Friday, 11 March 2016

Dynamic Thinking Week 1 - getting started

Session 1:
The first session was a bit challenging because it was new to us all. Routines and expectations had yet to be established and I had planned far too much to fit into the given time. Rushing to complete what had been planned led to me to be anxious and focus on the product rather than the process.

Next steps:
Either plan less or look to teach half a session each day. Chill and give us time to enjoy the process, giving time to interact with the learning.

Session 2:
Short movies work well for engaging the group. The workbook is a great place to record our thinking and a way of tracking student voice. A summary of our learning was an effective way of reconnecting but also sharing with the remaining 30.

Session 3:
An amazing experience today with unpacking language, images and symbols with our Dynamic Thinking page. I can't believe how effective the logo was with a spiral made of increasingly larger dots, with a red line to show the pathway.

Next Steps:
Still too much teacher talk. How can I get the kids to mediate for each other? What process can we set in place for this?

Results after one week:
Some magic moments included Garth's image of dynamic thinking below. It showed the brainstorm and dendrites connecting to the head of a person. He could articulate his thinking clearly.

Another moment was when one of my most negative students M-- was sitting off to the side not participating until I drew him in. He got sucked into sharing ideas, recording notes and having an improved attitude. It was really rewarding to mediate his competence at the end of the session. He is still under the impression that he is 'stupid' and this is going to be a long process of re-wiring his self-image.

I am seeing an improved sense of self competence in Ben. Part way through the session he needed to be reminded to get his book and of what to do but worked more quickly than normal and seemed to be concentrating with great intensity. The quality of his work was great and I got the impression that he had surprised himself when I mediated his competence.

We had some really insightful ideas and connections today. The team made strong links to the learning spiral and could give an example of where they had started with little skill but with repeated and more challenging practise, improved their skills.

Next Steps:
Complete the remaining starter lesson in two sessions.
Design a reflection scaffolding tool.
Introduce Easy Blogger as a reflection tool.
Keep developing a DT display to refer back to and to share with the 30.
Think of a way to unpack and display thinking vocabulary.

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