Welcome to another addition of the Get Real! Science blog brought to you by Dan B. This week’s theme revolved around collaboration, particularly in professional learning settings, as well as using these opportunities to examine student work. So let’s collaborate!
Our first dive into considering how we examine student work came through our Literature Circle discussion around an article by Krebs & Colton. This piece had us examine a particular example of student work and the analysis done by a group of mathematics teachers in a professional development setting. Key features that came out during our literature circle discussion:
- We analyzed the piece through both the lens of revising the lesson plans and materials given as well as merely examining the evidence of student learning as is, and debated the usefulness of each.
- We considered the lessons learned in a mathematics lesson and found applications to the science classroom.
- We discussed how we might make learning goals and objectives more explicit for students based on student work.
After a quick literature circle, we greeted our Master Teacher guests, many of whom we’d met before and a few new faces as well! With the Master Teachers, we had the opportunity to apply what we had just done in an academic sense (analyze student work) to a more practical and hands-on experience: examining student work brought in by practicing teachers. Following introductions, we split into content area groups and used the time to work with colleagues in the field and gain insight into how they (and we!) examine student work in the field. We saw examples of summative assessment data, lab reports, and many other types of student work that were used to inform teaching in different ways, whether that be short-term planning for the next lesson vs. long-term planning for the next year.
Finally, our colleague and fellow cohort member Christa helped us explore closures in a new and unique way with her Mini-PL for this week. We got to see Bill Nye (twice!) as well as consider which types of closures are appropriate for differing situations.