So Adam
your experience has been mostly with high school (as most of mine except
for the past 7 years, where I'm learning a lot about K-8)
Trying to wrap my head about how to structure a K-8  environment to
prepare/scaffold/ ease into (searching for the right word)  this type of
environment you describe

Here is picture from one of my earlier project  that speaks to the question
I ask

It takes 15 years to grow a scientist  (or the type of learner you speak
where do we start?  How do we start?  I'm in! ;-)


On Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 2:09 PM, Adam Provost <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Unlimited budget...
> Ok, here goes.
> Star Fleet Academy, of sorts, Chapter I.
> Restructure our concept of 'time' in 'school.' School is becoming more
> hectic and less effective I think. And compartmentalized. It's a product of
> the demands of the new world and our resolve to cram it all into an old
> structure. Students and adults rush... and try to survive until the next
> vacation, or the end of the year. I don't think the traditional schedule
> serves students as well as it could.
> Start time at 9am... so we don't ignore all the evidence about teens and
> sleep cycles any longer. Don't extend the school day to accomodate the
> shift. Think differently.
> One 1/2 day per week. Class time ends and adults have in school PD and
> students do internship work, 3 hours per week. Treats PD and internship
> time seriously, and doesn't make it an add... something to fit in... like
> another after school meeting or community service mandate to squeeze in.
> The half day gives it a meaningful scope of time to truly accomplish
> something and collaborate. PD time... the majority of that time must be
> spent collaborating on teaching with peers and in conversations about
> students in the school and how to help them. Idea sharing. Support.
> Enrichment. Students internships... grades 9 -10 in school. 11-12 in the
> community. Many schools do this, and very successfully. Every one I've
> spoken to who run these programs begin to feel that 3 hours of built in PD
> and Internship time... might not be enough. Proof positive that our concept
> of 'time' and purpose can and continually needs to evolve.
> Split the Master Schedule. 9th and 10th grade in a hybrid block
> schedule... to start. Run that program, absorb some data, discuss common
> sense and need... and modify. Here's a mentor...
> Urban Academy in NYC rebuilds their 'Master' schedule... every semester.
>  Ann Cook at Urban told me they "schedule time around courses, not courses
> around time." Wildly successful. Mentor.
> Academic support that builds research, collaborative, public speaking,
> project and time management skills by grade to move into...11th and 12th
> grades which run a college style schedule. Varied time frames, some classes
> by appointment, some meet on irregular intervals including online, and
> collaborative work sessions. Coaching for students to handle this
> flexibility... repurposing what 'advisory' means in schools. Break the mold
> of a traditional, school wide schedule that treats freshman and seniors the
> same. Promotes spiral curriculum themes (Steve Cavrak mentioned J. Bruner
> in this thread I think earlier) rather than segmented subjects.
> Flex schedules promote students to schedule their classes and
> responsibilities and take ownership of them. Students in need who have to
> work could / would have the opportunity to take part in extra-curricular
> and after school programs if they could manage their time... and get
> supported to do so. Students could even make money during the school day
> and schedule their learning and activities thereafter in a flexible
> fashion. Interesting.
> Traditional academic and 'school' schedules make students in need pay
> penalties. A 'if you don't fit into the system, you're out' sort of
> mentality. We squeeze support for these folks in. Rethinking and
> implementing a structure change seems like a great way to start a shift.
> Transportation for kids in need. Academic advisors / mentors for kids to
> bridge poverty and literacy gaps. Traditionally, free and reduced lunch
> programs and alternative ed programs are not enough.
> School travel endowment for students in need.
> Mandatory travel programs. Read about a school once that sported a local
> 9th grade, regional 10th grade, Continental US 11th grade, International
> 12th grade travel program. Stellar idea.
> Classes / seminars on personal finance and entrepreneurship (twice)... and
> themes in the curriculum to support and build this thread. Important
> skills. Often neglected.
> Pedagogy...
