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

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Rafael
August 8, 2022 6:30 am

Dear Regina,

I enjoyed reading your post Proposal Letter Implementing Habits of Mind because of the intention to using multimodal literacy tools to serve the diverse learning styles of students in multicultural classrooms. For instance, you propose using Scratch to create and share stories which allows students to engage the different modalities of literacy pedagogy. Using coding blocks, students can use texts, visuals, audio, video record, and use sprites to represent a story or a game.
In your lesson I found interesting the emphasis you place on students brainstorming the question “if you currently have a digital footprint, what is it made up of?” Today technology, being more accessible, becomes a powerful language acquisition tool for Ell students.  

Another aspect of your lesson planning that stood out to me was in your closing activity where students share their animations in groups. At first, I felt that group activity should be moved up in the lesson to give students opportunities time to share and learn from others created projects. However, I reconsidered that idea because it can be used to transition into the next class where students will have time to explore each other’s work.

Have you seen this https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/news/ccny-columbia-educators-redefine-high-quality-early-learning? I thought you might be interested in this because the research is recent and uncovers the relations between historically underserved communities and the lack of support in students’ multilingual development. COVID exposed the inequality of access to the internet which hindered students from attending online classes. Nevertheless, students remained active using different digital tools to enhance and build upon transferable literacy modalities.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because the application of three different online learning platforms is something I considered in using in future lesson planning activities/projects.

Educationally yours,
Rafael

Crystal
August 6, 2022 4:12 pm

Dear Regina: 

I enjoyed reading your post about “Proposal Letter Implementing Habits of Mind” because I found it very engaging and well-detailed. I like how you describe and propose implementing Scratch and focusing on the persisting habit of mind to complete the activity. Having the students use Scratch as well as other online tools is a good idea as they will find it engaging and have fun while creating the project. 

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “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.” This stood out to me because I was feeling the same about the habits of mind, but once I understood them and their importance, I found it beneficial to incorporate them into your classroom instruction to help students to reflect on their habits and how they can improve them. 

Another sentence that stood out was: “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 a deficiency in reading text, and using the habits of mind they will approach any situation using the proper skill or strategy.” This stood out for me because, as you mentioned, this can be beneficial for students with different learning styles. This is something that can be highly beneficial for English language learners as they can use multiple ways to present their ideas. Allowing opportunities for them to express themselves in multiple ways can also improve their learning experience because they can choose the format in which they want to present their activity. 

What Is Multimodal Learning? 35 Strategies and Examples to Empower Your Teaching. Have you seen this article? I thought you might be interested in this because it shows multiple strategies the teacher can implement in the classroom to apply this concept. 

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I stated very important ideas for a project that can really help the students in the classroom. 
 
 

Claudia
August 6, 2022 3:53 pm

Dear Regina:

I am very impressed by your proposal, Implementing Habits of Mind. I liked how you stated the importance of creating a project that can target students’ in developing strategies while using the habits of mind and how each aspect will help them with responses to appropriately stablish a point of view.

One sentence that you wrote that stands out for me is: “I found out that students can benefit as well as teachers in learning how to use them when confronted with difficult situations. It makes happy knowing that you can understand how people more specifically, children may have a hard time learning how to develop strategies when confronting certain types of situations. 

Another sentence that got me was:” 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 agree with this statement, a program that combines both multimodal and the habit of mind is definitely a win win. Students need this type of approaches than can facilitate their learning along with the flexibility and accessibility according to their learning needs.

Have you seen this? https://youtu.be/rTowRuJRmG0. I thought that you might be interested in this because it explains how children succeed when learning how to use and explore their habits of mind. 

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next as I would like to hear good stuff about this proposal.

Respectfully,
Claudia

Emily
August 2, 2022 2:03 am

Dear Regina:

I am blown away by your proposed lesson plan because of the integration of what we have been learning this summer into one lesson! You have found an inspired way to bring the Habits of Mind into building a story in Scratch in a unique and engaging lesson. I think students would truly enjoy this experience.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “[Using multimodal concepts] 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 think this is important because we all need to remember that we each have a unique brain, and that there are some modes that will resonate with us more than others. Students might initially realize that they like hearing information rather than reading it, and may come to later discover that they are aural learners – they may be more successful in class with audiobooks than with a paperback copy.

Another part of the lesson plan that I was impressed by was when the teacher was directed to say something like, “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.” This stood out for me because it emphasizes the importance of making good choices, as your digital footprint may or may not be an accurate representation of you, but it can have long-lasting implications! Think of all the celebrities who have been cancelled because of a tweet they wrote a decade ago! While we can’t control what others say about us, students need to know that they will have a digital footprint, and it is a good practice to proceed wisely.

Have you seen this video? I thought you might be interested in this because it explains many facets of a digital footprint in a way that is accessible, engaging, AND multimodal. I think students would love it.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because of your thoughtful synthesizing of ideas and your attention to detail. I wish I had your knack for writing lesson plans!

Best wishes,
Emily

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