Reimagining Instructional Time & Space

Increasing workplace flexibility means that schools can’t become more rigid

While the world of work has changed from an industrial system to more of a knowledge economy, our education system has been slow to adapt. 
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Increasing workplace flexibility means that schools can’t become more rigid

Leadership Questions to Help Guide Design of a Virtual School

  This post was written by Jill Thompson and Allison Zmuda, and first published on Education Elements. To support the planning of opening a...
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Leadership Questions to Help Guide Design of a Virtual School

Slow Pivots: What’s Driving the Change to Reimagine School Schedules?

  This post was written by Jill Thompson and Allison Zmuda, and first published on Education Elements. School schedules and...
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Slow Pivots: What’s Driving the Change to Reimagine School Schedules?

Virtual Schooling Is Here to Stay: Reimagining Post-Pandemic Virtual Learning in Public Schools

  By Jill Thompson and Allison Zmuda. This post was first published on Education Elements. From North Carolina to California...
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Virtual Schooling Is Here to Stay: Reimagining Post-Pandemic Virtual Learning in Public Schools

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

Increasing workplace flexibility means that schools can’t become more rigid

While the world of work has changed from an industrial system to more of a knowledge economy, our education system has been slow to adapt. 

Leadership Questions to Help Guide Design of a Virtual School

  This post was written by Jill Thompson and Allison Zmuda, and first published on Education Elements. To support the planning of opening a virtual school, leaders can be overwhelmed with the volume of questions to consider — logistics, strategy, and purpose to name a few. To guide the planning process, we offer the following table with phases of implementation with related questions. While the guide is set up sequentially, each phase may trigger a deeper articulation of previous...

Slow Pivots: What’s Driving the Change to Reimagine School Schedules?

  This post was written by Jill Thompson and Allison Zmuda, and first published on Education Elements. School schedules and use of time are one of the few remaining relics of the industrialized learning model. Even when most schools moved to virtual learning in March 2020, many organizations replicated the existing bell schedule and instructed teachers to move their onsite instruction online. The school leaders believed it would hold teachers and students more accountable and...

Virtual Schooling Is Here to Stay: Reimagining Post-Pandemic Virtual Learning in Public Schools

  By Jill Thompson and Allison Zmuda. This post was first published on Education Elements. From North Carolina to California to Alaska, public schools around the United States are planning to preserve a virtual school option for students after the pandemic is over. The constant drumbeat of getting all students back to school as quickly as possible does not tell the whole story of learning in the pandemic. Singing the praises of virtual learning was...

Heirlooms of Gratitude: Growing Opportunities and Skills through Culinary Enterprise

  "Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want." —Jim Rohn The CROP Foundation is a young organization, just finding its roots in the local community. Incorporating gratitude into the very foundation of the program helps students understand their larger role in the community ecosystem. CROP, which stands for "creating opportunities", was established by Chef Kip Poole in 2014, when he was working as a culinary arts...

How to get class sizes down to 16 per teacher in a pandemic? Focus on families

  This post is by Jethro Jones and was first published on JethroJones.com. It has been reposted with his permission. Start with Reducing Class Sizes One thing that teachers are always advocating for is lower class sizes. We have a unique opportunity to finally provide this to teachers, right away, and deal with the coronavirus situation in a much more supportive manner. I'll use actual, public data from my current school district to illustrate this....

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...