- Learn to facilitate the stage of Influence to develop self-worth and respect for diversity
- Experience strategies for individual group decision-making and collaborative problem-solving
- Discuss and practice using Tribes strategies within academic subjects and themes
- Discover ways to involve colleagues in providing consultation on classroom and professional issues
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Welcome to class #5.
Throughout each class and the course, you will experience the Tribes TLC® (Tribes) process as you learn it, apply it, and reflect on it. Assignments are designed to answer ‘why, what, and how’ the Tribes process applies to you, your students, your classroom, your school, and your life.
Building a learning community always begins with an opportunity to share personally, as well as objectively.
Class #5 Assignments
1) Community Inclusion – Five Tribbles, p. 246 (not in the DG book or EA)
This strategy is both ‘inclusion’ and ‘influence’. It enables us to learn more about one another, but also to value our opinions and differences. Look at the five tribbles on page 247. Answer this question with a ‘tribble’: How are you doing with Tribes in your classroom and/or sense of the process…right now, at this point in the class.
Post on the forum page. Here is an image, since these guys are not in the middle or high school book, so we know “the guy on the far left”…when referring to your ‘tribble’. I encourage you to give a brief explanation, but it is not required.
I will remind you of the agreements (remember the importance of modeling and clarifying…and never assume that just because you have the agreements posted and you have taught them well, that you don’t need to remind or explain them again!) with this example:
Attentive Listening means not commenting, interrupting, or asking questions while each person makes his/her statement.
Mutual Respect is present in accepting and valuing what has been shared.
No Put Downs applies, again, to what one chooses to share
The Right to Pass gives each of us pause to choose the level of sharing (with or without explanation), as well as the right to not share, yet still be a part of the community and learn about others.
Note: not only is this a handy little strategy for inclusion and influence, it is also a reflective practice!
Think about how you might adapt the visuals for your age/grade. We had a very talented art teach at my middle school who drew five different dogs, expressing the same emotions and actions as the ‘tribbles’ – students loved it!
Your assignment here is to write a reflection question for “Five Tribbles” (content, collaborative, or personal) and post it on the forum page. Reflection, as you know, especially after last class!…is essential to learning. The more you practice the art of reflection, the more it becomes part of your teaching and learning. Be mindful of closed vs. open questions.
3) The Stage of Influence
Read pages 74-76 and all of chapter 9 in Reaching All…. (p. 85 – 85, 145 – 151, DG; 237-246 EA)
Now, briefly summarize how you would answer this question, posed by a person you don’t know, “What is this ‘stage of influence’ in the group development process?”
(50 words max)
Example: Influence” is a verb: to manipulate, to affect; “Influence is a noun: it is power, it is an effect. While it may seem to be a challenge or obstacle in achieving ‘community’, Influence is really an opportunity to learn, grow, and understand oneself and others better. (46 words = brief!)
4) Transition Strategy – Where Do I Stand? p. 376 (p. 381, DG; 470, EA)
Now that you know the difference between the stage of Inclusion and the stage of Influence…it is likely that you can identify those students in your class who are still enjoying ‘inclusion’ and those who entered on day 1 in “influence”!
You will be glad to know that there are a number of ‘transition’ strategies that tend to work well with these diverse groups. “Transition” strategies are both inclusive and influential.
One of these strategies is “Where do I Stand?”
Read through the instructions for the strategy on page 376 (381 DG; 470 EA). We will use the LION -FOX -DEER – DOVE category/selection and the question is: What are you most like when you are new to a group? To clarify, you walk into a classroom or social gathering and you don’t know ANYone there…are you a LION, a FOX, a DEER, or a DOVE?
In this ‘transition strategy’, you will make a decision (influence!) and share why you have this ‘animal’ characteristic (inclusion – something about YOU)
Post your statement. Here is mine: Mary – I am a lion because I watch very carefully, from a safe distance…when I am new to a group.
I cannot stress enough, the importance of agreements as we enter into deliberate influence strategies. There will likely be as many similarities as differences in how each of us interprets the animal characteristics. Therefore, there are no ‘wrong’ answers and we must be mutually respectful of our differing interpretations (I am modeling now what I might say to my students). How would you review/incorporate the agreements into directions for “Where Do I Stand?” Put some thought into this as it will be an upcoming assignment…to review/describe the agreements when introducing a strategy.
What did you learn…about yourself? About others? (This is an intrapersonal reflection – do not post)
Now come up with your own ‘Where do I Stand?” question and set of four ‘answers’ Post this!
6) Influence Strategies
With regards to the circle diagram on page 128 (147 DG; 240 EA), we will experience strategies online for “making individual decisions” and “individual problem solving”, and address “making group decisions” and “group problem solving” on the class forum page.
Making Group Decisions:
Brainstorming p. 218 (p. 248 DG; 329 EA)
Consensus Building p. 230 (p. 261 DG; 342 EA)
(Action Plan) p. 139 (p. 149 DG, 243 EA)
Imagine we can invite anyone we want to join us for lunch (and, of course, we would all be able to attend this event!). We need to come to agreement on whom that special person would be. To keep it simple, this person is someone we can reach by phone or email; that is, they are alive and on the planet.
The ‘brainstorming’ experience will be that each of you may submit 1 – 3 names on the forum page under the topic “LUNCH GUEST”
Rules for Brainstorming are on page 218 (248 DG; 392 EA). (Do you also ‘see’ the agreements there?)
We will complete the voting in the online class to determine our lunch guest
Group Problem Solving
Suggestion Circle p. 344 (p. 357 DG; 445 EA)
(Client-Consultants) p. 225 (p. 256 DG; 337 EA)
These are essentially the same strategy; one is a full group configuration and the other is done in small groups.
We will experience the full group version – Suggestion Circle.
Read the instructions on page 344 (357 DG; 445 EA). For our experience, I will combine #3 and #4; I will share a concern that you will likely have in your classroom at some point, and clarify. Based on what information you have (rather than letting you ask questions…which is certainly what would happen in a F2F situation), it will be your turn to offer up a suggestion. It is important to the process that, while suggestions are posting, the one with the concern (in this case, me) does not respond in any way. Think about it; if I were to respond/post something like “tried it, didn’t work”, or “can’t do that”…the suggestions might lose momentum, or even stop. At the end of the strategy, when everyone present has offered every suggestion they can think of, the one with the concern may respond, or, in the case of F2F, just take the list from the recorder and move on. This is a wonderful strategy for group issues; I used it with my 7th graders who were consistently turning in homework late, or not doing it at all. They came up with some great suggestions! Even better, they had a strong voice in solving the problem!
So, here is the problem:
What can you do with the student who is a ‘group destroyer’? This student will have various methods: refusing to participate, making put-downs, being disrespectful, interrupting, micro-managing, not paying attention, distracting with humor or doing something completely unrelated to the task at hand. Everyone else is more or less ‘on the trail’ with you…except this one student. No one wants to work with him/her, and he/she reciprocates that when asked to have a partner or be in a group.
If you find that your suggestion has been posted, just add a * to the end of that statement.
Statements with more than * would indicate that more than one of you would suggest that solution.
Post as many suggestions as you can think of…
How might you use the Brainstorming-Consensus Building-Action Plan sequence of making group decisions in real situations?
If your ‘guest’ is not the chosen guest, do you still feel like you had a voice in the group decision? Explain.
What will your students like (or dislike) about these Influence strategies?
What have you learned about ‘Influence’ by participating in these strategies?
Class #5 class page assignment checklist and QUICK LINKS TO FORUM