CNP News

Week of August 26th-30th, 2019

It's All About Background Knowledge

I stole most of this from Mr. Knipper

Project Unschool Grant Phase 2

Christmas break 2017 Mr. Morgan and I spent a long afternoon at Grounded Coffee House. We drank fancy coffee, took a few selfies, and started work on the first Project Unschool grant.

I consider Mr. Morgan a brother and he and I have been friends for going on near 18 years. He and I often talk about our "why" and we hold on to a very common theme in our "why" for what we call Project Unschool. We have always held that our students that don't do "well" in the current school culture is due to the huge gap our students have in knowledge based on their socio-econominc status.

Students that have a background rooted in "life experience" statistically outperform lower performing students based on their limited access to the world around them and knowledge available to them. Last spring we realized our thoughts actually have some research and science to back what we and most of the teachers already know. There is a knowledge gap. How do we close that gap in an environment we can control?

The Research

"The Knowledge Gap"

Chalkbeat- The case for teaching about sharks and mummies, not captions and the main idea

The Atlantic- Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong

Mindshift- How Testing Kids For Skills Can Hurt Those Lacking Knowledge

We brainstormed ideas, were able to get funding to ensure we all had the background to effectively plan and create "project based' curriculum with PBL works. We have tooled up and created spaces for innovation and making, and we have the best staff willing to try new types of thinking here at CN. Outdoor education, foodies, robotics, building, making, genius hours, and fine arts are all being funneled in to a new knowledge experiences for our kids. All because we have amazing people putting in the work, but we keep wondering what do you want to learn? What knowledge experience do you want to have? How can that experience collectively close the knowledge gap many of our students are experiencing?

We might be crazy, but we believe knowledge and experience is the key to closing the gap between our lowest performing students and our highest performing students.

So here is the goal. Each certified staff member including staff that teach a special will have $1100 to go learn something they want to increase their knowledge in. Classified staff I will talk to you about the plan for you guys. What are the strings? We have a couple of requirements.

  • This is a solo venture (we want everyone to go and find their own piece of "Knowledge" to share)

  • It will need to have some kind of "certification or skill" that is associated with the training, or an approved project idea with your experience.

  • We will need you to submit your plan in writing by clicking on the link (Make a Copy Please), how will you apply it to your classroom, budget details, and a timeline/calendar of things etc. We will have a short "interview/meeting" to approve and/or discuss next steps.

  • At CNE this could/will become a "Legacy" PBL, that you can focus project based learning around each year for a project cycle.

  • We will have a Knowledge "Movie Screening Night" you will prepare a 3-5 minute video about what you learned and how you used it with your students. We will compile the videos into a movie and host a public film screening.

  • The ideas are endless, Barista training, pilot school, eco adventures, outdoor ed certifications, pizza making, opera classes, are all things that have been thrown my way.

Imagine the possibility, two of our 7 Mindsets are The Time is Now and Everything is Possible. If we do this right we would potentially give our students up to thirty seven different life experiences that they wouldn't ever have the chance to experience with out a CN K-5 Project Unschool Experience. It's possible and the longer we wait the larger the gap becomes.

So the question is what do you want to learn?

Yearly Reminders

As we start the new year please read these as just some reminders of expectations.

  • Yelling at students (you know my stance DON'T do it) isn't acceptable, talking to them like a human being is.
  • Please maintain professional dress that is appropriate for your job. Dresses need to meet appropriate length, as well as, shirts covering leggings. Shorts need to be professional looking ie.......Khaki shorts, Dress shorts....etc....
  • Make sure all doors are locked when students are in the room.
  • Field trips must be turned in 2 weeks ahead of time or they will be denied.
  • BE KIND to each other.
  • Last but not least TAKE CARE of yourself!

IPLI Surveys

The Links below are the surveys I talked to you about for my EdS classes. If you get a couple of minutes please take the surveys as this info will help Brenda, Kathy, and I know where to go with the action research project, I need to complete. Thanks!



Upcoming Morning Meeting

Monday Aug, 26th @ 7:50: in my office

Important Dates

8/30: School Pictures

9/2: No School

9/11: Grandparents Day

10/21-10/25: Fall Break

6/5: Graduation (It's what we all work for)