through, we would then systematically go through and discuss how each component of Thinking Interdependently can help us in playing the song more fluidly and interestingly. This would be followed by subsequent attempts at playing the song. Of course, I would modify and scaffold the content differently depending on whether we held it with 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, as they each have different levels of facility on their instruments.

To do this we won’t need the classroom to be set up any differently than it already is — drum set, electric guitar and amp, bass, several keyboards and acoustic guitars. For students who struggle with ensemble participation, it may actually be useful to allow them to take out their laptops and take responsible for researching information — i.e. sheet music, biographical facts, supplemental recordings, etc. Several free databases such as Musescore, GuitarPro, Wikipedia, YouTube and Spotify can be helpful for this purpose. Additionally, tools we already have available including GarageBand, Soundtrap and Music Speed Changer can be used to enrich the discussion process with recording, playback and audio manipulation. I would like to use the SmartBoard to lead the conversation and media presentation, if possible.

The students will be developing their own approach to learning a simple song.  While I will support them by making available some time-tested resources including chord diagrams, scale notations and sheet music, the goal is to encourage them to be active participants in their own musical learning. Within this problem-solving context, I’d like to afford them some degree of freedom of choice with respect to the instruments and learning resources that they have available in the classroom, as well as on the World Wide Web.

When the students complete this activity they will have made progress on these standards from the National CORE Arts framework. Considering the values and culture of our school, I believe that these would be an appropriate focus.

  • -MU:Cr2.1.7.a) Select, organize, develop and document personal musical ideas for arrangements , songs, and compositions within AB, ABA, or theme and variation forms that demonstrate unity and variety and convey expressive intent.
  • -MU:Cr3.1.7.a) Evaluate their own work, applying selected criteria such as appropriate application of elements of music including style,
    form, and use of sound sources. b) Describe the rationale for making revisions to the music based on evaluation criteria and feedback from others (teacher and peers).
  • -MU:Pr6.1.7.a) Perform the music with technical accuracy and stylistic expression to convey the creator’s intent.

Here’s how I think we might introduce this activity. We could give these directions to the students:

  • When you come to class, please take out your assigned instrument and warm by yourselves up for a few minutes while the teacher goes around the room to tune the instruments. Please review material that we have worked on in previous classes. 
  • When the teacher has finished tuning, we will listen to a new song. The first time you listen, put your instrument down and just focus on absorbing the feeling of the music and allowing your ears to wander throughout the sonic landscape. What are some things that you noticed?
  • Do you have any ideas about how you could play this song on your instrument?
  • We’ll then have a discussion about some basic group problem-solving techniques. During the discussion, ask yourself how is playing music together similar to any type of problem solving. How is it different?
  • We will then listen to the song a second time. This time around, pick up your instrument and quietly play along. What things can you do on the instrument that might sound good with the recording? What things don’t sound so good? How can you apply this Habit of Mind to playing the song on your instrument by yourself? How can you use it in relation to playing together in a group?
  • We’ll then divide the ensemble into sections and start trying out some strategies for playing the parts on our instruments. 

I would also propose that the students give each other feedback on their work. They could use this checklist to self-assess and to give each other feedback:

I can …

  • Find at least one thing I like about this song upon the first listen, and at least one thing I don’t like about this song.

I can …

  • Think of at least one note or rhythm on my instrument which matches the feel, groove, key, scale or melody of the song. In other words, I can find at least one thing I can try to do on my instrument that I think sounds good with the music!

I can …

  • Share at least one idea with the group for how we might play this song together.

I can …

  • After discussion, play a part or all of the song in at least three new ways that I couldn’t before I came to class today.

This activity should take at least a period  to complete, which should allow time for productive struggle. This activity could be conducted in the classroom with any middle school grade. To encourage persistence, I think we might ask students to think about things that they might take from this lesson that they will use the next time in class.

When they have finished the activity, I would be great if we could ask the students to share, talk and/or write about how they used at least one of the 5 components of this Habit of Mind.

If this activity is successful and becomes something we can do regularly, I would like incorporate the other Habits of Mind to give the students in both written and oral feedback while they are working and once the finish their work!

Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this activity could be for our students. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity. I look forward to working with you on this.

