What is Blended Learning?
- Blended learning is generally applied to the practice of using a mix of online and in-person instruction. A blended learning approach reflects a vital mix of technology and traditional face-to-face teachings.
What is Project Based Learning (PBL)?
- Project based learning is a teacher-led method that promotes critical thinking, collaboration, communication and problem solving skills through active exploration of real-world challenges that better prepares students for the future.
- PBL is incorporated into the 6th-8th grade curriculum. The plan for K-5 is to have one project a semester and maybe more for the older grades. Just like with any other classroom management system the students will be taught the expectations in this kind of atmosphere.
- The students are all given a guided question. How they answer it is their choice (debate, journal, power point, model, etc.). The group is guided throughout the entire process. Each student is graded individually based on a rubric. In some projects they will be assigned a specific task.
- Students will be given the option to work in a group, with a partner, or individually. The teacher will guide this process as well.
- PBL will not change any 504 or IEP plans. Accommodations will follow as stated in their 504 or IEP plan.
What is changing for next year?
- Calibre Academy is adopting a dynamic blended learning classroom approach through the incorporation of project based learning into curriculum starting with grades six through eight in the 2017-18 school year.
- Calibre will adopt McGraw-Hill for Reading and Math for kindergarten and all core subjects for 6th-8th grade starting in 2017-2018. The plan in 2018-2019 is to adopt McGraw-Hill for Reading and Math in 1st grade and add Chromebooks and McGraw-Hill core subjects for 5th grade. The plan in 2019-2020 is to adopt McGraw-Hill for Reading and Math in 2nd grade and add Chromebooks and McGraw-Hill core subjects for 4th grade. The plan in 2020-2021 is to add McGraw-Hill for Reading and Math for 3rd grade.
- Each student in sixth through eighth grade will have access to their own computer inside the classroom, along with an option to take a computer home. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will have access to computers inside the classroom. Teachers, along with the use of computers, bridge the gap of traditional learning through the utilization of technology.
Why are we doing this now?
- A forward-thinking educational institution, Calibre Academy is one of the first charter schools in the West Valley to incorporate a blended learning model.
- To prepare our students for high schools – many high schools use Chromebooks and Google classroom and are not using traditional textbooks.
- To prepare our students for the technological world – most companies have moved towards a collaborative, problem solving method and the use of a variety of technology.
Information about Chromebooks:
- Taking home the Chromebooks is going to be an option. If a family chooses to let the student take the computer home there will be a $30 insurance fee. If students do not want to take them home, as long as the device is taken care of, there will be no fee.
- Students will be given a Calibre email address and will choose a password. The students will need to share their password with their parents.
- The curriculum can be accessed through any device as long as there is Wi-Fi. If a student does not have Wi-Fi a paper/pencil option is available.
- The school is adding the necessary computer access points that are needed to support the additional computers.
- There will still be 2 field trips per grade level. The hope is that they will be planned around a topic they are learning. For example, if a grade is learning about space and doing a project about space, they may go to the Space Center.
- In the fall of 2018, the state is releasing new ELA and Math standards. One of those standards includes handwriting. This is manuscript for K-2nd grade and cursive for 3rd-5th grade. We will start teaching cursive starting next year.
Here are some links that may help you better understand what we are going to be doing:
PBL – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMCZvGesRz8
McGraw Hill: https://youtu.be/0P91sixtozA
We are very excited about the upcoming school year! Thank you!