After our morning CPT to begin to organize our first round of Genius Hour projects and ideas for teacher learning, we have some very early returns on what our teachers will be working on and I think you will agree that this is already looking like a transformative and amazing experience for our teachers and our school. These are projects that I am already aware of after 3 hours:
Two teachers are working together to developing a MOOC shell for EGHS teachers to start, develop and store their own blended learning courses. In order to do so, they will have to learn Python. They've already downloaded and played a bit with Google's course builder as well. One of the teachers has already taken a few MOOCs on programming, so his knowledge when shared could fast-track that large-scale project somewhat.
One teacher is working with a cadre of teachers to help them create flipped videos/units for their PE, English, Math and Spanish classes.
One math teacher will be working with our Physics teachers to learn about the technology tools that they use in their classes to pick up ideas for quick activities and demonstrations in his classes.
A group of English and Social Studies teachers will be working in a Humanities cohort designing grade-level , school-wide debates and satire video projects based on their units of study. All of these projects will be interdisciplinary.
Two teachers will be using their Creative Writing & Acting classes to produce original, student written and directed one-act plays for community performances.
A group of teachers will be developing projects that use blogs written and responded to by students that are immersively tied to their ongoing content.
A group of teachers will be working to brainstorm ideas to support students with anxiety in the classroom and determine ways to support students with social/emotional difficulties during their lunch time (i.e. designate another spot in the school for students to meet for lunch).
A group of teachers will be developing Interdisciplinary units with art with French/European literature of the same time period. (era or movement or century to be decided perhaps impressionism) They are looking to add a history component as well.
Another group of teachers and the principal will be working to revamp our senior project program to reflect 21st century learning standards and create greater levels of student engagement.
One teacher will be creating a performance based task that models collegiate learning assessments. Students will be given a series of articles that they will se to make an argument/break an argument. The task will be in the area of economics.
Another group of teachers will be designing a school store that will reflect a true retail management and operations experience for our business students.
A group of English and math teachers will be working on creating and using more formative assessment in their classrooms and developing classroom activities and lesson that are student centered and student designed/driven in order to make our classrooms more dynamic and engaging.
Our media specialist is going to collaborate with all EGHS departments to create ONE place for students & staff to locate our teachers' websites. Presently, students & staff have complained that they can't locate or remember how to find individual teacher's website. Also, para-professionals assisting students have had difficulty finding the correct teacher website to help their student(s). Her plan is to house all subject content under "one roof." This will help students and staff by minimizing their access points to a single URL, thus saving time and increasing productivity. Also included will be all academic databases; sort of a "one-stop shopping" for all students and staff.
Great things are happening here. Stay tuned...