.


What You Thought You Knew

Dear Colleague:

Recently, I participated in a professional learning experience with LUTE Stem at Lehman College. In one of the courses this Summer, I learned about Costa and Kallick’s Habits of Mind, Pat Carini’s Descriptive Review of a Child protocol, and multimodal composition.

I had some time to think about how to apply these new ideas in the classroom, and in this letter, I’d like to explain my enthusiasm for supporting learners as they work to understand themselves better. I believe that an effective way to guide students toward greater self-understanding is through studying the Habits of Mind. Costa and Kallick, the authors of the Habits of Mind Framework state, ” Habits of Mind are dispositions people use when confronted with problems and situations to which the answers are not immediately apparent.” The introduction of these habits to our learners will benefit them greatly while they work through academic, social, and emotional challenges. One realization that I had while diving into the depth of the Habits of Mind Framework was that I had many moments in my life that I could link to a specific habit. Frequent reflection during and after activities offered me opportunities to pause and identify the habit that I used to work through a task. I think that this metacognitive work is essential for all people, and I am eager to introduce it to the learners in our classroom.

I would like to propose that we develop a mini unit on stories of questioning what they thought they knew. Questioning and Posing Problems is one of the Habits of Mind, and I think it is a valuable tool for students who are on the verge of entering adulthood. If we want our students to be critical thinkers, they must be prepared to inspect information or ideas before accepting new information as “fact.” Our learning objective would be that students would craft a multi-modal story about a time when they questioned something they had previously taken at face value, and came to a greater understanding about the world or themselves because of their questions. 

To do this we will need a brainstorming map, laptops/Chromebooks/iPads, access to YouthVoices.live and YouTube.

The students will create a video that tells a story about a time when they they questioned something they had previously taken at face value, and came to a greater understanding about the world or themselves in the process. They will collect ideas on the paper brainstorming map. They will write their story and publish it as a document on YouthVoices. They can include a gif or image that deepens the meaning or message of the story, and/or any other modes they enjoy. Students will then record themselves telling that same story and upload the video to YouTube, then embed the video into their YouthVoices document. This multimedia story will appear on YouthVoices for our group of learners. After each student posts their story, they can listen to one another’s stories and leave written or recorded feedback.

When the students complete this activity they will have made progress on these four standards from the Next Generation Learning Standards:

  •  9-10W3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
  • 9-10W3b: Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and plot line(s) to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
  • 9-10W3c: Use a variety of techniques to sequence events to create cohesion and a smooth progression of experiences or events.
  • 9-10W3d: Use precise words and phrases, explicit details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.
  • 9-10W3e: Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.

Here’s how I think we might introduce this activity.

  • We can start by showing them this video: Scene from Men In Black – YouTube
  • Then we can introduce the Habit of Mind “Questioning and Posing Problems” and define it. We can ask students to identify how the video shows “Questioning and Posing Problems.”
  • After that, we can introduce this prompt with the brainstorming map: Think of times when you have questioned something you had previously assumed to be true, and came to a greater understanding about the world or yourself in the process.
  • After students have a few minutes to brainstorm, they will select one idea to create into a YouthVoices doc and YouTube video.
  • We will demonstrate and model how to tell a story. We will also think aloud and show them how to make decisions on how and when to add other multimedia features to the video.
  • We would confer with students while they work and provide personalized feedback that is responsive to their immediate needs. 

I would also propose that the students give each other feedback using YouthVoices. They could use this protocol to provide meaningful and relevant feedback:

  • Leave your partner a star by telling them something that they did really well.
  • Leave your partner a wish by telling them something that you wish they would continue to do more of or try next time.

This activity should take at least 90-120 minutes to complete, which should allow time for productive struggle. To encourage students, I think we might set up practices where students support one another with technical components such as an expert board. 

When they have finished this activity, it would be great if we could ask the students to write and talk about how or if they encountered the Habit of Mind of Questioning and Posing Problems to create their document and video on YouthVoices and YouTube.

I will also use these Habits of Mind to give the students both written and oral feedback while they are working and once they finish their work!

Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this activity could be for our students. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity. I look forward to working with you on this. Who knows – if it works well – maybe we can do this for all of the habits!

