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TTT 07.08.2020 Working Toward a Collaborative Course in Uncertain Times

Author: Teachers Teaching Teachers

We invite you to join a group of teachers exploring collaborative curriculum building. Join the conversation at tonight, Wednesday, July 8th at 9E/8C/7M/6P.

What if a group of teachers organized their curriculum for this fall together? What if they were to build courses that had the flexibility of being used in socially distanced classrooms and by youth from their homes when needed?

We can do this.
A group of teachers is meeting tonight, Wednesday, July 8th at 9E/8C/7M/6P to give skeptical feedback (as critical friends) to this course: "ELA 9-10 - Youth Voices" that takes advantage of four platforms: Gmail & Docs | | |
We are treating "ELA 9-10 - Youth Voices" as a draft or a prototype, a beginning with lots of specifics for our planning.
We want to get real about a collaborative course that we might teach together in our different schools and locations. We will make revisions to the current plan that might make it possible for teachers in diverse situations to adopt and adapt it.

There are a lot of details that will or will not work for individual teachers, depending on who and where they are teaching. We will work to make clear to each other what would and wouldn't work for our students this fall.

Perhaps the frame of this course isn't clear enough or perhaps it is too limiting or doesn't fit each of our ways of working with youth or with the present uncertainties.

OR perhaps we can revise this draft together to meet many of the needs of our colleagues in the Youth Voices/NowComment/LRNG community.

Join us if you can, Wednesday evening, July 8th at 9E/8C/7M/6P. We'll leave the link to join the Zoom conversation at


From Reed (He / Him) : my connection may be acting up

From Joe Dillon : Eating and listening!

From Anna Maine : In summer school we're talking a lot about asynchronous and synchronous learning. I think my biggest question about playlists is how they would logistically work.

From Reed (He / Him) : Good point Anna

From Reed (He / Him) : the tighter the playlist the better it is to navigate Asynchronously and Synchronously

From emilywilkinson : Synchronicity is definitely something that’s been on my mind, too. Would this be something addressed in the “remixing” that individual teachers/programs would do with playlists?

From Kiran Chaudhuri : Teacher as coach.

From Christopher Sloan : @Anna I’m thinking playlists are a way to have curriculum cued up whether we’re synchronous/asynchronous, face-to-face or completely online. And whether we’re asynchronous or synchronous could happen at a moment’s notice. And Sam’s right - the tighter the better

From Jeff Dierking : @anna Yeah, I've been saying a lot that synchronous time needs some clear sense of its best uses. For me it's a waste to use it for direct instruction. Playlist structure is a great sense of that - the direct instruction can be delivered asynchronously and we come together to answer questions and conference and get guidance (if needed). I want teachers to think in playlist language.

From Anna Maine : I also have a question about the gaps students might develop if they're given soooo much choice. When students are turning in different "materials", even if they're focused on the same skill, my main concern would be identifying gaps in student knowledge or skills

From Christina Cantrill : @Anna @Chris - Jeff does a nice job here talking through why playlists, badges, etc are useful tools for designing learning:

From Anna Maine : also, thanks for all the clarifications everybody!

From Reed (He / Him) : anna good point less is move

From Reed (He / Him) : Chris was this COvid or pre Covid

From Reed (He / Him) : Hybrid

From Christopher Sloan : Covid

From Christina Cantrill : This proposed approach to schools opening struck me as interesting -

From Reed (He / Him) : Christina, PVA in the district kind of does this

From Reed (He / Him) : for their middle school kids

From Christina Cantrill : PVA?

From Kiran Chaudhuri : PVA?

From Reed (He / Him) : Philadelphia Virtual Academy - the district virtual school

From Christina Cantrill : Oh. Interesting.

From Reed (He / Him) : maybe not exactly.. but close

From Reed (He / Him) : and I was asking my principal what best practice we can learn from them

From emilywilkinson : Question: What advice might you all give a teacher who’d like to create a curriculum that’s centered around essential questions?

From Christina Cantrill : The idea of a building as a community space and then the learning happening online is interesting to me in this moment and in those old buildings. Keeping the overall population low in the buildings themselves.

From Joe Dillon : @Christina- agreed. I think there’s a lot that this plan takes into consideration that schools don’t want to take into consideration until teachers, youth and the health system force them to consider.

From Christopher Sloan : @emily. It’s an inquiry-driven approach. The questions become what they research. Teachers can teach argumentative writing or informational, which meets most ELS standards

From Christopher Sloan : ELA standards

From emilywilkinson : Also, silly question: Could there be a page/template for each teacher/school where playlists could be put together (in the vein of project) to form a curriculum?

From Joe Dillon : @Janet - the position of influence is huge. Not just as a strong planner, user of digital tools but also b/c of our access to a network of folks and their designs.

From Reed (He / Him) : control

From emilywilkinson : @Christopher thanks! I appreciate the student-driven learning, but am not sure that all schools will want to give that “direction” up

From Jeff Dierking : The dream would be to have this sort of design become the standard - so that we're not on the outside but instead are the best practice. Pushing back is the only way to do that.

From Christopher Sloan : @emily That’s why I think if it’s packaged as a path to informational or argumentative writing, it’s easier to put into place

From Christina Cantrill :

DMU Timestamp: May 11, 2020 21:16

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