Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Igniting Genius.....Lighting the Spark for All

I had the pleasure of participating in the 4th Annual Conference of Integrated Computing and STEM Education at UC Davis on Sunday. The theme of the conference was, "Igniting Genius Lighting the Spark for All." 

Dr. Harry Chen, professor and C-STEM center director had this to say, "The successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards hinges on the creation and integration of authentic, project-based learning experiences that require students to engage in real-world problem solving. Join us in meeting the challenge of closing the achievement gap, and preparing all students to be college and career-ready." 

This is a very exciting time in education. Gone are the days of multiple choice standardized tests. We are in the midst of disruption. Let's capitalize on the disruption. We don't have the "standard" curriculum to fall back on which can be frightening for some. But, take a moment and ponder the amount of autonomy that provides you as an educator. You have the opportunity to be innovative and deliver instruction in a format like no other. For example, you can tackle mathematical concepts through a real world project. Darryl Royster had his Math 1 students work on a project where their company was tasked with designing a lobby for a high end hotel chain. Students had to use multiple mathematical practices to engage in this project successfully. Students were not only developing and applying mathematical knowledge, they were developing real world "soft skills" that are so necessary in today's job market.

Our ONE goal: To graduate every Fairfield High Student and to ensure that they leave FHS college and career ready!!! The steps to get our students to this end goal do not have to look like a cookie cutter high school. If something isn't working, let's not keep doing it that way and instead find an alternative that DOES work. If something IS working, let's continue to move in that direction. We need to continue to share good ideas. We need to continue to collaborate. We need to continue to be risk takers with the students' success as our guiding force. What excites and inspires you? Find that inspiration and led it DRIVE you!!!

My final thought for today. We took our daughter's to see Big Hero 6 today. When we got home my 7 year old began designing a robot on paper and said to me, "Mom, this is what I am going to build. Maybe I can ask for a few micro chips for my birthday." To me that is PRICELESS and speaks volumes to allowing our children (our students) to find what interests them and allowing that interest to DRIVE them!!

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


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