Welcome to our blog

This is the story of two educators on one journey. Each day we will record our reflections on the process of being involved in an innovative educational environment. The decision on our part to leave the public education system was deliberate due to our growing frustrations over the factory "one size fits all" model of education. This model has dominated the educational landscape and is not designed to meet the needs of the 21st century learner. Step one in our journey was to find a place that would allow us the freedom to break out of the system. We needed a chance to just breath and facilitate learning in the ways that we both know are best for children. That step has led us to Rosemary Beach Florida to work with the students attending the OH Institute. The OH Institute is a unique educational environment that we find humane. The curriculum focus is on the individual learner with an infusion of technology project based learning. Currently, it has 20 students in grades 4-11 all of whom are seeking something different than what the factory system of education has to offer. This is where our adventure begins...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October 5th and 6th

Wednesday October 6-

Morning meeting was fun and we used two questions for the WHIP activity. One was "who is your hero" and it was great to hear their responses.

Block one - Elementary continued their spore unit today with the focus on why are living things shaped differently if they came from the same source? We used the game to continue learning about evolution and this will lead into social studies in later stages.

Block 2 - MS - We watched a video about how to do a strong presentation. They then took some time practicing their presentation in the library first and then in the community room. It is neat to see them take their presentation so seriously and I'm excited to see how they do. HS - We looked at Hunter's writing and discussed our steps in our argumentative writing process. Mira and Nathan are starting their paper today and will check their peers work to see how they started their paper. We set aside 20 minutes to write today and I think that helped everyone get some work done. Our rough drafts are due this Friday.

Music Block - The elementary went with the first block with high school and they are getting very close to being able to play "Bad to the Bone". The high schoolers worked on a new son " I love Rock and Roll". Second block MS, the girls tried out some acoustic music today learning Amazing Grace on guitar, banjo and mandolin. It is difficult at first, but they are getting it. The MS boys have a Green Day song started that is going to work well and they might have a high schooler help on guitar as needed.

This was one of those days when the things on my to do list quickly went out the window as a new challenge presented itself. I met with Tim to talk about a concern about the schedule and he gave me a heads up that some students were falling behind in their virtual school work pretty quickly. I decided to spend the day working on the scope of the concern meaning how many students did we have starting to fall behind. After going through all students FLVS coursework looking at grades and pacing and their google pace spreadsheets I identified four high priority students needing support and two that were ones to watch. Out of our 16 FLVS students that leaves us with ten doing well and six needing support.

After school I met with Randy and we talked about what he was seeing when he was meeting with students. He identified five of my six students and so we knew that we needed a plan of support.

After our planning work I decided to work on some documentation pieces and now I am a bit too tired to go into much detail. I documented: Our "OH" workshop model of instruction, our priorities and our roles within them and continued working on the daily work of the facilitator and administrator.

It was an interesting day all around.

Tuesday October 5:


It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time passes and how little progress gets done when I am doing in depth writing. Today I started working on my ISTE proposal. Not a lot got done because right as I hit my grove it was time to plan with Randy (or maybe I should call it torture Randy).

Anyone that knows Randy knows that he is all about the kids and spending time with them. However, he does not like the minutia of the work in terms of really peeling back the layers of what he is doing. One of my tasks this year is to capture his role as accurately as possible. This is one piece that will allow for the model to be transferable.

We started at 12:45 going over the facilitator's role looking at it division by division in terms of organization, curriculum, community building, technology tools and ended around 4:30 give or take 30 minutes to get the kids organized a the end of the day. There is some really good things coming out of the work. Tomorrow we will continue our work looking at the curriculum plans and time lines. Randy is being a good sport and ultimately when he sees what he is doing in writing I think that he will understand the need for me to continue pucking away at what he is doing every day.

Tomorrow I will get the rough draft ISTE proposal done!

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