Tag: Deeper Learning for Students and Teachers

EL 101 Bootcamp for New Franklin Faculty Crew!

FSI welcomes new faculty crew!

Two weeks before the launch of the 2016-17 school year, new teachers circled up together for the first time on our campus for an intensive introduction to Expeditionary Learning Education at The Franklin School of Innovation.   Anne Vilen, Franklin’s EL Education School Coach and I had the great pleasure of working alongside these spirited and inspiring educators in Franklin’s EL 101 Bootcamp, designed to immerse teachers in experiential learning with these Learning Targets:  

  1. I can describe how we teach and learn at an EL Education school
  2. I can explain how a positive culture supports achievement in EL classrooms
  3. I can describe the purpose of Crew for students, teachers, and classrooms
  4. I can name and commit to consistencies for instruction and assessment at FSI
  5. I can balance self-compassion and growth mindset.

This training required that we all wear both teacher and student hats. As students, we engaged in inquiry, dug deeply into content & methodology, and experienced EL as a learner.  As adult learners/teachers, we grappled with how to transfer and apply the processes, practices, strategies that we were experiencing in our own classrooms and administrative roles at FSI.  We reflected on our learning and set professional goals for the year ahead, realizing that we all must practice FSI’s Habits of Scholarship as teachers!  

I’m very honored to be Director of Curriculum and Coaching at Franklin and to collaborate with our Faculty Crew, new and old, as we strive to fulfill FSI’s Mission and, as an Affiliate, the Mission of EL Education: “To create classrooms where teachers can fulfill their highest aspirations, and students achieve more than they think possible, becoming active contributors to building a better world.”
 

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 New Faculty Crew circled up to create an equilateral triangle, while blindfolded.  Pictured post initiative: Meagan Barnhard, Charlie Talley, Katie Dulaney, Judy Carhart, Matthew Mikulski, Mary Ann Jaben, Kati Robbins, Marsha Davis, Peggy McCay, Jill Padfield, Hannah Allen, and Laura Bubacz  (Also, not pictured here: Stephanie Hellert, Amy Hinsley, Walter Plotkin)

 

“EL Education’s core work is building the capacity of teachers and schools through professional development, professional resources, and curriculum. When students and teachers are engaged in work that is challenging, adventurous and meaningful, learning and achievement flourish.”  Read more here:  http://eleducation.org/

 

The Innovation Times

The Innovation Times

The Innovation Times

FSI NEWS of the Week:  Our Journalism Class publishes the first edition of THE INNOVATION TIMES!

 

In just a few short weeks, our Journalism students have investigated many types of journalism, including podcasts, digital photography, film, print, and radio.  They’ve focused on AUDIENCE and PURPOSE, and how these important factors determine the format and medium for sharing news. Tasked with designing and implementing a student-managed system of sharing FSI news, students decided to create a printed newspaper with the purpose of showcasing the exciting learning experiences taking place every day here ath The Franklin School of Innovation.

According to Katie Washburn, FSI’s awesome 9th-10th grade ELA and Journalism teacher,

“they noticed that there were lots of awesome things happening across campus, and no central place to get all of that information. They decided that they wanted the school newspaper to be that place. Therefore, the features are centered around what’s happening inside and around the FSI community – sports updates, student government, shout-out’s to awesome students, community features, and opinion/ advice columns on subjects that matter to FSI students. They also want the paper to be educational, with each edition illuminating important ideas or events outside of the FSI community. This edition will be released on September 11th, so our cover page will feature a memorial to 9/11.”

 

Publisher

Mrs. Washburn

Editor-in-Chief

Meghan Vance

Section Editors

Etienne Philips – News/ Opinion

Sophie Lemire – Entertainment

William Feehan – Sports

Kimberly Garcia-Aguilar – Free-for-all

Layout Editor

Sydney Freeman

Layout Staff

Tyra Syverson

Sophie Lemire

Hannah Odom

Circulation manager

Delaney Nelson

Reporters,

Columnists &

Editorial writers

Mitchel D’Alleva

William Feehan

Sydney Freeman

Kimberly Garcia-Aguilar

Kevin Hill

Sophie Lemire

Sydney Lemire

Benjamin Lynch

Delaney Nelson

Ian Nolan-Kilby

Hannah Odom

Etienne Philips

Alexander Reiss

Aiden Simic

Tyra Syverson

Meghan Vance

Photographers

& Artists

Sophie Lemire

Delaney Nelson

Alexander Reiss

Business &

Production Managers

Etienne Philips

Ian Nolan-Kilby

Mitchel D’Alleva

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Franklin School of Innovation Faculty Crew Focus: Deeper Learning, Self-Reflection, and SMART Goal-Setting

Franklin School of Innovation Faculty Crew Focus: Deeper Learning, Self-Reflection, and SMART Goal-Setting

Did you know that the FSI Faculty regularly circles up for professional learning on Friday afternoons?  Our teachers and administrators actively and collaboratively “dig in, engage, and apply” Habits of Scholarship in our research, preparation, and planning for student-centered learning. We examine EL Education Design Principles, best practices, and exemplars to plan projects, expeditions, daily lessons, and formative assessments that will actively engage FSI scholars in becoming leaders of their own learningIMG_8208
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This week’s focus was on Student-led Conferences and Deeper Learning.  FSI Faculty practiced self-reflection and SMART goal-setting in order to identify individual professional learning goals that will ultimately serve our students. We practiced Student-led Conferences and offered feedback to one another, an authentic demonstration of FSI’s commitment to developing leaders of life-long learning!

