Friday, September 6, 2019

Paraphrase Friends

Day Two of Adaptive Schools training with Ochen Kusuma-Powell from the Thinking Collaborative energized and encouraged. Layered and nuanced, when the day ended I walked away thinking about topics I could dig deeper: into strategies I could practice, and into ways of being intentional.  Masterful facilitation, I appreciated how Powell designed the environment and modeled feeding feedback back to the group by my making it visible and memorable. She posted the patterns she saw in our exit protocol: stealing the idea for future groups.

How do you create an environment for professional learning?
How do you make feedback visible and meaningful to learners?

In the afternoon we reviewed the Seven Norms of Collaboration, We went beyond reading and naming the seven norms:
Posing questions
Putting ideas on the table
Providing data
Paying attention to self and others
Presuming positive intentions

We took time to really process the first two. We met with eye contact partners from across the room. What does it mean to pause? If pausing is our "wait time," what types of pauses may we take when working in groups? While we may recognize paraphrasing as "reflective listening," there is more to paraphrasing than that. We talked about the different kinds of listening we can hear when group members paraphrase to organize another's ideas or to abstract another's ideas.

Teaching speaking is a glow area in my own practice and istening is definitely a growth area. At this time, I am most interested in developing my listening and paraphrasing skills.  Paraphrasing as Powell said gets at how to teach (and assess) listening.

We practiced three types of paraphrasing: acknowledging, organizing, and abstracting. When you acknowledge you restate what a person said in your own words,  being mindful of pronouns.

The pronouns piece will continue to resonate. This is a growth area for me as a group member and as a facilitator. As one person in my table group said, sometimes paraphrasing sounds like a put-down. For instance, when a person says "I hear you saying ..." that can sound to some like "You are saying this but I can say it better when I repeat it." akin to be "explained' by someone. Another seeming put down mentioned is when a participant says, "What's she's saying is..."  which to some feels like words are being put in their mouths.

There are many types of paraphrasing and each gets at a specific type of listening (Powell).

Acknowledging Paraphrases: demonstrate reflective listening. Listener restates what was said in his or her own words being mindful of pronouns.

Organizing Paraphrases: demonstrate analytical listening. Listener categorizes what the speaker has said.

Abstracting Paraphrases: demonstrate inferential listening. Listener connects what the speaker said to concepts to communicate what was inferred.

So Friends, let's practice. Watch this clip, "Phoebe's Running Style" from Friends.

Pharaphrasing in these ways is a growth area for me. I'd like to think I'm good at reflective listening, summarizing what I hear, but I am not as good at minding my pronouns and organizing or abstracting ideas in the moment, when I hear them. Those will become goals for me this year.

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