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Summer+ Learning 2017-18

MVx Strategic Center

MVPS Focus for Summer+ Learning 2017-18

"We are a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact. Grounded in Christian values, we prepare all students to be college ready, globally competitive, and engaged citizen leaders."

At the heart of our Mount Vernon strategic plan, known as MV×, we draw on three design drivers for the work we choose to engage and lead:

How might we make school more reflective of real life?

How might we empower all learners to be seekers and explorers?

How might we inspire one another - and the larger world - through the work we undertake together?

As a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact, the three essential design questions of MV× reflect three core priorities:

LEARNER: In a complex world of exponential change, the most important thing is to be a learner. Anyone and everyone at or associated with MV is a learner. To continually develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to actively design a better world, one must learn to thrive in any context. This requires engaging with a diverse network and participating on a variety of project teams -- giving/receiving feedback, reflecting on one's learning, and revealing next steps along the journey.

DIVERSE NETWORK: A diverse network creates and cultivates connections between people, ideas, and sectors. Developing meaningful relationships catalyzes local and global partnerships within the education community, corporate sector, non-profit community, and civic environment. These experiences are not limited to time and place. Wandering beyond the walls of the School (in-person, virtual, or blended) mobilizes a more relevant, contextualized opportunity to collaborate and contribute with peers and experts. Ultimately, as an active participant in the ownership of learning, it allows the learner to follow sparks of motivation, interest, and curiosity.

RESEARCH, DESIGN, & ITERATION: A learning organization is a dynamic environment, actively seeking ways to grow and better itself and the world. In order to meet the needs of this generation, we must remain agile to new ideas. As producers of research and design, we are committed to tweaking certain systems and methodologies, adopting new approaches, and/or thinking differently as if our industry no longer existed. MV values being research-informed in successful instructional practice and emerging innovative models. We value people-centered design principals that guide teaching and learning. Central to achieving this, robust partnerships within a diverse network are imperative. We grow, fail, and progress together.

I'm inspired. What do I do, more specifically, this summer?

Click below to see a kind of To-Do list

Preschool Faculty

1. From the book, Deeper Learning: Beyond 21st Century Skills, read a) the introduction, b) Chapter 2, and c) three more chapters of your choosing. Complete some quick responses to what you read and capture which chapters you read in the linked Google form. As you read, also consider tweeting, getting together in small groups, and/or writing a blog post for MVIFI.

2. From the book, Twelve Best Practices for Early Childhood Education, read a) the Introduction, b) Chapter 1, and c) a chapter of your choosing that will become your reflective focus of the year. We will gather in small and large groups in the summer and throughout the year to reflect and discuss on each chapter.

3. Take the "Diverse Networks Challenge" explained below. At pre-planning, be ready to share about your new connection and the story of how you made contact. Your new network addition might help someone else at MV, too!

4. Explore the resources and rabbit holes near the bottom of this page (optional).

Lower School Faculty

1. From the book, Deeper Learning: Beyond 21st Century Skills, read a) the introduction, b) Chapter 2, and c) three more chapters of your choosing. Complete some quick responses to what you read and capture which chapters you read in the linked Google form. As you read, also consider tweeting, getting together in small groups, and/or writing a blog post for MVIFI.

2. Take the "Diverse Networks Challenge" explained below. At pre-planning, be ready to share about your new connection and the story of how you made contact. Your new network addition might help someone else at MV, too!

3. Perform some research, design, and iteration on your plans for PBL in the 2017-18 academic year.

4. Explore the resources and rabbit holes near the bottom of this page (optional).

Middle School Faculty

1. From the book, Deeper Learning: Beyond 21st Century Skills, read a) the introduction, b) Chapter 2, and c) three more chapters of your choosing. Complete some quick responses to what you read and capture which chapters you read in the linked Google form. As you read, also consider tweeting, getting together in small groups, and/or writing a blog post for MVIFI.

2. Take the "Diverse Networks Challenge" explained below. At pre-planning, be ready to share about your new connection and the story of how you made contact. Your new network addition might help someone else at MV, too!

3. Perform some research, design, and iteration on your plans for PBL in the 2017-18 academic year.

4. Explore the resources and rabbit holes near the bottom of this page (optional).

Upper School Faculty

1. From the book, Deeper Learning: Beyond 21st Century Skills, read a) the introduction, b) Chapter 2, and c) three more chapters of your choosing. Complete some quick responses to what you read and capture which chapters you read in the linked Google form. As you read, also consider tweeting, getting together in small groups, and/or writing a blog post for MVIFI.

2. Take the "Diverse Networks Challenge" explained below. At pre-planning, be ready to share about your new connection and the story of how you made contact. Your new network addition might help someone else at MV, too!