This fall semester’s Student-Led Conferences will be an exciting first for many FSI families.  Save the date:  October 2.  More info will be coming soon!  In the meantime, to find out more about the concept of “Deeper Learning” and the purpose/process of student-led conferences, here’s a great article from Mindshift:  http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/09/23/why-students-should-take-the-lead-in-parent-teacher-conferences/IMG_8301 IMG_8300 IMG_8299 IMG_8298 IMG_8297 IMG_8296

FSI Pollinator Pathway and Monarch Waystation Project

FSI Pollinator Pathway and Monarch Waystation Project

The FSI Pollinator Pathway and Monarch Waystation Project site the day before our work began:
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http://https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/k-vOQ452EWxM53KOdZ1B9nr4W6jMW2lHreO4UVFosEA=w282-h158-p-no

After consulting with Monarch Rescue Mission Expert, Nina Veteto, Bennett David, Eagle Scout (and lifelong advocate for monarchs), Jonathan Marchal of the NC Arboretum, FSI students in grades 6-9 spent the last 2 days of school planting a monarch waystation to support the butterflies on their long migration from Canada to Mexico and back.  Students will collect and analyze migration data to support the Annenberg Learner citizen-science Monarch Migration project: “Journey North”

https://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/

Our Pollinator Project: “Bomb the Bank,” was also  launched on these last days of school, as students learned about seed classification, dispersal, germination, pollinators, and our ecosystem pollinators of the southern Appalachian Cove Forest.  FSI scholars had fun constructing seed bombs and bombing the meadow hillside acreage that adjoins the Monarch Waystation bordering our campus.  We will continue to plant and tend this pathway in support of pollinators, both for our campus fruit trees and the health of our planet.

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Dear

​Ms.
 
” Dear Ms. McDowell,
These are photos (and other emails to follow) just taken on a cell phone. …
The plan is for me to lead scouts in July
to make many more seed bombs

​for FSI.​  When I get the roster of students and faculty from FSI we can calculate the manpower hours from the school and also provide credit to the scouts at FSI.
​I would like to be there with you for the Waystation sign installation.  Please let me know about other events and keep me posted on the curriculum events with the waystation and meadow.  I would really appreciate being included and being sent photos when I can’t be there.
I am very grateful to have been a small part of making your amazing vision a reality.  I have enjoyed meeting  and working with you, your faculty and students.
With Sincere Thanks,
Bennett”
(Seed Bombs)
6-9-15 FSI Seed Bomb the Bank (1)6-9-15 FSI Seed Bomb the Bank (2)6-9-15 FSI Students 1

Spring Break Reflections & Looking Ahead to SLCs

Spring Break Reflections & Looking Ahead to SLCs

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Spring Break Reflections & Looking Ahead to SLCs

I’m taking a morning to upload just a few of the hundreds of photos documenting recent projects and lessons in grades 6-9.  The weeks leading up to Spring Break, 2015 were buzzing with energy, inquiry, and anticipation at FSI!  We’ve hosted many tours for visitors, from prospective students to prospective teachers just beginning their professional training. Showing folks around makes me stop and reflect upon how far we’ve come, especially when visitors comment on how engaged FSI students are, what good questions they are asking, and how earnest they are to show and share what they are learning. This is why I love being the Director of Curriculum and Coaching at an Expeditionary Learning School!  Every day involves some level of adventure, with new challenges to thinking, problem-solving, innovation, and discovery. When I visit classrooms, I don’t just observe!  I get to assist in keying out index fossils, take a stab at a proton -vs- electron jeopardy question, participate in writer’s workshop, moderate the stump speeches for FSI Student Council Officers, or puzzle out a geometry grapple presented by a Math I student working on his textbook project.

I’m also excited about our up-coming Student Led Conferences. This premier annual event will afford FSI scholars the opportunity to reflect upon their own learning, assess their growth, set smart and measurable goals, and celebrate their accomplishments in both Habits of Scholarship and academic achievement.  In the coming weeks, students will be assessing their own data in preparation for these conferences.  They will be working in Crew to prepare for SLCs by: reviewing work samples and projects, revisiting their Personal Learning Plans, and practicing presentation skills with the support of their crew leader and crewmates.  According to Ron Berger, in Leaders of their own Learning

“When students themselves identify, analyze, and use data from their learning, they become active agents in their own growth. They set personal goals informed by data they understand, and they own those goals. The framework of student-engaged assessment provides a range of opportunities to involve students in using data to improve their learning. …Using data with students has the potential to build reflective and confident learners with key dispositions of college and career readiness.”

Here is a very informative article that I encourage all FSI community members to read, for better understanding of the Student Led Conferences and Portfolio Assessment:

Making Students Partners in Data-Driven Approaches to Learning

As we return from Spring Break, remember ask your FSI scholar about Student Led Conferences! (We’ll share the logistics for the big event ASAP.)

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FSI Professional Development: Standards-Targets-Assessments

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Read more about Expeditionary Learning’s approach to Professional Development:  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning_deeply/2015/02/the_learning_our_teachers_deserve.html

(It gets Deep.)

Here, our teachers are grappling in subject area crews to translate State Standards into Learning Targets with authentic and engaging Assessments of student understanding.  FSI learners examine the purpose of each lesson, activity, or project, and prepare with the proper tools to actively participate in inquiry, data collection, problem-solving, observation, or experimentation. As “leaders of their own learning,” they practice self, peer, and group assessment of meeting these targets on a daily basis.  At FSI Faculty Crews are also engaged in Deeper Learning. We meet weekly to dig in, engage, and apply Expeditionary Learning design principles and practices in Professional Learning Crews.