• Trickle in start --- introduce yourselves to
others in the room
• Were you here for the first session? If not, did
you review the first session blog posts?
• What do you remember from either the
session or the blog that was interesting?
• What did you experiment with that was
different than what you might have done
SOPHIA’S STORY I
Dear Hope and William,
I have been eager to jumpstart how I have been approaching the basic intro to acting course for some time. The
curriculum/content is fairly set, but I have wanted to try different strategies to create a more dynamic experience
for the students (and myself!).
I was particularly taken by the idea of maximizing team aspects to the course experience as much as
possible. From our workshop, I wanted to take the idea of questions -- small ones for each class and the larger
one/s for the course -- to be made more explicit. I also wanted to invite the students to engage by making more
space to share their starting point with the material, to meet the students where they are.
For the first class, I tried a visual mapping exercise. I asked the students to form small groups and riff on the first
words that came to mind when they thought of the idea of Acting (What is Acting?). Individually they came up
with five words, which they shared only in their small group. They were then asked to come up with one word the
group could agree on. That group word became the starting point of the branches for the mind map. I also asked
them to come up with an image, which a representative from each group drew next to their word. (Next time, I
would also have different colors for each of the branches!) It was then extremely organic to ask the students what
came to mind based on each word, creating patterns, repetitions, contradictions, specific references, etc. They
could not stop talking -- and listening! I simply acted as scribe and transcribed everything I heard on the board
and when it was full we all looked together to observe the cumulative, collaborative, non-hierarchical, collective
thought. I then mentioned that this is our starting place -- some of what was on the board will be confirmed
through the experience of the course and some of it will be fall away as we test everything! I took a picture of the
class map for our ANGEL site and will forward to the workshop.
SOPHIA’S STORY II
I also tackled differently the way I assigned and asked them to process reading and
preparation for discussion. I had them again get into groups of two. From a short
list of questions, they got to choose which two they would focus on for the
reading. I asked them to prepare sharing their responses to the reading questions
in their own words for the next class. I also shared that the list of questions was
the quiz itself they would all take in two weeks. This energized them to be
prepared and listen to each other for the next class, and to do well on the
upcoming quiz. Simultaneously, as is the nature of acting work, the exercises were
approached in class by reinforcing the language they used in discussion. This team
assignment approach involves much more scaffolding which seems not so much to
hold the student's hand, but rather to give him/her a specific, doable focus.
This group work not only ties into the key values of the
class, i.e., collaboration, but also helps to build a safe and solid environment in
which to take creative risks, strengthening them for individual presentation work
As a professional, I am so grateful to have the opportunity for this kind of baseline
professional development. I am deeply appreciative of the work and effort to plan
and organize what for me has been a much-needed tuneup.
IN TEAMS, DISCUSS QUESTIONS FROM
1. What are the four key concepts taken from research and theoretical literature on
cognition, motivation, and human development that Bain suggests that the best teachers are
keenly aware of if only on an intuitive basis? Include a brief summary of, and a quote that you like
from, each concept. Pages 26-32
2. What does Bain suggest about using grades as a motivating factor in student learning?
Again, give an overview and a relevant quote or two that you liked. Pgs 34-38
3. What are “strategic learners” and what are the drawbacks of strategic learning? Again find
a passage or two that you like on this issue. P. 34
4. Bain talks about 3 types of learners on page 40… Do you see those in your classroom? Which of
those have you been yourself at various points in your academic career? How might you work with
students to best identify and maximize the learning in your class given these types of approaches?
5. What is the Developmental View of Learning that Bain talks about on pages 42-46
TEAM QUIZ -- ANSWER FIRST INDIVIDUALLY, AND THEN WORK WITH TEAM
TO COME UP WITH ONE CONSENUS ANSWER SHEET
WHAT ARE THE 4 KEY CONCEPTS THAT BAIN TALKS ABOUT AS BEING THOSE WHICH THE BEST
TEACHERS UNDERSTAND ABOUT STUDENT LEARNING?
T/F ACCORDING TO BAIN STRATEGIC LEARNING IS OPTIMAL BECAUSE THOSE ‘STRATEGIC
STUDENTS’ DEVELOP STRATIGIES WHICH MAXIMIZE THEIR LEARNING. EXPLAIN YOUR ANSWER
FROM SESSION 1: EXPLAIN THE CONCEPT OF ‘THE MOTHER BIRD’ IN RELATIONSHIP TO WHAT
GOES ON, IN AND OUT OF THE CLASSROOM, IN DEVELOPING STUDENTS CAPACITIES TO THINK
WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS ARE TRUE REGARDING THE PRINCIPLES OF TEAM
TEAMS SHOULD CHANGE EVERY 5 WEEKS SO STUDENTS DON’T GET TOO COMFORTABLE WITH JUST ONE
SET OF PERSPECTIVES FROM TEAMMATES
TEAMS SHOULD BE MADE UP OF STUDENTS WITH LIKE ABILITIES AND BACKGROUNDS
THERE SHOULD BE TOOLS FOR TEAM MEMBERS TO EVALUATE EACH OTHER’S PARTCIPATON
OPTIMAL TEAM SIZE IS 3-4 MEMBERS SO THAT THERE CAN BE AMPLE INTERACTIONS AMONG TEAMMATES
WHAT ARE THE THREE TYPES OF LEARNERS THAT BAIN TALKS ABOUT AND WHAT TEACHING
APPROACHES MIGHT BEST REACH/DEVELOP EACH?
T/F THE BEST TEACHERS KNOW THAT EFFECTIVELY USING GRADES IS A PRIMARY TOOL FOR
MAXIMIZING STUDENT MOTIVATION. EXPLAIN YOUR ANSWER.
T/F STUDENT MENTAL MODELS CHANGE QUICKLY BECAUSE STUDENTS ARE CONSTANTLY
ABSORBING NEW INFORMATION IN THEIR ACADEMIC CAREERS. EXPLAIN YOUR ANSWER.
REFLECTION AND APPLICATION
• What did you take from the reading and
discussions this session that was insightful and
either new or a reminder to you of principles
learning that can be useful in creating great
• What are two things that you might be willing to
experiment in the classroom over the next month
that you have not tried before?
• Share with team. Hopefully post intentions and
results to blog.