Outline for Cheltenham SD Workshop, June 20, 2011
2 3/4 hours

Time (min)
Slides with Quotes
Things That Suck
  1. Extended bread metaphor: description vs. photo vs. actual bread
  2. School is usually reduced to a linear process
  3. We travel "Proficiency Road" to the "Land of AYP" on the "Standards Bus": we drive, students are just along for the ride
  4. Reality is more complex, messy, and chaotic
  5. Goal for today is to begin to answer this question: "How do we transform the learning in our classrooms to move towards deeper understanding of our students?"
Knowing Our Students
  1. To transform student learning, we must first know the students.
  2. Small group activity: record on post-its the specific things we would want to know about our students (5 min)
  3. Compile ideas onto large-group sheets: Know it (we already have the information somewhere), Learn it (I know how to find this out), Where is it? (no clue how to learn this about my students)
  4. Not going to try to tackle the "Where is it?" problem today, but it will go on the discussion list for ongoing conversation.
Features of a Nonlinear Learning Environment
  1. Form groups of 4: each group generates a list of characteristics of a nonlinear learning environment using graphic organizer (7 min)
  2. Each group member then takes one category (assessment, instruction, community, and space) and brings it to a larger group that compiles a list on chart paper.
  3. Post charts around the room for reference
Assignment Analysis
  1. Form pairs
  2. Teach "think aloud pair problem solving" technique: one partner solves the problem, other one reflects back. Rules are as follows:
    • Problem solver works on solving the problem. DO think aloud as you solve, including explaining the reasoning behind your choices. DO NOT fall silent--keep talking as you think.
    • Listener observers the problem solver. DO ask clarifying questions when you don't understand the solver's thought process. DO prompt the solver to keep talking if they resort to "stealth thinking". DO NOT offer advice or help or make suggestions about the actual problem being solved.
  3. Distribute copies of an assignment that was shared, or permit participants to use one that they brought with them.
  4. Problem: redesign this assignment in a more nonlinear way, incorporating characteristics from the list generated earlier. Solver works on the redesign, listener reflects back at the solver.
Ken Robinson: Bring On the Learning Revolution!
Design a Nonlinear Learning Environment
  1. Form groups of 4 people. Each group gets a laptop (may have more than one if you like). Each group member gets a specific specialization role.
  2. Task: work together to design a nonlinear learning environment. Options:
    • Choose an actual situation/classroom and redesign it to be nonlinear within whatever constraints actually exist for that situation
    • Begin from scratch and design the "ideal learning environment". Be as broad/general or as specific as you like.
Sharing Out: Highlights of your nonlinear environment. (1 min per group)
Nonlinear Top Ten
  1. Within the same groups, generate a "Top Ten" list of words or phrases that you believe best capture the conversation and work that took place today.
  2. Post the lists and do a walkaround to see other group's lists.
Ticket Out: Two options to express what you learned today:
  1. Summarize your learning in exactly 5 words. Your words can be a phrase or a list.
  2. Write a haiku that encapsulates your learning.