When I first started to research different resources to help co-plan with my learning partner, I kept thinking about my problem very narrowly. My triggering question is below.
What are some good resources/processes I can use to determine how to best co-plan with my learning partner with 3rd grade math?
I kept coming back to what specifically could I help my peer with increasing learning for math when the real question I was looking for was “What can I find to help my learning partner expand her thinking about 21st century learning?” Planning activities that involve solving a problem or higher order thinking is where we want our students to be at, but before I am able to get to that point I need to help my peer understand it’s importance in the first place. The picture at the top of this page reminds me of this as well. As a teacher we are also learners and when I help plan activities with my partner we are jointly learning how to create effective learning activities that will help with student outcomes.
“Coaching that is truly transformational… must address teachers’ emotional intelligence, non-verbal communication, and underlying beliefs. (BPINC 2015.)
The quote above is from a resource I found titled, “Best Practices in Instructional Coaching, (2015.)” which, again, helped to reaffirm my findings. I need to not only be aware of how I am communicating and responding to my partner, but I must also address underlying beliefs that he/she has. It also prompted me to change my own underlying beliefs.
As someone who is not overly familiar with teaching math I assumed that I might not be as helpful as someone else in planning activities who has experience. However, this document discussed that what’s more important than knowledge of content is actually knowledge of pedagogical and educational best practices. Primed with this new information I feel like I am able to move onto the next step and think more about the technology integration piece.
Technology Integration & 21st Century Learning
We have been focusing on increasing the quality of learning activities, but what also interests me (since this is a Digital Leadership program,) is how does technology fit into all of this? In Les Foltos book, “Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration,” he talks about the power of using technology when it strongly aligns with pedagogy and goals and not just using it in the same ways as traditional teaching. (Foltos 2013.)
My main take-away from using this in planning activities is to ask the following questions to make them think critically about how they are using technology.
Using these questions will help me to plan using technology in a way that elevates learning.
One standard that I am working towards for this module is Coaching Standard 2.
ISTE-C Standard 2: Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
- Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences
By trying to work out the best resources for helping my learning partner plan activities and increase learning I am actively striving to achieve this standard. If I take the resources that I have found for planning activities and combine that with critical questions about the usage of technology then I will be more successful in achieving this goal. What I have found over the past couple of weeks is that becoming a coach takes lots of practice and while it has felt new and uncomfortable at first to assume this role I am slowly starting to see what direction I should be taking and I am excited to follow.
Best Practices in Instructional Coaching. (2015, December). Retrieved from https://www.educateiowa.gov/sites/files/ed/documents/Best Practices in Instructional Coaching – Iowa Area Education Agencies.pdf
Foltos, L. (2013). Peer coaching: Unlocking the power of collaboration. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.