The Micro School Advantage: Opening Remarks at the Innovation Panel at The Texas Education Summit

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The Micro School Advantage: Opening Remarks at the Innovation Panel at The Texas Education Summit

My colleagues and I started Long-View Micro School because we wanted school to be the most interesting part of a child’s life. We believed that to be possible. Long-View serves as the school home for 64 2nd – 8th graders who experience school as a place where they learn to think, a place where they can take initiative, a place where they have extended challenge, a place that opens them up to the fascinating parts of the world. 

Micro schools – if you aren’t familiar with that genre of schooling – are gaining attention nationally as a model that unbundles schooling and elevates academic excellence and innovation.

Micro schools are interesting because they are more nimble organizations that typically sit much further on the spectrum away from the industrial model of schooling: micro schools are changing how students are organized, how time is organized, how teachers work, and how the business of school is run….

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"Odd" Challenge in Computer Science

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"Odd" Challenge in Computer Science

Our learners in Navy Band and Auburn Band are learning to read, analyze, write, and debug Python programs. As part of their experience, the kids spend a significant portion of each Computer Science block creating programs to solve coding challenges.

Creating a program to solve a challenge often takes significant cognitive work. It isn’t just the syntax of Python that one needs to know….

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The Importance of Reading Volume

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The Importance of Reading Volume

At Long-View, we work to protect our reading minutes and be sure that literacy instructional time does not go to activities that do not involve “eyes on print.” We protect time for independent reading, and know that explicit and high-level instruction, access to high-interest texts, and volume are crucial.

That being said, there is not enough time for independent reading during the day at school. We hold ambitious goals for daily reading at home….

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Skype Interview with NOAA Climate Scientist

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Skype Interview with NOAA Climate Scientist

Expanding students’ perspectives of the world around them through exposure to thought provoking topics and thinking critically about them, learning from authentic sources, and interviewing professionals experienced in their field is the norm at Long-View.  

Last week, Navy and Auburn Bands tapped into National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Scientist Andrew Kren’s expertise in the area of remote sensing data as it relates to weather research. Dr. Kren’s work focuses on translating unmanned aircraft observations into weather forecast models to improve hurricane forecasts. He has a background in meteorology and atmospheric science, as well as an interest from childhood in extreme weather events.

Recently, both bands have been exploring weather patterns, researching what drives weather, and the ways scientists collect and analyze data. The Skype interview with Dr. Kren provoked much thought and lead to subsequent questions from the students. The NOAA climate scientist also whet the learners’ appetites by giving them a little background information about hurricanes and how scientists use their data to accurately predict when they may impact many regions that are prone to hurricane occurrences.

Mrs. Swanson, science teacher for Auburn and Navy Bands, is priming the learners for an engineering project that will require students to design and build a structure that can withstand a hurricane. They will undoubtedly incorporate what they learned from Skyping with this scientist into their design thinking and constructions of their hurricane-safe structures.


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Build Week: Improving Ourselves Through Improvisation

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Build Week: Improving Ourselves Through Improvisation

As the kids arrived on Monday, they noticed a sign in the window: Long-View Micro School Improv Comedy Festival, 12:30 p.m., October 25th @ Fallout Theater.

Only a few had studied improv before, so the learners had a lot to learn before their Thursday show. The week began with a visit from professional improv comedians Jessica Arjet and Kim Roche, who drew three teachers’ names from a hat. Ms. Lyon (the Cookie Monster) was to host a talk show with special guest alien, Mr. Moore, famed for his love of eating. To understand each other, they needed a translator, Ms. Zapalac. The three teachers had planned nothing in advance, and were more than a little nervous as they took the stage and received their instructions, but by the end of the scene, the kids were in stitches, and ready to try it for themselves….

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