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

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Marlen
August 2, 2022 6:52 pm

Dear Marina:

I am interested in your “Letter to Colleague,” littled “Stories of Persistence Proposal,” because, as you, “I believe that an effective way to guide students towards self-discover it to build awareness around the Habits of Mind.” I loved that you recognized and understood that the Habits of Mind approach can be applied to any subject in the educational field; “The introduction of these habits to our learners will benefit them greatly while they work through academic, social, and emotional challenges.” Those Habits support students’ social and emotional learning.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “Persistence is the first habit and I feel like it is a fundamental backbone to working through obstacles.” I think your statement is completely true because, in our daily life situations, we can incorporate the habits of mind-Persisting. Students must learn how to overcome obstacles and keep looking forward to their future.

Another sentence I appreciated was: “Our learning objective would be that students would craft a multi-modal story about a time when they persisted through a challenge.” This stood out for me because I believe that when educators allow the students to learn and be creative, the students become more engaged in the activity as they stick and be persistent.

Have you seen this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAkwmomM62s I thought you might be interested in this because it is an animated way to teach explain what is persistence, to yours students.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because your ideas are so brilliant, and you focus on your students’ learning.

Last edited 1 day ago by Marlen

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