I hope you and your families have enjoyed your time away from school.
Welcome to the next chapter of our adventure.
Originally I had planned on assigning work throughout the break as a way to sustain our momentum. At the same time, however, I was also aware that (most of) you had done a lot of work and I wanted to avoid burn out, so I decided to give all of us a proper break. (For the record, no one objected. :)
Now it's time to revisit what we accomplished in the fall and figure out how best to build toward achieving our goals in the spring. Over the next few days I will post steps for you to take so that you're prepared for the first day. These are assignments that will be evaluated not just by me, but by your entire learning network (which you will build
The first step is to figure out what you want to accomplish.
I'll go first. My goals for the spring semester are as follows:
- To help every member of our learning community accomplish his/her goals;
- To help every member of our learning community pass the AP English Literature and Composition exam
- Comment to this post with a brief (1-2 sentence) description of what you want to accomplish by participating in this course over the next six months. (NOTE: This should be about your personal passion, not a Hallmark-y "I want an A" or "I'll try real hard" nod to the assignment.)
- Post a longer description to your course blog under the title, "What's In This For Me?"
- Write yourself an accompanying email here for delivery in one year. Ultimately, the future you will have the best idea as to whether or not you have truly succeeded.
Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year,
[UPDATE: Thank you to Josh, Dulce and Michelle for getting the ball rolling. Their answers helped me see how I can make the idea of a "goal" more specific. Think back on all of the threads we began last semester (Collaborative Working Groups, Big Questions, traditional academic study, Open Source Learning technology, gamification) and literally ask yourselves, "What IS in this for me?" Some of you want to create entrepreneurial ventures. Some of you want to explore a question or an idea through original research. Some of you want to game and continue growing our AP learning network through technology and shared experiences. Some of you want to keep your focus narrow and get a 5 on the AP exam. Whatever your priorities, this is the first chance to articulate what YOU want out of this process so that we can design your experience together. You may work with others or you may see this as your personal journey, but if you wait and rely on an authority figure or colleagues to tell you what to do, you will fail. I will post more about next steps- i.e., how we can go about this- in the next day or two. My reason for posting this first is to get feedback from you about what it is that interests you most so I can plan accordingly. For now, the key is for you to wave the magic wand and imagine an experience that enables everyone to pass the AP exam and emerge from this course- and HS- with a project of tangible value in the world. When Josh wrote that he wanted to improve his writing, I imagined what form that might take: A book? A script? Your senior project begins now. If you have questions or want to bounce ideas around, please feel free to use the comments and/or email. The idea here is to give you the opportunity to start the conversation without rubric-style limitations, but if you need structure/help I'm here.)