Fostering a love of learning through concept-driven teaching
“Why didn’t anyone ever tell me this before? How could I have entered the classroom without knowing all of this? ” My colleague was sitting around my kitchen table with a cup of coffee in one hand, a cookie in the other, and literally having an aha moment. If you looked hard enough, a halo … Continue reading Shining the Light
In October 2020, I embarked on the year-long Erickson and Lanning Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction Trainer Certification Institute with Professional Learning International. I had had my eye on this programme for a few years — since I started looking “behind the scenes” of the IB MYP and delving into the work of H. Lynn Erickson. … Continue reading The power of global collaboration: introducing three conceptually-driven educators
It’s almost here: the second edition of Personal Project for IB MYP 4 & 5: Skills for Success is in production and scheduled for release on 27 August. I wrote back in February about some of the changes to the Personal Project, but you can check out my latest guest blog post on the role … Continue reading Practising affective skills: becoming effective learners by managing state of mind
I haven’t written a real lesson plan in years — except when I’ve had to for the sake of inspection or evaluation. After teaching for so many years, lesson plans become brief scribbles in a planner or bullet points on a digital file — or just mental notes about what to “cover” or “do” day … Continue reading Concept-based lesson planning: from intent to implementation
Earlier this month, the IB released the updated guides to the Personal Project and Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning, and there are some exciting changes coming from September! Two things seem clear in both guides: there is a greater emphasis on student agency and there is greater alignment between the core components of the programme: the … Continue reading Reimagining IDUs
I’ve been re-immersed in the Personal Project for the past couple of months while Laura England and I have been updating our textbook to align with the newly released guide. The two main emphases of this newest iteration of the project are agency and process, and it is the latter that is probably going to … Continue reading Process over product: reflecting on changes to the MYP Personal Project
This weekend marked two writing milestones for me: On Friday, this DP English assessment prep book was released in the UK (US release is planned for late February). Today, my co-author Laura England and I submitted the draft manuscript for the second edition of the MYP Personal Project book. We have updated it to align … Continue reading Teacher or writer?
I have probably taught Macbeth close to a dozen times over the years. It’s a great work, and I honestly haven’t come across too many students who have actively disliked it. But there are only so many different ways you can teach iambic pentameter. I’ve been working on adapting our existing unit according to the … Continue reading ‘Macbeth’ 2.0: upgrading a 2-dimensional unit
Lockdown 3.0: As we start our second period of full remote learning (please, God, let this be the last!), I am reflecting more and more on the value of concept-based learning. And the conclusion I have come to is this: the IB curriculum framework (PYP, MYP or DP) does not guarantee conceptual understanding. For many … Continue reading Why the IB framework is not a roadmap to conceptual understanding
In my last post, I wrote about horizontal planning and developing a more conceptual focus across a grade-level. But each grade-level sits within a larger scope and sequence, and our curriculum needs to reflect this interdependence. We naturally look to texts (or topics in disciplines such as science or the humanities) and skills as a … Continue reading Vertical planning: developing a conceptual scope and sequence
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