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Tuesday, December 9, 2014


I just finished a book titled Pure Genius: Building Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level by Don Wettrick (2014).

DW is a classroom teacher who decided to change the way he taught his classes, leveraging the interests and passion of his students, as well as the powerful and plentiful technological tools at our disposal in the digital age. 

A couple of the big takeaways for me:

DW's Blueprint for an Innovative Class  

  • This is a project-based, passion-based course. 
  • Students research a topic of their personal interest. 
  • Students can work individually or in a group of up to three. 
  • Students must collaborate with an outside expert to gain knowledge and experience. 
  • Student must submit a project proposal with the standards, a timeline, and an approximate, fair point value. 
  • Students must blog/vlog about their results weekly during class. 
  • Students present their projects to key stakeholders, turn in a reflection, and negotiate for their grade.  

DW's Six Building Blocks of Innovative Learning
  1. Collaborative: Look farther than the person beside you. 
  2. Task-oriented: Move from What if ? to a to-do list. 
  3. Daring: Be brave enough to risk failure. 
  4. Relevant: The student brings meaning to the lesson. 
  5. Reflective: Look back to learn more. 
  6. Ongoing: The final bell isn’t the end.  

Sounds like the kind of environment I would want to learn in, 
AND the kind of environment that I'd like to create for my/our students, 
AND the kind of environment I see a lot of here in Guthrie CSD.

Thanks for the book, Dr. CM.  Worthy.

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