Short Case Study about FIRST application
I am Hanan Shaker, a teacher and math department supervisor at Al Ofoq Al Jadeed School. This short case study is to document the impact of my application of FIRST Framework and its 15 principles during a Conflict Resolution Styles workshop I delivered in Saida Lebnanon which lasted for more than 4 hours. In my workshop I had 15 participants attending, who were mainly supervisors of various subjects and of different levels.
Writing this case study made me realize that the I and R domains of FIRST Framework had the greatest impact on shaping my learner’s experiences. Undoubtedly, the behaviors of every principle has countless positive effects; yet, I would want to highlight the “Interacting within positive group dynamics” and the “Active reviewing” domains. Interacting with each other, the participants enjoyed the interdependence and the collaboration in exchanging the information in every social activity, as in the Jigsaw, the tea party or even in the whole discussion. They shared their insights positively and respectfully. Not only did that interaction create a great sense of satisfaction in me but also applying the RAR has a similar impact. FIRST has helped me develop a deeper understanding of the importance of the reviewing principle of the RAR model at the end of every activity. That was done in different ways each time, engaging all participants, wrapping up the ideas, reflecting on and making sense of the experience, targeting the learning outcomes, thinking of future actions and so on.
One of the activities I used as energizer was Twin Rivers USD Leadership, which was greatly enjoyed by the attendees who felt energized to proceed.
Some of the feedback I received where like “We’ve really been through active deep learner experience”, the head supervisor of cycles 1 & 2 commented. “We took no notice of time”, the English language supervisor commented. “It is the best workshop I have ever attended”, a third one added. These are few of many boosting, motivating and sincere comments heard after every facilitation of ROOTS soft.
What is even more pleasing and rewarding is the impact that has started to spread in our school, where all teachers are diligently applying some of the acquired behaviors like facilitating group activities in various engaging methods and making sure to review it actively at the end.
The change that FIRST has brought about to our school community has started to give its fruit; especially in the Math department where I followed up with my teachers through class meetings and classroom observations. Teachers enjoyed interacting with each other in the facilitations they attended, so they did their best to apply interactive activities with their students, and of course I encouraged them a lot and guided them assuring the importance of reviewing actively and linking and summarizing well at the end of every activity.
Also, under my supervision, the math teachers, indirectly, applied some of the behaviors of FIRST principles with their students such as checking learners’ understanding through observation, exit cards, asking and answering questions, which are part of the “Probing and Assessing” F domain principle. In fact, learners started enjoying math sessions a lot and their performance improved a lot as well. Below is the stunning change of some seven graders whose teacher has shown special care for her students.