Your Partner in Education,

Emily Staudt


Letter to Colleagues

Dear Ms. De Los Santos:

Last month, I participated in a professional learning experience with LUTE-STEM at Lehman College. I learned a lot about Multimodal Literacy, Habits of Mind, the Descriptive Review of a Child Protocol, and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. 

There was a lot to think about and consider about how to apply in the classroom, and in this letter, I’d like to focus on Habits of Mind because this approach helps me to learn and develop thinking skills that I need to apply in unfamiliar situations. According to Art Costa, Bena Kallick, and Allison Zmuda, Habits of Mind are dispositions people use when confronted with problems and situations to which the answers are not immediately apparent. While completing different activities and applying the Habits of Mind, I learned to consider other people’s points of view, listen with understanding and empathy, think flexibly, communicate with clarity and precision, and apply previous knowledge and thinking about my thinking. Habits of Minds are skills that apply to teachers and students. We must teach students how to be more flexible, consider and respect classmates’ ideas and reflect on their thoughts. It will be effective because we will create a learning environment where all students feel valued and respected. All classrooms should develop an inclusive environment where all students feel welcome. 

I would like to propose that we can implement in the annual curriculum restorative circles that will be conducted on Mondays or Fridays. During the circles, students will be able to speak their minds and heart out, share personal and academic stories, and give feedback and comment to each other. During the activity, students will be applying the Habits of Mind as they will be flexible, reflecting, listening, and communicating with empathy, questioning and posing problems, etc.

To do this, we will need the participation, collaboration, and willingness of all the students. We will need to set a community agreement and create a space for the students to feel safe and comfortable. We will need to ensure confidentiality and respect. Our activity will give a social-emotional approach. We will need weekly materials to read, such as the Habits of Mind article, and maybe a voice recording as an option for those students who might feel uncomfortable taking turns to speak aloud.

The students will be making a connection with each other stories and feelings. They will choose the topics of their preference to discuss during the circle and they will compose the community agreement. Also, I propose that during the academic year, we take the students outside the classroom to develop the restorative circle in different places.

When the students complete this activity they will have made progress on these three standards from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL); the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages.

  • Connections: Connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives to use the language to function in academic and career-related situations.
    • Making Connections: Learners build, reinforce, and expand their knowledge of other disciplines while using the language to develop critical thinking and solve problems creatively.
    • Acquiring Information and Diverse Perspectives: Learners access and evaluate information and diverse perspectives that are available through the language and its cultures.
  • Communication: Communicate effectively in more than one language to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes.
    • Interpersonal Communication: Learners interact and negotiate meaning in spoken, signed, or written conversations to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions.
    • Interpretive Communication: Learners understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.
    • Presentational Communication: Learners present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media and adapting to various audiences of listeners, readers, or viewers.
  • Communities: Communicate and interact with cultural competence to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.
    • School and Global Communities: Learners use the language both within and beyond the classroom to interact and collaborate in their community and the globalized world.
    • Lifelong Learning: Learners set goals and reflect on their progress in using languages for enjoyment, enrichment, and advancement.

Here’s how I think we might introduce this activity. We could give these directions to the students:

Objectives:  

  • The student will be able to connect and feel empathy
  • The student will be able to analyze life situations

Do Now / Anticipatory Set

  • Share a personal story with the class
  • Define/explain the cultural significance 

Benchmark Lesson

  •  “Persisting” (Habits of Mind) 

Guided Practice (in a class circle):

  • Read paragraph (students annotate)
  • Review with class (teacher asks probing questions as students summarize)
  • Answer the following question by completing the task in verbal form. 

   -Why persistence is important? 

Independent Practice: Each student will independently complete the guided practice activity.

Closure:  Share your biggest learning of the day. 

I would also propose that the students give each other feedback on their work. They could use this checklist to self-assess and give each other feedback:

  • I can listen with understanding 
  • I can be flexible 
  • I can think about my thinking 
  • I can think and communicate with clarity
  • I can be creative, imaginary, and innovating

This activity should take at least 45 to complete, which should allow time for productive struggle. To encourage persistence, I think we might save time at the end of each section for the students to express the biggest learning of the day. 

