The 6th Annual Progressive Ed Summit is November 12, 8:30 – 3 at City Neighbors in Baltimore.  This is a conference that brings together educators and folks who care about education from diverse backgrounds to learn and grow together.  We offer the Summit for free – a day of learning, good food, a keynote speaker, and a chance to connect with others.  Here are a few good reasons you don’t want to miss the Summit this year:
WORKSHOPS LIKE THESE:
(Just a few examples, there are over 40 workshops!)
  • Arts Integrated Workshop: Adapting Radio Drama to Grades K-8
  • Using Handwork to BUILD a Growth Mindset
  • How Do I Plan This Stuff?
  • Small Group Instruction in the Middle Grades
  • Accommodating All Learners in the EL Literacy Classroom
  • Using Games to Engage, Enhance and Enrich Math Instruction
  • Leap Off the Cliff: The What, Why and How of Small Group Instruction
  • Drop Everything & Design
  • Teaching Entrepreneurship As a Project Based Class
  • Fostering Independent Exploration and Choice in the Classroom
  • Jumpstart Arts Integration Lessons with Artful Thinking
  • Navigating Complex Text in Differentiated Classrooms: Strategies for Comprehension and Composition
MOMENTS LIKE THESE:
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Have you been to the Summit?  Do you want to add to the list? Please Leave a comment below.
See you at the Summit!
Why come to the Progressive Ed Summit?
Because the revolution won’t happen without you.
As Sir Ken Robinson points out in his book, Creative Schools, a revolution is underway to compel districts and states to give schools the power to transform themselves. He writes, “Although education is now a global issue, it is inevitably a grassroots process. Understanding that is the key to transformation. The world is undergoing revolutionary changes; we need a revolution in education too. Like most revolutions, this one had been brewing for a long time, and in many places it is already well underway. It is not coming from the top down; it is coming, as it must do, from the ground, up. ” (p. Xxvi)
Here’s how to spot the revolution around you. Think of the best schools you know. Who is making decisions? Who is engaged in creating that school? Where is the spark, the inspiration, the love? It’s happening in classrooms, hallways, parking lots, committee meetings and staff meetings. It’s happening in on-the-ground conversations with people who live and work every day with children and families — at the grassroots.
Grassroots transformation is what The Annual Progressive Education Summit is all about.
Each year, we gather at the Summit to exchange ideas, be inspired, make connections, and grow our community. We are like a flash mob, a self-forming community that is represented by folks across many sectors who want to transform themselves and their schools from the ground, up.
This year, we want you to join us. Come share the work you are doing. Come learn what others are working on. Come hear Susan Engle speak on curiosity and children’s ideas. Be part of the revolution!
Already coming to the Summit? Great! Tell folks why in the comment below.

REGISTER NOW

Well, Happy New School Year!  We thought we better update the story of The Big Move at City Neighbors Charter School.  Lets start with the teacher who decided to try getting rid of all her traditional desks and chairs and create what she likes to call, “Giovanni’s Cafe” for teaching Language Arts in middle school.  If you recall back in #1 of this series we introduced the ideas of Ms. Sajida Davis:

First, Ms. Davis talked about her teaching.  She would need space for the classroom library, small meeting spaces, and a spot for her desk (could it be near a window?). Next she imagined a big whiteboard – a whole wall – from floor to ceiling so groups of students could be coming up with ideas together at the same time. She mentioned quiet spaces (and we looked out in the hallway and decided it was great and she would feel comfortable sending kids out there too). And when we began to talk about her tables and chairs that were being moved up here she said, “What I really wish is that I didn’t have to have tables and chairs.” Cool! What would you have? “You know, I want my classroom to be like a big coffee shop, with couches and comfy chairs, coffee tables, and some kind of stage area.”

 After a long summer of first relocating the library, then insulating the attic, then searching for and finding used furniture from hotel liquidators in the area, we spent $900 to create an entirely new classroom.  Here are some of the pictures from her space on the first day of school (some with students!):

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And now the most important question must be posed.  Will the physical environment impact the practice of the teacher?  How about the work of the students?  What does this new space create that works?  How about what doesn’t work?  These questions and more will be considered as we continue to check in with Ms. Davis this year in her new space.

Well, we made it.  Today is day 3 of a new school year.  More pictures and thoughts on the physical environment coming soon.

Just a few more pictures of the new space in use with our students:

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