Thursday, May 18, 2006

Halls Of Fame

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Chris Harbeck teaches grade 8 math in one of our feeder schools. Normally, high school teachers don't really know or work with their feeder school colleagues on a regular basis. Chris has been working with me and my students almost daily. He's been commenting on our blogs and inducting students into The Scribe Post Hall Of Fame; his and mine.
Chris liked the idea of a Hall Of Fame so much that he has created The Growing Post Hall Of Fame. What's a Growing Post?

A Growing Post is a cumulative assignment that allows the students to have a review document of the unit they are taking. Students are given a set time period to complete their post. They are encouraged to include pictures and links as well as text to explain the questions being asked.
If a student is unable to complete their work online a paper version of the assignment is accepted.
Chris has posted what it is and how to orchestrate it with your classes. You should see what some of his kids can do with this idea. This one completely blew me away. (She's in grade 8! What will she be capable of in grade 12 ... and beyond?)
When Chris created the Growing Post Hall Of Fame he included a column called Reason for Induction. I liked this idea so much that I've just done the same in The Scribe Post Hall Of Fame. This is what's great about collaborating and sharing our ideas. Chris likes what I do, develops the idea further which pushes me and I learn from him. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.
In my recent podcast with Dean, he asked me "How do you get into the Hall Of Fame?" I didn't give a very clear answer. I'm still working out exactly what the criteria are for a post to be inducted. Looking at Chris' list of reasons for inducting students has started to give my thinking some focus. When all the posts listed have reasons I'll be able to articulate a better answer to Dean's question.
One of the things I'm struggling with now is the increasing volume of student scribes that are being inducted into the Hall Of Fame. Shouldn't induction be a rare occurrence? Shouldn't it require significant effort on the part of the inductee to be considered? But the students are doing increasingly excellent work, don't all students making this sort of effort deserve the recognition associated with being in the Hall Of Fame? Maybe we should just keep inducting the incredible work students are doing; generate a comprehensive list of outstanding work and follow up in June with The Scribe Post Awards. Maybe have a short voting period and give special awards to the top three (gold, silver and bronze badges). We'll let the students and their audiences do the voting. It's probably best if I stay out of it. I'm feeling less and less qualified to judge the work done at this level. How do you choose who is best when it's all so well done?
I'm feeling increased pressure to get some kind of badge for the Hall Of Famers. ;-)
(Audio comments are welcomed.)






8 comments:

Dean Shareski said...
18/5/06 12:11  

I'm very interested in the relationship you have with those middle years teachers. There seems to be a general lack of communication and thus adds to the transitional problems for students entering high school. I always think of our global audience as being someone for some exotic or remote place. Building community and sharing with your neighbours has as much if not more benefits than sharing with those on the other side of the world.

Darren said...
18/5/06 12:29  

The relationships we have formed with two of our feeder schools continue to be invaluable. I'm really quite excited about our upcoming BPRIME workshops on May 26 and June 26. We'll be shareing our favourire lessons in a loose kind of "lesson study" format. We've already all grown from the experience and it's looking like it'll just keep getting better. ;-)

Mr. H said...
18/5/06 12:49  

Thank you for the plug Darren. Dion is an amazing student. He will be one of your best in a few years. If you think those Growing posts are great.....wait till I finish posting the next round. The're even better.

The relationship between the math department at DMCI and the feeder schools is unique. Through the bprime workshops we are able to see what skills are needed in high school and how to better prepare them in Junior High.

I wish I had a time machine to see the work and the "web 3.0 or 50.0" tools they will using.

You are an inspirational leader. Thanks for starting the ball rolling.

Chris

Darren said...
18/5/06 13:01  

Thanks Chris, but the pleasure has been all mine. I have never learned as much as I have in the last year. The BPRIME group has been a significant part of that growth.

Mr. H said...
18/5/06 16:45  

If the scribe post hall of fame is a catalyst for improved work then it has had a fringe benifit. You started this Hall of fame with a celebration in mind. We are celebrating. With imporved posts the students are motiviating themselves to be better scribes. Perhaps like the Academy awards we need to have categories, great use of pictures, use of language to explain etc. The students that I teach need extrinsic motivators. This seems to be one of them.

For other scribe posts that are not hall of fame worthy there is an answer. Let them go back and edit their previous posts. Make them Hall of fame worthy.

Know matter what.... This has been a great experience.

Mr. H said...
18/5/06 16:46  

I seem to be on a roll. In my latest growing post I asked the students to nominate classmates for the Hall of Fame. I tabulate the results soon.

Chris

Lani said...
18/5/06 18:37  

Hi Darren,

What a joy to read the scribes in the Hall of Fame!!

You asked "Shouldn't induction be a rare occurrence? Shouldn't it require significant effort on the part of the inductee to be considered? But the students are doing increasingly excellent work, don't all students making this sort of effort deserve the recognition associated with being in the Hall Of Fame?"

IMHO, induction should require significant effort and excellence in the final product. Usually, when most people think of a Hall of Fame, the membership doesn't increase as quickly as has the membership of your Hall of Fame. Usually, I'm not sure there is such a degree of excellence by such a significant number of people. In this situation, I think all who achieve excellence should be inducted. I'm wondering if there's value in the students deciding upon the criteria for induction, the criteria for excellence in a scribe post. Could they create a rubric after carefully reviewing the posts currently in the Hall of Fame?

I'm also wondering if a top 10 "stellar" or "exemplary" posts might be selected at the end of the year. Again, based on student selection, perhaps the seniors (a special privilege reserved for them). How valuable might their ownership of all of this be?

Only thoughts that come to mind--

It is so exciting to read the incredible learning of young people inspired by such accomplished educators as you and Chris!

Best,
Lani

Darren said...
18/5/06 22:25  

Thanks Lani! Blogging has extended the instructional day. Maybe The Scribe Post Hall Of Fame will extend the intructional year; at least long enough to vote for The Scribe Post Awards. ;-)

There's no question that The Scribe Post Hall Of Fame has become a catalyst for students to pour incredible amounts of energy into their learning. I've been a little taken aback by how enthusiastically they've pursued earning a spot in the Hall of Fame.

The Pre-Cal 40S class had a run of 10 consecutive posts inducted. The Applied Math 40S class has had a string of the last three posts inducted and they're going for the record. This collusion of competition and collaboration, aside from paralleling the learning styles of boys and girls, has created something of a team spirit in my classes. I'm also feeling the pressure to perform each day so that they have the content to work with. This kind of pushmepullyou is drawing more effort out of all of us to learn hard.

Learning about learning ...

While walking ...
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With pictures ...
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Curating discoveries ...


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