> School wide themes of 'Collaborate' and 'Create.' Seems a solid background
> for most any class and skills that will translate into lives. It's also a
> theme people understand and can buy into.
> Integrated discussions in the curriculum on critical listening and
> communication. It's a venue into the root of social networking and
> technology. It's a thread to address all the ills adults often speak of
> about how poorly so many kids communicate these days. Technology has
> increased our ability to collaborate... but we don't expand our discussions
> on 'communication skills' along with the growing curve. Seminars on such
> things instead of semester long classes. Something beyond sectioning it off
> into a traditional Speech and Composition class... and hoping for the best.
> Start to refit classrooms away from 'academic' furniture. Speaks more to
> 'learning' and less of 'school.' Lights too. Most traditional classrooms
> are terrible places to learn... bright fluorescent lights, uncomfortable
> furniture. This will begin to redefine what 'classrooms' and learning
> spaces just might become.
> Refit the school library to a Barnes and Noble cafe style. Offer low cost,
> healthy snacks... all day. Promote collaboration, and yes, have spaces
> where people can work quietly if they so choose.
> Redo 'school lunch.' Create a civil, school culture defining lunch (and
> culinary) program. Small and limited 'regular caf' seating. Students would
> eat wherever they were comfortable, including classroom hangouts and social
> groups... with adults. Picking up 'your' junk becomes a mission of school
> culture... something that's expected and spoke to regularly. A 'sans
> herding' mentality. Healthy, cooked food. Some options available all day...
> fresh fruit, snacks. Abandon the idea that food cannot be in classrooms. It
> can be part of learning and culture. Kids can learn to pick up after
> themselves and participate in cleaning the room. 1 hr lunch period to
> reduce rushed lunches... ones that steer away from the promotion of food
> you can 'grab and eat as quickly as possible.' I think kids are cultured
> into eating quickly, and also poorly in schools. We can change that.
> Integrate with culinary classes that treat 'food' and 'nutrition' in a
> fashion equal to 'academics.' Important life 'stuff.'
> Mandatory culinary / health and wellness classes... beyond your typical
> school 'wellness' class. Cooking, nutrition, offerings for tai-chi, yoga,
> relaxation / stress reduction... to replace typical processed food warming
> internships, and badminton / basketball 'classes.'
> Development of cross-curricular programs... finally: Math and Science
> integrated courses. i.e. A Geometry course that takes place in a shop style
> class room... creating and building... with Physics. Math... becomes 'real'
> and not just something to do on paper. Math becomes integrated with
> technology. English and social studies... art and design...
> Capstone Senior Project integrating skills, professional collaboration,
> emphasis on creating. Graduation requirement. CVU started this in Vermont
> about... 20 years ago. I'd imagine they have some stories to learn from.
> No homework policy for students on school vacations and holidays. No
> exceptions. And a homework management policy to keep home life and school
> work balanced. Regular discussions in 1/2 day PD sessions to justify with
> colleagues work that is sent home.
> Restructure the school Advisory program. Find the best practices in the
> world... copy it. Run it, evaluate it. Give people time to collaborate.
> Tweak. Repeat.
> Abandon typical parent / teacher confs. Parents meet with the advisor...
> then schedule an appointment with the teacher, and the advisor if problems
> continue.
> Integrate a 'Community Education Center' into the school. Classes for
> adults, where they learn with students after school. Where adults can
> collaborate on... the internet, social networking, affording college, how
> to get academic support for your children, as well as enrichment style
> programs. Thinking '826 Valencia' (David Eggers) style program here... but
> broader. Transportation for kids in need to utilize these services and
> programs.
> Flip the PD model. Create a Help Desk program, which serves adults and
> students at the school on any and all technology issues and learning
> inspiration ideas. Students become advisors to adults. Old model started at
> SB 15 years ago... and still cool. Integrate it with a 'Technology Training
> and Teaching' course (T3) to build skills on this front for students to
> enter the more advanced Help Desk structure. PD, instructional design,
> process design, ISD. Dedicated students can work into paid
> positions. Building that T3 course this Spring for Fall 2012
> implementation. Will make all the design docs public... and will be looking
> for collaborative partners. Think Tank... best practice, trials of the
> trade. Let me know if you're interested.
