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Book Adventure

    What it is: http://bookadventure.org is a valuable tool for your reading program. Book Adventure is a FREE reading motivation program for kindergarten- eighth grade students. Students can create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they’ve read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes. Teachers automatically get students quiz scores in the teacher area. You can print out automatically generated notes home with each students information plugged in. You can start online book groups where students can read and discuss their comprehension of the book with other students. This site is so easy for students and teachers alike and is a simple way to integrate technology into your classroom. How to integrate Book Adventure into your reading curriculum: The first step is signing up at http://bookadventure.org. Order a free Teacher’s Guide from the teachers page. Whether you have a one to two computer classroom, access to a computer lab, or mobile lab, you can use this tool to enhance your current reading curriculum. Students are so motivated by this program (even the most reluctant readers)! If you have computers in your classroom you can allow students to use Book Adventure as they finish books. Create a Book Adventure sign up sheet (or use the one I provided below). As a student completes a book, they can log into Book Adventure and take a multiple choice quiz and track their points. I allow students to do this during silent reading time or free time. If you don’t have computer access in your classroom, set goals with your students so that they are all ready to use Book Adventure at the same time and use a computer lab or mobile lab. Tips: Although Book Adventure is geared for k-8 education, it would be difficult to use in kindergarten or first grade without an adult. I have used Book Adventure with second graders very successfully. Make a bookmark for Book Adventure so that it is easily accessible. This way your students will save time getting to the site.    

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Apprenticing students in the art of learning

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources | Posted on 31-10-2013

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I’m of the opinion that the apprenticeship model should be the basis for education.  This is one of the cornerstones of Anastasis philosophy, that we apprentice students in the art of learning.  The goal then, is to teach students how to be learners by modelling what it means to be a learner.  I’m not sure how one can be a teacher and not be a learner.

As a young child, I was apprenticed as a learner.  My parents were masters at encouraging curiosity.  They themselves are inquirers.  They showed me what it meant to passionately pursue understanding of the world around me.  It never felt like school.  As long as I can remember, my parents have owned their own businesses.  When I was growing up, they owned and operated a kitchen remodel business.  I spent summers “playing” at work.  This was my first interaction with using a computer.  I spent hours pretending to talk on the phone to a client and then designing their kitchen using the office Apple IIe.  It was really exciting when I got to use the blue print machine in the insanely scary basement of the office.  Later, my dad started a model rocket company.  He made model rocket kits completely out of wood.  This led to an excitement about physics, making, and entrepreneurship.  My parents involved my brother and I in each part of the process.  I spent many hours sewing bags for the rockets to be packaged in.  When my brother decided that skateboarding was life, my parents started a skateboard company.  This time I learned about screen printing, graphic design, and skate culture.  My families most recent pursuit of passion is at Koostik.  My dad started this company after discovering that he could amplify sound by putting his iPhone in a Styrofoam cup.  He immediately began to tinker in the garage, using his passion for woodworking to create speakers for the iPhone that worked 100% through acoustics.

This was learning at its absolute best.  It gave purpose to all of the things that I learned in school.  My parents taught me how to pursue curiosity, passion and crazy ideas.  They showed me that learning is a life long adventure.

I often get dropped-jaw stares when I tell people that I started a school.  The immediate follow-up questions begin: how did you do it, what classes did you take to prepare you, what professional development on starting a school did you get, where did you find the money?  My answer is always the same, I was raised to do this.  My parents taught me how to do this by demonstrating what it means to be a learner.  They taught me how to do this by showing me how passions and ideas are pursued.  Many that I talk to consider starting a school risky or scary.  For me the scarier thing would be to sit by and watch kids go through an education system that isn’t in their best interest.  The scarier thing is to do what every one else is doing.

I was raised to do this.

My hope for students everywhere: that they would have teachers in their lives who would apprentice them in the art of learning.

Thank you mom and dad for showing me what passionate learning looks like!

 

P.S.  If you haven’t seen the gorgeous work that my dad does, check out Koostik.  Each of the products is made by hand.  My dad is constantly sending me photos of new ideas he is tinkering with.  LOVE that!  Koostik has a contest that ends TONIGHT where you can enter to win product.  I saw the prize pack in person today.  The photos don’t do it justice.  Everything is gorgeous!  My dad is pretty much the master at choosing just the right piece of wood and working with the grain to really make each piece stand out as a masterpiece.  It is truly (functional) art.  Details for how to enter here.

Koostik prize package!

 

 

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