J-Term at Hazen Union

Personalized, proficiency-based PBL or bust

three pillars of personalized learningDuring a faculty meeting in late December of 2016, educators and staff talked about the need to provide personalized learning options for students at their small, rural Vermont school. They wanted do so in a way that  honored the students’ need for passion-based, independent projects, as well as the desire of the faculty and staff to provide structured supports.

But what could that look like in action?
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Build personal connections in teacher advisory

“Every student gets greeted at the start of every day.”

build personal connections in teacher advisoryAt Peoples Academy Middle Level, educators have taken the role of teacher advisory, or TA, to a whole new level. They conduct their advisory to build personal connections with their students. As a result, at PAML, advisory has become a very special thing.

But how can you build personal connections in advisory? Let’s find out.

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Study National Parks with digital tools

Student-created virtual park tours

With access to online and tablet-based tools for digital curation and content creation, students can research the history, challenges and attractions of one of our nation’s 58 (!) National Parks. Under the rubric of planning a visit to them, students can answer an essential and timeless question: What features make National Parks special and worth saving?

It’s almost as good as being there. Especially if you’re trapped in snow and/or don’t have your driver’s license yet. Let’s roll!

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Exploring digital citizenship as a form of literacy

7th graders learn video as reflection tool

digital citizenship and students onlineWhen I sat down to work with my students on digital citizenship and literacy, I wanted to do something different. These are 7th graders coming from lots of different schools, different levels of understanding, different exposure to the concepts of digital citizenship and I was trying to think of some way to have them understand digital citizenship as something more than no online bullying and no plagiarism. They’ve heard that before.

I wanted to really get them to see how digital citizenship was part of their everyday lives – now – and to make them want to delve into it.

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New podcast ep: Making web apps at Williston Central

Vermont middle school educator created app at camp

Vermont middle school educator created app at campIn this episode of our  podcast, we’re going to be hearing from math educator Jared Bailey, who spent his summer vacation building a web app for his students, so they could have their homework assignments, practice drills, schedule and his contact info all in one place. As could their parents.

Bailey’s ethos was simple: he wanted it to be as simple as possible for students and their families to install the app on their mobile devices, and he didn’t want to deal with licensing issues or necessarily learn a ton of code. He just wanted his app to be convenient for students.

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On middle school math and picking favorites

Pi, Code Camp and other irrational things

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Sue Monmaney on digital literacy and eBooks

“I noticed something recently when I was at a workshop or a meeting or something. I was with a colleague who had to leave early and he said, ‘Keep me posted on what happens.’

So I kept tweeting all day, and what I found was I was remembering a lot more of the presentation.”