Impressions from the Couch: An Observer’s Perspective of #ASCDSC11

Watching the stream of tweets from ASCD’s Summer Conference in Boston (#ASCDSC11 on Twitter) was a bit like continuing my learning from both #ASCD11 in San Francisco, and #ISTE11 in Philly, all in one. A few tweets were particularly relevant to my goals and will guide my thinking in the year to come:

  • Make curriculum mapping an active process.

(Can’t remember who tweeted about this, but I am sure it’s in Mike Fisher‘s blog post that contains video of the tweet stream.)

  • @NancyW: #ascdsc11 Student-constructed rubrics can be a powerful way to involve students in assessment process and setting learning goals.

(Last year, my students didn’t really engage with the rubrics I created. I need to mobilize student-driven learning and feedback and incorporate it into the assessment process.)

  • @ASCD_Inservice: We often have values we’re not aware of until we get into a situation where we use the word “should.” Robyn Jackson #ascdsc11

(It’s very important to evaluate our values and look at where our decisions in the classroom originate. Often times we don’t realize how distinctly they impact our teaching and our students’ perception of learning.)

Following professional learning on Twitter can be both a catalyst for new approaches and confirmation that you are on the right path. Since attending ASCD’s Understanding by Design pre-conference institute in March, I have been really delving into creating relevant essential questions and using the GRASPS model (Goal, Role, Audience, Situation, Product, Standards) for tasks. Numerous #ASCDSC11 tweets on this topic reaffirmed my commitment to developing effective units.

Likewise, watching the tweet stream about Judy Willis’ work, I revisited my own understanding of brain functioning and learning and brainstormed more ways to add novelty and visual cues to my daily lessons.

With each opportunity to learn more, I realize both how far I have come in my own education and how far I still need to travel in creating a learning environment that welcomes, energizes, and empowers learners to be and become their very best.

Luckily, for #ASCDSC11 learning, I didn’t have to leave my couch.

Post submitted by Joan Young, a 4th grade teacher in Menlo Park, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @FlourishingKids.


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