UMCS is a charter elementary school in Oakland, California. UMCS has been in operation for 3 years. As a part of the school's charter, UMCS uses both Montessori-based pedagogy as well as design thinking to share their curriculum. For this team's design challenge, we decided to focus on brainstorming and prototyping innovative ways for the school to integrate components of the design thinking process throughout their school day. For this particular challenge, we brainstormed and prototypes ways to spiral the value of "notice" throughout the school day.
As we worked with the UMCS team, we designed a process for the group to brainstorm creative new curricular experiments. We utilized the notion of "levers" or designable elements of the school day and culture to spark new ideas. We also introduced metaphors and analogies as a source of inspiration. After completing the brainstorm process, the UMCS team chose several ideas that were most exciting and the K12 Lab Network team coached them to prototype using the constraints of an hour, a day and a week. The UMCS team was instructed to use those constraints of time to help them design prototypes that were manageable.
From there, the UMCS team fleshed out the lesson plans and disseminated them to the rest of the teachers at the school. The lessons were implemented and the team was able to debrief the success of the lessons as well as this process for designing new curriculum. The K12 Lab Network team was then able to help frame the process so that the UMCS team could use the process again when brainstorming curriculum for the next month's value.