Element 2: The Learning Rhythm

There are 5 Elements to an Agile Classroom. This post will describe the second element, The Learning Rhythm.

In an Agile Classroom, learners set and achieve their goals within an iterative learning cycle called the Learning Rhythm. The the cycle is timeboxed from 1-4 weeks. When a cycle of the Learning Rhythm ends, it repeats all over again. It provides a tempo of feedback loops that help classrooms to continuously inspect and adapt while growing mastery in collaboration and self-directed learning.

Note, the Learning Rhythm may be referred to as a “Sprint” or a “Learning Sprint” based on the Agile framework called Scrum.

The Learning Rhythm is a container for each step of the self-directed learning process. It is composed of four explicit and discrete learning events: (1) Plan (2) Check-In (3) Review and (4) Reflect. The diagram below depicts the iterative cycle and how the events connect together.

1. Plan
It is composed for 3 parts.

Part 1 (The Big Why): Overarching goals for the learning cycle are presented, such as Big Ideas or Essential Questions.

Part 2 (The What): A set of learning goals (learning increments) are chosen, based on perceived capacity and confidence of students to achieve them by end of the cycle and made visible.

Part 3 (The How): Using backards design, each Learning Increment is broken down into small Learning Tasks and made visible.

Planning occurs at the beginning of the cycle.
Learning Increments move from the Learning Roadmap
to the Learning Canvas. Tasks may be displayed on the Learning Canvas.
2. Check-in
To monitor progress, offer support, and inspect and adapt frequently, classrooms engage in a Check-In each class period.
Three questions are asked at this time:
(1) What was finished since the last Check-in?
(2) What are we doing this period/class?
(3) What is blocking us in achieving our goals?

Check-Ins happen every class or class period lasting 5 minutes.
Learning Canvas is updated with new tasks, moving tasks based on progress, and any problems or impediments that arise.
3. Review
The Review is the last opportunity, but not the only opportunity, in the Learning Rhythm for learners to demonstrate evidence of learning. Each Learning Increment is demonstrated and assessed based on its success criteria. The Learning Portfolio is updated with the increments that have me the success critieria.

Review occurs once at the end of the cycle.It does not preclude reflection happening more frequently within the cycle itself.
The Learning Portfolio is updated with artifacts of that Learning Increments that are successfully completed.
4. Reflect
At the end of the Learning Rhythm, classrooms inspect and adapt how they learn, teach, and interact. Specific actions for improvement and growth are created to apply immediately in the next cycle. Reflections can have many forms, but, basically asks:
1. What went well?
2. What did not go well?
3. What do we do to grow and improve?

Refection occurs at the end of the cycle. It does not preclude reflection happening more frequently within the cycle itself.
Reflection Canvas is updated.
Download the Learning Rhythm poster for a nice reference below:

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