Streamlining Procedures and Ensuring Proficiency
Lesson Objective: Improve transitions and procedures with the help of Jim Knight
Grade 7 / Science / Procedures

Thought starters

  1. How do strategies such as "chips and salsa" contribute to efficiency and reducing transition time?
  2. How do specific proficiency statements help to focus and structure instructional decisions?
  3. What are some strategies you might use to improve the close of a lesson?
16 Comments
I think this piece could be very helpful for administrators who are in the process of enriching their skills as instructional leaders. Nice modeling of the coaching dynamic.
Recommended (1)
What a find, just as I was to begin a new chapter on Earth Science I found this great lesson on rock identification. Although I have sixth graders, I can make a few changes to the identification lab worksheet and use Heidi's ideas to fit my lesson planner. Thank you Heidi and Teaching Channel Jacque
Recommended (1)
I love Jim's approach to coaching Heidi. Bottom line: I don't care how fast you talk, are the kids learning? Did they get it? Only Heidi could answer that honestly. Great example!
Recommended (3)
Mrs. Schroeder spoke most slowly when she had the class read the learning targets at the beginning of the lesson. She does have a fast pace for speaking in general. It's rapid fire almost as if she's rushing to get the students through the lesson. Perhaps in her enthusiasm to impart info on rocks, she gets amped up. I worked with a math teacher who spoke faster as he got excited about formulas and student learning. One problem with this is that the material is complex and more pauses for student "think time" could be helpful if she has any students with learning needs and accommodations. Does she really check in to make sure the students "get it?" She might build in more opportunities for student responses and interactions to check their understanding of the content and instructions. Procedural, I like her chips and salsa because it's a pre-set grouping that kids already know -- speeding up transitions.
Recommended (0)
I personally learned that there are time when I need to slow down and listen to the children. I noticed that she was fast and at times way ahead of the kids.
Recommended (1)

Transcripts

  • Moderator: [00:00:06] Second year, Teach for America teacher, Heidi Schroeder, has opened the doors of her seventh grade science class at

    Moderator: [00:00:06] Second year, Teach for America teacher, Heidi Schroeder, has opened the doors of her seventh grade science class at Gateway Middle School in Phoenix, Arizona to instructional expert, Jim Knight. Heidi is hoping Jim can assist with making transitions as smooth as possible and to provide guidance on the speed in which she speaks. [00:00:25]

    Schroeder: [00:00:26] Okay I will categorize—[00:00:27]

    Class: [00:00:27] I will categorize—[00:00:29]

    Schroeder: [00:00:29] - different types of rocks. [00:00:30]

    Class: [00:00:30] Different types of rocks. [00:00:32]

    Schroeder: [00:00:32] Based on characteristics. [00:00:34]

    Class: [00:00:34] Based on characteristics. [00:00:35]

    Schroeder: [00:00:36] Remember the three different characteristics. They’re going to have different qualities about—so that’s gonna—gonna let me know what I’m looking at. When I hand out this worksheet, the first thing you’re going to do is answer prelab questions one through three. You may use your notes for this, because this is something you’ve already learned. [00:00:53]

    [00:00:54] So the procedures like you just read, we’re gonna look at the rock. We’re going to examine it. We’re gonna write down that information, and then you’re going to rotate to the next station. So in order to really understand what’s going on, you’re gonna watch my example. So during this example, your pencils are down and your eyes are gonna be up front. Put your pen or pencil down, and your job is to watch me write ‘em. I’m gonna walk you through what this will look like. [00:01:12]

    [00:01:13] We do many activities in my class, and I’m trying to get as hands on as possible. So I think what I would like to work on is—is how to effectively move the students around the room. So for example, how to distribute materials effectively and how to collect them effectively. How to have them go to a station to set up. How to have them rotate; there’s a better way to have them rotate. How to have them pick their lab partners and sit down. All those things that need to happen in order for an activity or a lab to happen. [00:01:37]

    Knight: [00:01:37] Right. [00:01:38]

    Schroeder: [00:01:38] That would be good to go over. [00:01:39]

    Knight: [00:01:39] Well you said you wanted to work on the procedures, so what did you work on? [00:01:42]

    Schroeder: [00:01:42] So when I write down the sample number, what I mean is you’re going to write down that number on the piece of tape. Needs to go right there. My next procedure says I need to pick up and examine the rock at the station so you get to hold these. These are rocks for you to look at. Pick it up. See what it looks like. Record in the chart the sample color, characteristics and your rock type prediction. [00:02:02]

