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Showing posts from April, 2017

Part 4: Why I am Using PBL to Design Professional Development (Knows and Need to Knows List)

In the last couple of posts in this series, I outlined some of the opportunities that our campus is going to have next year and outlined what the task was that our staff will be accomplishing. Now that we know that our work is going to be geared toward redesigning and reimagining instruction for a modified block schedule with "workshop days", the focus then turned to a really pivotal part of the PBL process: identifying Knows and Need to Knows (K/NTK). For any staff that is undergoing major structural changes like the change in a schedule, there are always a lot of questions that can cause a certain amount of uncertainty. The key is to make sure that the questions lead ultimately to answers and not to fear, anxiety, or frustration. Not an easy thing to do when you area having to change long-held practices! Fortunately, the K/NTK process provided a really great structure for my staff and I to get out in the air all of the questions that people have about our new schedule and …

Want Secondary Inspiration? Visit an Elementary School

As I have mentioned before, I am very fortunate to straddle two districts: I work in one high performing district and I live in and send my kids to school in another high performing district. Both districts share similar values and provide amazing learning opportunities for their learners. That said, I have spent the majority of my time in education as a high school person and have only recently spent a little bit of time at the elementary level as a parent (and as one half of a touring duo where educators from other districts visit both my campus and an elementary campus as a part of one tour experience).

There are lots of reasons to consider the elementary and secondary worlds as being different. First, you have the age of the learners, which means that different things will be developmentally appropriate to different groups. Second, you also have differences in understanding, experience, and attention span; all very real things that classroom teachers from across the school system w…

After Action Review: Learning From Failure and Building Success

This post is slightly out of order in my series on using PBL as a basis for Designing PD, but I wanted to share a success that our staff had this week in using a new (to us, but definitely not new) protocol to evaluate the success of our efforts to design what we are calling Workshop Wednesdays. The reason I call the use of the protocol a success is because it helped us to: evaluate the successes and failures of our pilot projectgave everyone an opportunity to give feedbackinvigorated the staff by providing an avenue to celebrate their own workempowered the staff to push beyond the ok and to imagine greatI promise I will get back to the original series next week to explain the steps that led up to this point!

On Wednesday, March 22nd, our campus engaged in the 2nd pilot of our "Workshop Wednesday" plan. To catch you up if you haven't been reading the blog, the "Workshop Wednesday" is a day in our schedule where facilitators set up a schedule for the day that cou…