This morning faculty and staff participated in the third late-start RDI (Research, Design, Iteration) day of the school year, where all of our faculty and staff collided across divisions and disciplines for a deep learning around topics such as curriculum, assessment practices, teaching methodologies, interdisciplinary strategies, and neuroscience.

Assessment Sophistication
Faculty continued their deep dive, collaborative and individual, into a hypothesis one has about assessment. At their last meeting, cross-divisional colleagues partnered and explored hypotheses together. Teachers ended the session with a gallery walk and share-out of the findings (or experimental methodology) of their hypotheses. Hypotheses generated included:

  • How might we use assessment frameworks to assess real-world work that does not have a clear path?
  • If we use Design in 5 phases to develop assessments, my assessment will be more effective.
  • If we develop a deeper bench of formative assessments and model their use with teachers, teachers will be more likely to try new assessment strategies with their learners.
  • How might we design a Lower School reassessment policy?
  • Are one-on-one problem solving assessments a more effective evaluative tool than traditional quizzes?

Courageous Conversations
As we reflected on our learning and time together, the Courageous Conversations RDI group collaborated and brainstormed on how to cascade amongst our community over the next two late-start gatherings.

Colleagues began to create tools and resources based on various experiences, community-building activities, summer reading, articles, and pages from the MVIFI field guide to share within their retrospective divisions.  

Differentiated Instruction and Support
Teachers shared and reflected on articles that they read about learning environments, student voice, and culturally responsive classrooms that set the conditions for intentional differentiated instruction. 

Additionally, each teacher brought a unit for feedback around differentiation opportunities using the Four Corners feedback tool.

Two teachers presented on their experiences with Honors Contracts in the Upper School and how they meet the needs of a differentiated classroom.

This group focused on switch adapting toys for Toys for ALL Tots program.
Others in the group documented via video and cameras. This allowed the group to DO the project before ASKING students to participate in the project.

Returning Faculty was divided into their Teacher Research groups’ questions using a protocol from Learning from Young Children in the Classroom: The Art and Science of Teacher Research by Daniel R. Meier and Barbara Henderson. The steps of this protocol include Individual Research Updates, Sharing of “Data Snippet,” Group Feedback, Literature Review, and Future Planning. 

This lap of Teacher Research/RDI team meetings allowed us the opportunity to reflect since our last meeting, celebrate the observations that have happened so far, share our findings, and plan next steps within each team. 

New Faculty took a lap in MBE as it relates to IBL practices for young children. Faculty members learned about, discussed, and reflected on the neurological impact of Project work, and began the study of the Project Approach.

Professional Learning and Growth Plan
The Professional Learning and Growth RDI team is focused on exploring the competencies that will best empower the MV faculty to continue to offer excellent instruction, to grow in expertise in the complexity of teaching, and to reach for the aspirations communicated in MVx. On November 13, the Professional Learning and Growth RDI team continued to integrate the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching into the tools and resources that faculty have in order to reflect on practice. Specifically, the team iterated the Mount Vernon Instructional Rounds tool that draws domains and components of the Danielson Framework into our work of instructional rounds, so that we can test the tool in action before the Dec. 11 RDI Late Start.

Admission, Brand development, and Community development continued their deep dive examining our BrandScript. This session focused on how the BrandScript impacts our practice as departments. Leveraging a new tool “Has, Can, Should” the teams contributed to a common source of measuring the present and future impact of the BrandScript.