Collegial Coaching Observation 1

Today Leigh observed my Unit 1/2 VCD class. The students are in the early stages of an extended design process to generate and develop concepts for a reusable water bottle. Today’s lesson is about using 3D drawing methods to communicate a variety of different concepts.

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For this lesson, I asked Leigh to offer me feedback on the following:

  1. Productive use of class time. To what degree are all students engaged throughout the lesson? In the early stages of any design process I encourage students to direct their energy towards generating as many divergent ideas as possible, using a range of different techniques. The emphasis should be on quantity of ideas above quality – we can test ideas for quality later in the process, but without a broad range of ideas students are rarely able to develop successful concepts later in the process. I encourage and expect students to maximise class time and develop the ability to focus in on a design task and rapidly generate ideas. I don’t insist on silence during this sort of task because I feel this can be stifling to the creative process – but the ability to maintain productive output whilst engaging in private conversations is a finely honed skill!
  2. Feedback opportunities. A typical VCD lesson involves me first speaking with the class to establish goals and expectations for the lesson, possibly followed by a technical demonstration, then a period of time where students work on a creative task while I circulate the room acting as a sort of art director – “this is working well…” “I like how you have done this…” “have you thought about this…” “you need to keep practicing this…” etc. As we are still early in the year, students are still self-conscious of their ability and it takes a bit more effort on my part to get them to openly share their sketches and ideas. One of my jobs over the next few weeks is to encourage them to embrace the design process in a transparent way by openly sharing ideas with peers for effective feedback.
  3. Ownership of learning/self direction. I share a lot of resources with my students, including iBooks, Schoology materials and many other documents. I spend time every lesson reinforcing with students which materials they should be accessing and  where to find them. This is expected at the beginning of the year, but as we progress through Unit 1 I hope to see my students accessing these resources on their own accord. If not, then why not?

Following this lesson, Leigh suggested she observes the same lesson in 2 weeks’ time – an excellent idea – and hopefully we can track the progress of the points listed above.

Many thanks Leigh for your time today!


One Reply to “Collegial Coaching Observation 1”

  1. COG# 2 Sam 10-3-2016
    Back in Sam’s Year 11 VCD class to observe the growing culture of the class where the stated expectation is that there is ‘maximum productivity’ in a place of highly valued creativity integrated with equally valued drawing and folio development processes.

    The learning intentions today are to Build your folio through making all your thinking ‘visible’. The process is as follows:

    1 Research/Generation of ideas

    2. Design thinking

    3.Methods Media and Material

    4 Elements + Principle [ibook]


    When I arrived the class was very focused on their respective tasks both in folios and research on laptops.

    There was no talking at all

    Northside bench students all were working and when I looked at their folios they were well on task.

    Likewise the central bench group was remarkably/impressively focused with ear phones, pens, folios and creativity evident! Even the ‘entertainer’ of the group was working hard to complete some of his tasks.

    Southside bench of students has three students embroiled in their work and actively working on the task. In the middle of this group are two students only embroiled in each other. Physically close, speaking in whispers to each other and obviously not on task. They only have their record book’s open,in which they are doodling, with no evidence of completing or working on the task. Their drawing pads were being used to lean on .Sam is aware of and managing the situation and approached them and spoke of the task requirements. “If you looked back on this lesson what could you show for it?” He asked the student to highlight what had been done and what needed to be done.Using the criteria sheets and the language of the criteria Sam highlighted/reiterated what was required…what needed to happen for the next lesson.“Is this a fair reflection of 4 weeks work?”

    Today ,Sam suggested that sitting together was not helping their learning. However the behaviour ( that does not impact on any other student’s learning)is certainly inhibiting both of the student’s respective learning. Initially, Sam considered the partnership of the two students to be a positive thing for their learning as they both are very quiet and with minimal participation and maybe working together would give them the opportunity to share their creativity and enhance their learning. Today it became clear this is not the case. Sam will seek information from HOH and monitor the classroom learning as the students sit separately in the classes to follow.

    The situation has generated a great discussion between us about management and engagement of student’s leaning and how some classroom scenarios produce such complexity.

    Today’s class exhibited maximum productivity in most of the students. I look forward to see the outcome as the process is fascinating.

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