Session Materials: C4 Ignite Conference

On Monday, I’ll be joining together with participants at the Greater Clark County Connected conference in Clarksville, Indiana to talk about the importance of reimagining learning spaces for today’s students.  It’s bound to be an amazing day of learning.  Heck, anytime 900 educators come together to revel in learning for a day, great things happen!  Here are the materials for the sessions that I’ll be presenting:


Keynote: Your Students CAN Do Work That Matters

In Why School (2012), technology expert Will Richardson maintains that today’s classrooms are failing students.  “We focus on the easiest parts of the learning interaction… accomplishments that can be easily identified and scored,” he writes. “Learning is relegated to the quantifiable” (Kindle location 227).  To create highly engaged learning spaces, Will believes, classrooms must be reimagined as places where students do work that matters together, a process introduced by sixth grade classroom teacher Bill Ferriter in this keynote presentation.

Keynote Slides

Keynote Handouts

Keynote Student Samples

For more information on using causes to create highly engaged learning spaces, check out Bill’s latest book, Creating Purpose-Driven Learning Experiences.


Our Students CAN Assess Themselves

In the spring of 2012, Canadian educational change expert Dean Shareski issued a simple challenge on his blog when he wrote, “So I’m wondering if you’re ready to let your students assess themselves. Not as some experiment where you end up grading them apart but where you really give the reigns over to them?”

Dean’s challenge resonated with Solution Tree author and sixth grade teacher Bill Ferriter, who had always been dissatisfied with the grade-driven work being done in his classroom. This session will introduce participants to the tangible steps that Bill has taken to integrate opportunities for self-assessment into his classroom as a result of Dean’s challenge.

Session Slides

Session Handouts

Make Copies of All of Bill’s Student Involved Assessment Handouts in Google Drive

Nicole Ricca has developed a unit overview sheet for Kindergarteners that she is giving away for free on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Read more about Ms. Ricca’s work with unit overview sheets here on her blog.

Download Ms. Ricca’s unit overview template here on her Teachers Pay Teachers page.


We’re Meeting.  Now What?

For many teachers, team meetings can be nothing short of overwhelming!  Not used to making collective decisions, teams struggle to organize their work together and begin to question the benefit of a school’s decision to push for more collaboration between colleagues.  In this session, participants explore the kinds of tangible structures that learning teams must have in place in order to make their meetings successful.

Session Slides

Session Handouts

For more information on structuring high functioning Professional Learning Communities, check out Bill’s books — Building a Professional Learning Community at Work – A Guide to the First Year and Making Teamwork Meaningful.



*Note:  If you are a participant looking to earn professional development credit for attending any of Bill’s sessions, you can find directions posted online here and group codes for every C4 Ignite session posted online here.

Related Radical Reads:

The Power of PLCs

Five Resources for School Leaders Starting PLCs from Scratch

My Kids, a Cause and Our Classroom Blog