The journey continues: Deeper Learning – Year 2

We are continuing our journey to learn, work, and apply deeper learning as a district.  (Year 2) This past Monday, during our PD day, we stayed the course and teachers brought deeper learning artifacts to share/discuss/reflect on.  We also introduced metacognition/reflection strategies to use with students.  Our equity coach, Andrea Laning,  provided equity training for our staff. While I am only reflecting on the deeper learning portion of the day, I do see the the connections of equity and deeper learning – especially when you think about personalized learning.  But that will be a future post!

We are also in year 2 with our district’s adoption of K-12 ePortfolios.  Currently, we are using SeeSaw in grades K-5 and Google Sites in grades 6-12. The ePortfolio is turning out to be an excellent measurement tool for students to:

  • Demonstrate deeper learning and the skills, knowledge, and experiences acquired by that learning  – maybe even dispositions?
  • Demonstrate short and long-term growth
  • Showcase 21st-century competencies (Ours = Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Community Service, and Careers) embedded in learning IN and OUTSIDE of school
  • Make thinking/learning/skills visible
  • Become independent, self-directed thinkers and learners

We kicked off the day with several educators (from each of our buildings) to showcase student learning artifacts!  We then had some time to discuss/reflect on what we saw and heard from those short presentations as well as our own deep learning digital artifacts.

Deeper Learning Reflection Quesitons

Year 2 – Deeper Learning Reflection Questions


Our educators submitted their artifacts (via Google Forms) and reflected on them based on the questions above.  OH MY.  It is this that gets me really excited because, at a district level, we can see all of the great things our teachers are doing as well as the great things our students are learning!

Are we there yet? No.  However, I now have a measure.  56.6 % of our teachers feel their artifacts either meets or exceeds deeper learning.

The written reflections about the experience were incredible.  They included thinking about “all” students achieving at high levels, as well as thinking about the engagement of all students.  The majority of educators also had great insights on how they could improve the experience the next time.  Right now, this information is only available to our admin and coaches. I honestly think it would be valuable for all educators to see this and the learning potential could be HUGE!

Part 2 – Metacognition/Reflection

The second part of the deeper learning portion of the day – was to focus on Metacognition/Reflection.  Instead of lecturing and front-loading the information, we flipped it and had participants read or research on the topic, discuss it, and more importantly THINK about it.  They discussed and posted to our Mentimeter form. (PS cool tool)


I designed a thinking map (using Googlel Draw) for this activity so that our educators to somewhat document their understanding of the topic that included some thinking prompts.  that one could either draw or submit via Google Drive.  Some of them even tweeted it out!



We collected thinking maps from all of our staff.  Our intent, as with any formative assessment, is to follow up and provide feedback to our teachers.  We also will use the information we have collected, to better differentiate the next PD day in January.  Deliverables – Teachers are to bring a deeper learning student artifact that also has a  quality student reflection.

Modified presentation from Nov 6

Some considerations for improvement

  • Timing and activities.  Some of the activities might have seemed rushed.  But, I am happy to have modeled metacognition/reflection (thinking map, survey) through this experience!
  • Be clear about the learning target
  • More collaborative activities – including collaboration outside of team/plcs – cross building!
  • Have a high energy starter.
  • Google doc artifacts that were shared – needed “everyone with the link can view”.
  • Can we flip some content?
  • Differentiate!  Now that we have collected some formative assessments, I believe we will be able to do that better.
  • Share artifact submissions/ reflection across the district with teachers.



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