Strategic Influence

Throughout my timeline for implementing my innovation plan I will be using the 6 sources of influence to create change in those around me. My EP Team of seventeen educators on campus will help generate momentum. Having these key influencers stay engaged in this change is my next focus. I have noticed the obvious, looked for crucial moments, learned from positive deviants, and spotted culture busters. My strategy to influence my organization is targeting both motivation and ability at the personal, social, and structural level to change vital behaviors and achieve our desired goal.​

At the same time, I will facilitate EP construction for my personal students. As the EP Team begins to develop and use their ePortfolios more people will want to join in and begin creating their own as well. As I have been developing my own ePortfolio I have been able to see the benefits and the magnitude of potential that there is for EPs in education. Using the 6 sources of influence I will spark interest and inspire others to use ePortfolios as well.

Seeing these children wash their hands is a perfect example on the importance of influence when trying to change behavior. I think this video helped to show this concept in an easy to understand and simple way. Many of the children did not begin washing their hands until four of the sources of influence were being used. Once multiple sources were used more of the children were influenced to wash their hands. This concept will be the same as to what I will be asking those around me to do. Tapping into social power will make all the difference.

4DX in Beta

One of my grad school classes focuses on HOW to successfully implement campus innovations. I thought I might try using these steps of implementation in a small way before attempting on my innovation plan. The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling outlines a formula for executing strategic priorities by following their four disciplines: focusing on the Wildly Important, acting on lead measures, keeping a compelling scoreboard, and creating a cadence of accountability.

I wanted to use the 4 Disciplines for the STAAR test prep as a unit of study on my campus. Knowing that success on the STAAR test looks different that success on other assignments, we try to repurpose familiar reading anchor charts as test taking strategies. We also know that providing more independent reading time will increase success.

In tackling the challenge of independent reading, I worked with our campus literacy coach in creating a friendly competition among campus Learning Communities using 4DX. We established our wildly important goal, created compelling scoreboards that our readers could see every day, acted on lead measures, and created a cadence of accountability among our readers.

As this was our first attempt at using 4DX, we established our WIG for our students:

We created 6 scoreboards, one for each learning community, and smaller individual scoreboards for each student to view lead measures. As our readers arrived before school each day, they applied a sticker to that day of their scoreboard (11 year olds love stickers!). They then settled down to read before the morning bell. At the end of our time together, they recorded their total amount of minutes for the day.

I completed the line graph of lead measures so that each reader could easily see how their daily choices were affecting their ability to reach their goal of 200 minutes (it was the straight line down the middle). Even if they missed a day, or didn’t read as much for a couple days, it was not impossible for them to achieve the WIG.

A cadence of accountability was created by grouping individual scoreboards on colored paper per learning community. We didn’t use very competitive language, and all readers were rewarded, but there was an unspoken push within learning communities for their readers to show up and read.

In addition to giving kids enough independent reading time, test taking strategies on standardized tests are also important. I wanted my students in Learning Community 8 to reflect on their learning and use strategies in a fun, competitive way. I attempted to use 4DX in my classroom to do so.

Each student had their own folder with a scoreboard stapled to the inside front cover. On the right cover of folder were 25 strategies represented by anchor charts we have used during the year in our reading. Before beginning, we read through and reflected on how we’ve used these strategies in the past, and how we will use them on STAAR passages in much the same way. We also looked at past benchmark scores and each student established a goal for their STAAR test scores. I wanted to tie in the importance for independent reading, so I created a space for them to measure that as well.

Each student’s Wildly Important Goal was a little different, and all students were able to see that their goal was to score higher. They were able to break down this goal into an achievable controllable lead measure tied to them using specific strategies and spending time reading. They were motivated by the ability to check off strategies and earn fun stickers on their scoreboards. They knew I was holding them accountable by requiring them to annotate strategies used on STAAR passages.

Not mentioned in McChesney, Covey, and Huling’s book is PLAY. Every day, as we started class, I turned on the same upbeat song and called out each child’s name as on a game show while awarding them their folders. By the end of our test taking unit of study, each reader knew the words of our song and banged on desks in the rhythm of the music, to the slight chagrin of my neighboring classrooms. That we ended on an even higher note that we began is a measure of success to me.

