Over the next few days, I’ll be working alongside the super motivated educators at the Indiana Connected Educators conference in Noblesville, Indiana. The goal for most of the participants will be to question our core educational practices and to imagine new learning spaces for the students in our classrooms. Sounds awesome, right?
I’ll be delivering three different breakout sessions at the conference. Here are the materials for each session. Hope you find them useful:
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.
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.
Digital Tools Can Make Differentiation Doable
If schools are truly working to ensure success for every student, learning experiences need to be customized and aligned to student interests, needs, and unique learning styles. The challenge, however, rests in making differentiation manageable. While few teachers doubt the importance of differentiating, many struggle to make customized learning spaces a reality. In this presentation, Solution Tree author and full-time classroom teacher Bill Ferriter will introduce participants to a range of digital tools that can be used to provide structure for differentiated classrooms.
Creating Purpose Driven Learning Experiences
In his 2012 Kindle Single Why School, technology expert and educational change agent Will Richardson argues that classrooms as they are currently structured are failing our students. “We focus on the easiest parts of the learning interaction — information acquisition, basic skills, a bit of critical thinking, analysis — 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 instead be reimagined as places where students do work that matters with others — a process introduced by sixth grade classroom teacher Bill Ferriter in this October 2016 presentation to the participants of the Indiana Connected Educators conference.