Fractal Learning Designs

Curious integrative thinking for educational change

A Sea of Talk

Reading and writing “floats on a sea of talk” (Britton, 1970).

Away with Desks!

Last year I decided it was time to do away with desks in my grade 2/3 classroom. What a positive change it has been!

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My Blogging Story

I am excited to be pushing myself forward in my blogging journey through the Edublogs club.

I have been working on my blog since August so I am a newbie at this. I don’t think anyone has visited it yet. At first I didn’t mind because I was just getting used to putting my ideas out there. But I want to pursue this expressive form with more diligence. The Edublog Club will be a great fit for my needs.

I find it challenging to put my ideas out there when I don’t know who I am communicating with.  Obviously, I will have to challenge this pattern in my blogging. Essentially it is about my own fear.

Seizing the day!


Obsession or Creative Expression?

I remember a time when vacationing meant spending some time in a car or a train looking out the window taking in the scenery.

This summer when my family travelled to The Netherlands and France, I noticed our two teen daughters spent little time looking out the window while getting from place to place but were most often absorbed in their iPhone world. It seemed so wrong to me. Here we were in Europe and they were missing out on the world that passed them by! Although we had “tech free” times, they still obsessed over their phones and connection with friends at home.

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Marshalling Energy


Having the skills to purposefully engage the teaching staff in meaningful conversations is a critical skillset for making a school vision a reality. It requires balancing participation with partner and small group talk and, at times, whole group dialogue or discussion. I believe that making use of a structured process or strategy helps leaders to facilitate these kinds of successful conversations, ones that are focused and efficient.

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Polarity or Problem?

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

The above quote comes from Garmston & Wellman (2013, p. 318) who suggest that leaders need to ask this question when faced with an organizational challenge.

The following post describes a powerful Adaptive Schools tool called “Polarity Management” which  honours diverse views and liberates energy in a positive direction. It is definitely one of my favourite strategies because of the powerful impact it can have to shift a group’s focus and gain momentum.

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Beyond a Poster on the Wall

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

How do we support the norms of collaboration becoming a meaningful and relevant part of professional conversations and go beyond simply posting them on a wall?

When I think about this question, I am reminded of an education course I took on reading comprehension.

I recall that my instructor placed a poster of comprehension strategies on the wall. Examining the list, I was fascinated. Where had these strategies come from? What did they mean? How was I going to use them as a teacher?

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Fractals? What’s the big deal?


I have been doing some thinking about educational change…for quite some time. I have been intending to write a blog…for quite some time. I have had a fascination with fractals and what they represent for me…for quite some time. But this year I am diving in and bringing my thoughts about educational change and fascination with fractals to blog writing.

Now, you might ask, “What’s the big deal about fractals?”

That’s a great question for my first post.

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Grade 3 Collaboration Expert?


I love this paragraph. The author, Parker, a grade three boy, certainly has some wisdom about  collaboration.


He wrote this short paragraph reflecting on an inquiry unit focused on this question:

“How can we collaborate to solve design challenges?”

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