Last week marked our first-annual Freckle Summer Summit in San Francisco. This two-day event brought together 150 passionate Freckle Fanatics to share, learn, and connect in their commitment to make differentiation a reality.
The festivities began on Friday at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio. There, attendees were greeted by the Freckle Team and encouraged to mingle over breakfast with a friendly edition of Freckle Bingo.
Beyond sharing knowledge to solve some Freckle fun facts, attendees immediately became well-acquainted with one another. Our bingo board challenged participants to share classroom success stories and sob stories, exchange book recommendations, seek out educators at their grade level and within their state, and more. A whole lot of bonding before 9:00am? BINGO!
Freckle’s CEO, Sidharth Kakkar, led the official event kickoff with a personal story from his past. In 2013, Sidharth observed students learning math in a Baltimore-based classroom. It was evident that the students within this classroom were operating at many levels, making it difficult for the teacher to effectively reach each student. It was this experience that inspired Sidharth to create Freckle Education five years ago. From the beginning, Freckle’s mission has remained unchanged: to ensure that every student gets a world-class education. And we believe that the key to doing so is by empowering teachers to reach every student at their level.
And with that, we were primed for a day of differentiation!
Our first session block of the day began with Implementation Strategies to help attendees discover how Freckle could fit into their classroom while enhancing their goals and establishing routines. Next, our teachers became our students as we highlighted practical examples of how Freckle is currently being used in classrooms across the United States. Attendees found themselves collaborating on Inquiry Based Lessons and were soon devising brilliant extension activities to use alongside the IBLs in their classrooms. Participants also learned how to best leverage Freckle’s data and reports to drive student success.
But the most novel and creative “In My Classroom” ideas were presented by a few of our Freckle Ambassadors. From incorporating Freckle’s Adaptive Math into daily math routines and devising ingenious “math domain of the week” strategies to innovative theme-based and individual-based approaches to ELA instruction to leveraging benchmark assessments to identify the “lows and grows” within a classroom, the ideas were abound! One Ambassador even shared her pioneering journey from moving away from whole-group instruction to 100% center-focused instruction to guarantee differentiated learning.
The peer sharing and learning continued over lunch and straight into the afternoon Bootcamps, where attendees had the opportunity to further explore their chosen subject area and associated reports. The Freckle Team shared best practices for differentiating instruction across Math, ELA, Social Studies, and Science and even provided attendees with the unique opportunity to witness a product design sprint in action!
Next, attendees put their educator caps back on to discuss strategies for fostering Student Engagement & Agency. Our Freckle Ambassadors stole the show with original approaches to goal-tracking to personalize instruction and imaginative classroom boards to generate student excitement around learning. In our final session of the day, attendees worked together to create action plans for implementing their newly-discovered ideas and strategies in the school year ahead.
Certainly, a Freckle event would not be complete without a chance to win some serious piggy swag! Throughout the day, raffle tickets were distributed to active participants during each of the sessions and attendees had the chance to disperse their tickets for a chance to win their favorite #inwiththepig prizes.
The celebration continued with a special sneek peek of some upcoming Freckle features and updates from our CEO, Sidharth. What are they, you ask? That’s a Summit exclusive, but we promise you’ll see them in action soon!
After the Summit, attendees were left to their own devices to explore beautiful San Francisco. Of course, we shared some of our Freckle Favorites to inspire all sorts of activities. To our delight, Freckle Fanatics could be spotted taking in the city afoot, afloat and via various other modes of transportation!
On Saturday, the adventures continued with optional Outings organized and led by the Freckle Team! Our diehard Freckle Fanatics enjoyed some of San Francisco’s finest coffee and casual conversation with our CEO, while Freckle foodies set out on a croissant walk across the city. Those seeking a more active excursion were rewarded with stunning views of the city from atop the Golden Gate Bridge and from lookout points along the Land’s End hike. The quintessential San Francisco experiences were covered as well, with Freckle-led tours of historic Chinatown and bustling Fisherman’s Wharf. These field trips showcased the very best of our beloved City by the Bay, provided for some serious fun, and were backdrop to some incredible #frecklesummit photo ops.
Thank you to all of the amazing educators and administrators who made our first-annual Freckle Summer Summit a huge success. The passion was palpable, the peer learning incredibly insightful, and the fun was undeniable! We are already looking forward to next year’s #frecklesummit and we hope to see you there.
...experiencing withdrawals? Us too. You can relive the magic via our Facebook photo album here. And don't forget to register for our FREE Differentiated Instruction Virtual Summit on Thursday, July 26th from 9:00am-1:00pm Pacific Time!
If you don't already have a free Freckle account, you can create one here.
Until next time,
The Freckle Team