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