What does Real Professional Development Look Like During a Pandemic?

Teaching in the last year has been like riding out a hurricane in a treehouse. As seasoned educators, we tried to come prepared. We knew our student’s emotional needs would be our top priority, we strived to make school feel “normal”, but from the beginning, it was clear that the 2020 - 2021 year would... Continue Reading →

Design Thinking in Humanities

The 8th grade students are tasked with creating an American History museum that will cover the 1800 - 1945. The idea is overwhelming at first. Full student autonomy, research, engagement, scaffolding, the initial project outline is missing the HOW. Students are used to being told how to work, what to design and when to design... Continue Reading →

Scaffolding an Agile Learning Experience

150 years of content in five weeks? Yeah, no problem. The students were in charge.  In a lightning speed brainstorm with the founder of L-EAF, Jeff Burstein, the way unit planning was typically done flipped on its side.  Instead of spending weeks meticulously planning every movement and learning path in the classroom I developed one... Continue Reading →

Game Design – Sprint Retrospective

How reflection creates student agency. Game day was an overwhelming success. The students spent one day playing each others games and offering evaluations. Students then had time to review the feedback from their peers and make changes before their work was graded. Throughout the project students prototyped their games and collected data to make sure... Continue Reading →

Student Voice Drives Curriculum

Reading the U.S. Constitution is not a priority of my 8th grade students. At this point in the year their genuine interest has built about the Constitution, but the actual want to read a document written in 1787 is not on this "Must Do" list. This year we have the extra challenge of students transitioning... Continue Reading →

Analyzing Revolutions

The new unit on revolutions is content heavy. We are exploring the American road to revolution and the Revolutionary War. In the past students have created timelines that are a reference that will be used in the next unit when learning the U.S. Constitution. This year changed the project to involve a larger world view. ... Continue Reading →

Visual Thinking in Government

The learning goal is for students to explore the power distribution and relationship between people and their governments. The hook is a lightning project. To hook students into this lesson time was used to up the level of anticipation. This project could be larger and could take more time, but the same learning goals can... Continue Reading →

Economics through Experience

Learning complex systems through simulations. Exploration of social contract theory raises the questions of why we have governments.  Analyzing different types of governments is the next step towards understanding the world around us.  Before launching into American history and government it is critical to define economic systems and types of governments that exist around the... Continue Reading →

Self – Selected Groups

No level headed teacher would dream of letting students create their own groups for a project, but here I am. Having students lead by team captains self-select their team is one of the tenets of eduScrum. It is essential that students understand their power of choice. This is not the class they've taken every year... Continue Reading →

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