POGIL Conference – Portland, OR – July 27-29

As part of a KSTF Professional Development Grant, I was able to attend the Northwest Regional Conference for POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning). In an effort to meet my obligations for the grant, I will post the implementation plan approved as part of the grant and then comment on the outcomes for those specific action items. In this commentary, I will provide the learning from the conference and links to tools learned along the way.

June – July

Read for about 2 hours different published POGIL activities from math or science disciplines to see their successes, challenges and recommendations for improving POGIL in the classroom. Additionally, I will collect and review my previously created POGIL-like activities to compare my lessons with those created using the POGIL process. Conduct an internet search of leading questions (or directives) that could be used in the classroom environment to extract deeper responses from students (such as “can you tell me more about that?”) and make a list. Throughout the implementation of this plan, I will refine this list as I find what is and isn’t appropriate to foster learning.

Results:

July KSTF Meeting

Talk with other KSTF fellows about their practice of group activities, particularly science teacher who have lab classes. Since POGIL activities are similar to the group work and inquiry of a science lab, experienced science teacher may have tools for asking questions of students that lead to critical thinking in the inquiry activity. I am looking for questioning strategies when other teachers are working with groups.

Results:

July 27-29 (POGIL Conference)

Attend POGIL Workshop: Portland, OR. – I will begin on the Introductory Track for the workshop since I have no formal experience with POGIL. During the workshop, I will learn about the process and structure of the POGIL activity, list student learning outcomes from a POGIL activity and create plans for implementation of POGIL in my classroom. POGIL implementation includes facilitation tools for teachers that include questioning and keeping students engaged. I will use this learning for facilitation questioning to refine my bank of questions. Additionally, I will attend workshops about the Activity Structure of a POGIL (creating a framework for learning) and Writing Learning Objectives for the activities.

Results:

August – December

Create a clear classroom procedure for students to teach them how to positively engage in group, inquiry learning. I will Implement this procedure for my Algebra and Geometry classes in the fall when using group work. Additionally, I will create a POGIL lesson for my classroom and I will share out with other staff members to increase success in their classroom. In creating these activities, I would like to work with an instructional coach (provided by the school district) or a colleague to ensure effectiveness. Finally, I will continue to incorporate open ended questions (probing and clarifying questions otherwise known as socratic questioning) during my regular teacher to help extract deeper, more thoughtful responses to my students.

Results:

E2 – Professionalism and Teamwork

bPortfolio E1

Online Registration System

E2 – [1] Exemplifies collaboration within the school. Teacher candidates participate collaboratively and professionally in school activities and using appropriate and respectful verbal and written communication. [1] E1 means that teachers must work together to create products with the interests of students and other staff in mind for both curriculum and non-curriculum related tasks. This standard also implied that professional communication should be mindful of staff’s needs to communicate important ideas. [2] The document linked here is a set of instructions, a list of club names and club descriptions which is presented to the entire student body to implement a new online registration system for student clubs. Each student is required to join a club as part of the schools mission. The screen shot is of the online registration system which I produced. This registration system will help reduce chaos from previous years sign up system and will provide a fair way for students to select their club.

[3] Staff members were able to choose their own club and provide a description. Many emails were sent by the Associated Student Body (ASB) advisor and me to the staff to collect preferred club choices. I was required to present my product to a leadership team to approve the process to use for the school. During my presentation meeting, I was able to clearly share the mission and the utility of the tool, provide solutions to problems and took initiative to solve anticipated problems. For example, one team member asked how the staff would learn the new system. I responded with a prepared powerpoint presentation to guide staff through the registration process. Organizing such a large scale project has taken a lot of communication with all staff and the ASB advisor.

[4] During this process, I learned that some teachers are overwhelmed with many other needs and rarely have time to respond. I learned how to communicate through different mediums, both using technology and other methods to get answers. [4] I also learned that working with people who are overwhelmed is challenging and patience is an important disposition when working through frustrating experiences. [5] My school is particularly project oriented, students will see that teachers must also work together on projects. Students can learn that teamwork, professionalism and collaboration is a lifelong skill to acquire and is used during work. [6] Through this process, I learned about this particular staffs preference for online forms (Google Forms) only when time is allotted to complete these forms. Otherwise, the task will not be completed. In the future, I will create a Google Form before staff meetings and then request five minute of time to collect information. This will increase my professionalism by reducing the number of unnecessary emails to staff, ultimately reducing their burden and becoming more productive myself.