3-8 Planning Sessions


  • What is Engage?
      • listen to Roy's recording of conversation (to be attached)
      • come & observe a class
      • Highlights:
        • students engaged in learning (recognizing engaged does not always mean learning)
        • collaborative, challenge/problem-based activities & projects
          • how the world works
          • inquiry
          • design
          • human concerns
        • not tied to any state objectives
          • outside of pressures to achieve state/district objectives
        • Build in tools with skills
          • provide wide-enough range of experiences so learners develop/construct understanding for themselves
        • skills
          • problem solving
          • creativity & innovation
          • communication - synchronous & asynchronous
        • tools
          • non-linear
          • wikis, blogs, audio, video
          • through experience, learners develop sense of tool flexibility - which tool best fits with which task/job
        • initial design
          • 5/6 core & 7/8 co-curricular
            • skills will ramp up over time, through increased time in Engage environments (5-8, now 3-8)
            • dedicated time for planning & implementation
            • find existing projects kids can modify by hacking, deconstructing, reconstructing
            • STEM like, although not driven by STEM objectives
            • projects designed to be done in pairs, threes, fours - interdependence among whole class; class becomes community/learning organism
            • teachers/learners become learners/teachers
    • Goals:
      • creativity & innovation
        • constraints help to shape creative process

      • problem-solving
      • communication
    • Jordy's Read-Aloud - A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change (John Seely-Brown & Douglas Thomas)
      • encountering boundaries spurs imagination to be more active in finding creative ways around those boundaries
      • pushing beyond what someone else thinks can be done
      • kids can work within those boundaries & find ways to push beyond them, at times
  • Planning Group Communication:
    • synchronous/asynchronous balance
    • where do we find time to exchange ideas, clarify understanding, strengthen team?

  • Challenges/Needs:
    • Time: what do we have; how are we using it?
      • to plan, research, observe

    • Consistent focus from teams, bldg, admin level
      • committed to planning & sharing time

    • Need before August:
      • construct Year long outline 3-8
        • define engage
        • identify larger challenges - grade & projects
        • identify skills targeted @ grade & project levels
        • construct Quarterly outline (3/4. 5/6, 7/8)
        • marketing/media blitz - awareness campaign
      "To Do" after August:
        • continue ongoing marketing/media blitz; awareness campaign


  • Why do kindergartners have more creative confidence than 12th graders?
    • time to play
    • clean slate - everything is new
    • not as much "right & wrong"
    • punishment not as severe if they're 'wrong'; correction is far more mild
    • Kindergarten is a 'happy place'
    • great deal of praise
    • effort is greatly valued
    • instant gratification
    • different peer pressures
    • boundaries of learning less defined and more flexible
  • Why have so many college students (and American workers) "unlearned" how to be creative?
    • definite right & wrong; black & white
    • no time to play
    • slate/expectation is clearly defined - guidelines
    • boundaries of learning are clearly defined and less flexible
    • actual workload - grade is essential
    • less to no practical application
    • "playing the game" - rules provided for you
    • larger population - students perceived more as a number, less as an individual thinker, learner, do-er
    • creativity not valued
    • is it more that they have learned how to be creative in figuring out the rules, playing the game and identifying where these boundaries of learning exist and are less flexible (academia) and where they don't?




  • Is creativity available to each of us?

Stanford University D-school
"Design thinking is best learned by doing, and our classes immerse students in an experiential learning environment. It is not a static process, but an approach to creative problem solving. Each team and individual develops their own process as they work on a problem, adapting and adding to it as they go. The key element is being mindful of how you work, not just what your outcome is. Regardless of the steps you take, the elements underlying the process are the mindsets of empathy, an attitude of prototyping, collaboration, iteration and feedback."

BCS ENGAGE is best described as "learning by doing, and our classes immerse students in an experiential learning environment. It is not a static process, but an approach to creative problem solving. Each team and individual develops their own process as they work on a problem, adapting and adding to it as they go. The key element is being mindful of how you work, not just what your outcome is. Regardless of the steps you take, the elements underlying the process are the mindsets of empathy, an attitude of prototyping, collaboration, iteration and feedback."

- http://dschool.stanford.edu/big_picture/design_thinking.php

3/3/33 Activity

Stanford D-School
Henry Ford LI
Apple's CBL

3/4 Engage

Apple's CBL
  • Existing elements
    • collaborative environment - pairs; teamwork
      • teamwork
      • roles & responsibilities
      • rotation of roles/responsibilities
      • cooperative at times
      • interdependent at times
    • workspace is available to students 24/7, and can include needed resources, access to activities, a calendar, and serve as a communication channel with the teacher and between team members
    • a wide variety of Web 2.0 resources available for project management and collaboration
    • project rubrics
    • hands-on/minds-on
      • tools (hardware) in hands of kids - flips, digital, etc.
      • thinking/connecting - creating something from "scratch" (Inspiration,
    • sharing experiences
  • Future growth opportunities
    • student-created challenges
    • dig deeper, develop deeper knowledge of the subjects they are studying
    • working with a diverse group (equal participants among peers, teachers, outside experts)
    • bringing in existing tools with which they're already familiar & in which they're already interested (in addition to wikis, blogs & Moodle, flip, etc.)?
      • PSP; Wii
      • cell phones

