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, January 12, 2011

Monday January 10

January 10

Today was what call a mind blowing day(in a good way). We started a new schedule of PBL work three days a week and FLVS work two days a week. It was a bit stressful on the students because we took away their crutch/excuse for not fully engaging in PBL work. Randy did a nice job with the rationale of how school is an institution that teaches students not to think. It is set up as a "wait until I tell you how to do it" model not a think about it and figure it out model.

However, the PBL work was amazing. We did not get anywhere near finished but man what a day of PBL. There was no FLVS to get in the way and I seriously think that the students were going through a little withdrawal. They wanted to be able to check off their FLVS work.

What I like about starting this out today was that we gave them an entire week after winter to try and be done with their FLVS classes. These were classes that should have been done by close to two weeks ahead of winter break and some are still trying to get them done. It was a bit of a shock for them to come in and have us let them know there would be no mindless FLVS today. I did let them know Friday we were most likely going to move to this direction so it should not have been a total shocker for them.

Elementary Math continues to be a frustration. EDU 2000 was suppose to be ready to roll and now it is more messed up than ever. The students are now facing more and long assessment pieces at the end of chapters. The comprehensive post test is still 116 questions long. It is an important piece for us to keep because it will hopefully become revenue generating. However, the kids are not able to move on with their learning which is frustrating. Thank goodness Randy and Tim are working on the inquiry math component to allow for authentic high quality math experiences for the students.

Randy - Today was a busy day that went by as fast as lightning. MS and HS were starting their O-pedia projects and the middle school had the added course of the social studies video that they will use for their blogs. Elementary got started on using the wiki site today which is a new skill for each of them. This site is dedicated to their recycle project alone at this time and should be a good source of documentation for the project.

Music was a bit crazy. The elementary is not able to function as a band. I'm not even sure why to be honest, but it seems to be a combination of new members last week, a lack of rhythm, and the fact that they don't practice at home. Not a problem, but I have to change my schema on how long this process takes where my old music class it was much faster. I am having Mckenzie and Connor play with them to help keep them together and that should be fun for all.

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