Sei sulla pagina 1di 4

Camp Snowball 2014 Reflection Journal

Monday, July 14, 2014


List at least 5 structures you observed in this session. What worked well? How might you use these in
your classroom or school to better enable student success?
1) Speed Dating- use to review content, share prior knowledge on a topic, hypothesize
about some observations, quick content check for pair discussion
2) Diagramming Understanding- draw a mind map, images, icons, etc to show connections
as students learn content. This allows them to add a personal point of view to a topic.
3) Panel Discussion- I would bring in exerts and local citizens to discuss Problem-Based
Learning topics and answer questions for students working on PBLs
4) Gauge Levels- Some asks a question and the audience responds by giving a physical
response (sitting, squatting, standing) to show their agreement
5) Metaphors for Learning- the metaphor of a bridge to show connections among content
topics/disciplines; metaphors often show evidence of deeper understanding and
connections

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
What insights did you take away from Elaine Johnsons provocation?
I teach brains, not just middle school bodies. Brains are plastic and malleable and can be taught
to overcome bad habits or experiences with good ones. No brain is too old to learn, but the brain does
need to work hard to learn something. Mirror neurons really made me realize how much I can lead and
teach by example (for students and colleagues)!
Reflect on Jaimie Clouds quote, As we know from brain science, thinking repeatedly about the vision of
a goal and solution, rather than ruminating on problems and crises, changes the pattern of neural flow
and can promote more creative, long-term thinking.
The fact that the brain neurons are growing as they build connections and experiences is very
important. If students have negative experiences, that is what their brain will learn, and they may fear
trying new things or thinking for themselves. If the brain is taught to reach out and be creative, and
receives positive feedback for doing so, that is what the brain will remember and learn to do.
Visions for my work include 1) create a brain-nourishing classroom 2) Foster an environment with
positive belonging and relationships 3) Create a safe environment that encourages success and
embraces learning from failures

Answers to Reflection Questions:
1) Greatest Fears for Students = engagement for all, safety and social support for students in
middle school
2) My Fears= Ability to provide tools to support students to self-regulate and self-sustain their
learning in a world where time is hindered by social media and outside school situations
3) Blind Spots= cultural biases due to lack of knowledge
4) Dilemmas in my work = No clear definition of success as a school-wide staff
5) Core Module Support= Provide systems for reflection and feedback to allow sustainable
solutions and promote student leadership.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Learning Journey: Bridge + OMSI
Before:
1) Expectations- Engineering design process for the bridge design
2) Personal experience- I read the description of the learning journey and know the conference is
about new experiences
3) What might I pay attention to- Colleagues and those who know some background about the
area
After:
1) Expectations- We didnt go on the bridge, but we did learn about the process of building
2) Pay attention to- Engineering design process including challenges and successes, my peers
reactions to the visit, set up and engagement of visitors to the museum exhibits, a 3-D printer!
3) Believes changed- Very sustainable museum and bridge because it is so educational and focuses
on supporting the people in their learning and use
4) Ladder of Inference- I was surprised and used background to listen to the discussion on the
bridge and find interest in the process of building and designing the bridge. Being aware made
me more open to listening for new information.
How can I get the engagement and desire for learning that a museum is able to get? There is a
strong desire to experience and learn. How can I set up my classroom and learning structures to foster
that curiosity?

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Reflect on your practice as a teacher, educator, school leader- how do you take action to create the
conditions for student success?
One thing Id like to stand up for this fall is a school-wide understanding of what success looks
like at my school. I think it is important that we have a common focus so we are working towards
success (high standards and unifying standards). Not that the definition must be exactly the same, but
Im not sure whether success at my school is solely academic or inclusive of the social, emotional, and
behavioral aspects (which is should be). Id really like to see us come up with a definition because I am
assessed based on success, so I need to know what Im expected to do with my students. I also believe
it is fair to parents to know what the school will focus and strive for. The students need to know what
success means and how they are being assessed for success (a conversation we will have in the first
week of school).
In my classroom, I plan on creating a brain-nourishing environment. One that engages the
whole brain, learns from failure, isnt afraid to work hard to learn new things, and supports creativity
and new thinking. I plan on collaborating with peers to ensure my students have multiple opportunities
to experience content they are learning as well as give them real-world uses for their learning.

Polarity Thinking: Name some critical polarities that challenge what you do in your school or classroom.
Do a polarity map for one that particularly vexes you. Journal what you have learned through this
experience both specific to the dilemma and the process. How will this affect your practice?
Polarities:
My home life and My school life (mine)
Teacher-directed learning and student-centered learning
Reflection and Action
Local and Global
Skills Practice and Content Knowledge









Reflection Action
-Learn from
mistakes and
experience
-Share ideas
-Time to think
-Problems get
solved
-Energized teams
from action
-Change
-Nothing gets
done
-Philosophical
only
-Lose sleep!
-New problems
-Lack comm.
-Little thought put
into decisions
-Fast change
Through doing polarities, I have learned that decisions and planning dont need to be either A
or B, but they can be A and B. I feel polarities are more realistic and help with time management,
considering future outcomes, identifying potential issues, and preventing problems. I would like to use
polarities to help balance my work and home life, as well as find a balance for several of the polarities
listed above. A simple polarity map really helps me see the benefit of both sides, again focusing on
solutions and not problems.

Friday, July 17, 2014
This has been an amazing learning experience for me. I need some time to let things sink in and
make more sense. Im excited to work on brain research and developing a more brain-nourishing
classroom. Im excited to share the systems thinking with my colleagues and with my peer team
members. I would like to learn more on leveraging and the tools of systems thinking, but feel I have
enough of a base to begin using it in my classroom.