How might we support learners in...

Collaborating with peers, family, educators and others

Example Strategies

Create projects and activities that require family/caregiver participation
Example: A teacher creates an at-home, place-based project in which the learner must collaborate with caregivers to identify an issue and design a solution.

Leverage internet-based tools that enable synchronous school-home sharing of learning, data and progress
Example: A teacher uses a digital ePortfolio platform with parent access to have learners capture their experiences, progress and performance on a daily basis to spark new conversations between home and school.

Work with parents/caregivers to ensure that the learner has the supports and opportunities needed for learning
Example: A teacher meets with parents a few weeks prior to school to discuss the learner’s needs across all aspects of Learner Focused and collaborates with school staff and third-party organizations to connect the family to a custom suite of support for the learner.

Regularly re-sort teams based on diversity, choice and interests
Example: A teacher changes the grouping strategy for every project throughout the year to avoid unintentional tracking and increase how well learners know each other.

Set expectations and support for the development of “team” skills (e.g., negotiation, conflict resolution, giving and receiving feedback, and assertion)
Example: A teacher shares a formal rubric of team skills that teammates on a project then use to score each other for formative feedback.

How might we support learners in...

Cultivating meaningful relationships

Example Strategies

Establish a daily journal or reflective practice that is shared with parents and teachers
Example: A teacher has all learners complete a daily reflection that is shared through an online platform with his/her family and teacher.

Develop planning templates for learner, family, and community-initiated experiences that specify how to interact with other networks
Example: A teacher creates a guided template to scaffold the process of reaching out to family members and contacts for support on a project.

Hold community meetings across the school to celebrate and share
Example: The art department runs monthly gallery walks for the entire school to see each other’s work and provide feedback to each other.

Create zones of safety that provide scaffolding for pursuing new relationships and opportunities
Example: A teacher mentors a learner through the process of contacting a company for an internship and pursuing the opportunity, including constructive feedback along the way.

Create safe communities of practice for peers dealing with the same issues to provide support to one another
Example: A teacher creates a community of practice consisting of learners who have younger siblings for them to discuss and share experiences as older brothers and sisters.

How might we support learners in...

Advancing personal opportunities through connections

Example Strategies

Provide an online database of sites and partners to learners to enable self-discovery and proactive habits
Example: Teachers in the department actively curate a list of local and national partners aligned with their curriculum that is shared with learners.

Develop rubrics to guide habits and reflection of social intelligence
Example: A team of teachers co-develop a rubric for expected social skills and empathy skills that learners are assessed and coached on regularly.

Connect learners to social networks of peers and others with shared interest (affinity groups)
Example: A teacher connects an interested learner to a trusted neighborhood group focused on urban planning.

Model skills to locate and manage social connections and proper responses in professional world
Example: A teacher incorporates lessons of professional networking to learners prior to the start of a cross-school collaboration project.

Integrate interviews and other workplace habits and protocols into regular class habits
Example: A teacher designs a team-based project and has learners interview to be part of different teams, versus being automatically assigned.

How might we support learners in...

Engaging in real-world experiences to develop academic knowledge, community engagement, workplace experience and global citizenship

Example Strategies

Establish public blogs for sharing of learner work to an expanded audience
Example: A teacher creates and co-manages a single classroom blog that showcases outstanding learner work with parents and the public.

Help learners plan experiences that reflect and expand their personal identity, values, and family backgrounds
Example: A teacher helps a student who is a recent immigrant volunteer at different cultural activities around the community.

Create forums for public performances and authentic final products
Example: Teachers guide learners through “problem-based” projects that produce solutions for needs in their neighborhood.

Include working professionals as advisors or establish an advisory committee on the overall curriculum
Example: Teachers partner with parents that are healthcare professionals to inform their STEM curriculum.

Co-design opportunities with learners for advocacy and independent study in the workplace, community, and online
Example: Teachers partner with advocacy groups and connect learners with those that match their interests.

How might we support learners in...

Earning valued recognition for all demonstrated competencies (regardless of where and when it happens)

Example Strategies

Hold public, community-wide gallery walks or themed expos for authentic presentation of work beyond the classroom
Example: At the end of each semester, a summit is held at the local town hall for learners to present developed, new business ideas to local leaders and the public.

Leverage an online portfolio system for formalized documentation of learners’ artifacts and experiences
Example: Teachers across the grade use an online ePortfolio system to have learners capture all work and share it across teachers and with their parents.

Expand dual-enrollment and credit programs with partner institutions and third-party organizations
Example: Teachers formalize dual-credit options with the local community college and professional organizations to help students build their college transcript.

Work directly with outside mentors and experts to identify measurable criteria and how it can be demonstrated
Example: Teachers converse with engineers from a local firm/factory to identify key skills and co-develop how they can be appropriately assessed at the fifth-grade level.

Identify target skills and how gains will be validated
Example: A team of grade-level teachers co-develops a scope of target skills and protocols for assessment and validation during the year.