Twitter has been a great teaching tool for me. It is a place to answer questions, find resources, talk with other educators and more. I have often found Twitter chats very useful - these are often an hour long, with a different question popping out every ten minutes - and people sharing their answers and using a # to connect. Organizing a Twitter chat between international educators can be difficult, because we are all on different time zones. However, it is very important to get different perspectives and to connect with people from all over the world... so...we use Slow Chat!
In November Stephen Taylor started the conversation with this Slow #MYPChat with this:
This was fantastic, and I definitely bookmarked and downloaded a great amount of useful resources! I mostly shared links to various posts in this blog.
I decided to kick off the first of 2018 with a Slow #MYPChat about books! People can respond with the books they are reading for professional development or those they are reading with their students. Join Twitter and join in our the conversation!
This morning I ran a TOK training session with two of my magical colleagues, Rob Dale and Tim MacMahon. This was aimed at teachers who were new to TOK or only taught MYP, to demystify the subject. It also gave them activities and ideas for bringing TOK into their classes, (including their MYP classes).
We started off by showing teachers five objects and having them guess what they were:
The teachers put their guesses on pieces of paper and placed them in a bowl. We read out the guesses, then explained what the objects were.
1. An object to cut segments of a grapefruit
2. A grole - an object for sharing coffee.
3. Opium weights from Myanmar
4. A ceramic object for cooking bacon! ("The Baconator")
5. A Victorian mourning ring (this was my object!)
After this, we introduced the different ways of knowing: Faith, Reason, Imagination, Emotion, Sense Perception, Memory, Intuition and Language and discussed how we used this in guessing what the objects were. We also talked about the ways which stopped us from guessing what the objects were, and we discussed the difference between shared and personal memory.
(I also shared the History of the World in 100 Objects - and had people think about who selected these objects and would they select the same).
He then revealed the truth! This objects were bought for a few dollars each at thrift stores - they then had writers create fake stories for each object - and they put them on eBay. On eBay it clearly said that the stories were fictional, and that it was part of the Significant Objects project. Even with knowing they were fake, people paid a hue amount for the objects! The average cost of each object was $1.50, but one of them even sold for over $500! We then discussed why the value increases. Other questions that came up were 'what is worth more - my iPhone or the people who make them?' an 'is this the same sensation as buying designer clothes? Does the limited number of items available make it more exclusive and does this increase the value?' Again we reflected on the different ways of knowing that we used and those that were at odds with each other.
Finally we had teachers do this map activity. They had to divide the country, using the outline map, with the knowledge of the different religious, mountains and volcanoes and languages. This also led to a great conversation with people showing the different ways of knowing they were using - for example personal knowledge and memory (an example, one of our teachers is from Switzerland, so didn't even think about diving up the country by language!)
We ran out of time then, but shared with them these 'What if?' prompts:
and lastly we shared that the rest of the presentation described TOK's relationship with the Learner Profile, and then gave them a serious of prompts related to each subject group (aimed at getting MYP teachers to bring a little TOK into their classroom).
Here's the full presentation! Enjoy!
We started off our first day back by doing a focus on the Big 6 Research skills and ATLs. Then the staff went into breakout rooms to learn about different ATLs. Carmen Samanes (our MYP Coordinator) and I ran one about Giving and Receiving Meaningful Feedback. Although I have shared this presentation before, I wanted to add more details, including the activity we ended with.
We started off by showing some different methods:
I really like this method as it prompts you to give very thoughtful feedback, including asking questions. I also like that straight after you give feedback on an area of concern, you give a suggestion!
We don't just use this for students giving feedback other students, but have used it as a method to gather feedback on our teaching and on our units. For this, one of our teacher suggested the student receiving the feedback asks questions first, or says what they want feedback on. Giving them something to focus on is definitely useful and important - you could also get them to focus on part of a rubric or choose a narrower field yourself, (for example, if it was an art work, have students use the ladder to give feedback on color choices).
This is my go to technique! I remind all students to keep all three areas seperate, because if you hear a compliment and a concern (often in the question or suggestion) together, you often only focus on the negative. If we are doing this verbally, I'll have everyone start with T, then everyone move into G...and if I am doing this with a feedback worksheet, then I have each in a seperate box. I like to do this as a more formalized activity early on in a unit, then just keep saying 'remember to tag' as we move through the rest of the unit.
Coach's Eye is an app really designed for the P.E. classroom or for sports coaches. It allows you to video or photograph some action, then you can add feedback through audio, writing on the image or video, slowing it down and more! Although designed for P.E. You could use this for feedback for a theatre performance, or someone playing a music video, or guiding you through a 3D model...
Compliment Sandwich is another great method, because it is super easy to remember! This article "Reinventing the Feedback Sandwich" has some funny, and useful variations!
The Gallery Walk is a method many of our teachers already use, but have maybe not partnered up with this ATL. I suggest for this using a second method too, so for example using 'TAG' while doing your gallery walk.
Comment Bubble is a great little tool - it can be used for many things, not just feedback. You basically drop in a video, then assign five buttons to that video. The buttons could be a scale focussing on how much the audience likes the video, or it could be things they need to recognize (for example, it could be 'alliteration' 'similes' etc). Here's an example I did when we were doing a unit focussing on 'Will robots be more beneficial or harmful to society in the future?'
After showing teachers these different methods, we had them do a short activity. Here they looked at a picture from Shaun Tan's The Arrival, and drew out a section and created their own headline. (We'd already looked at this image earlier in the day)
After they had spent few minutes drawing their section and coming up with their headline, they chose a method of giving and receiving meaningful feedback to use with a partner. At the end we shared back and the feedback was very positive - this included that it made them think harder about the feedback they were giving, it felt nice to have compliments built in, and the feedback itself was more useful! Hurrah!
I really liked doing this with my teachers, but definitely think it could be a useful exercise to do with students - you could then get them to select different methods and different points of the unit, and justify their choice.
Here's a link to our presentation.
Any other methods for Giving and Receiving Meaningful Feedback? Share them with me and I'll add them to the ATL Toolkit!
I just went through my blog to pull all my Personal Project blog posts to send to someone...and I realized there is quite a lot! I thought it would help readers out to have them in one place. So here you go:
...and of course, here is my Personal Project Website.