Educator Edition

Aliens and Explosions

This post was written by FLVS student Sarah Weyand about her award-winning research in astrophysics.

Studying ExoplanetsMy science fair journey began about a year ago.

I was approached by a Harvard graduate who wanted to mentor a high school senior in an astrophysics and computer science research project.

I knew nothing about astronomy and I didn’t know a single programming language, but I love space and I plan to major in computer science in college. Naturally, I said yes. This project has taken me to the Science Talent Search, the Indian River Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and, now, the State Science Fair.

My project is titled Aliens and Explosions: How Supernovae Affect the Habitable Zones of Exoplanets.

The purpose of the project is to calculate the percentage of exoplanets, a planet that does not orbit our Sun, that would no longer be in the habitable zone of their host star due to a supernova, the explosive death of a massive star. Continue reading


Springing Forward with FLVS Flex Elementary

Blog_SpringSpring has sprung!

For those of us in Florida, this can mean so many different things, from getting back on the allergy meds, to getting the hard yard work done before our incredibly long “heat wave” starts. And you got it – I’m talking about the looooooooooooong stretch that starts very soon and often ends in late fall!

But in addition to all the personal connections to this season, spring becomes a reason for teachers to reflect on where we are with our students and our teaching this time of year.

So, let’s start with time.  Right about now, you either have adjusted, or are seriously wondering when you finally will adjust, to daylight savings time.  Most of us experience that “falling back” in fall is a lot less disruptive than “springing forward” in spring.

It provides a good analogy, because as teachers, flexibility and positively powering through are a part of being on the FLVS Flex Elementary team.

The inevitable changes that come with remarkable growth in an innovative new program are part of our everyday lives and continue to keep our work fresh, exciting, and energizing.  Continue reading


The Beauty of Letting Go

Change

Do you order the same exact dish from your favorite restaurant every single time? Do you listen to the same music or watch the same movies? Yep, that was me – same dish, same style of dress in multiple colors, and 20 bottles of nail polish in similar shades of pink.

Yes, I was in the dreaded comfort zone, and loving every minute of it. But as wonderful and safe as comfort zones are, they can also be dangerous.

If we stay in our comfort zones for too long, we fail to grow – both personally and professionally – which is never a good thing.

A totally unexpected thing happened this past October. Continue reading


Why Every Teacher Should Go See “Hidden Figures”

Hidden FiguresLast month I saw the movie “Hidden Figures” and I was so incredibly inspired.

I am a former English teacher, so my love is words and writing and reading. But I ventured to see this movie because it empowers women and sheds light on some pretty amazing mathematicians who had the power to make this word-loving English teacher a fan of math.  I mean, as a teacher I’ve always loved data, but for me, seeing this movie reinforced why numbers are just as important as words.

We look at data a lot in education, but most of the time I believe we are just looking at numbers and not really grasping the full story data can tell us.

Data does tell a story.

Sometimes it’s a story we don’t want to hear; sometimes it’s a story we already know and we’re just validated. Sometimes it’s a story we never gave any thought and a whole new path is opened for us. If the data you look at regularly is just numbers on a screen and it’s not telling you a story, maybe some insights from “Hidden Figures” will help. Continue reading


FLVS Attending SXSWedu Conference

SXSWeduOn March 6-9, 2017, Dr. Jodi Marshall, the Executive Vice President of Business and School Solutions at Florida Virtual School, and Mawi Asgedom, CEO of Mawi Learning, will be speaking at the 2017 SXSWedu Conference & Festival in Austin, Texas.

Together, the presenters will share how students set themselves up for success with a suite of powerful leadership courses offered by FLVS and Mawi Learning.

Presenting on How to Create Leaders in an Online World, Jodi and Mawi will explain how to virtually prepare students for leadership roles now and in the future.  Continue reading


FLVS Students and Staff Give Back

Random Acts of KindnessRandom acts of kindness are enough to make anyone’s day.