    [00:02:02] I’m going to write down the color of the sample. It’s kind of a tan and a brown, so I’m gonna write that down under color of sample. It’s a tan. It’s also brown in there. Okay. Characteristics; do I see any crystals, and if I do are they big or are they small? Are there layers? Well yeah I can see layers. I know based on what I’ve already learned in this class that if there is a layer of rock, what prediction—or what type would that be? [00:02:26]

    Class: [00:02:27] Sedimentary. [00:02:27]

    Schroeder: [00:02:27] Sedimentary. So I’m predicting this as sedimentary rock. My last stop says, rotate when told to the next station. [00:02:33]

    [00:02:34] So get everything out of the way. You only need your lab sheet and something to write with. [00:02:37]

    [00:02:40] Very quickly, three seconds. One of you choose to be chips, one of you salsa. Go. If you are chips, you are the question master in this lab. You’re the only one who can ask questions. Everyone else, you have a different role. Right now, the tallest person in the group needs to come up to the front to get a sample of rock. So the tallest person in your group, come up front. [00:03:00]

    [00:03:04] When we get—we’re gonna get started right now. You’re gonna have a minute. When you hear music, you’ll rotate. [00:03:07]

    Knight: [00:03:07] So you didn’t think it was smooth? [00:03:08]

    Schroeder: [00:03:10] I think parts of it went well. I think parts of it could be improved. Especially after watching the video to see like which—or how long it took. I think like, for example returning the materials and collecting them. Like there’s gotta be a better way to do that than just like sitting in the front—like come up and get ‘em. So I think there could be things that are improved. But I think once they got the handle on rotating clockwise, that went okay. [00:03:27]

    Knight: [00:03:28] Right, well I thought it—you know you—everybody always had a role, and you said you know the tallest person comes up and picks them up. And the tallest person brings it back. You got your chips and salsa. [00:03:39]

    Schroeder: [00:03:39] Uh huh. [00:03:39]

    Knight: [00:03:39] And you know it seemed to me it was pretty smooth. [00:03:42]

    Schroeder: [00:03:42] Okay. [00:03:42]

    Knight: [00:03:42] You know. [00:03:43]

    [Children working 00:03:42 – 00:03:49]

    Class: [00:03:48] Rocky so it must be metamorphic. [00:03:51]

    Schroeder: [00:03:54] What are you going to predict that rock type is? [00:03:55]

    Class: [03:55 inaudible 03:55]

    Schroeder: [00:03:56] Right so what are these gonna be? [00:03:57]

    Class: [00:03:58] Sedimentary. [00:03:59]

    Schroeder: [00:03:59] Right so you know. [00:03:59]

    [00:04:00] On your mark, get set, go. [00:04:02]

    Knight: [00:04:09] I know you’re worried about procedures, but I thought it was artful how you had them in every—in every situation you’d say, okay I need the tall person. Okay this is, you know find your—[00:04:19]

    Schroeder: [00:04:19] Correct. [00:04:19]

    Knight: [00:04:19] Took only 20 seconds for them each to get a partner. [00:04:21]

    Schroeder: [00:04:22] Right. [00:04:22]

    Knight: [00:04:22] That’s a very small amount of transition time. [00:04:23]

    Schroeder: [00:04:24] Okay that’s good. [00:04:24]

    Knight: [00:04:26] And the chips and salsa was fun, you know [00:04:27]

    Schroeder: [00:04:27] Okay. [00:04:27]

    Knight: [00:04:28] I thought that was cool, but I think the thing is what do the kids need to know? What do they need to be able to do? And what are the understandings they have to have? [00:04:35]

    Schroeder: [00:04:36] Right, need to know—[00:04:37]

    Knight: [00:04:37] So they need to know the different types, so what you found on Friday is they knew the stuff. [00:04:41]

    Schroeder: [00:04:41] Right. [00:04:41]

    Knight: [00:04:41] But could they apply it? [00:04:42]

    Schroeder: [00:04:43] But could they do it, right. [00:04:43]

    Knight: [00:04:43] Right so they couldn’t do the do. Because they were better at sedimentary. [00:04:46]

    Schroeder: [00:04:46] Right because they think that’s the one I modeled. [00:04:48]

    Knight: [00:04:48] Right. [00:04:48]

    Schroeder: [00:04:48] And I think I, you know even if I had modeled another one, it might have been worth it. [00:04:52]

