Reimagining Instructional Time & Space

Are We Setting Students Up For Failure When We Assign Them To Groups And Say, “Collaborate!”?

When you think about your experience as an adult, collaborating with coworkers, do you get an uncomfortable pit in your...
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Are We Setting Students Up For Failure When We Assign Them To Groups And Say, “Collaborate!”?

Kevätkumpu School in Porvoo Finland

What does contemporary learning look like, feel like, and sound like when you have an opportunity to design a new...
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Kevätkumpu School in Porvoo Finland

Benefits of Gaming for Learning (Infographic)

Gaming is far more than just a form of entertainment. There’s good news in store for the parents of teenagers...
Read More
Benefits of Gaming for Learning (Infographic)

A Vision for the Future of School that You Can Own

Over this past weekend, I dug into the book Finnish Lessons 2.0 by Pasi Sahlberg with the intention of reading...
Read More
A Vision for the Future of School that You Can Own

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

Are We Setting Students Up For Failure When We Assign Them To Groups And Say, “Collaborate!”?

When you think about your experience as an adult, collaborating with coworkers, do you get an uncomfortable pit in your stomach? How often does it go just right? Over my many years and many occupations I have experienced productive, professionally life-changing collaboration exactly once. Two years ago, a room change and an opportunity to participate in an Innovation Lab (supported by Allison Zmuda) started me on a journey that has completely changed my idea of...

Kevätkumpu School in Porvoo Finland

What does contemporary learning look like, feel like, and sound like when you have an opportunity to design a new school from the ground up? We took a tour of the Kevätkumpu Primary School (Grades 1-6) that was collectively imagined by the school staff, students, and community. This building is a testament how form and function can align to grow the thinking, creative problem solving, and collaboration of the school community. I shared snapshots of...

Benefits of Gaming for Learning (Infographic)

Gaming is far more than just a form of entertainment. There’s good news in store for the parents of teenagers who spend hours each day on interactive, role-playing and single player games across all consoles and on the computer: gaming is an effective vehicle for learning, even when the games are not specifically developed to be educational in nature. For example, games that are played online with other players are a great tool for developing...

A Vision for the Future of School that You Can Own

Over this past weekend, I dug into the book Finnish Lessons 2.0 by Pasi Sahlberg with the intention of reading about the transformation of Finnish education before my trip to Finland at the end of September. Sahlberg asserts, "What the world can learn from educational change in Finland is that creating a good and equitable education system is possible, but it takes the right mix of ingenuity, time, patience and determination." Much of what I...

Digital Footprints from the Teen’s Perspective

First published on Connect & Learn: Preparing for the Future in Education and republished with permission. I had the honor of facilitating a panel discussion by a few of our high school students on digital citizenship this past spring. This session was at the Texas Social Media Conference held at our local education service center. This group of students appeared on my radar one evening when their group, Texas Teens Teach, started following me on Twitter. After scheduling...

Thinking Flexibly about Schedules

I was listening to Fast Company’s podcast featuring Dan Pink in which he describes that if you’re an employer, you might want to consider adopting a flexible approach when it comes to setting working hours. Not just because it’ll make you a good boss, but because doing so can do wonders for office productivity. Dan Pink outlines that there are three stages throughout our working hours: peak, trough, and recovery.  If you want to dive...

How Creating Choice Transformed My K-8 Art Studio

How do you create full student choice with a couple hundred of kindergarten through eighth-grade students and one art teacher? A) Pedagogy, B) Planning, and C) Personalized Learning. I am a K-8 art teacher, and I run a choice-based, student-driven art education program that combines the Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) pedagogy with Personalized Learning. I am an advocate for providing students with authentic learning opportunities at each stage of their K-12 educational experience. I...

New Holstein High School Has a Farm (E-I-E-I-O)

"Everyone put your chickens away!" It was, without a doubt, the first time I’d heard these words spoken in a classroom. Or anywhere, for that matter. I was on the road visiting New Holstein School District to get a firsthand look at their agriculture-science program, and I must say, it exceeded expectations. Check out the video! The Program The agri-science program at New Holstein High School gives students a chance to experience the many facets...

How We are Reimagining the Possibilities with Our Middle School Staff and Supporting Innovations

  Writer and executive producer of Put It Into Words, Tim Salem is the Principal at ScottsRidge Middle School in Ridgefield, CT. He has 20+ years as an educator and administrator and was named the 2009 Assistant Principal of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS).   Tricia Raneri is in her second year as Principal of East Ridge Middle School in Ridgefield, CT. Her passion is working with early adolescents, and the...

Choosing Personalized Learning As a Strategy For Educational Equity

This post by Tara García Mathewson first appeared on The Hechinger Report and is reprinted with permission. "Personalized learning" is among the most discussed initiatives in education today. Most schools nationwide say they’ve implemented personalized learning, to some degree. Some use online programs or software to give students access to content at their individual level, allowing them to move through lessons at their own pace. Others have combined grade levels to best meet the needs...