Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Your Output Is Messing With My Input!"

Wow!  Yesterday's professional learning on "Connectors" was a day of A-HAs and Hmmms.  Check out this video of an activity that got us to thinking about how we are connected as a campus and how everything that we do (our Output) affects others (their Input).

(Hey, don't laugh!  It's harder than it looks!)

 In an overly simplified nutshell, "Connectors" introduced us to the idea that every student and staff member is connected at Austin Elementary, and every word, action, and deed has an impact on our learning community.  Take a look at the connector below (we named her "Mustang Sally").  

 The left side of the Connector, or the Input, illustrates what comes to us; students that are smart, eager, tired, gifted, troubled, innocent, nervous, etc.  See below...
  The right side of the Connector, or the Output, shows how we want students to leave Austin Elementary; students that are encouraged, aware, passionate, happy, creative, playful, independent, etc.  See below...

   As "Connectors" taught us, what helps us make the transition from our Input to our Output are the Transforms (generally verbs) that we do to "transform" our Input to our Output.  Still with me?  Some of our Transforms were: laugh, provide, share, challenge, discipline, celebrate, empower, enrich, motivate, model, teach, correct, etc.  See below...

From there, we began to discuss how within the Austin Elementary Connector (Mustang Sally) there are individual Connectors and even grade level Connectors that, when aligned properly, build toward the desired Output of Mustang Sally.  Now I'm sure I've lost a few people.

Below are pictures of some of the aligning we did with our grade level content-specific Connectors.

Our final Mustang Sally (with the grade level Connectors inside) has been posted and will be used to facilitate discussions of content alignment and vision alignment.

Whew!  What a day!


  1. This was one of the very best days of professional learning I have had in 24 years in this profession! It was the "BEST DAY EVER!". What a fantastic staff to work with at Austin Elementary...."I'm loving it!"

  2. The topic was right on! I loved the interaction with peers and hands-on lessons. Austin is an awesome school that is going to get even better with everyone headed in the same direction.