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Hi! I'm Misty.

Children are the Curriculum: Video Conversation with Nawal Q Casiano (Misty's Newsletter)

Published over 1 year agoΒ β€’Β 2 min read

Dear Reader,

Thank you for inviting me into your inbox :) If you are new here: Welcome!

Based on two decades and degrees, my platform, and book, Pop-Up Studio, supports teachers and students to meaning-make and feel empowered in doing so. The goal of my newsletters is:

πŸ₯… to spark a dialogue about inquiry teaching and learning towards agency, artistry, and understanding.

This month, I'm (re)offering a practice to move beyond surface topics and stresses of "covering" written curriculum towards a more student-centered, lived curriculum.

One of the most common questions I get asked is:

πŸ€” Where do our teaching concepts come from, especially in an emergent curriculum, such as student-led inquiry?

Let's draw inspiration from my friend, and literacy consultant, Nawal Q Casiano. She and I both agree that when we take our topic +concept cues from children, engagement soars.

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Y stands for Youth:

This section features a person, project, organization, that inspires youth to thrive.

O stands for Offering:

Here’s where I share free resources, practical tips or prompts.

U stands for Uplifting:

We’ll wrap up with an uplifting quote or song to leave you feeling great-- after all, it’s good to feel good!


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Youth inspire Nawal:

Meet Nawal Q Casiano, Founder of NQC Literacy

Nawal is a mom of four children and a master teacher.

Nawal started her woman-owned education consulting firm to support leaders + teachers in all things literacy. Based in Chicago, NQC works with PreK-8 schools + districts through tailored professional development, individualized teacher coaching + long-term planning for powerful learning experiences in literacy instruction. Their work is grounded in equity, access + multiculturalism.

πŸ‘‰ Watch this 8 second clip to hear WHY we should observe children's interest.

πŸ”– As you watch the FULL video, you might consider this... Why draw concepts from interest?

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Offering that ignites: Discover and Uncover Concepts on-the-spot

πŸ‘ Practice drawing a concept from a loved one's interest.

Observe your children, your partner, or anyone (even look to your pet) and see if you can identify a concept "at play" in whatever they are doing or learning such as imagination, love, or play. Remember, concepts are ideas that are: timeless; abstract; and universal. Means we can understand the idea differently but it's an idea that has been constructed over time and is "found" universally. Colour, Shape, Power, Line, Conflict, Character...even Literacy are all examples of concepts.

πŸ’« Doing this practice can be a first step in feeling less pressure to "cover" curriculum and trust that engaging content will surface through your students.

Please reply to this email and share what you discovered in practice. As always, your response will inform the information I share in these newsletters. πŸ’“ Want to share your offering to a larger community? Post on social using the icons below.

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Uplifting quote + song that illuminates:

Read and listen to this quote and song to invite looking beyond the surface and being empowered in doing so⭐️
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"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." John Dewey, Theorist

Listen to the Song:

Surface Pressure Performed by Jessica Darrow

Favourite lyrics:

I take what I'm handed,

I break what's demanded

But under the surface

I feel berserk as a tightrope walker in a three-ring circus
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Here's to going deeper Reader, even if it feels a bit scary!

Hi! I'm Misty.

If you're an educator who loves inquiry, play, and concept-based approaches to education, we'd have so much to talk about! Sign up below for free resources, exclusive content (that I don't share anywhere else), be the first-to-know about events, and network with thought leaders. Enter your email address and check your inbox to confirm your subscription. Can't wait to get inspired together!

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