Agile Classrooms Blog

Designing The Learning Alliance

Where to Start?I am often asked, where do you start in growing a self-organizing classroom?More than likely, you are already doing it. Many teachers post positive expectations in the classroom or door and you go over classroom and school rules with your students during the first week or two of school. You are setting the…

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Empowerment Anxiety

We have all seen when a young child cries when his mother leaves. This is called separation anxiety. In a baby, this is actually a positive sign of their development. He has learned that his mother still “exists”, even when he cannot see her. He has learned what Paiget called object permanence. He thinks his…

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False Choice

Perhaps worse than no choice is a false choice. A false choice is when we ask a student: “What would you like?” and then ignore their preference. “Would you like to start on Unit 2?”, knowing we are going to start Unit 2, nonetheless. “What feedback do you have for me as a teacher?” and…

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A School For Students

A school designed around students would … Firstly, understand the students in the community.  Secondly, hire teachers that are the right fit for these students.  Then, these teachers would design the learning environment for their students. Unfortunately, schools do it backwards. They try to redesign students to fit into their system instead of fitting the…

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Story of Hope: Video Interview With Hope High School

At the Scrum Gathering Phoenix, Hope High School faculty & students share how they use Agile/Scrum to pivot the lives of some of the most disadvantaged students in Phoenix. SolutionsIQ sits down with John Miller (Agile Classrooms) and Mark French (Blueprint Education) to discuss how this idea was born, what it took to make it…

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Agile at King Chavez School

2 Teachers and a Big Idea Room 14 King Chavez Community High School Meet Alicia and Megan, teachers at King Chavez Community High School in San Diego. Alicia teaches Algebra 2 and Megan teaches English Language Arts. They had a bold idea. What if they shared a classroom together with students choosing which subject to…

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Learning Rhythm Infographic

Agile Classrooms set and achieve their learning goals within a repeatable series of feedback loops called the Learning Rhythm, an enabling structure for empowerment. Once learners complete a cycle it repeats again. The regular rhythm simplifies the self-directed learning process so students can take the steering wheel of their own learning. The Learning Rhythm is inspired…

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Agile Journey to Hope

Underdogs In Phoenix, Arizona, there is a tucked away school called Hope High. The school serves “at-risk” students who have been thrown out of their public school or whose lives have taken them on a different track in life. Hope High School is small, with little resources, except for passionate staff whose personal commitment has…

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3 Questions for Empowerment

Image Source, Leon Reynolds,  / Are your students empowered? Ask these 3 questions to find out: (1) What opportunities do students have to make a choice? (2) Do the students use the opportunity to actually make a choice? (3) Does the choice help achieve the desired learning and life outcomes?  What insights emerge when…you answer them? …your…

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The Power of Clarity

We are surrounded by noise and bids for our attention everywhere. We are constantly interrupted and being pulled from what we know we should be focused on. This happens in the classroom also. Engagement requires focus. Focus means amping up the signals of what students should be focusing on, and dampening everything else. Clarity is…

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Empathy: The Ultimate Classroom Management Skill

Meet Mary, a high school teacher serving “at risk” students in Phoenix. She has been struggling with her classroom. Students were being distracted and causing distractions. Students were blasting their music from their phones, talking to each other (not related to any learning), texting friends, and terribly unengaged in general. It spread and worsened throughout…

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The Learning Canvas

We all want to see our students tackling the complex challenges of their own. But, for many of our students, they have never had to do this before. So, they feel overwhelmed and confused, and they flounder rather than flourish.  And you are pulled back into the traditional mode of telling them what and to…

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