Can you relate to this? – You teach a lesson. You give your students the quiz and there are varying levels of mastery. You create a new lesson that night to then reteach the next day. You check for understanding…the kids totally understand. You quiz again…and they didn’t totally understand.
Can you relate to this? – Your grade level team identifies an area of need/standard based on old data. You design an assessment to measure this standard. You teach and test. You are hopeful that your students will master this one standard by the end of the year.
So…let’s try something that may be more effective and inFORMative. Using the EduProtocols, informed instruction will allow for more agility, flexibility, and versatility, while maintaining a student centered focus. With repetition and timely feedback or even feed forward, students receive information and can adjust their learning.
Agility: The power of moving quickly and easily; nimbleness
When routines are put into place, processes become more streamlined. Think of your morning routine. The night before, perhaps I pick out what I am going to wear to work and I pack up my lunch so the morning goes more smoothly. This allows the flow of my morning to go swiftly and I am out the door on time.
The same thing happens with EduProtocols. Early in the school year, I used Thin Slides, 8 pARTS Grammar, and the Frayer model almost daily. Not only did I have a quick idea of what students THOUGHT they knew, I could easily send a new template or frame out for the next activity. Feedback was easier to provide in small, quick doses rather than waiting for the “big assignment”…which would likely be moved to the bottom of the grading pile.
For example, if the 8 pARTS Grammar assignment indicated that there were groups of students struggling with adverbs and adjectives, I could use that information to create a Frayer for each part of speech. Students would receive the Frayer that correlated with his or her need. Brief, targeted lessons would be taught. The next 8 pARTS assignment would likely be completed properly.
The agility with which the EduProtocols can be planned, prepped, and assigned is a win for the teacher. I am able to make moves “on the fly” and not have to wait to plan an activity. In a few clicks, I can likely be ready to better meet the needs of the learners in front of me.
Lesson Idea: 8 pARTS
The 8 pARTS EduProtocol provides for grammar instruction to be authentic and meaningful. This is the ORIGINAL EduProtocol!
- Find a fun picture or gif that will intrigue students. There are a ton on the internet and students will even start providing them!
- I engage my students in a Notice and Wonder protocol just to get them talking to each other about what they see in the picture.
- Students fill in the 8 parts of speech noted on the form. This could be broken apart based on the age of your students. You will get an idea really quickly about what your mini lessons need to be. For the first time, we often brainstorm together.
- Students use the words they have brainstormed into a paragraph, practicing sentence writing.
- Students can swap papers/documents and even mark up the parts of speech with highlighting.
The agility comes with the fact that this EduProtocol has morphed into Sentence Parts, MathReps, 8 Parts for Primary Sources. When paired with The Fast and the Curious (target specific grammar skills), Thin Slides, Frayer, etc., effective, informed lessons will help students’ skills grow in these areas. Templates can be found here. MathReps can be found here.
Flexibility: The quality of being easily adapted or of offering many different options
EduProtocols are super malleable. They can be twisted, turned, and iterated into something unexpected and amazing. Talk about Universal Design for Learning! Students will start to find ways to adapt to them as well. This is important when looking for a variety of ways students can “show what they know.” Depending on what I need to see for the level of learning, I may opt for a Thin Slide, a Sketch and Tell, or a Mini Report. Each of these would provide me with varying levels of understanding.
Sketch and Tell can be leveraged across all content areas. The “show” portion can be a simple sketch using online tools or a picture of an actual paper/pencil drawing. Adam Moler has students use Legos, gummy bears, and playdough for this portion of the assignment. The “tell” side can include evidence, a response, a Frayer model, or a Flipgrid.
Lesson Idea: Sketch and Tell
The flexibility of this EduProtocols is key to keeping things fresh in your classroom and formative assessment:
- In Language Arts: vocabulary, figurative language, character traits, theme, literary devices.
- In Science: vocabulary, processes, how-to’s.
- In Social Studies: vocabulary, events, people, locations
- In Math: problem solving, explain your thinking, notice and wonder
Sketch and Tell can be used in very sophisticated ways that will add meaning to content and let the teacher see what students know and what needs to be clarified. This provides a wonderful opportunity for students to share with one another or with peers. A Sketch and Tell plus Fligrid would pair nicely with the whiteboard option now in Flipgrid. For the Sketch and Tell Template, please click here.
Versatility: The state or quality of being useful for or easily adapted to various tasks, styles, fields of endeavor
With all of the EduProtocols, I find the versatility of input, interaction, and output key to keeping me informed about my students and their progress in learning. When teachers use EduProtocols, students consume information, practice with the information, and then meet mastery over time. I spend September to December “training” students to use the EduProtocols. I make slight variations to keep the lessons fresh and engaging. The fact that I don’t have to teach and reteach HOW to use a graphic organizer allows my teaching to be faster as the year goes on. The students practically guide themselves even though the content increases in rigor.
To keep the lessons unique, vary the input, interaction, and output. This often ends up looking like “choices” in learning, thereby creating buy-in as well.
Input: Students don’t need to read articles or passages as a sole means of input. Video, commercials, music, poetry, primary sources, pictures, etc. can all serve as the input. Picture books, quotes, and art can even serve as inspiration.
Interaction: Learning should not be a “single rider” experience. Partners, trios and quads can work together collaboratively. Sometimes this can occur synchronously or asynchronously. Breakout rooms allow for real time interaction. Flipgrid can be used as well. Many teachers are making use of applications such as Nearpod, Seesaw, and Peardeck. EduProtocols naturally fold into these helpful tools.
Output: Students cannot just learn by consuming! Evidence of learning can take place in a variety of ways. Students can create using a variety of tools. Google Slides tend to dominate due to their convenience. Other creation tools to consider include: Book Creator, Adobe Spark, Google Drawing, Jamboard, My Maps, etc.
By offering choice and exposure to new tools, students learn various ways to express their learning. I do think that the number of choices should be limited until students become familiar with the tools.
Many teachers shy away from varied outputs due to grading. In my opinion, the success of students can be measured in many ways. I find the Single Point Rubric very helpful when evaluating the content of what a student has completed. The article linked previously demonstrates the power of the single point rubric and the impact on student learning.
Keep your teaching INFORMed
I always thought I knew more about my students than any publisher test ever showed me. The EduProtocols have shown me even more! Thinking is made visible on a variety of levels. My students have become much more articulate in explaining themselves. I know I am making decisions minute by minute based on the information gleaned from INFORMed instruction.
When I set forth to plan, I know that “there is an EduProtocol for that”! Solid lesson design modeled after Madelnine Hunter’s lesson design elements is simplified with EduProtocols.
To help you get started, please consider checking out the SmartStart lessons ready to go. These are non-content, low cognitive load activities to get you started. Or, you may consider adopting an EduProtocol of the Week. Here is the Wakelet of EduProtocols!
As an educator for 27 years, Kim has been an innovator in and out of the classroom. Kim incorporates best practices including WICOR, UDL, ELL. She believes in identifying learning objectives FIRST and then applying technology. Literacy in all content areas is the goal…and literacy must include new media. Kim strives to meet teachers where they are and move forward. In the classroom, Kim weaves pedagogy and technology in meaningful ways. Kim is an adjunct professor for Hope International University and serves as the CUE BOLD Director.