Reimagining Curriculum

7 Questions to Ask in Our Transition Plans

First published on Digigogy and reprinted with permission. It’s been a little over a month for many school communities and...
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7 Questions to Ask in Our Transition Plans

Building the Future Now: Deciding What to Cut, What to Keep and What to Create

By Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Allison ZmudaPart Two in a Four-Part Series  As the school year is winding to a...
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Building the Future Now: Deciding What to Cut,  What to Keep and What to Create

Remote Learning, Week 2: Thinking about Writing as Choices

This post was first published on #MasonPLJourney and is reprinted with permission. One thing I tried: My English teacher heroes...
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Remote Learning, Week 2: Thinking about Writing as Choices

Remote Learning, Week 1: Self-Discovery through Writing

  This post was first published on #MasonPLJourney and is reprinted with permission. One thing I tried: As we started...
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Remote Learning, Week 1: Self-Discovery through Writing

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.

7 Questions to Ask in Our Transition Plans

First published on Digigogy and reprinted with permission. It’s been a little over a month for many school communities and we’re still facing weeks, if not months, of continued remote learning. But we also have our sights set on what’s next as we prepare for what is after right now. We’re grappling with some old questions that now have a renewed focus: How do we invite students into the plan? Listening to and acting on student...

Building the Future Now: Deciding What to Cut, What to Keep and What to Create

By Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Allison ZmudaPart Two in a Four-Part Series  As the school year is winding to a close and everyone is desperate for a break, looking toward the opening of school next year is already causing unease. Throughout the world, educators face a critical challenge: how to design aspirational and future forward (post-pandemic) learning experiences rather than a temporary fix (triage). In our first blogpost in this four part series, we proposed...

Remote Learning, Week 2: Thinking about Writing as Choices

This post was first published on #MasonPLJourney and is reprinted with permission. One thing I tried: My English teacher heroes beyond MHS, Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle, recently published a terrific piece called "The curse of helicopter teaching" in ASCD. In it they argue, "When students haven't been required to wrestle with difficult writing decisions--and when much of that decision making has been done by the teacher—they lose their sense of agency and their confidence...

Remote Learning, Week 1: Self-Discovery through Writing

  This post was first published on #MasonPLJourney and is reprinted with permission. One thing I tried: As we started remote learning I realized that focusing on our content was going to be a mistake. For one there was almost a three-week gap between our last in-class lesson and our first online lesson. It didn’t really make sense to pick up like nothing had happened. And as we started there were still such dire warnings...

How Will We Return to School? Curriculum Choices in the Face of COVID19

By Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Allison Zmuda   First in a Four-Part Series on Transition*   In the midst of wide-ranging, remote learning efforts during this initial triage phase of the COVID19 crisis, there is a clarion call emerging: What do we do next? The impact of a summer vacation may seem to provide some relief but will likely prove problematic. What we don’t know. When the return to on-site school will commence. Geographically where and...

Are You Up for a Design Challenge? Wicked Problems for Post-Pandemic School Redesign

  By Eric Chagala, Aaron Roberts, and Allison Zmuda The new liberal art of design thinking is turning to the modality of impossibility… what many people call "impossible" may actually only be a limitation of imagination that can be overcome by better design thinking. This is not thinking directed toward a technological "quick fix" in hardware but toward new integrations of signs, things, actions, and environments that address the concrete needs and values of human...

Now More Than Ever… Clarify the Purpose Behind the Assignment

Have you ever gotten so busy "doing" things that you forget why you are doing things in the first place? Many of my past students feel that that's what assigned homework feels like all the time; they're just doing work. Last week I was honored to receive an email from a former student. In this email, she reminded me of the power that purpose can have for learners: "You told us the key to succeeding...

Amplifying Student Voice During Remote Learning and in the Classroom

As we stretch ourselves in new ways to serve our learners remotely, relationships continue to be the important center of our work. When we find meaningful ways to amplify the voices of our students, we communicate to them that they are seen and what they have to say matters. For example, our son’s preschool teacher, Ms. Jill, does a daily Facebook Live Morning Meeting and Read Aloud. He loves to watch and give feedback with...

Remote Learning Experiences Map (AKA Be a filter, not a dump truck)

By Michael Fisher and Allison Zmuda Now that remote learning has been underway for a couple of weeks, we thought it would be a good time to turn down the volume a little and begin the process of focusing on quality over quantity. In our work with educators these last couple of weeks, we’ve observed a few things: Schedules and organization are still important. We want to continue to work on maintaining what we’ve built...

Curriculum Triage: How Do We Manage the Instructional Challenge Right Now?

By Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Allison Zmuda NOTE: This post has also been curated on a new website that we launched the week of April 20 devoted to facing the challenge of COVID19 in your school community. Visit transform.curriculum21.com to explore. Right now as we write, there is a ten year old in Seattle who has been at home for two weeks and the charm is wearing off. There is a 15 year old in...