In late November, I had the privilege to showcase the magic of curriculum storyboards as one of the featured conference speakers at Pennsylvania ASCD in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Heidi Hayes Jacobs initially debuted the idea with them in March 2022 and participants were energized by the approach. For this year’s conference, I shared some of the core reasons that motivated Heidi and I to reexamine the curriculum to make it more streamlined, transparent, and engaging.
- We have the best intentions to equip teachers with everything they might need. But have we lost sight of the importance of stepping back and considering where are we going? Every year more and more is packed into the school year with almost no evidence of cutting back. No wonder there has been a sense of curricular fatigue reported by teachers.
- We have the best intentions to design learning experiences that hook and hold learners’ attention. Yet when students are working at a granular level, focusing on the activity or challenge at hand, their energies are devoted to task completion rather than the bigger conceptual picture.
- We have the best intentions to share work with our families to keep them apprised of the curricular goals and their children’s experience. However much of the general documents we share can suffer from being too vague, too complex, or simply lists of standards.
For the rest of the afternoon, participants not only saw the power of the design by reviewing illustrative examples, but were eager to roll up their sleeves and begin to design.
Pre-conference events are underway at #pascd2022! Thank you, @TechNinjaTodd and @allison_zmuda, for providing hands-on and engaging sessions for our #eduleaders. @PADeptofEd pic.twitter.com/UWCySJXyQV
— Pennsylvania ASCD (@PASCD) November 20, 2022
The next morning, I delivered a keynote not only in front of the PASCD crowd,
“The courage to speak is the courage to listen” – @allison_zmuda
— Pennsylvania ASCD (@PASCD) November 21, 2022
but also with my college son in the audience who was so taken with the curriculum storyboard concept, he drafted one with his colleague for an extensive training program for student ambassador tour guides at James Madison University. Take a sneak peek at his design.
This truly was a sweet celebration that was made possible by all of the development Heidi and I have put into designing this curriculum frame and the accessibility and power of the idea. We continue to see the clarity it brings with our school clients and will continue to feature some of their stories on the site.