Month: April 2014

We were just getting to know each other…


I think Ruth said it perfectly when she reflected at the end of the final F2F session that happened this past Friday, that it seemed like we were all just getting to know each other and then this Cohort thing is over.

Perhaps it was because we all just went through something challenging together or perhaps it was the merriment of the post-PD-pub session, but I’m really going to miss this collection of keen Cohort21 colleagues.

Is it weird that I’m already starting to consider what I want to investigate next year (class badges as a way to track, encourage, and empower students with academic mindsets) or that I now really feel really invested in supporting my fellow CAIS teachers on their journeys?

I can’t remember if Garth or Justin said it, but just because the formal Cohort21 cycle is complete, the journey is just beginning!

Thanks for a great final session everyone (and don’t forget to comment on each other’s blogs)!


2014 Final Reflection


Initially, at the start of the year, I thought that I would focus on a “21st century novel study”. This is what I tweeted out on the 24th of January:


And then I started to consider where the areas of strength and challenges were with my class’s study of The Book Thief: some aspects of this novel study were fantastic and some needed some tweaking.

So I decided to embrace my own growth mindset and set out to explore how I could re-design my assessments to consider 21st century learning skills, especially those key ingredients I uncovered through my learning with High Tech High and the Deeper Learning MOOC.

All of my key “a ha” moments and lingering wonders are in the video above…so pour yourself a mug of tea and cozy up for a 10 minute journey through my reflections on this year of learning.

Other people are saying it too

Image from

This article, about the assessment of deeper learning, helps to put a few key ideas into context that connect to my action plan. Namely…

– Students benefit from having a say in how they are assessed
– The right feedback at the right time is essential
– Reflecting at the end of a learning experience can help students tie together their understanding

As my “Deeper Learning Assessment Planner” is still under construction (and maybe it should always be?), I’m finding it affirming to know that I’m not alone in seeing some of these elements as essential for meaningful project-based learning.

Now onto my final F2F presentation design. I think I’m going to explore to put together my thoughts for the world. Anyone use this tool before?