    Knight: [00:04:53] I’d do all three. [00:04:53]

    Schroeder: [00:04:54] Right so I need, okay. So modeling all three. [00:04:57]

    Knight: [00:04:57] Well I mean maybe not. Maybe it’s not necessary, but—[00:04:59]

    Schroeder: [00:05:00] But I think scaffolding more than [cross talk 05:02]

    Knight: [00:05:02] If they didn’t get it, then they got sedimentary. [00:05:04]

    Schroeder: [00:05:05] Wait everybody. This is important. I think I need to clarify this. If you see a characteristic like a layer, you need to think back to what you know about the three types of rocks; which ones have layers. You’re gonna think to yourself, you’re gonna say I know the layers are in sedimentary rocks. So if you see layers in a five or six of ‘em in a row, those are all sedimentary rocks. If you think that, so you need to look at the characteristics and decide. Remember we looked at intrusive rocks have crystals. So if you see—[00:05:28]

    Knight: [00:05:28] Okay well let’s talk about how fast you talk. [00:05:29]

    Schroeder: [00:05:31] That—things are pretty fast. [00:05:32]

    Knight: [00:05:33] Well you said on the—when we did the Skype conversation, you said I’m afraid I’m gonna even talk faster than normal. So what do you think about that? [00:05:38]

    Schroeder: [00:05:38] I try—I tried to not talk faster. I feel like I was talking for me pretty slow, which is probably is. I’m still pretty fast. I think the thing I try to do now is like pause. Like making sure—okay I’m taking a deep breath. Then I’m gonna go, and so like maybe enjoy a positive frame [00:05:53]

    Knight: [00:05:53] Right. [00:05:54]

    Schroeder: [00:05:54] Just bring it all together. [00:05:55]

    Knight: [00:05:55] Do you know what I think about it? [00:05:55]

    Schroeder: [00:05:56] Yeah. [00:05:56]

    Knight: [00:05:56] I don’t give a rip how fast a person talks if the kids are learning. [00:06:00]

    Schroeder: [00:06:00] Okay. [00:06:00]

    Knight: [00:06:01] You know the important thing is that they’ve got the content. And frankly, I like a little bit too fast more than a little bit too slow. [00:06:07]

    Schroeder: [00:06:07] Okay. [00:06:07]

    Knight: [00:06:07] That’s maybe just my personal preference. [00:06:09]

    Schroeder: [00:06:09] Okay. [00:06:09]

    Knight: [00:06:11] But I think the real question is did they get it. You wanna make sure that the active communication is not about you talking, but about them actually getting it. What I was thinking is you’ve got that spiffy little iPhone. What you could try is you could just during a class, just turn on the record and then listen to it. Say okay what do I want to do here? Now I don’t know that you need to slow down necessarily, but I think you want to make sure the kids are with you when you do your explanations. [00:06:35]

    Schroeder: [00:06:35] Okay. [00:06:35]

    Knight: [00:06:36] So as you listen to it—I mean if you have a friend who you can prevail upon, you can say, “Listen to this explanation. Do you get it or not? Then just practice sort of adjusting your delivery. You might even just do it for the first ten minutes of the class, cause it might get in the way. [00:06:51]

    Schroeder: [00:06:51] Right. [00:06:51]

    Knight: [00:06:51] To do it a long time, but just try it for a little bit. Audio and video really give you enormous data, and you just push the little record button on your iPhone. Just do it for ten minutes, and then if you can play it in your car, you can listen to it in the car on the way home. [00:07:02]

    Schroeder: [00:07:02] Right. [00:07:02]

    Knight: [00:07:03] But I think that’s definitely something that’s about making sure they get it. [00:07:06]

    Schroeder: [00:07:06] Right. Right. [00:07:07]

    Knight: [00:07:07] Your goal is to look at every student and say are they getting this right now? And you can’t let them off the hook. It can’t be, no. They’ve gotta get it. So that means you have to slow down and you make adjustments, you know. [00:07:18]

    Schroeder: [00:07:28] Good so here’s what type the rocks was at there. [00:07:29]

    Class: [00:07:30] Sedimentary rocks are formed from layers of sediments. [00:07:34]

    Schroeder: [00:07:35] Good so I see you filling out colors. So now you’re gonna do what characteristics you see. Okay and then once you finish that, you’re gonna talk with Nancy about what you think that the rock type is. [00:07:47]

    [00:07:48] First question asks us, what are the three different types of rocks? Okay? [00:07:53]

