Reimagining Instructional Time & Space

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

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

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

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

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

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...

Growing Readers Remotely: Three Types of Questions for Personalizing Reading Assessment

Personalizing the learning for students doesn’t mean an instructional free-for-all. On the contrary, personalized learning demands structure such as frameworks to ensure effective instruction while students have access to authentic, meaningful experiences. Conferring/conferencing can provide that structure when teaching and assessing. In her book So What Do They Really Know? Assessment That Informs Teaching and Learning, English teacher Cris Tovani defines conferring as "talking to my students one-on-one" in order to "figure out what they...

Assessing Deeper Learning in Remote Education through Performance Tasks and Project-Based Learning

In an unprecedented move, the president announced on March 20 that standardized testing requirements for states will not be enforced for the current academic year. This means teachers won’t have to spend instructional time on standardized test preparation. At countless schools, test prep involves drill-and-kill exercises and students taking numerous district tests that purportedly assess their likelihood of passing the state-mandated test. The suspension of standardized tests also means that many students will not experience...

Safe Spaces for Voice

Engaging with others remotely requires trust and vulnerability for our students and ourselves. How do we establish and cultivate safe spaces for voice? Before we focus on HOW we do this, let’s step back for a moment to examine practices that we may not have been conscious of in the classroom or school space. When thinking of practices that oppress or liberate students, I would say there is not a neutral. Think about the school...

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...