Saturday, July 30, 2011

What's the Latest Adventure?

Three teachers, 72 kids...multiage, multiyear, project based learning. Yep! That's what I signed up for - and I AM EXCITED! Each teacher will be assigned a homeroom of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders and we will keep the kids through their fourth grade year. In addition, will will be assessing, flexibly grouping, and moving the kids through teachers and instruction depending on what they need. We will have homogeneous and heterogeneous groups -- to build on current strengths and to build new ones.

I have done multiage and looping before (in CA), and dabbled in project based learning, but not to this magnitude. I have been itching to do it again since I moved here to TX. I found a principal who, ironically, had been dying to do it for a while too! Perfect match!

It took time and planning to make sure everything is precisely planned...EVERYTHING ON PURPOSE, as I like to say.

Multiage - because that's life...we interact with all ages, and we are all developmentally different, no matter what our age. These kids will have instruction delivered as they need, with the materials they need. I have always individualized my instruction, and this is just on a grander scale. Little ones will be mentored by olders, yes, but the great surprise will be how much the youngers often teach the older ones! It's all about learning to learn together, to respect and appreciate others and their different perspectives, and that no one age has the corner of the market! :) Teamwork and collaboration...essential skills for a lifetime...

Multiyear - OH MY GOSH how I love having multiple years. The pace is exactly what they need. I can accelerate or slow down in different areas as the child needs. Sometimes it takes a little longer for things to click, and having the extra years will do that. I loved having the chance to pick up right where we left off the second and third years, despite summer break. There was no anxiety about starting school...we had a RELATIONSHIP. It's going to build bonds between the students and myself in a special way.

Project Based Learning - Projects that incorporate skills and learning that really impact the world. They create real life products that are shared in a global sense. We will be connecting with people from around the world, and learning essential leadership, collaboration, and technology skills that will serve us well past the classroom walls. It's hard to sum up in a paragraph...I am not doing it justice. See and for more information if you are interested.

Brain based instruction and best practices plus a strong character building component too...yes, my plate is full...but I won't fail you with the reading. I know that this blog was designed with that in mind, and I will continue. With a lot more to boot!

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