The Journey

The Journey The path to a self-organizing classroom (where students are empowered, collaborative, and aligned to meet their goals) is often not a leap, but, a series of steps. It is a journey. Four Learning Zones Like in any journey, a map helps us to get there. The 4 Learning Zones maps out the terrain. As…

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The 15% Principle

Empowering students and staff sounds great. But, what do we do when we feel disempowered? There are so many constraints in some schools that seem to close all options but the ones prescribed from up high. So, empowerment sounds great, but, how? Most of us have at least 15% autonomy in what and how we…

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Growing Self-Direction: A Scaffolding Model

How do we differentiate and scaffold self-directed learning? How do we meet students where they are, yet, continuously stretch them to become more self-directed? Empowering Boundaries You know how you grow a plant. Growing self-direction is like that. At first, you need to plant the seeds in a container. The container provides structure to support…

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Values Discovery

Learning Alliance Designing The Learning AlliancePreviously, we introduced you to Designing the Learning Alliance to set the stage for a culture of empowerment, collaboration, and achievement.  Designing Classroom Values Let’s start Designing the Alliance with creating a classroom culture based on shared values. Designing a values based classroom culture has 2 parts, Values DIscovery and…

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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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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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Student Progress Tool

Self-tracking Proficiency  Rik Rowe, an inspiring high school Mathematics teacher (and yes, you should follow him on Twitter @WHSRowe), shared a great example of a student proficiency-tracking tool from “Knowing What Students Know” . Access to information and Student Agency are 2 of the 4 cornerstones of empowerment (see the Unpacking Empowerment Infographic). This is an effective way…

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