Spirit Lake L.I.V.E. expands to J-Term
by Connie Johnson
March 22, 2012
Almost one year ago, Iowa Future featured a story on Spirit Lake L.I.V.E. (Locally Integrated, Virtually Enhanced). This was a pilot into project-based learning that involved 20 high school students who volunteered to spend half of their school day in a different environment, operating on a different schedule.
The success of last year’s pilot lead to this year’s J-Term. For 15 days in January, all students and teachers worked on “real-world challenges” and explored a wide variety of interests as they devoted three weeks to project-based learning.
At the end of the month it was difficult to go back to traditional classrooms, according to Kari Webb, science teacher and project leader. But as she says in her blog, some classrooms are keeping alive the spirit of L.I.V.E.
“As I walked through the hallways, I noticed that some classrooms have NOT returned the desks to rows—kids are still working in teams, collaborating, and finding their places as members of a learning community.”
This year’s J-Term proved to be a successful learning experience and a big hit with staff and students.
“So, now we all know,” Kari says. “We know what school can look like when students are really at the center of the learning process. We know that kids can be focused, creative, interactive, analytical and responsible.”
Read more about this year’s J-Term in The Dickinson County News. Also, Kari shares with Iowa Future readers a white paper (pdf) that includes a comprehensive review of the project, including evaluation data.
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