Stanford D-School
  • Existing elements
    • creativity/innovation valued
    • beginning levels of project-based learning
    • some emphasis on product
    • collaboration among students
  • Future Growth Opportunities
    • 'radical' collaboration
    • prepare future innovators
      • brainstorming
      • breakthrough thinkers
    • "big" projects
      • prototyping
      • innovative thinking
    • multidisciplinary

5/6 Engage

Stanford D-School
  • project-based
  • mindful of process
  • creative problem-solving, within limits (challenge with constraints - topics, material, time, etc.)
  • bits & pieces of curriculum woven through Engage ("engagifying")
  • collaboration - teaching staff & students
Differences (Devil's Advocate):
  • projects not always human-centered; not always "real-world" problem from student perspective
  • multidisciplinary - curriculum not purposefully designed to embrace

  • small learning environment
  • unique innovative learning spaces; creative learning spaces
  • Mission statement
  • responsibility of whole community to educate each child
  • global connections
  • international teaming

Apple's CBL
  • challenges
  • use of technology
  • collaboration
  • creative solutions
  • Real World...
  • practical application
  • time
  • action...global..important, "real world" issues

7/8 Engage

Stanford D-School
  • learn by doing
  • mindful of the process
  • mindsets of empathy
  • collaboration
  • iteration
  • feedback
Differences (Devil's Advocate):
  • some elements of design are pre-prescribed


  • multiple contributors
  • age...learning interchange

Next Steps

3/4 Engage Planning Meeting 6_14_2010

Overall Notes

  • What is our “best case scenario” for our 3-4 students (and team)? (Think BIG!)
    • Great team players
      • Work well together
      • Consult group before coming to teacher (Problem solve)
      • Listen to each other
      • Know when to work together and when to divide
    • Independent thinkers
      • Go beyond assignment
      • Habits of Mind
      • Problem solving
    • Student Choice
      • Creating real life questions connected to learning
      • Differentiating of learners
    • Do it yourself education
      • Self Help- how to use…tools, etc
    • Eliminate busy work
      • Get rid of everything but the best
      • Paperless learning (Moving toward of SAMR -MR)
    • Growth Mindset
      • Student evaluate own work and improve it
    • Switch to ongoing formative assessment
    • Real Purpose
    • Parents who understand the above
    • Staff who understand the above
    • Go beyond the physical/mental boundaries of the school
    • Master basic tech skills
      • apply them with purpose
      • learn and practice…engage skills
    • Build/Foster Low Floor, Wide Walls, High Ceilings Projects
      • Everyone can “enter” no matter skill level, room for creation-flexibility, no boundaries
    • Using own personal devices
      • lap tops, cell phones, I pads/touches, etc…
  • What are the barriers that the students (teachers/facilitators) will face in maximizing potential?
    • More Time to plan/create lessons
      • Using existing time efficiently
    • Knowing when to meet and collaborate-reach consensus vs knowing when to have autonomy
      • Ed. Tech and Classroom teachers to meet
    • Sharing among teachers
      • Give and take –can they do both?
      • Only share a few things- keep the “gem”
    • Lack of models
      • Need to create own models
      • Need time to research/plan
    • Helicopter parents/staff
      • accountability
      • responsibility
      • Love and Logic concept-revisiting?
      • Not enabling students, parents and staff
    • Challenging the status quo
      • Freedom to move beyond the existing mold/system
      • Group think…dumbing down instead of spiraling us higher
    • Limitations that 3-4 students bring
      • Age appropriate behavior/developmental abilities
    • Finding Excuses vs Problem Solving
      • Growth mindset vs fixed mindset
    • Web safety issues
      • age appropriate
      • access to desired tools
    • Lack of understanding of LF, WW, HC
      • “this is one way…let’s try another way”
    • Communication
      • Learning to listen (staff, students)
      • Lack of professional trust, respect
      • Transparency
      • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of our tools…When should we use a wiki, email, discussion board, etc…face to face
    • Shy away from conflict
      • Fixed mindset
    • Validation of our Successes
    • District Support
      • Time
      • Money
      • Community communication
      • Understanding of our mission
      • Clear message (i.e. writing workshops/ignite)
    • Lack of tech input (i.e macs and PC’s)
  • Mission:

    • To unleash learning creativity and leadership through authentic and relevant learning experiences/connections
    • Where the reality of today doesn't limit the possibilities of tomorrow
    • We teach students Enguage/21Ct skills and allow an opportunity to grow and develop with peers
    • To hone a strong foundation of teach skills and ID - touchy feely word of choice - by the collaborative team of teachers who inspire creativity, curiosity and enjoyment/excitement
    • Offers a rigorous and exciting curriculum that stretches the minds of our (staff and?) students and advocates critical thinking, fosters the growth mindset, and (something to do with interdisc learning).
    • The class is a direct result of the ID model that BCS has adopted
    • Interest in the world around them - skills that will go with them as they move on
    • DIY Education - experts collaborative
    • 3/4 engage is dedicated to providing a safe, caring environment in which all students are challenged to perform at their highest levels (learning edge?). Students are held more responsible for their learning, taught strategies for learning on their own. Tautology in education is defeated by providing students with hands-on, real-world learning activities through integrated instruction and cooperative learning experience.