> a. Animation computer lab tied to a fabrication shop, sound smithing,
> music, art, set design, theater, and cinematography program... project
> shop. Open all hours of the day. Community mentors.
>  b. Yr 13 (post grad) one year program... college prep.
> c. Dorms for international students. Housing op for new teachers...
> incentive to sweeten the deal to find great adults to dive into education.
> Wrote up a plan on a-c about six years ago. Ideas and energy ready to be
> unleashed.
> Ah... technology...
> 'Programming' becomes a 'language' offering at the school. Integrated with
> creating... not just learning a language. Not a class on a specific
> language... See the 'Coder Dojo.' Cool place to start I think. Starting a
> chapter next week. We'll see how it goes.
> Online courses as electives... to start. I'd consider making it a grad
> requirement at this point. Students can learn a lot from working such a
> system. Students that don't have home access... flex time to take the
> online class during the day. Oh wait, unlimited budget, we could fix that.
> Unlimited budget... I'd give each student a $250 'reading' budget per year
> to buy digital books of their choice purchased from Amazon or Barnes and
> Noble. I'm thinking about how this could be involved or how it could
> restructure the 'school library' role. Thinking on it. Homework management
> policies, restructuring lunch programs into groups... it just might make
> for collaborating more on 'learning' and literacy, and promoting 'our
> favorites' type discussions around the school. A 'Have a favorite teacher
> or coach? See what books they love,' type program. I think it'd be a  great
> school culture challenge. Having no homework on vacations and the incentive
> to buy books of interest and to collaborate on them with people of like
> interests... who knows where it might just lead.
> 1-1 laptop program... financial aide model (0-100%), even if the budget is
> truly 'unlimited.' Promotes ownership. And yes, it takes involvement and
> communication between the school and homefront. Ram updates for the laptop
> after yr two. Free.
> Also include a mandatory smart phone with integrated camera, again in a
> financial aide model for the device... managed data plan cost covered by
> the school. Students learn to manage the device in the structure of the
> data plan, personally and academically. Powerful, equitable learning,
> combined with academic and extra-curricular programs. Common address book
> list... again, school wide goal on 'Collaborate.' School wide messaging
> system solved. Discussions integrated into instruction on how to conduct
> yourself professionally and ethically using thee tools, and how to leverage
> them, hot to compartmentalize your work and take control of the device, not
> have it control you. Support to help students plan how to continue
> utilizing these devices into their future.
> Buyout program, $5 for each device after 4 years with all proceeds going
> to... SETI. Have to stay true to the  'Star Fleet Academy' theme... or a
> fund for businesses to help support the student internship or travel
> programs.
> Some of the items I listed would take money. Some, less than we might
> think. Some, require no money at all. Most all of them would drive 'school'
> into some fascinating directions... and I'd bet learning too. More freedom
> to leverage technology into creativity and learning.
> Agility... Something schools all too often lack. Less 'school,' more
> learning.
> That's where I'd start. Chapter I. 'To boldly go...'
> I ranted a bit... and I do (sort of) apologize ; )
> Who's in?
> Adam
> On Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 8:15 PM, Lucie deLaBruere <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> I see VISMT residue in that answer.
>> Glad someone took the bait.
>> I think we need to spend some time articulating what we mean when we use
>> words like instructional shift or transformative.  Shift to what?
>> Transformed from? To?
>> What would happen if every PD opportunity included the following
>> conversation
>> Today's tools make it possible to ......and this makes implementing the
>> vision or learning theory of ............. And this is good
>> because................
>> This conversation speaks to the power of diverse minds with diverse
>> experience all interested in seeing learning at its best.
