Reimagining Instructional Time & Space

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
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Flexible Classroom Spaces: From Physical Change to Instructional Change

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

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,
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How to Help Students Drive Their Own Inquiry

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
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Branching Out with Student and Community Partnerships

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

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...

EPIC Update: A Day in the Life of a Learner

By Travis Lape and first published on EdSurge. Travis Lape (@travislape) is a Technology Integrationist at Harrisburg South Middle School in South Dakota, and worked with Harrisburg Freedom Elementary on this project.   Our learners will arrive to school around 8am. Once they arrive they spend some time out on playground until around 8:10am. At that point they come in and go to their home studio. Each learner is assigned a home studio according to...

Democratic Education: Is It Possible to Let Students Take Control of Their Own Learning?

By Josephine Lister, Editor for HundrED: a Finnish-born project bringing together a vision of education for the next 100 years as part of the nation's centenary of independence. All insights and best practises will be documented, packaged and shared with the world for free in the form of a digital platform, global seminars, a book and a short documentary. Education is having a hard time keeping up with the rapid changes happening in the rest of...

Student Choice in Personalized Learning

Student choice is a key tenet of personalized learning, and I think it is especially powerful when the choice is organic and meaningful. To take Allison’s wording, not choice that results in "dumpster projects," but choice that results in authentic, impactful results for a student, and helps them to create a meaningful final product. For their oral history projects, students chose their interviewees. We discussed the pros and cons of choosing a family member, and...

Reimagining Classroom Real Estate

innovative classroom design

Creating a personalized learning culture -- one that values collaboration and self-direction, curiosity and questioning, creation and revision -- requires reimagining the physical environment. I just finished a powerful read, "Humanizing the Education Machine," that brought this to the forefront for me again about the relationship between physical space and personalizing learning. "How are we approaching design and how are we influencing the learning experience? If we design with the learning experience in mind, we...

How to Overcome Personalized Learning Barriers

“Most schools have been designed to solve yesterday's problems, rather than capitalizing on today's opportunities to effectively confront the issues of tomorrow.” -Unknown In order to help Personalized Learning (PL) grow in schools and districts we must try to remove the barriers that challenge those we serve. To do this well, it is always great to do a barrier protocol so that we can be proactive. Many times we get stuck in what we have...