Connie Weber's Blog (123)

"That's a Great PBL!" --Kids and Complexity, the joy of problem-investigation

This time of year I get to reap the harvest of having planted so many seeds in the problem-solving department.  Or said a different way, I get to see the results of having trained good hunters in the problem-solving department.  Problem-finding AND problem-solving, that is. 

Since September, I've been teaching my students to see complex wholes, giant systems with interacting variables.  Mostly we look at things from an ecological viewpoint--animals within systems, life cycles…


Added by Connie Weber on April 10, 2013 at 10:43am — 2 Comments

resources for my talk at the GoodWork Conference in Dedham, MA March 7th, 2013 "Extending the Thoughtful Classroom Online"

Howard Gardner and Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, USC Shoa Foundation conversation.  "Digital Media, learning, and empathy"

Vickie Davis, Edutopia  "Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts"…


Added by Connie Weber on March 7, 2013 at 3:00pm — No Comments

From the chapter "A Promising Start" in Howard Gardner's book, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: Reframed

From the chapter "A Promising Start" in Howard Gardner's book, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: Reframed.

Yes, This I believe.  This I enact.  Our greatest hope is in blending the ages together online, joining together in this adventure, coming into the next human age, the era of online connectedness. …


Added by Connie Weber on July 2, 2012 at 6:31am — 3 Comments


(revised, 1/2/12)

Late last summer, I was returning from a walk across the alfalfa field with my pup.  Half a year old, she frolicked about with exuberance about everything.  She picked up a stick and raced through the grasses in long sprints, chin up, bursting with pride.  She pranced about, holding the stick in her mouth, darting in and teasing me to see I'd chase her to get that prize.

Then, as I watched her, something got ahold of me.

I noticed that the…


Added by Connie Weber on January 1, 2012 at 4:00pm — 6 Comments

Class work from first week and a few reflections--

"Greetings, Earthlings"

The beginning--hopefully the students read it as an example of the teacher caring about their lives, who they are in their "wholeness."  The papers I've seen so far are deep and funny and seem to reflect a sense of openness and comfort. 

Here's a Visible Thinking Exercise,…


Added by Connie Weber on September 8, 2011 at 9:28am — 1 Comment

Northern Restoration--an end-of-summer check-in

I'm just back from a wild beach in Northern Michigan, a beach empty of people and human concerns, a beach filled with powerful nature, enough of it to make a person realize how small we are on earth, how grand and amazing life is.

Having no electricity added to the here-and-now feeling of existence. Simple existence. It's what I longed for all year long: Nothing to do, just absolutely nothing, which turns out to be nothing and everything all thrown together. Just be here now, in the… Continue

Added by Connie Weber on August 18, 2011 at 4:53pm — 1 Comment

Future of Learning, Harvard's Summer Institute, Day Two

Some reflections on yesterday--

Dynamic, moving, jump-out-of-your seat exciting plenary sessions with Veronica Boix Mansilla, Howard Gardner, and David Perkins...   the kind of lectures you long for, best of the best, so current, so moving, so essentially relevant and thought-provoking.  Then... small groups gather to process what's happening.  Our group has 19 people in it.

I was very pleased with how things went in the Learning Group I lead with Ben Mardell.  I love having…


Added by Connie Weber on August 2, 2011 at 7:00am — 1 Comment

Future of Learning, Harvard's Summer Institute

Getting ready for another mind-transformation at Future of Learning, and guiding others through their journeys as well.  This year:  Scout's Journals will be a main vehicle for processing and reflecting on what we learn.  Mapping the Unknown.  Exploring the terrain, all sorts of terrain, even that which is currently invisible.  Each participant in our Learning Group will be given (lovely, delicious) hard-cover blank books.  We may start our journey in the middle and move outwards,…


Added by Connie Weber on August 1, 2011 at 7:02am — 4 Comments

School's End, 2011

Whew,bringing things to a close.  Yesterday the class and I went fishin', which was an absolute gas. This whole week has been wild and fun.  Time is used almost completely for contract-work by students--they decide the projects, they each have their own individually-designed learning plan. 

No, I can not keep up with them.

But I applaud them!  My main job is to work to keep "a lid on it" while everyone's working. I try to keep noise and movement down to a mild roar!

I think I'll…


Added by Connie Weber on June 3, 2011 at 7:00am — 8 Comments

The blissfulness of spring break: time to REFLECT on recent reading. Here are the books.

