Reimagining Instructional Time & Space

Student Voice and Edcamp “Unconferences”

Conversations about learning and school change tend to involve administrators and hopefully teachers, but oftentimes we leave out one of
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Student Voice and Edcamp “Unconferences”

Creative Collaboration by Design

Setting the Stage: I had an opportunity to meet Evan Wilke at this year’s annual Tri-Association Conference in San Jose,
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Creative Collaboration by Design

Seven Keys to Creative Collaboration

This blog was originally posted on spencerauthor.com. To hear more from John Spencer, you can also listen to his podcast,
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Seven Keys to Creative Collaboration

Sophisticated Network Spaces: Members and Mentors

Professional Learning Through Collaborative Creativity Creativity, like wildfire, spreads with more kindling. Likewise, ideas can grow with more collaborators. What I
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Sophisticated Network Spaces: Members and Mentors

What Does It Mean to Reimagine Instructional Time?

Time is a precious resource and what we regularly pay attention to as teachers clarifies what is most important to students.

This category focuses on creative ways to allocate time within an existing class period or reimagining school schedules.

  • Carve out regular time blocks to focus on inquiry, idea generation
  • Provide parameters / routines for students to encourage self-direction
  • Create flexible spaces and groups that support the focus of instructional time

Student Voice and Edcamp “Unconferences”

Conversations about learning and school change tend to involve administrators and hopefully teachers, but oftentimes we leave out one of our most important stakeholders - our students. Including student voice, their ideas, opinions and perspectives, could certainly help as we work to better meet the needs of our learners. One way we decided to include students was to invite them to our local edcamp. If you aren’t familiar with edcamps, an edcamp is an "unconference"...

Creative Collaboration by Design

Setting the Stage: I had an opportunity to meet Evan Wilke at this year’s annual Tri-Association Conference in San Jose, Costa Rica. Heidi Hayes Jacobs and I were leading a two-day workshop around the Contemporary Quest Model based on the book Bold Moves (ASCD, 2017). Toward the end of Day 1, Evan had a visible breakthrough … I saw his face light up as he described the idea he sketched out. One of the quiet...

Seven Keys to Creative Collaboration

creative collaboration

This blog was originally posted on spencerauthor.com. To hear more from John Spencer, you can also listen to his podcast, The Creative Classroom with John Spencer. I'm not a fan of group work. I have vivid memories of doing "team projects" where I completed various tasks while other members disappeared. As a classroom teacher, I preferred to plan alone, dreaming up projects and planning out units in isolation. I am comfortable in my own mind...

Sophisticated Network Spaces: Members and Mentors

Professional Learning Through Collaborative Creativity Creativity, like wildfire, spreads with more kindling. Likewise, ideas can grow with more collaborators. What I come up with on my own might be good, but better ideas are generated when I work with others, particularly those who share my passion for learning. As I observe myself in this process, I become aware of how I am using the habits of thinking interdependently, thinking flexibly, and metacognition. I appreciate the...

Environments and Goal Setting for ALL Students

By Jessica Craig and Kirsten Sola Coming from a family of educators, Jessica taught in Illinois before moving to her current district in Colorado, where she developed a passion for personalized learning and flexible spaces. She now works as a Strategist in the Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Growth Department, supporting teachers in implementing innovative practices through coaching and professional development. Kirsten has 14 years of classroom experience, including 9 years of teaching Gifted & Talented...

Flexible Classroom Spaces: From Physical Change to Instructional Change

By Jessica Craig and Kirsten Sola Coming from a family of educators, Jessica taught in Illinois before moving to her current district in Colorado, where she developed a passion for personalized learning and flexible spaces. She now works as a Strategist in the Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Growth Department, supporting teachers in implementing innovative practices through coaching and professional development. Kirsten has 14 years of classroom experience, including 9 years of teaching Gifted & Talented...

May I Have Your Attention Please? The Power of the “Toward” State

By Mike Fisher, Marie Alcock and Allison Zmuda As we imagine a contemporary curriculum that is rooted in foundational literacies, teachers need the hearts and minds of their students when they attempt to teach the curriculum. Teachers are very clear that it starts with attention — and the challenge is how to create the conditions for that attention that is in line with what we know about the brain. One of the most transformative ideas...

How to Help Students Drive Their Own Inquiry

This post was written with inspiration from the fabulous staff at Aveson Charter School in Altadena, CA Driving questions guide research, action, and creation. Inspired by Essential Questions (see post from Jay McTighe), these are student-generated and are intended to optimize student ownership. Typically, the questions evolve over time. The journey often starts off with a generic, broad question and becomes more nuanced and complex as students drill down. Here are two examples of essential...

Branching Out with Student and Community Partnerships

"What problems are you trying to solve?" As School/Community Partnerships Coordinator for Virginia Beach City Public Schools, I often use this question with community partners who are interested in a deeper level of engagement with students. We think about something the organization is grappling with and find ways to invite students to solve the problem. What often results is a mutually beneficial relationship; partners get an infusion of innovative solutions to sticky problems and students...

What Do Future Schools Need to Be Designed to Do?

One of the key points in the TED talk Sam Chaltain makes — "The fundamental unit of currency in education has been knowledge. We are due for some very big changes. So what’s next? What do future schools need to be designed to do?" He is echoing a rallying cry that has become more pervasive on the national and world stage — and the Learning Personalized community continues to feature schools and classrooms who are...