Saturday, June 25, 2011


Classrooms are no longer the square rooms filled with rows of desks and a whiteboard up front, and a single instructor.

They look and operate similar to a Starbucks. Yes! Coffee makin' Starbucks - Cappuccinos with a serving of American History.

No longer is there a "front" area of the classroom, instead, students are scattered through-out the room into group-clusters.

Educators come from a variety of backgrounds. 

An Early American History course might include a graduate of American History, a collector of Early American artifacts, a designer of African spiritualistic art, an American Indian historian on language and basketry, and finally a blogger astute on Early Uses of Social Networking.

Students will be given an over-view of Early American History via their assigned iPads.

It's possible there will be as many as three instructors to one class.
It's also possible to not have any - with one or two
highly motivated and successful student groups working independently.

There may be as many as fifty-students or as few
fifteen. The number of "instructors" varies from week-to-week
according to the groups/instructors sign-up sheets.

Initial instructions provide students with a basic understanding of the course.  Afterwards, each "posse" (group) selects a specific topic of interest, building details onto the bare-bones through research, study-groups, specifically focused classroom instructions .
There are six classrooms extending from a central hub - much like a Starship docking bay - each a different "core" content matter.  The central hub is a student store, supply room, and general hang-out area.

Students will be grouped together through-out their    middle school experience.  Working together in clusters for their studies, they will also be expected to clean and maintain their assigned docking (homeroom) station.  Cleaning rotations are much like what you find at Starbucks, which is determined by their learning schedule.  Work will be evaluated as a group, and points will be allotted accordingly.  

Yeah!  Vanilla Frappuccinos for all! You just have to use your own card.

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