ToolsAndResourcesTOOLS & RESOURCES

Here are three videos from the Teaching Channels Deeper Learning video series, capturing various aspects of Reflection, happening in classrooms.
A video from Expeditionary Learning, on Debrief Circles
A video from New Tech Network, on Looking at Student Work

A video from Envision Education, on Advisory Groups


Here are four articles we find helpful in thinking about Reflection.
From ASCD: Making Results Meaningful: The Power of Student Reflection

A chapter on Reflection from Giselle O. Martin-Kniep's book Becoming a Better Teacher

From Helen Barrett and Jonathon Richter of the University of Oregon's Center for Advanced Technology in Education

A chapter from Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind, editors Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick

September 2014
In the Spotlight: Reflections--Envision Learning Partners in 2013-14
Tools & Resources: Videos and Articles showing and discussing Reflection
Good Reads: Food for thought from Envision
A Few Words from Rick Lear: Our new Interim Executive Director, as of October 1, 2014
Partnering for Success: Ways to get involved with ELP and Envision Education
IN 2013-14

The Oxford Dictionary defines reflect as "to think deeply or carefully about."  At Envision, reflection is a core component of our all of our work.  In our network and partner schools, we use the Know-Do-Reflect approach: we consider reflection as assessment that leads to deeper learning for students, teachers, and school leaders.


And it doesn't stop at the school yard's edge: reflection can promote deeper learning for organizations as well.  In ELP, we designed a reflection process to identify our growth, accomplishments, and opportunities for improvement; we wanted to know what is working for our partners and what can we improve to help them even more.   We know from research that only 12 to 27 percent of teachers believe professional development significantly improves their classroom teaching practices*, and we certainly want to do better than that! 


As part of our continuous improvement efforts, in spring 2014, we collected data from over 350 teachers and leaders in our partner schools and districts to learn about the impact of ELP professional development and how we could get better.  This process included an online survey, interviews, written reflections, and a meta-reflection.



  • Surveys: Thank you to the 385 teachers and school leaders partnering with ELP in academic year 2014-2015 who completed the online survey, a 48% response rate!
  • Interviews: Thank you to the 18 partner leads who engaged in a structured interview with the ELP executive director to offer deeper understanding of the impact of our professional development, representing 90% response rate!
  • Reflections: Thank you to ourELP team members who wrote written reflections based on interview and survey data and their own reflections for each of the partners in their portfolio, a 100% response rate!



Student Defenses: Seeing is believing! Imagine seeing your own students defend their learning publicly. This spring 2014, 1,209 students in schools and districts partnering with ELP, defended their learning via Defense Presentations.  And this is particularly exciting for ELP, since research shows that professional development rarely reaches classrooms! One teacher reported, "This has totally transformed the culture of our senior class, and is already impacting the rest of our students, who see where they need to be by the time they leave our school."  We have more and more defenses lined up this spring.  And, we think that this is a good metric to measure the success of our partnerships.


Envision's Defense Design Studio:  What's the next best thing to seeing your students defend their learning?  Seeing Envision students defend their college and career readiness.  Every May, ELP hosts Defense Design Studios, where you can see real students engaged in real defenses of learning.  Survey says, "This is a huge hit!" One of our students reflected on her participation in the Studio this year, "I was left in awe knowing what adults are willing to do in order to improve the education system at their school. Even if they came from an elementary school or a school across the country, their drive to create children/young adults into well prepared and skilled scholars was impressive." Look for more Defense Design Studios in May 2015, and don't be surprised if you see new features!


Partnerships:  ELP partners attributed value to ELP's partnership work.  The stronger the organizational partnerships between ELP and schools or districts, the stronger the work is.  Partners appreciate ELP's "flexibility," "enthusiasm," and "partnership."  Transformation is hard work, and we are committed to partnering with you. We are looking forward to deepening our engagements with you.  We are already creating new tools to make our partnership commitments explicit.

Leader engagement:  Leaving the classroom or your school for professional development is challenging for teachers, coaches, and school leaders alike. We need more principals and district leaders to participate in our professional development.  We know that systems leaders have the needed authority to grow and sustain work.  We are brainstorming ways to leverage technology to engage systems leaders so that they can deepen their own learning and lead the work forward. 


Mathematics:  Deeper learning performance assessment in mathematics is more challenging than in English, science, and History/social science. It just is. We see the challenge across the nation.  This year, we are thrilled to have Stanley Richards, a skilled science instructional leader with a strong mathematics background, join ELP. This is a challenge we are "up" for!


K-3:  ELP works with schools across the nation, most of which are high schools.  We also work in elementary schools.  We know that upper grades (4-6) and primary grades (K-3) have distinct needs, and we are hearing that from you.  We have done considerable work translating the high school model to elementary grades, with rubrics in grades 5 and 8 and an emerging grade 8 portfolio defense system.  We have learned that translating upper grade materials to K-3 does always work as well as we would like it, and we are responding.  Moving forward, ELP will be working toward the development of a deeper learning student assessment system, based on the unique aspects of primary years teaching and learning.




*National Center for Education Statistics. (2001). Teacher Preparation and Professional Development: 2000. Retrieved from 2001088
LearningCornerGOOD READS
A few good reads from Envision Education:
Technology-Enhanced Instruction: A Roadmap to 21st Century Skills, by Kiera Chase | September 16, 2014 | On the P21 Blogazine -- on developing, desigining and implementing technology-enhanced instruction that delivers relevant, real, and rigorous 21st Century learning opportunities for all students.

* * *

Bob Lenz, in his regular Edutopia blog, is in the middle of a series about The Teaching's Channels new Deeper Learning video resources.  Each post looks at one of Envision Education's videos and poses engaging questions for educators to join the conversation.  Read the fifth and latest in the series, 
Advisory: Check In & Support (August 25, 2014) and explore Bob's blog for the others.

Rick Lear, soon to be ELP's Interim Executive Director, sat down with Sally Kingston, our outgoing ED, to talk about joining the Envision team.  By way of a brief introduction to Rick, please enjoy this clip, from the middle of their conversation:

Rick Lear, on coming to ELP
Rick Lear, on coming to ELP


Join us for An Evening with Envision on October 8 from 6-9pm at Yoshi's in Oakland's Jack London Square, for a special event featuring the voices of our students. Tickets available at EventBrite, by clicking the image below:

INSPIRE: Capture and share student and teacher success!   Email your stories, photos and videos and we will share them in a future newsletter.  Email Rachel Maida, Program Manager.

INFORM: Learn more about Envision Learning Partners (ELP), our partnership opportunities and our events.  Contact Rachel Maida, Program Manager.

INVOLVE: Join us!  Visit the Envision Education Careers page for opportunities to join our teams.

INFLUENCE: Spread the word about ELP.  Forward this newsletter to your colleagues and friends, and encourage them to subscribe to Reflections.

INVEST: Support Envision Education! Invest in our programs to make a difference in the lives of American students. Contact Kate Schwass, Development Director to learn more.

Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.