Mornings are for “Integrated Learning Time”; no rigid boundaries of subject, time, or space. The pod teachers decide when and how the students will move, and the teams focus relentlessly on how students will learn content through big, cross-disciplinary themes. The afternoons are split between “Deep Dives”, physical activity-based “Minds in Motion”, “Exploration” opportunities for students to follow their passions, and some dedicated time for mathematics in the upper grade levels. Within each of these broad areas, the teachers are expected to amplify the process of inquiry and to embed the skills of design thinking.
How might we further dissolve rigidity by allowing students to re-arrange classroom furniture on a very frequent (more than daily) basis to meet the learning objectives of the moment?
How often can we get students up to the writing walls to collaborate on work rather than taking individual notes or keying into their individual devices?
How might we constantly defuse the “teacher-centrism” of the room? If the teacher is not using a fixed projector or other device that requires a “front of the room”, why set the podium there, or stand there?
How might we empower students to ask the questions that guide discussion?
How might we allow students to find the best ways to interact within learning teams, rather than giving them a strict methodology to follow? When have we given them enough instruction on how to learn, and when is it best for them to find this out for themselves and with their peers?
This site introduces Japanese lesson study which is a collaborative effort by groups of teachers to understand how their lessons impact students. Elements included in this type of PD are collaborative lesson planning, observation, iteration and reflection.