When they have finished this activity, it would be great if we could ask the students to write and talk about how they used one of these two Habits of Mind.

  • Finding Humor
  • Responding with wonderment and awe 

I will also use these Habits of Mind to give the students both written and oral feedback while they are working and once they finish their work!

Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this activity could be for our students. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity. I look forward to working with you on this.


Stories of Persistence Proposal

Dear Colleague:

Recently, I participated in a professional learning experience with LUTE Stem at Lehman College. I learned a lot about Costa and Kallick’s Habits of Mind, Pat Carini’s Descriptive Review of a Child protocol, and multimodal composition.

I had some time to think about how to apply these new ideas in the classroom, and in this letter, I’d like to explain my enthusiasm for supporting learners as they work to understand themselves better. I believe that an effective way guide students towards self-discover it to build awareness around the Habits of Mind. Costa and Kallick, the authors of the Habits of Mind Framework state, ” Habits of Mind are dispositions people use when confronted with problems and situations to which the answers are not immediately apparent.” The introduction of these habits to our learners will benefit them greatly while they work through academic, social, and emotional challenges. One realization that I had while diving into the depth of the Habits of Mind Framework was that I had many moments in my life that I could link to a specific habit. Frequent reflection during and after activities offered me opportunities to pause and identify the habit that I used to work through a task. I think that this metacognitive work is essential for all people, and I am eager to introduce it to the learners in our classroom.

I would like to propose that we develop a mini unit on stories of persistence. Persistence is the first habit and I feel like it is a fundamental backbone to working through obstacles. Our learning objective would be that students would craft a multi-modal story about a time when they persisted through a challenge. 

To do this we will need a brainstorming map, laptops/chromebooks/ipads, and access to Flip (formerly known as Flipgrid).

The students will create a video that tells a story about a time when they showed persistence. They will collect ideas on the paper brainstorming map. Then, they will use Flip to record themselves telling a selected story. They can include music to connect with emotions, a gif or image that deepens the meaning or message of the story, and/or text that highlights and emphasizes certain phrases and words from their story. This multimedia story will appear on a FLIP page for our group of learners. After each student posts an idea, they can listen to one another’s stories and leave written or recorded feedback.

When the students complete this activity they will have made progress on these four standards from the Next Generation Learning Standards:

  •   3W3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.  
  •   3SL4: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.  
  •   3SL5: Include digital media and/or visual displays in presentations to emphasize certain facts or details.  
  •   3SL1: Participate and engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse peers and adults, expressing ideas clearly, and building on those of others  

Here’s how I think we might introduce this activity. 

  1. We can start by showing them this video: Sia – Never Give up – Animated video – YouTube
  2. Then we can introduce the Habit of Mind “persisting” and define it. We can ask students to identify how the video shows “persisting.”
  3. After that, we can introduce this prompt with the brainstorming map: Think of times when you have persisted through a challenge or obstacle.
  4. After students have a few minutes to brainstorm, they will select one idea to create into a FLIP story.
  5. We will demonstrate and model how to tell a story of persisting. We will also think aloud and show them how to make decisions on how and when to add other multimedia features to the video.
  6. We would confer with students while they work and provide personalized feedback that is responsive to their immediate needs. 

I would also propose that the students give each other feedback using FLIP since listeners can respond with text or with a video or audio recording. They could use this protocol to provide meaningful and relevant feedback:

  • Leave your partner a star by telling them something that they did really well.
  • Leave your partner a wish by telling them something that you wish they would continue to do more of or try next time.

This activity should take at least 60-90 minutes to complete, which should allow time for productive struggle. To encourage persistence, I think we might set up practices where students support one another with technical components such as an expert board. 

When they have finished this activity, it would be great if we could ask the students to write and talk about how they used the Habit of Mind of persisting to create their video on FLIP.

I will also use these Habits of Mind to give the students both written and oral feedback while they are working and once they finish their work!

Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this activity could be for our students. Please let me know if you have any revisions that I might consider for this activity. I look forward to working with you on this. Who knows – if it works well – maybe we can do this for all of the habits!

Your Partner in Education,

Marina

https://www.youthvoices.live/category/playlists/letter-to-colleagues/