    [00:07:54] I think what I’ve noticed this past year, I think the students respond much more with an environment they feel safe in, and they feel like they can succeed. [00:08:01]

    Knight: [00:08:02] Right. [00:08:02]

    Schroeder: [00:08:02] Because they’ve noticed, especially now more this year, if they don’t get it, they’re much more confident in saying like one or two words to like—you went too fast. What did that mean? Or they’ll ask me questions, whereas last year, that didn’t happen as much. And I know more kids last year didn’t get it, but I think that this year it’s nice that I’ve been able to—I’ve set up this environment where they feel comfortable getting up in the room and doing some goofy dance that I taught them, because they don’t think—I did this last year. Huge fail. Like they did not like it. The kids last year, they didn’t feel comfortable. They didn’t like it. They didn’t like doing it for people, and so this year it’s really neat to see that this—these kids for some reason, whatever, you know mood we set at the end of the year has carried over. [00:08:40]

    Knight: [00:08:40] Right. [00:08:40]

    Schroeder: [00:08:41] And so now they’re okay with doing a dance in front of a camera because that would have never happened last year. [00:08:45]

    Knight: [00:08:46] So when you talked about creating a more safe culture, can you think of any strategies you used to do that? [00:08:52]

    Schroeder: [00:08:52] I think that developed toward the end of last year, so I coached the soccer team which was really fun, and I think it let the kids see that I’m not this first year teacher who doesn’t know what’s going on.

    Knight: [00:09:03] Right. [00:09:03]

    Schroeder: [00:09:03] That actually I’m a person. I talked to the kids one-on-one much more. Had lunch with them. Brought them in, made sure that they were a part of the classroom, so I didn’t start out—actually I didn’t have a classroom job last year at the beginning, but now I started a classroom job at the middle of last year. Making sure that I set up who I am. [00:09:20]

    Knight: [00:09:20] Right. [00:09:21]

    Schroeder: [00:09:21] So the beginning of this year I spent a good chunk of class like talking about who I am, where I’m from, who my family is. And they asked questions of me, so that they feel like they—like I wasn’t just a teacher. I was a person. [00:09:33]

    Knight: [00:09:33] Right. [00:09:33]

    Schroeder: [00:09:33] And then I did much more intensive survey this year with them, so I got to read those surveys and had a little bit more understanding of where they are coming from. [00:09:40]

    Knight: [00:09:40] I think one-to-one conversations are really powerful. [00:09:42]

    Schroeder: [00:09:42] Oh yeah. [00:09:43]

    Knight: [00:09:43] When you talk one-to-one with somebody, you get the real deal. I think culture is really, really key. [00:09:47]

    Schroeder: [00:09:47] I yeah. [00:09:48]

    Knight: [00:09:48] You can feel it when you walk in the room. [00:09:49]

    Schroeder: [00:09:49] Especially this year. Well and like last year, I know that I had random posters on the wall. Like I just—I had a whole wall that was kinda blank, so I just stuck a bunch of posters and quotes, and I didn’t want it to look empty. Well now it’s kinda like well everything has a purpose. I’ve got the tracker. I’ve got the vocab wall. I’ve got the scientific method process. I’ve got what to do—like our big goal. I’ve got what to do when you’re done. I mean all those things that—[00:10:08]

    Knight: [00:10:09] Right. [00:10:09]

    Schroeder: [00:10:10] They all have a reason for being there. So that—the whole classroom feels much more purposeful for me. Like from my perspective. [00:10:16]

    [00:10:16] Here’s what I heard and what I saw. I saw some people thought some of these were really easy. Like oh this has layers. This has gotta be sedimentary. But then I saw people kinda confused at parts. I know especially when the rocks didn’t look the same, when I told you these were both the same type of rock, but they don’t look exactly the same. That kinda threw people, because you weren’t expecting that. Also some of these didn’t look like real rocks. A lot of you guys thought the pumice was fake cause it’s so light. [00:10:37]

    [00:10:37] So one thing I’m glad of, I think this showed you some examples of rocks that you hadn’t seen before. That’s what I’m glad about. [00:10:43]

    [00:10:43] That was our activity for today and we were able to look at those rocks and learn more about the rocks around us. [00:10:47]

    [00:10:48] Ladies and gentlemen, pack up. Push your chairs in and line up in the back of the room. [00:10:51]

    [00:10:52] Well what would you suggest for the end of that? Like I really thought the end it was just abrupt. I guess I thought I was—couldn’t find my time I think. So like I wanted to end it really fast. [00:11:02]

