Reimagining Assignments

‘Tackling the Motivation Crisis’​ with Mike Anderson

  As the new school year is officially in full swing and the initial excitement of the first weeks has...
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‘Tackling the Motivation Crisis’​ with Mike Anderson

Hacking Assessment to Go Gradeless with Starr Stackstein

  I’ve been an admirer of Starr Sackstein and her work for a long time. She’s been a beacon for years on...
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Hacking Assessment to Go Gradeless with Starr Stackstein

How Writing Conferences in the World Language Classroom Saved My Red Pens and My Sanity

Conferencing yielded the best papers I have read in years. When I sat down to "grade" the final papers a...
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How Writing Conferences in the World Language Classroom Saved My Red Pens and My Sanity

Uncle Curmudgeon: Stop Giving Homework!

This post was first published on Leading Great Learning. Every now and then, I come across a letter from Uncle...
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Uncle Curmudgeon: Stop Giving Homework!

What Does It Mean to Reimagine Assignments?

The heart of personalized learning is the daily assignments we design with students.

This category showcases how teacher-leaders reimagine existing assignments or generate new ideas. Each assignment ideally is designed to:

  • Create opportunities for students to personalize the idea, inquiry, or challenge
  • Focus on what matters — provide diverse opportunities rich with feedback to practice, problem-solve, make sense of important concepts, knowledge and skills
  • Use authentic genres or forms to demonstrate learning — application of learning that has value beyond the school walls
  • Network with peers, experts, community to seek information, get feedback, or share ideas

‘Tackling the Motivation Crisis’​ with Mike Anderson

  As the new school year is officially in full swing and the initial excitement of the first weeks has faded, one of the most important concerns on many educators’ minds is how to keep students motivated. Over the Labor Day weekend, I caught up with a good friend and thought partner, Mike Anderson. We met about 10 years ago at an author's retreat hosted by ASCD and immediately became immersed in conversation about perspectives on...

Hacking Assessment to Go Gradeless with Starr Stackstein

  I’ve been an admirer of Starr Sackstein and her work for a long time. She’s been a beacon for years on moving away from grading and moving toward a focus on self-directed learning. She has made real movements in pedagogy and ownership of learning through her passion, practical advice, and the way she has grown a supportive educator community. I asked her to sit down for an interview with me in light of the recent publication...

How Writing Conferences in the World Language Classroom Saved My Red Pens and My Sanity

Conferencing yielded the best papers I have read in years. When I sat down to "grade" the final papers a few weeks ago, I didn’t need several red pens, as I found there were few errors. I didn’t give hours of my weekend away, as the papers read smoothly. I no longer questioned what my students were trying to say as I read, I knew what they wanted to say and I could hear their...

Uncle Curmudgeon: Stop Giving Homework!

This post was first published on Leading Great Learning. Every now and then, I come across a letter from Uncle Curmudgeon, an old retired teacher, to his niece, Kennari, an aspiring new one. I’m happy to pass another along! Dear Kennari- It was another interesting week here at Sweet Meadow Acres for Retired Teachers. Last Tuesday’s dinner was fun. A bunch of us had a chocolate milk bubble blowing contest. Mr. Keene (a former physics...

In Defense of [Meaningful] Homework

I recently had a fabulous conversation with Mike Anderson about the value of homework and he was kind enough to allow me to cross-post a blog from his site on concerns about homework practices. As I reflected on the post by Uncle Curmudgeon, I do believe work outside of school has its value when it is personalized with and for the student. Here are three ideas based on my role as a consultant, parent, and...

From the Ashes, the American Shopping Mall Rises …

Currently, I work at a large, public high school where we are trying to reimagine the student learning experience. Like many schools, we have dedicated teachers building strong teacher directed experiences to help our students develop content knowledge and skills. Now we are re-envisioning how to develop experiences which invite students to the design table by developing the skills and dispositions necessary to co-create, and eventually, direct their own learning. Additionally, we want to teach...

Creating an Example of What We Are Trying to Achieve

It is our mission to nurture creators, inventors, and innovators — students prepared to learn, grow, and take ethical action to solve real-world problems — through exploration, analysis, debate, imagination, collaboration, and calculated risk-taking. Why is this important? Educational success can no longer be about reproducing content knowledge, but about applying behavior, knowledge, and skill to novel situations. We must change the way we perceive jobs and careers because automation is reshaping the workforce. This...

Unlocking Student Potential with Personalized Learning

By George Yeager and Sarah Evans George Yeager is currently a third grade teacher at Palm Beach Day Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is a National Board Certified Teacher with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. George currently co-teaches in a self contained classroom with partner, Sarah Evans. Sarah Evans is a National Board Certified third grade teacher and mentor with over 20 years of...

Students as Co-Creators to Improve Their Achievement

The element that stood out to me most powerfully from my review of the first chapter of Students at the Center was the concept of student as co-creators in personalized learning. To have a student walk beside you and shape their learning— not behind you, following your lead. As I’ve sought to implement personalized learning in an classroom which must also meet the requirements of an AP course, I found the idea of student co-creation...

Adding Personalized Learning to Our Annual Writing Project

By George Yeager and Sarah Evans George Yeager is currently a third grade teacher at Palm Beach Day Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is a National Board Certified Teacher with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. George currently co-teaches in a self contained classroom with partner, Sarah Evans. Sarah Evans is a National Board Certified third grade teacher and mentor with over 20 years of...