Student Choice in Structured Classes

As a newish AP Seminar teacher, I feel a little overwhelmed with the amount I have to cover with my students. Luckily, it is almost all inquiry-based skills. Charged with helping students through three types of performance tasks (an argument analysis, a team research project and presentation, and an individual research project and presentation), I […]

Guiding students through time-management

In my AP Research class, students complete a year-long research project on a topic of their choosing; because they have to follow disciplines-specific rules and implement an appropriate research method, they end up having quite different learning plans. One student is currently gathering evidence through interviews and surveys; another is completing a t-test of secondary […]

The Wonder Years of Risk Taking

When you’re a little kid, you’re a little bit of everything: artist, scientist, athlete, scholar. Sometimes it seems like growing up is the process of giving those things up one by one. I guess we all have one thing we regret giving up–one thing we really miss that we gave up because we were too […]

Innovation and the ILP

At convocation, our superintendent, Dr. Jeffrey Moore, spoke about the upcoming school year and the goals for the district. One part of his presentation included his insights into Greg Satell’s “innovation matrix” and how it can be applied to work we do in education. Those of us in the field know that we are often innovating, always evolving. If you compare your first year teaching to your current practice, you can probably spot some obvious (and perhaps embarrassing) differences! We need to constantly adapt our practice to meet our students’ needs and to help them develop skills like flexibility and resilience. But what Satell’s matrix demonstrates is there are different types of innovation, and they are all important. Of course, it got me thinking about the ILP, both as an innovative model for teachers but more importantly as a tool to help students innovate. Because if that’s what we’re expected to do as adults, then that’s what we need to help our students achieve. (more…)