Whether it is holding a door open, paying it forward in line at Starbucks, or helping someone carry in groceries, we all have the capacity to be kind on a daily basis. This year, in order to celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Day (February 17), we spoke with some awesome FLVS students that really know what it means to be caring and kind.

The Creative Writing club is participating in an ongoing service project that started in February and runs through March. There are many ways that students of the club can help out. They can donate books, read to someone, help out at the library, or even volunteer as a reading, writing, or English tutor. So far, the Creating Writing Club members have donated 25 books.

The STEM/Science Club at FLVS recently participated in a clothing drive. Sometimes it can be easy to take something as simple as the clothes on our back for granted. Continue reading


FLVS Corkboard: February Highlights

FLVS Corkboard February 2017

It’s February and we think you’re simply going to LOVE all that FLVS has to offer!

First, we want to remind you that Presidents’ Day is just around the corner. Please note that Monday, Feb. 20 and is a designated holiday break for all FLVS instructors and support staff.

After the long weekend, there are all kinds of opportunities that extend beyond the classroom or courses you select. Here are a few that FLVS is proud to sponsor:

Digital Learning Day

Celebrate Digital Learning Day (DLD) with FLVS next Thursday, Feb. 23. Digital learning can involve any instructional practice that uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience. With digital advances ranging from educational apps to new online courses and programs, DLD is a day to keep up with the latest in online education. Be sure to check out our social media pages on this special day next week as we feature a DLD Elementary Takeover on the FLVS Instagram page. Viewers will be able to see “a day in the life” of our very own FLVS elementary students. Connect with us @floridavirtualschool to make sure you don’t miss it!

Continue reading


The Impact of Professional Development in CTE

ACTE Career Tech Conference 2016I recently attended the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) conference, and I can tell you that it did not disappoint!

Having only been to the FLVS In-Service Training Days, I was not entirely sure what to expect. After sitting through the first general session, I knew what I was going to get: several days of highly-informative exhibits and sessions presented by enthusiastic Career and Technical Education (CTE) instructors.

The conference had plenty of specialized vendor exhibits and interesting conference speakers. And the sessions – there were so many from which to choose!

I had my pick of a number of high-interest topics dealing with general CTE classroom strategies, resources that were specific to computer and tech courses, and sessions on policies affecting the future of CTE education. It was quite overwhelming – it took me a while to sort through all the options to find the perfect ones to attend. Continue reading


Celebrate Literacy Week 2017

Albert Einstein Library Quote

Photo Credit: Chronicle Books

Each year the state of Florida and FLVS dedicates one full week to celebrate all things literacy.

Appropriately titled “Celebrate Literacy Week,” the entire state joins together to share their love for literacy through activities that include reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking!

Celebrate Literacy Week is presented by Just Read Florida and the Florida Department of Education to remind everyone that “Literacy Changes the World.”

Now in its seventh year, Celebrate Literacy Week allows school districts and families to engage in fun activities that bring the community together for the love of reading.

The Just Read Florida website provides a comprehensive list of activities that all families can enjoy during this event. They even include a printable bookmark to help us all keep our place as we read, read, read! Did you know that the more a child is exposed to print and books the more successful a reader they will be as they grow? Continue reading


FLVS Corkboard: January Highlights

FLVS January CorkboardJanuary is certainly jumping with activities and things to do!

We’re diving into spring semester full steam ahead, with exciting student events, celebrations, and course options. As always, we encourage you to stay connected with your teacher(s), visit www.flvs.net, and check out our social media pages for more information.

Spring is an important time for those planning ahead for college. If you or your student need help during this process, sit down with our advisement team for an upcoming webinar:

Financial Aid Overview 

Join FLVS on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. for an informative webinar that will review how to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The webinar will also review how to complete the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) and how to find additional resources to assist students in paying for higher education. Click here to join on Thursday evening.   Continue reading