As I look to next year and the implementation of ePortfolios, I will use these two examples of the Four Disciplines of Execution as a possible vehicle to ensure EP success. I have sent a Google Form to my staff with a 1-minute video on ePortfolios with 2 additional questions. 31 of 93 staff members responded, with 9 indicating an interest in forming a pilot group for EP implementation next year. I’m looking forward to showing these examples to them and coming up with a WIG for ePortfolio implementation. Together we will establish lead measures, we will create a compelling scoreboard, and create a cadence of accountability so we don’t let the whirlwind of teacher life cause us to lose sight of the importance of ePortfolios.

4DXing Peloton

When we stopped going to the gym in March of 2020, I decided to buy a bike. It wasn’t fancy-I saw it at Bed Bath & Beyond and noticed it was the last one. I was just starting to settle in to that feeling of hibernation, and preservation. Hunkering down. Looking at that bike, I knew it was some kind of answer.

I used it aimlessly for about a week, until I heard about the Peleton app. I heard that with the app, you have access to all Peloton classes, and you could take them live even, without an actual Peloton. Technology helps us do things we could not previously do.

I’m CSHARP75 – Ride with me!

I was hooked immediately. I took all the “Intro” and “Welcome” and “Beginner” classes. I played around with the strength and stretching classes, as well as the hundreds of cycling options. I was a sucker for the badges. Yes, badges. I needed all the stinking badges!

Trust the process. ~Dennis Morton

Several months went by, and I was on my bike every day. I passed 100 rides and they sent me a Century t-shirt! Movement inside my house became more important than ever. Daily encouragement from the Peloton instructors became necessary. Jenn was my age, and someone I swear I met once. Dennis, also mid 40s, I could have run it to at a show (his taste and knowledge of music mirrors mine). And Sam Yo never ceases to inspire me.

The instructors filmed in their own homes for a few weeks. All of us cycling separately, but feeling so together-that was a very very good thing to have during a pandemic.

Around month seven on my bike, I started stacking rides. I would complete a warm-up and cool-down ride before and after my main workout. It occured to me that if I could do that every day, and add one more on weekends, I could reach 500 rides in 52 weeks. This goal became wildly important to me. I went to bed at night excited to wake up at 5am and hop on my bike.

Fix your wig and get your life together! ~Cody Rigsby

Having an extremely challenging (but achievable) goal pushed me like never before! I knew what I could influence and leverage every day were the amount of times I took a class. I needed to take at least 3 rides a day, every day, increasing to 4 rides a day on holidays and weekends. My 3 week Christmas break was a little bit grueling, but also completely invigorating. (On days that were stacked high, or on “rest” days, I stacked multiple warm up or short rides. Balance is still important, even when pursuing challenging goals.)

It doesn’t matter where you are on the leaderboard. What matters is that you are on the leaderboard. ~Christine D’ercole

I really felt like the instructors were part of my team. Their encouragement, humor, and music helped keep my spirits up and my goal clear. The virtual high-fives offered and received from other riders around the world were surprisingly effective and added a layer of authenticity.

I made daily tallies on a calendar next to my bike, and kept earning monthly badges. One thing I loved about the calendar I was keeping was that it indicated where I should be each day. Every day after I documented my classes, I could easily see that I was winning. If I fell behind one day, I could see how I needed to spread out one more class across several days of that week. I kept track of where I was, compared to where I should be. It was easy, and fun!

On the last day of the 52nd week, I earned the 500.

Simultaneously, I began reading a book called The 4 Disciplines of Execution. This book models how to effectively execute a plan focusing on small factors that lead to success in any organization. I didn’t know I was implementing the disciplines, but I was successful in reaching 500 rides because these are the steps I took:

  1. Focus on a Wildly Important Goal (WIG). Reach 500 rides in 52 weeks.
  2. Act on lead measures; what you can control that will give you results. Take at least 3 rides a day, every day, increasing to 4 rides a day on holidays and weekends.
  3. Keep a compelling scoreboard. Daily tallies on calendar next to bike.
  4. Create a cadence of accountability. Periodic badges and virtual high-fives on app.

My accountability on Peloton was all virtual, but the cadence never slowed. In this way, The 4 Disciplines of Execution proved effective and technology helped me to achieve something I never could have done on my own. I’m CSHARP75. Ride with me!

How you do anything is how you do everything. ~Emma Lovewell