Reimagining Curriculum

Video Interview with Silvia Tolisano

Silvia Tolisano is a colleague and friend who continues to inspire me and so many others on the meaningful way
Read More
Video Interview with Silvia Tolisano

From Traditional High School Learning to Co-Creating Learning Experiences

And so we begin… August 11, 2017, the first day that the ninth graders came to experience Vista High School 2.0,
Read More
From Traditional High School Learning to Co-Creating Learning Experiences

A Mathematical Power House of Ideas

By Allison Zmuda, featuring members of the American School of Tegucigalpa Math Team in Honduras: Steve McDowell, Karen Hesse, Carolina
Read More
A Mathematical Power House of Ideas

VIDEO: A Look at Interdisciplinary Curriculum with Heidi Hayes Jacobs

Working in Vista, Calif., I took the opportunity to sit down with friend, colleague, and author Heidi Hayes Jacobs to
Read More
VIDEO: A Look at Interdisciplinary Curriculum with Heidi Hayes Jacobs

What Does It Mean to Reimagine Curriculum?

Curriculum is a creative act — a journey we design to inspire and excite our students.

This category features how educators are leading transformations of an individual course, subject area, or schooling with their students. The goal is to offer curricular space for students to imagine, create, and innovate; pay attention to detail, practice, hone skills; and work through challenges that require both perseverance and thinking flexibly. All three of these categories are significant and interrelated.

Ideally, personalized learning curricula:

  • Identify goals of learning based on state/ministry/national frameworks that is written in student-friendly language
  • Develop questions or challenges that encourage students to think, problem-solve, and imagine
  • Design performance or product opportunities that mirror what people in the field and communities do
  • Use existing and seek out new assessment/instructional resources to support the development of every learner.

Video Interview with Silvia Tolisano

Silvia Tolisano is a colleague and friend who continues to inspire me and so many others on the meaningful way to leverage technology in service to inquiry, idea generation, and creation. Her blog is filled with fabulous ways and examples of how to capture engagement, analysis, and exploration and make it visible to a global world. We were immersed in conversation around HEUTAGOGY  -- the study of self-determined learning. This was a new word for...

From Traditional High School Learning to Co-Creating Learning Experiences

And so we begin… August 11, 2017, the first day that the ninth graders came to experience Vista High School 2.0, we witnessed the beginning of our evolution from a large traditional high school experience to an experience in which students will be invited to the design table to help co-create their learning experiences. This means that as a site, we are working to ensure that students have the opportunity to: Personalize their learning experiences...

A Mathematical Power House of Ideas

math curriculum

By Allison Zmuda, featuring members of the American School of Tegucigalpa Math Team in Honduras: Steve McDowell, Karen Hesse, Carolina Martinez, Jacqueline Turcios, Sonia Amat, Roberto Segura and Roque Padilla. One of the predictable challenges is how relevant and rigorous the connections are to math teachers. Many teachers I have met are reluctant to provide precious instructional minutes because the focus is typically several grade levels below what the course expects. So when I came...

VIDEO: A Look at Interdisciplinary Curriculum with Heidi Hayes Jacobs

Heidi Hayes Jacobs

Working in Vista, Calif., I took the opportunity to sit down with friend, colleague, and author Heidi Hayes Jacobs to discuss interdisciplinary curriculum. Heidi has more than 20 years' experience in the field and shares insights in a number of areas, including the timeless aspects around an interdisciplinary curriculum and how is it evolving. Watch the video and also read the blog post I wrote this week, Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Timeless Read from 1989.

Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Timeless Read from 1989

I have the good fortune of being both a collaborator and a dear friend with Heidi Hayes Jacobs. As we continue to generate fresh ideas in relation to our work projects, she recently gave me a copy of one of her earliest books — Interdisciplinary Curriculum (ASCD, 1989). Though the book is out of print (you can buy a used copy here), it is timeless as educators consider the vibrancy of organizing learning through approaches...

Reimagining Middle School: Civil War Companion Book Unit

Personalized learning, and student choice. Creating a new Humanities-based unit focused on those aspects was my step toward reimagining middle school, and it started in my classroom. This unit brought the students’ writing to an impressive new level. Students chose their book, chose their writing strategies and stopped to write about important points of the book that stood out to them — not to the teacher. This produced amazing results and ultimately, a companion book. I...

The Power of Learning Principles

Written with support from Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins Picture a powerful learning experience you have had. Now describe what made it so powerful. Was it the opportunity to practice in front of a coach and receive immediate feedback? Was it because you had clarity on the purpose of the task and how it fit into a larger goal? Think about generalizations that come from your personal example. Now you are well on your way...

Teaching Shakespeare to Kids: Making the Process Fun

By Herman Davis. Herman is passionate about K-12 education and loves exploring different ways to make learning a fun experience. He volunteers at an after school program teaching 4th, 5th, and 6th graders Shakespeare. He is starting the process to apply to grad school where he will pursue a masters degree in education. If you can’t catch him the classroom, you might be able to find him at the gym, or watching football (Go Broncos!)....

Personalized Learning Perspective from a High School Student

Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of being a voice of 42,000 students in my school district of Henry County. Each year, Henry County Schools offer a Teacher Induction Program the week before pre-planning that allows new educators to the district to receive more training, professional development, and networking opportunities to be successful for the upcoming school year. On Personalized Learning Day of this annual event, I had the opportunity of being the opening keynote...

Practices in the Classroom are Practices for Life

In Students at the Center, Bena Kallick and Allison Zmuda identify seven key elements to consider when designing student centered learning: Goals Inquiry/Idea generation Task and audience Evaluation Cumulative demonstration of learning Instructional plan Feedback In this post, I'd like to simply look at goals. When thinking about goals we always need to start with the relevant standards. But, we can’t leave them in the "standards" language. We need to be able to translate them...