Here are five big ideas I’ve been thinking about for my classroom—the seeds of innovation I intend to develop this year.
1. Rethinking Grades
I’m leaning towards a system with more project-based work, where students set their own goals and deadlines and self-assess and peer-assess.
2. Portfolios, Publishing, and Growth
This year, I want students to document their own growth, reflection, and successes—maybe through individual student blogs, class blogs, or a Google Sites portfolio.
3. Project-Based Learning
I’ve moved from direct instruction towards a student-centered approach, but I want to create an environment where students can actively create and manage meaningful learning experiences.
4. From Engagement to Empowerment
I can keep my students engaged, but empowerment is another story. I want my students to have the power to direct their learning, to want to have that power, and to want to learn.
5. Failing Forward (no one left behind!)
I want my students to embrace iteration, creation, and growth—and sometimes that means failure. I want a classroom culture where failure is never an endpoint, growth and innovation are the norm, and everyone succeeds.
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