Parking Lot

  • add here


Ann T Notes

  • add here

Sara W Notes

  • be intentional and patient
  • Kim & Mat were discussing cross-building classroom visits (within BCS)
    • include 3-8 content, co-curricular, 7-8, 5-6, 3-4 Engage
    • this would foster the development of a more cohesive learning community
    • Mat suggested having some kind of guide for these visits
    • Teacher Leadership Academy notes
      • what about including the defining elements of who we are/our mission/our vision
      • this might raise the overall level of awareness to these elements, encourage common language, more frequent discussions, and help to weave those common threads, 3-8 (content, co-curricular, Engage, admin, etc.)

Mat B Notes

  • [ invalid file: notes.mp3 ]

Kim D Notes

  • PD/PLCs: it would be so informative and educational to visit other teachers' classes (engage, ed tech) to learn from peer modeling (instruction). Maybe a half day of formal visiting--but to see real day-to-day lessons with coverage provided.
  • Collaborative grading/assessment (formal and informal)
  • Basic Skill Proficiencies for Students:
    • saving to H: drive
    • emailing attachments
    • USB drives??
    • remote access of H: drive from home
    • file naming (first name, topic) and organizing files
    • wiki organization and presentation (clean and understandable)

Hal H Notes

  • 3/4-"Best Case Scenario"- an escape from rote learning, creating or focus on the habits of mind within lessons
  • barriers- more planning on the teacher end to create lessons this way
  • supports- Ignite facilitators and the knowledge of the members of the team
    and the PTSA for funding

Jordy W Notes

  • Ed Tech is work time for students to work on projects assigned and started by classroom teacher.
  • Ed Tech completes a set of projects throughout the year designed to introduce (3rd graders) or practice (4th graders) skills that will be used in the !gnite classrooms of 3/4 throughout the year. This is basically what we have done for the last couple years, though with limited classroom success.
  • Ed Tech designs !gnite-like projects with the classroom teachers with half being completed with classroom teachers and half with Ed Tech teachers. All assessment would come from classroom teachers.
  • Create an Ed Tech to Engage flow of projects designed to fit with a 3-8 Engage scope and sequence. The first year this might happen primarily in Co-Curricular time while the teachers grapple with !gnite. Then, next year we could hopefully help it bleed over into the classroom, especially science.
    • 1st Marking Period - !gnite summer type challenges designed to get the basic tech skills and groupwork skills down
      • Basics
        • Username and password for logging in (practice multiple times)
        • Accessing Moodle, Wiki, voicethread, and teacher blog
        • Checking for network connections, wireless, domain availability, etc.
        • Proper care and feeding of tools
      • Qwiki Project (pick the order based on what 3/4 will be using first through !gnite.)
      • Audacity Project
      • Voicethread Project
      • Moodle Discussion
    • 2nd - 4th Marking Periods - Engage style projects that emphasize Challenge Based Learning, Inquiry, etc.)
      • Overall gradual increase in the length of a challenge (maybe 4 first marking period, 3 second, 2 third, and 1 fourth)
        • digital storytelling
        • skyscrapers/building big
        • science investigation (ex: variables - use what you've learned about variables to design an experiment using x supply of materials; identify & label control, dependent, independent, cause & affect, etc.)
      • Overall gradual increase in the size of team (pairs first marking period, threes second marking period, fours third, and 4th marking period either
        • whole class jigsaw or
        • interclass groups (think Tom Seley and Rick Joseph, but in 4's)
          • 3/4 with 5/6, 7/8 - content, Engage and/or co- curr

Adam H Notes

  • Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset
    • A person with a fixed mindset views their talents and abilities as fixed – unchangeable. A mistake means that these attributes are somehow flawed. People with a fixed mindset go through life avoiding failure and challenge. If an error is made they are quick to hide it or blame others rather than learn from the experience. If something is ‘too hard’ they won’t try. Anything less than perfect is viewed as a personal flaw. Therefore, a fixed mindset limits people and holds them back.
    • People with a growth mindset, however, see themselves as a work in progress. They believe that they can continually enhance their intelligence, abilities and competence through effort and practice. They view challenges as learning opportunities. Failure is merely an opportunity to learn and grow. Therefore people with a growth mindset actively seek challenges even at the risk of appearing less than perfect.
    • A growth mindset is about learning how to compete against oneself. Having a growth mindset leads to much higher rates of achievement and happiness.
    • There is no failure. Only feedback. ~Robert Allen

Sept 2, 2010
BCS staff uses ignite wiki to share lessons, ideas, feedback
email staff to take a look- encourage to explore...