A couple of thoughts – things that I would be interested to know more about and how much difference does it make for kids and the teacher
* Genius Hour / Passion project – kids have to determine what they really care about. Most people struggle with this including kids in Dana’s careers classes that I have attended. I am less interested in the actual project. Most of the information about the actual process of the first steps seems to be “You’ll know it when you see it”. What is it that kids really care about? How to they figure that out? How can that be encouraged and supported?
* formal training on asking questions. Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions
* kids know what grade they can get on a unit because they see in advance what is required for A, B, C – friend at Creekside did this for 7th grade Science. Pre-test, several tasks / activities starting with C. Do more, higher level activities for B the eligible to do A activities. Post-test. Kids who did well in the pre-test started with higher level activities. I think there was some choice at each level but some work was required. I thought this was great but she said it was a lot of work for here. Getting set up would be, but I thought it would be more interesting than whole group instruction for her as well as for the kids. But I’m not a middle school classroom teacher, :o)
I would be happy to help with any of these or anything else you come up with.