    Knight: [00:11:02] Right. [00:11:02]

    Schroeder: [00:11:04] In a lab like that, where—or an activity like that where you’ve having students try to do on their own. Like how should I have walked through rock by rock what it is? Do you just put the answers up like I did? Do you have them—I guess how would you have ended that, because for me that felt very abrupt. Feel like I talked for like two minutes randomly and then we just kind of ended class. So what would you say? [00:11:25]

    Knight: [00:11:26] Well I think—I think it goes back to the beginning question. What do the kids need to know, understand and do? [00:11:31]

    Schroeder: [00:11:31] Okay. [00:11:31]

    Knight: [00:11:33] And then you say okay now how can I confirm that at the end? I think to do a post organizer like you did where you say you want to sum things up is a good idea. [00:11:39]

    Schroeder: [00:11:39] Okay. [00:11:39]

    Knight: [00:11:39] But you wanna be really, really clear that these are the things we want to be able to do. Who can tell me one thing we did? You know or turn to your partner, I wanna hear what you discuss or? You know all the things you would know how to do. I think it comes back to what’s the purpose of the ending. [00:11:54]

    Schroeder: [00:11:54] right. [00:11:54]

    Knight: [00:11:54] And you don’t wanna just tell them stuff. You wanna be checking for understanding and their double checking, and you might have like a fun way to do it. Like, okay this is quiz. Let’s see who can get it right. Here’s the first one. Let me give you the characteristics and you tell me what you’ve got. Then you say, “Okay that’s right.” Boom, boom, boom okay here’s the second one. Let me tell you the characteristics. Boom okay. Here’s the third one, we know it’s metamorphic, what are the characteristics? [00:12:15]

    [00:12:16] I like to write—I call them specific proficiencies, but simple little sentences that sum up. Okay the bigger question is what are the characteristics of a metamorphic rock? [00:12:25]

    Schroeder: [00:12:26] Right. [00:12:26]

    Knight: [00:12:27] And so to know the answer to that question, the kids to know these things. They need to be able to do this, and the bigger idea is this. Then I would go back again, and I’d say, “Okay now, did we do the know? Did we do the understanding? Did we do—you were so right to focus on the end, because prime time in the classroom is the first couple of minutes and the end couple of minutes. [00:12:43]

    Schroeder: [00:12:44] right. [00:12:43]

    Knight: [00:12:43] So primacy effect; the recency effect. You remember what you get at the end. So confirm it in some way. [00:12:48]

    [00:12:49] Maybe with the homework. The only thing I would add is say, now the reason we’re doing this homework is because you’re scientists. I want you for the rest of your life to know what the difference is between these kind of rocks. You can impress your friends, but it’s also—some of you might want to go off and be geologists. It’s a cool career. You need this knowledge, and so I need to confirm it. I need to know you got it, and this is why you’re having this homework. [00:13:09]

    Schroeder: [00:13:09] Yeah. [00:13:09]

    Knight: [00:13:09] So I would do the why connection is what I was talking about. [00:13:11]

    Schroeder: [00:13:11] Okay the purpose behind it. [00:13:13]

    Knight: [00:13:13] Right. [00:13:13]

    Schroeder: [00:13:13] Okay. [00:13:13]

    Knight: [00:13:14] Right. [00:13:14]

    Schroeder: [00:13:14] That sounds good, and that would make them leave on a note of like they have a reason for doing it. [00:13:20]

    Knight: [00:13:20] Right. They’re not just doing it to please you. They’re doing it because I want you to be scientists. You know you are so lucky. Science and this is—this is one of the coolest things going. [00:13:29]

    Schroeder: [00:13:30] Okay. [00:13:30]

    Knight: [00:13:30] You know. [00:13:30]

    Schroeder: [00:13:31] That sounds good. [00:13:31]

    Knight: [00:13:32] Anything else you wanna ask or say or—[00:13:34]

    Schroeder: [00:13:34] Thank you very much for coming in. [00:13:36]

    Knight: [00:13:36] Oh right back at you. [00:13:37]

    Schroeder: [00:13:37] It was very helpful. [00:13:37]

    Knight: [00:13:38] Well thanks. [00:13:38]

    Schroeder: [00:13:38] Yeah. Thank you very much. [00:13:39]

    [End of Video 14:02]

School Details

Gateway School
1100 North 35th St
Phoenix AZ 85008
Population: 797

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Heidi Schroeder

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