Comments for One Size Fits All….join the conversation!

Ms. Franklin said…

I agree 100%. But how can we do this when the state mandates what classes must be taken by our students?
Dave Meister said…
We need to get creative. Some thoughts.
Dual enrollment classes.
Teacher created online classes.
Jr. High/Middle school Dual credit??????

Mr. Ogle said…
How about less generic classes, meaning students could choose to learn content within the context of something that interests them. For example, instead of Eng9L, we could offer Detective Literature or Music As Literature. We would still cover the same concepts and learning standards, but the texts would be specific to an interest. It would mean teachers having more preps (Who threw that?), but I think it would increase student interest.

Ms. Franklin said…
I’ve wanted to do what Mr. Ogle suggests for YEARS. I think we could do away with LD English if we had electives instead of English 9, 10, 11 – IF we made sure we just didn’t offer electives for our college bound students. Non-college bound students should have the chance to take academic electives, too!

Dave Meister said…
Do you have any samples from other schools?
Mr. Ogle said…
No samples from other schools, but that is because none of them are as forward-thinking as we are. They will be using samples from us.

Mr. Ogle said…
The only references I could find to high schools offering a full battery of academic electives were for charter schools.

Ms. Franklin said…
My high school had English electives 1,000 years ago!

Staci said…
Between state mandates, time constraints, and lack of funding(?)we are going to have to be VERY creative!!

I don’t like drawing the line between college bound and non-college bound, because at some point one of the “non” may realize that there is a post-secondary program that appeals to them. I personally feel that everyone is not made for college, but college is available for (almost) everyone.

Establishing tracks such as “Health and Science” “Industrial Technology” “Business Tech,” etc, would allow students to work towards a career goal from an early onset. Mandated classes could still cover necessities, but cover subject matters pertaining to their area of interest.

This is do-able, and from a guidance counselors standpoint, imperative to developing highly motivated, engaged, successful students!!

Dave Meister said…
Staci,

You have hit on something I have been trying to get across for sometime. Drawing a distinction between college and non college students severely limits some and unfairly labels others. I agree that we could create the tracks if we wanted to. What does everyone else think?

Jordon DuCharme said…

Mr. Meister, if you don’t mind me getting in on this, I’d like to give a little bit of a students opinion. I think new courses and a wider variety of studies would be great, but without specific requirements such as grade point average. For example, I am extremely interested in becoming a nurse, and believe Health Occupations and Chemistry II would have been wonderful classes for me to take, but the requirements of having a B average overall was a problem for me. Students shouldn’t be turned down just by judging their grades from other classes. Maybe if they are truely interested in the classes, a test could determine if they shall be let into the program. With kids not having classes they’d like to take, they lose motivation to try, rather than having a class they like and want to try in.

This may not completely follow along with your blog so far, but I just wanted to share my opinion with you.

Dave Meister said…
Welcome to the conversation Jordan! Your input is very valid! Encourage you classmates to join in!

Ms. Franklin said…

I love Mrs. Skelton’s suggestion. I wish my own children would have had this option.

Ms. Franklin said…
(I was interrupted mid comment!) I think the elective idea ties into Mrs. Skelton’s idea. Why not offer electives in required classes that tie into career interests?

Mr. T said…

What if we offered classes that met criteria across the board. Would it be possible to offer a class that a student could get 1/2 credit for math and 1/2 credit for english? I like the idea of having ‘majors’ in high school. I also like the idea of giving students more on-line possibilities.

We are the first cooperative high school in Illinois. That means that we could also be the first school in Illinois to do things a certain way. The only limits we will face will be the ones we impose on ourselves.

Ms. Franklin said…

I was thinking about this on my drive home. Could a drafting or construction class also count as a half math credit because of the “applied mathematics” used in those courses?
Mr. Meister, just exactly what will the state let us do?

Mr. Aydt said…

We come back to those career paths that we developed then let go. They are probably still around in someone’s file if they will dig a little. We have been “tracking” in math for a long time, in spite of efforts by some over the years to say it isn’t good. It does help students to be more comfortable with the material they get and the level of understanding required and to feel like they have what it takes to succeed.

Ms. Franklin said…

I am monopolizing the comments, and I am sorry. But I SOOOO believe that this is what we need in Paris! Here’s a dream school: http://www.go-cte.org/index.php

Mr. Ogle said…

Mr. T’s suggestion is very similar to a comment a posted on here awhile back. I would love to have cross-curricular classes to offer our students. I read an article last year about the rise in fiction novels being written by professionals in various fields that contain content area information within the story. For instance, we could have a semester class studying a novel built around economic concepts. The class would be taught by and English teacher and an Economics teacher. Students would meet standards for language arts and business or whatever the case may be. This wouldn’t have to end with novel-based studies, either. A math teacher could easily create a class with someone in industrial technology, or a science teacher teaching with an ag. teacher. Basically, the same principle as the co-teaching we met about earlier in the year, except the class would be created for that specific purpose and students would recieve credits for both areas. Now, I think this would work best in a block schedule, which would mean switching yet again, but nothing says we would have to do it immediately. Maybe a pilot program of a couple of classes could be arranged. I’m sure we could manage to schedule the two teachers back-to-back and allow them to have one class for two periods. Just spit-balling.

Dave Meister said…
Jim– You are so right…here we go again. Maybe we were not ready a few years ago. Do you remember why those were shelved? I have a confession to make. This post originally appeared on the blog two years ago. I think things have changed a lot. Attitudes have changed a lot.

Pam–You keep commenting! Your opinion is valued. That is why you need to be in these discussions.

Nathan–You need, as well as everyone else here for that matter, to come to what are called department head meetings. We need to change it to a steering committee. If we (I) let this die this time, we may never find the inertia to get it going again.

Roger– You keep thinking about things. You are going to help us get to where we need to be!

Gary said…

Team teaching, co teaching, whatever you want to call it has always interested me. There are so many things we could do with American Literature and American History. However, it is a matter of getting classes and grade levels aligned.

I also like Nathan’s idea of more specific English studies. We could truly make our English department more real-worldly by offering several electives instead of just the basic English 9,10,11,12. We have started to do that in Sophomore, Junior, and Senior level classes, but we still have a long way to go. It is my vision to have some novels classes, technical classes, and others in the future, and it looks like I have teachers willing to make those changes.

My theory is if it is not on the books it can’t be offered. Next year we’ll have to sit down as an English department, yes that means you too Pam, and work on these changes.

Staci said…
This is the school one of our students just transferred to. They are on a block schedule, too!
http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/erh/site/default.asp

5 thoughts on “Comments for One Size Fits All….join the conversation!

  1. (I was interrupted mid comment!) I think the elective idea ties into Mrs. Skelton's idea. Why not offer electives in required classes that tie into career interests?

  2. I was thinking about this on my drive home. Could a drafting or construction class also count as a half math credit because of the "applied mathematics" used in those courses?

    Mr. Meister, just exactly what will the state let us do?

  3. We come back to those career paths that we developed then let go. They are probably still around in someone's file if they will dig a little. We have been "tracking" in math for a long time, in spite of efforts by some over the years to say it isn't good. It does help students to be more comfortable with the material they get and the level of understanding required and to feel like they have what it takes to succeed.

Leave a Reply