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How to Embed Conversations: Another Micro-progression

A few days ago, I shared a micro-progression I created for students that showed them a progression of how to integrate textual evidence. The rationale—as inspired by Kate Roberts and Maggie Roberts’ Educator Collaborative session—is that students benefit from seeing the variations of skill development. Not all students can jump from a very basic understanding of a skill to a higher level one in one move. (Read my previous post here.)

This has been a small, but powerful distinction for me. In the past, for example, I’ve always given students plenty of examples of how to integrate quotes. And I’ve always given students the best examples. After all, that’s what I want students to be able to do, right?

But only showing the “5-star” examples ignored how my students were all starting from different places. Skills exist across a continuum. By showing students a micro-progression, they can see how to move from 2 to 3 stars, then from 3 to 4 stars, and so on. What was missing before was the necessary scaffolding.

After just a few days of reviewing and posting my first micro-progression chart in our online classroom, I’ve already seen an improvement. Pleasantly, I’ve not only seen an improvement among students who were not integrating quotes, but also among students who already possessed the skill at some level. In other words, the micro-progression helped more students.

That said, a single micro-progression chart isolates one specific skill, and in fact, sometimes it’s a specific subset of a specific skill. I noticed that some students were having trouble knowing what to do when they wanted to quote text that included two speakers. My initial micro-progression chart could not necessarily help them with that.

So I made another!

Integrating Conversations (1)

Click HERE to download a printable version. If you use this or create your own, I’d love to hear about it. We can all always use more examples.

2 Comments

  1. “But only showing the “5-star” examples ignored how my students were all starting from different places. Skills exist across a continuum. By showing students a micro-progression, they can see how to move from 2 to 3 stars, then from 3 to 4 stars, and so on. What was missing before was the necessary scaffolding.”

    Tricia- This realization is so important. You have really honed in on how the micro-progression provides a model for the 5-star example but also helps students start from where they are and improve systematically. Embedded feedback!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now you can collect “data” as you observe how students move across the progressions. Do all students move? How many practices before students develop greater automaticity?

    Congratulations, you have just made the learning targets VISIBLE for the students! So important for student growth! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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