Reimagining Instructional Time & Space

Responsive Return Strategies: Crafting Fresh Approaches to Schedules, Grouping of Students and Teachers and Shaping Both Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces

Part 4 of a 4-Part Series By Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Allison Zmuda The summer of 2020 is not a...
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Responsive Return Strategies: Crafting Fresh Approaches to Schedules, Grouping of Students and Teachers and Shaping Both Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces

Four Conditions for Writing (and learning and creating in general)

This post first appeared on Read by Example and is reprinted with permission. Earlier this week, I posted a short...
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Four Conditions for Writing (and learning and creating in general)

What Does Virtual Learning Look Like with Our Youngest Students?

  A Conversation with Lower School Principal Geoff Heney of Hong Kong International School Geoff is a teacher who has...
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What Does Virtual Learning Look Like with Our Youngest Students?

Taming Tensions through Design

  By Aaron Roberts, Eric Chagala, and Allison Zmuda While the disruption to school has been difficult, disheartening, and exhausting,...
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Taming Tensions through Design

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

Responsive Return Strategies: Crafting Fresh Approaches to Schedules, Grouping of Students and Teachers and Shaping Both Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces

Part 4 of a 4-Part Series By Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Allison Zmuda The summer of 2020 is not a vacation for many educators who continue to work tirelessly to engage with their community on how to open school for the upcoming year. Each school and district continues to receive guidance from state, ministry, and national governments which may change suddenly given the unpredictability of the pandemic. In addition, the reality of implementing governmental guidelines...

Four Conditions for Writing (and learning and creating in general)

This post first appeared on Read by Example and is reprinted with permission. Earlier this week, I posted a short reflection on the blog about my experience creating a quiet space to write. Margaret Simon left a comment, a thoughtful response: "I worry that if we go to distance learning in the fall, I will not be able to provide this space remotely. Conditions for creativity to happen are important to teaching writing." I concurred...

What Does Virtual Learning Look Like with Our Youngest Students?

  A Conversation with Lower School Principal Geoff Heney of Hong Kong International School Geoff is a teacher who has taught primary students in Ottawa, Canada in between international experiences in Seoul, Korea and Shanghai, China. In the past 13 years, he has been a counselor and principal in Doha, Qatar, and is currently the lower primary principal at his present home at Hong Kong International School. By Allison Zmuda, Bena Kallick, and Lorena Kelly....

Taming Tensions through Design

  By Aaron Roberts, Eric Chagala, and Allison Zmuda While the disruption to school has been difficult, disheartening, and exhausting, there also are flashes of possibility, imagination, and curiosity to design again rather than return to an old design that was built for a different time. Why are we feeling hopeful? Well, for starters, we have noticed the national trend toward empathy. Community members with kids at home are empathizing with the daily challenges of...

A Turbulent Flight into a New World of Learning

It was July 2007 and I was on a red-eye flight from Argentina to San Antonio. Halfway into the flight...BAM! A loud noise ignited causing the plane to shake. Instantaneously, passengers awoke in a panic and unconscious state of mind. As I awoke my first thought was, "Please let this be a dream." To my displeasure, it was not. As I braced for the worst, panicked and dysregulated, I tried to keep a level head....

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...

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...

We Did Not Sign Up for This! 9 Lessons Learned from a Hong Kong Principal on Facing a Crisis

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. The massive disruption to schools around the world is heartbreaking on multiple levels: connections amongst peers, safe spaces to learn, showcasing work, creating work and receiving feedback in real time, troubleshooting learning on demand....

Empathy and Technology: A Path Forward

By Katie Muhtaris Katie Muhtaris has been an educator for 15 years in both urban and suburban settings and values learning experiences for students that are both innovative and meaningful. Katie currently works with kindergarten through fifth grade students and teachers as an Instructional Digital Age Learning Coach, with a focus on literacy, humanities, and technology. As part of this role she coaches teachers to develop and reflect on their instructional practices in literacy, and...