How Does Literature Fit Into Design Thinking?

This school year, I’ve been working on establishing, with the learners, what Reading Class should look like in the 21st century. )I’ll share a more detailed analysis of the setup we’ve decided on in a later post.) For now, I’ll say it’s a combination of Reading Workshop and PBL. This new class setup got me thinking about the connection between traditional literacy and literacy in the 21st century, about how they connect. It got me thinking,

how does literature fit into design thinking?

Design thinking is the basic framework for a lot of project-based learning and reading literature is the key component of reading workshop; I knew they were both important independently, but when I finally realized how important the connection between the two is, a hardware store worth of lightbulbs went on in my head. Continue reading

Classroom Management in a Learner-Centered Classroom (Part III)

In Part I of this series, I laid out my philosophy of the role of classroom management in a learner-centered classroom.

In Part II, I discussed a strategy for setting expectations in a way that I think empowers learners and allows them to take ownership of the classroom and its culture.

In this final part, I want to share some thoughts on what to do when learners don’t meet those expectations. First, though, I want to share an idea I keep coming back to:

The more time we spend planning engaging lessons, the less time we have to spend planning classroom management. Continue reading

Classroom Management in a Learner-Centered Classroom (Part II)

A few days ago I wrote about my general philosophy of classroom management in a learner-centered classroom.

For the tl;dr crowd, it was about reexamining our classroom expectations, eliminating the unnecessary ones that limit learner autonomy, and then clearly defining the expectations that matter the same way you would in any classroom.

Today I want to elaborate on expectation-setting, but before I do that, a story! Continue reading

AMLE 2017 Round Up!

A few weeks ago, I was able to go  to the 2017 AMLE Conference in Philadelphia (along with our entire middle school staff – how cool is that??). I learned A LOT. It was inspiring, thought-provoking, and overwhelming in terms of the amount of information I was processing. After taking some time to digest, here are my favorite takeaways and the next steps I developed from the sessions I attended: Continue reading