It's such a great thing to be able to go back over this heap of outstandingly excellent recent reading, to check out the underlines and marginalia.  This set of books has brought me to a new level of understanding of learning, particularly learning that is nestled in this hyperconnected age.  So much is possible... how… Continue

Added by Connie Weber on April 8, 2011 at 4:19pm — 10 Comments

Learning and the Brain, entry 3, Linda Darling-Hammond, notes.

For our many fans of Linda Darling-Hammond on Fireside, I'm taking notes from Linda's talk and placing them directly into the blog.  <Here's a note added later--just met Linda personally and had a moment to talk with her.  She's such a warm, kind, open person.  I got her autograph, which I'll tape into my dog-earred and sticky-noted copy of Flat World and Education.  A photograph will be added shortly.  I invited her to Fireside and sure hope she comes.  Could you add a note of…


Added by Connie Weber on February 18, 2011 at 2:30pm — 7 Comments

Learning and the Brain, entry 2, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang

This afternoon I had the great pleasure of listening to Mary Helen Immordino-Yang make a four hour presentation.  The talk:  "Our bodies, our minds, our 'selves':  Neurobiological perspectives on emotions, today's culture, and learning."  

I wrote as fast as I could, and I'm fast, but I still didn't get it all down. Right now I'm just going to provide some links to give a sample of her research:


Mary Helen…


Added by Connie Weber on February 17, 2011 at 12:30am — 2 Comments

Learning and the Brain, entry 1, the trip to SF and reading Alone Together

I don't know why people continue to fly; it's so uncomfortable.  It's really an exercise in adapting to torture.  What comes to mind to me are those people (or beings, as in Lord of the Rings--the dwarves) who load themselves into barrels or boxes to travel down some river or be packed in a train to escape some dire situation, just barely enough air to breathe, absolutely no room to stretch out or change positions.  You have to stay cramped and tortured for hours, even days, but in the end…


Added by Connie Weber on February 16, 2011 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Spozin'... What if you had a principal that wrote things like this? Would you think you had died and gone to heaven?

In one of our weekly check-in newsletters from the principal:

"Things we're thinking about, talking about, processing:

What is the quality of our homework?

How do we keep creativity integral to our curriculum and culture?

What is our philosophical stance on homework?

The great benefit to education from forming strong student-teacher relationships...

How to support/develop resiliency and…


Added by Connie Weber on January 24, 2011 at 11:00am — 3 Comments

Post-Thanksgiving Check-in, where I am, what's up

Just checking in. I've been a kind of a roving spirit these days, wasn't settling, just jumping all over the place. My dear friend Ian (or Eon, a name my sister and I came up with for him, for his expansive way of thinking) wrote to me asking what in the world is up, so I'll give a quick summary. And then I'll be back to talk more in between the arduous task of report-writing.

The main thing I'm into besides daily teaching is an immersion into a study of early conservationists in… Continue

Added by Connie Weber on November 26, 2010 at 11:30am — 17 Comments

Goodbye to Kye

Goodbye to Kye. Ever-present companion for a decade.

Thank you, Kye, for affecting the lives of so many children, teaching them to take pleasure in canine understanding and play. Your gentleness,

tolerance, and Enthusiasm for Everything will always be remembered.

Thank you…


Added by Connie Weber on October 31, 2010 at 11:51am — 2 Comments

latest heap of influential books

Here are the books that frame my current research. Included in the set are some that have influenced me strongly in the past and for some reason I'm focusing in on now ( The School and Society, Left Back, The Power of Their Ideas, Making Learning Whole, Catching Up or Leading the Way, The Flat World and Education, Drive, and Mindset).

Also included are…


Added by Connie Weber on October 18, 2010 at 6:30am — 8 Comments

Monday--big event--elders and fifth-graders join together at school for a conferenced literature lesson!

Upcoming--big learning event--

On Monday, our senior partners (senior as in 80 and 90-year-olds) are coming to class to talk about a novel we all read together. Desiree Pointer Mace, a former student and now professor of education, will be taking us through a state-of-the-art interactive lesson that makes us analyze the books essential themes. Desiree (and her education students) will be "in class" via the large-screen conferencing system. Next to that screen we'll have Desiree's… Continue

Added by Connie Weber on October 8, 2010 at 12:15pm — No Comments

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Questions, problems, comments? Here is the "Fireside Council" of folks who help Connie with the administration of this site: Anna, IanOr-Tal ,  Ed and Barry. Click on their names to visit their Profile Pages and leave comments for them with your inquiries and ideas! Meanwhile, if you have technical questions or suggestions, Laura will be glad to help.

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