>> On Feb 29, 2012, at 6:10 PM, "Frank J. Watson" <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>> Thought I would jump in after watching the dialogue ----
>> New Learning Theories???  The first thing that I would do is to have
>> every teacher read Computers as *Mindtools*in Schools: Engaging Critical
>> Thinking by David H. *Jonassen. **Then I would design professional
>> development sequences that would involve teachers/administrators/parents in
>> actvities that illustrate the theories of:*
>> Piaget
>>  Papert
>> Gardner
>>  Bruner
>> Vygotsky
>>  Bloom
>> Gagne
>> I would then design in-class professional development. Conferences are
>> great but they don't help change schools.
>> Peace
>> Frank
>> On Feb 29, 2012, at 4:56 PM, Lucie deLaBruere wrote:
>> Which learning theories would you put on top of the list, bj?
>> Lucie
>> On Feb 24, 2012, at 6:49 PM, Bjorn Behrendt <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>    1. I would make sure every teacher was familiar with new learning
>>    theories, before any tool is purchased.
>>    2. I would make sure they would have the time to rewrite their
>>    lessons to follow those theories.
>>    3. I would require teachers to show a connection between theory and
>>    the item they want to purchase.
>> My concern with unlimited funding is that true learning would get lost in
>> all the new toys they had to play with.  Only once teachers were ready
>> would I bring in the tools.
>> Another issue with unlimited funding is that the students don't have
>> unlimited funding and if they are always exposed to the "top of the line"
>> method, those skills become inaccessible when outside of school.  ~
>> basically money or not I am still a free and opensource person because of
>> the accessibly it provides not funding.
>> With that said, I want the touch screen tables and screens that are
>> on Hawaii 50, and similar hi-tech cop shows.
>> *Bjorn Behrendt ~ Never Stop Learning*
>> *   [log in to unmask] | (802) 772-0003*
>> *
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>> *Join me in person: *March 10 2012 ~
>> On Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM, Open Source <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>>> On Feb 24, 2012, at 10:28 AM, Jack Barnes wrote:
>>> I think the elephant in the room is funding available.  I think we would
>>> all do things different if funding was not an issue.
>>> When i read this line in Jack's email, I was really interested in
>>> learning the answer to his implied question:
>>>      What would you do for your school (regarding technology) if funding
>>> were not an issue?
>>> Not infinite, stupid funding (hire a helicopter to fly in private chefs)
>>> but, for the sake of this discussion, say a private donor who completely
>>> trusted your technology opinion and had the resources to fund any
>>> technology initiative your proposed.
>>> What would you buy for hardware? for software?  for PD?  for …?
>>> Perhaps this type of day dream is too painful in these shrinking budget
>>> times but I found it interesting.
>>> Here is my list
>>> - ubiquitous computing resources of some flavor (computing power
>>> available to all students, teachers and staff right when it was needed)
>>> with all necessary support staff
>>>  - a Maker Space with all the tools (3D printers, CNC laser cutters,
>>> fabric printers, DIY bio tools,...)
>>> - travel stipends for all students (and chaperones) to Maker Faires,
>>> tech/robotics competitions, conferences, etc
>>>  - abundant connectivity at schools and homes
>>> - 'venture' funding opportunities for students to launch companies or
>>> serious multi-year projects - students both request and allocate funds.
>>> sigh….well as Morpheus said... back to 'the Dessert of the Real'
>>> Bryant
>>  Frank J. Watson
>> 1 Lochend Ln.
>> Cheraw,SC 29520
>> 843.537.2770
>> *"Let's put our minds together and see what life we can make for our
>> children."*
>> Sitting Bull. Lakota Sioux, 1877
> --
> Adam A. Provost
> Media and Performing Arts
> Head Baseball Coach
> Burr and Burton Academy
> Manchester, VT 05254
> 802.549.8194
> *"Responsibility, integrity and service."*

Lucie deLaBruere

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Cell:  802  752  6086

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