3. Perform some research, design, and iteration on your plans for PBL in the 2017-18 academic year.

4. Explore the resources and rabbit holes near the bottom of this page (optional).

Staff

1. [OPTIONAL] From the book, Deeper Learning: Beyond 21st Century Skills, read a) the introduction, b) Chapter 2, and c) three more chapters of your choosing. Complete some quick responses to what you read and capture which chapters you read in the linked Google form. As you read, also consider tweeting, getting together in small groups, and/or writing a blog post for MVIFI.

2. [OPTIONAL] Take the "Diverse Networks Challenge" explained below. At pre-planning, be ready to share about your new connection and the story of how you made contact. Your new network addition might help someone else at MV, too!

3. [OPTIONAL] Explore the resources and rabbit holes near the bottom of this page.

LEARNER

MVPS Faculty & Staff Shared Reading

Because MVPS is a strong learning community focused on inquiry, innovation, and impact, we know and trust that everyone in the School community will be undertaking a variety of learning endeavors this summer, as well an into the school year. In conjunction with all of the exciting, personal learning pursuits, we will all engage in a shared reading experience that involves some common reading and some individual-choice reading. And we will continue to use the book throughout the academic year.

The major aim of schooling is to enable students to become the architects of their own education so that they can invent themselves during the course of their lives. - Elliot W. Eisner

"In Deeper Learning: Beyond 21st Century Skills, leading educators explore the far deeper levels of thinking, reasoning, and problem solving that students require and why this paradigm shift demands that teachers also become deeper learners who are more engaged in peer analysis, discussion, and collaboration." [from back-cover book jacket]

Common Reading

As an entire faculty and staff, we will all read:

  1. the Introduction, by James A. Bellanca, and
  2. Chapter 2 - "Dispositions: Critical Pathways for Deeper Learning, by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick."

Choice Reading

After reading the two common selections, choose any three of the remaining chapters in the book. Look for chapter topics that intrigue you and connect to sections of MVx that significantly draw your interest and curiosity.

Quick Response

As you read the Introduction, Chapter 2, and any other three chapters of your choice, write a quick response to each chapter -- a paragraph to record your thinking, questions, and reactions as you dug into each of those essays in the book. You can hang onto those paragraphs, archive them in your Folio profile somewhere, or record them in a view-only Google doc that you could share on Twitter and tag with #MVlearns.

Also, please use this Google form to capture what chapters you decided to read!

DIVERSE NETWORK

Making Meaningful Connections: A Collaborative Experiment

In our MVx Framework, we find the following intentions:

  • Curricula

"Respond to a changing world where learners are able to experience, engage, and impact all scales of community in authentic, real world contexts and/or settings."

  • Instruction

"Strengthen local and global networks through a myriad of experts in diverse industries and environments."

  • Assessment

"Capitalizing on feedback from a network of multiple sources, collaborators, and mentors."

  • Learning Environment

"Expand learning beyond the walls of the School, connecting and partnering with a variety of communities and settings for authentic exploration, experimentation, and impact."

THE CHALLENGE

Add a new connection in your learning network! As you enjoy your summer and explore all that it will bring, be on the lookout for a person with whom you can connect for "diverse network" reasons during the school year. Or as you begin to think about your project-approach provocations or PBL entry events, identify an industry, business, or community connection that you have a hunch would work well with your students' interests and possible projects. Do a little research and find someone that you could call or email to schedule a coffee or meet-up to begin exploring possibilities.

  1. Be even more aware and open to any new or existing acquaintance as a possible network connection.
  2. Considering your developing PBL or PA plans and provocations, identify an industry, business, or community connection AND reach out to a person to have a phone call or a meet-up.
  3. Feel free to work with a partner or a very small team on this challenge!

How might we expand our network by purposefully connecting with others this summer? Let's learn by doing!

Research, Design, and Iteration

Project Approach and PBL 2.0

We've experienced a powerful year in Project Approach and Project-based Learning. Let's build on this momentum and keep enhancing our practice.

  • Make some time to reflect on your work in Project Approach and PBL.
  • Continue your research as a professional learner in the project-based mindset and methodologies.
  • Design a new component to your project work with student learners.
  • Iterate an element that you prototyped in 2016-17 and make it even better for 2017-18.
  • Incorporate your reflections, goals and intentions into your profile on Folio.

As a school, we are moving even more deeply into project-based work with students. We all must be diligent and purposeful as practitioners to continuously improve and make our work even more sophisticated. Expect more details from division leadership about the specifics of PA and PBL work in your respective school division.

REMEMBER THESE RESOURCES...

Awhile back, we suggested perusing the resources at Edutopia and the Buck Institute for Education. Both top-notch organizations provide exceptional resources for PBL, and we wanted to make it easy to continue your explorations from this page. Just below there are some "trailheads" to help give you a pathfinder to enjoy some further learning journeys.

(Link to full Summer+ Learning 2016-17 page)

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Edutopia’s Resource List for PBL

http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning

From videos to blog posts and from resource guides to discussion forums, this “Core Strategy” category on Edutopia’s site shares a veritable universe to explore relating to PBL.

