UnStructured Schools

All year long we’ve been dipping our toes in the Relay pond, the UnCommon Schools waters, the “Get Better Faster” pool.  And all year long, I’ve avoided wading too deep.  Something just hasn’t felt right.  Something has felt – if I am to be entirely honest – toxic about the uber-structured current that threatened to…

Play Personality

Understanding child development is serious business, but teaching isn’t; teaching is about ensuring a joyful, challenging journey for each child.  How can we do that if we do not remain joyful and challenged ourselves? So which play personality are you? From Stuart Brown’s work, Kristi Mraz and Christine Hertz, the authors of Kids 1st from Day…

Mind the Gap

Our learning today followed a predictable format, one we’ve come to replicate in our PLCs, our professional learning, and in our teaching. Celebrate success.  Study the standard.  By this, I don’t mean always the academic standard, but instead the ideal, the exemplar.  What is it we want for our students?  Today, we tackled the structures…

Hazel Hopscotch

We read I Love my Hair today as a sneaky way of starting a connection circle.  It turned into more of a connection hopscotch as we moved over to the taped-out blocks on the floor. I. love. my. hair. I jump each word: hop on one foot, two feet, hop, hop.  “See, just like the girl…

I see you

When my daughter was four, we happened upon her first non-animated (is it live-action?) movie:  Avatar.  She loved the blue people and the way I would read the translations to her.  We watched it so many times that summer that eventually she could tell me what they were saying.  She made me fast-forward the part where the daddy…