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...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday October 21

Thursday October 21:


Today was an amazing day of flow for the students. I spent most of my time and energy coordinating our selling efforts of our fundraiser for Halloween ScarecrOH lane. I started the day with a meeting with the sales team to get us ready to hit the stores today.

After the meeting I had some time to work on composing my thoughts and revisiting the structures for the HS language arts and social studies course.

At 10:00am we were off to sell. The students were so excited about their selling that they ended up staying selling until tennis started. We lost about an hour of academic work but I could not stop them in their enthusiasm because it would have been just too wrong. And they did end up selling $870 worth of scarecrOHs.

Elementary was very excited about their new program called Comic Life. They spent most of the morning and some of the afternoon working on making comics. I have never seen a group of students that were creating, writing and having so much fun while working so hard.

Randy and I had time to talk over lunch and we are both very much on the same page in terms of feeling like this is a good experience and it is pretty much the same teaching expectation as PK. There is no innovation, we are creating a course based on the sunshine state standards, having students work at the same pace to get the work done. They have choice in their learning in terms of picking an angle of exploring a larger concept which is exactly what the students in 3rd-12th grade are doing at PK Yonge. Again, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with this type of teaching and learning it is just exactly like PK.

Randy -

Today had many great moment of "flow." One moment was when most of the hs and ms went around to businesses to solicit money for our fundraiser that Amy was organizing on the scarecrow project. It was great to see their excitement and feeling of making a difference. Another example was Ellie and Jack working in elementary using my newly purchased comic book maker for school. They shared their projects with great vigor and our other students were a great audience. I don't know what is more entertaining, the comic strip or Ellee and Jack presenting and laughing at their own work. . .definitely the kids. I got to spend some more time today with Olivia as well as she prepares for her project. The ms boys also commented on the possibility of making a comic book that informs people of the Red Panda.

Sylvia came today and helped the hs students with their writing again. What a treasure she is to our students and the students agree every time. They always comment on how helpful it is to have her here to help with their writing. A valuable resource indeed.

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