Of note: “Project-Based Learning: Research Review.” Vanessa Vega, Former Edutopia Senior Manager of Research. Originally published December 3, 2012 and updated December 1, 2015.

In this series of five articles, learn how researchersdefine project-based learning, review some of the possible learning outcomes, get our recommendations of evidence-based components for successful PBL, learn about best practices across disciplines, find tips for avoiding pitfalls when implementing PBL programs, and dig in to a comprehensive annotated bibliography with links to all the studies and reports cited in these pages.

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Buck Institute for Education

http://bie.org/

Take 5-10 minutes to browse and scroll through the landing page, and you’ll find pathways to several collections of great resources.

Of note: “Gold Standard PBL: Essential Project Design Elements.” John Larmer and John Mergendoller. BIE Blog. April 21, 2015. To support high quality PBL, BIE created a comprehensive, research-based model for PBL – a “gold standard."

At the Buck Institute for Education (BIE), our highest priority is to help teachers prepare students for successful lives. We do this by showing teachers how to use Project Based Learning in all grade levels and subject areas. As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, BIE creates, gathers, and shares high-quality PBL instructional practices and products and provides highly effective services to teachers, schools, and districts.

Consider This...

Suggestions for Sharing the Well this Summer

#MVlearns

As you read and prototype, share what you're learning and thinking on Twitter with #MVlearns.

Cognitive Brew

Consider connecting with others over a beverage of choice for an impromptu book club.

Share a Post

If you feel so inclined, we'd love for you to share a post on mvifi.org/blog.

Resources & Rabbit Holes: Talks, Influencers & Grants

Ideas Worth Spreading (that Help Us Imagine Possibility)

MoVe Talks

Does all of this thinking about MVx cause you to want to dig in even more?! Then consider spending some time with the MVIFI MoVe Talks page: http://www.mvifi.org/movetalks/. Below is a talk from Tod Martin, shared at "A Night of Inquiry, Innovation, and Impact 2016." There are five more amazing talks from that evening, and you can also find all of the MoVe Talks shared at our summer fuse events!

TED Talks, Do Lectures, PopTech and More

TED talks provide a great way to see ideas in action, to peek into other people's projects, and to get inspired to imagine possibilities for our own learners. Many of you may remember that we have a TED playlist of 50 great education-related talks. And there are four incredible talks highlighted below.

Of course, there are also playlists like "Talks by brilliant kids and teens." And there are TEDx talks from folks like Shawn Cornally of Iowa BIG. The Do Lectures and PopTech and Aspen Ideas Festival are just three more of some other phenomenal idea spreaders.

When you need a break from the sand in your bathing suit, a rainy day film festival, or a kick starter for your next awesomesauce project, consider a perusal of the videos here and elsewhere.

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Tod Martin: The New Normal

What do we do when the rate of change in the world becomes exponential? Tod Martin, of Unboundary, encourages us to "Stop acting normal." In exploring the New Normal, Martin reminds us that the difficulty isn't with the new ideas; it's with escaping the old ideas. In this compelling talk about leadership in our age, Martin prods us to be more active participants in what's possible in the world...to be "re-imagineers." And he poses two critical questions that we should strive to answer in schools and our other organizations. (Filmed at A Night of Inquiry, Innovation, and Impact, October 20, 2016.)

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Cesar Harada: How I teach kids to love science

"At the Harbour School in Hong Kong, TED Senior Fellow Cesar Harada teaches citizen science and invention to the next generation of environmentalists. He's moved his classroom into an industrial mega-space where imaginative kids work with wood, metal, chemistry, biology, optics and, occasionally, power tools to create solutions to the threats facing the world's oceans. There, he instills a universal lesson that his own parents taught him at a young age: "You can make a mess, but you have to clean up after yourself.""

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Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover

"Today's math curriculum is teaching students to expect — and excel at — paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them. Dan Meyer shows classroom-tested math exercises that prompt students to stop and think."

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Tavi Gevinson: A teen just trying to figure it out

"Fifteen-year-old Tavi Gevinson had a hard time finding strong female, teenage role models — so she built a space where they could find each other. At TEDxTeen, she illustrates how the conversations on sites like Rookie, her wildly popular web magazine for and by teen girls, are putting a new, unapologetically uncertain and richly complex face on modern feminism."

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John Hunter: Teaching with the World Peace Game

"John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4'x5' plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages school kids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can."

MV Influencers

Still experiencing a voracious appetite for diving in deeper?! One place to look is the MVIFI Influencers page. Here we keep a modestly curated set of collections of the books and articles that have influenced our thinking and learning over the years as a future-oriented organization seriously interested in stretching ourselves.

MVIFI Grants

Check out the information on the MVIFI Grants page and consider exploring the research efforts and topics of study that the grantees are discovering through their pioneering expeditions for the School and MVx.