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Showing posts from June, 2016

Welcome to Level 1

If all assessments were this highly performance based, we'd have a better sense of our students competencies.

If Google can do it and get results back to me in 5 minutes, our standardized testing system needs to be revamped.




Personalized Learning is Visible Learning

During a discussion on Personalizing Learning lead by Dr. James Rickabaugh, he recommended Visible Learning by John Hattie as good source for the research that went into some of the practice behind the personal learning framework.  I was able to read Visible Learning for Teachers by John Hattie over the weekend and was able to see how the data backed up many of the practices behind the personalized learning framework.  At the heart of it all though is that students take control of their own learning to greater degree.

I attempt to summarize my learning, I created the diagram below.  I want to use it as a guide for design and implementation of learning in my classroom.  I made it in a couple of hours so this is really just a first draft.  Any feedback would be appreciated!






Here's a more dynamic view of the Google Drawing:




What sticks out to me is that the student is identifying gaps, planning how to close those gaps, and monitoring progress towards meeting that goal.

The teacher …

From Failure to Launch: LAUNCH Book Study Part 3

Well, I was planning on just dealing with 2 stages of the LAUNCH Cycle in this post, but I burned through the rest of the book yesterday.  The book itself is a very engaging read.  My post may reflect the nuts and bolts of the cycle, but the book is filled with practical applications and stories from the authors lives that show what the LAUNCH Cycle looks like.  That is the power of their work. It is based on experience and data.
Step 4: Navigating IdeasSo, this is a step that I have always shortchanged. When I initially looked at the cycle without knowing about it, I figured I knew what it was about.  I thought it would just be a stage of organizing information.  I was wrong. Much like generating questions is a bridge between awareness and research, navigating ideas is a bridge between research and creation.  It is the a step for creating a plan for creation.  Juliani and Spencer call this process ideating. Ideating is not simply planning the creation process.  An essential part to t…

Entering the LAUNCH Cycle: LAUNCH Book Study Part 2

I have dived into reading the next 3 chapters (Chapters 4 - 6) of LAUNCH by John Spencer and A. J. Juliani which cover the first three steps of the LAUNCH Cycle. The book does a great job going into depth about what each step entails and what it looks like with specific examples.  I would be doing the work of the authors a great disservice trying to create a Cliff’s Notes version of their text, because what resonates with me for my classroom practice may not resonate with others.  Also, the text is so rich that it needs to be read.  It’d just be retyping the book. I think that’s plagiarism. In lieu of that, I hope to provide some of my highlights below.
Step 1: Look, Listen, Learn I love the way that this step is framed.  It’s the why of the process.  But, it’s clear that the “why” is not an extrinsic motivation.  The desire to create comes from the student.  So, this first step is seen as raising interest or awareness. The authors go over 7 different ways to tap into student awareness…

LAUNCH is the How of Creation.

Over the weekend, I finished George Couros’s Innovator’s Mindset.  I highly recommend reading it to understand why we should foster a culture of innovation in our schools and where to start.  A culture of innovation makes everyone a creator in our schools, unleashing the creativity that is in all of us. The Innovator’s Mindset frames the steps to create that culture of innovation in a school and it gives some powerful examples of creation in the classroom.  That’s where the new book by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani picks up.  The book LAUNCH is focused on the importance of a clear framework for the creative process.  I’ll dig into that process in later posts as I get deeper into the book.  But, let’s start with the why of creation in the classroom.
Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy of Learning Domains
Complex Creating ↑ Evaluating Analyzing Applying Understanding Simple Remembering

Looking at Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy of learning domains, the highest order is creating.  This process involves the planning …

Putting Mindset into Action: Book Study Part 4

"The powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse." - Walt Whitman


The last section of George Couros's book asks the reader to make the innovator's mindset a reality by creating a culture that encourages innovation.  To this end, the readers must take action.  He sets forth a series of questions reflecting on 5 key elements set up in the first sections of the book.  These elements are essential for unleashing the talent of the individuals in our classrooms and schools.  This is what the book is leading up to. Not some magic one size fits all solution. It's the insight to create the solutions that are right for your situation. George has frames the argument, it's our turn to fill in the canvas. If you haven't answered these questions for yourself, you haven't really "finished" the book.  Below are my answers to these questions as they relate to my classroom practice.

Strengths - Based LeadershipDo I know and build upon the strengths o…