It was late 1997. A group of six teachers and four support personnel had spent five months learning about teaching online from any source we could find.
We were building courses in Lotus Learning Space, and preparing to register kids for this new thing called Florida High School. There had been tears, there had been elation, and there had been a lot of supposition about what teaching online meant.
We nervously sat around a small round conference table waiting for the phone to ring after we opened registration for the first time ever. We kept saying to each other, “If we build it, they will come,” but would students really want to try this? The “Web School” pilot in Orange County in the 1996-97 school year drew some students, so we had hope.
Finally, after an excruciating wait, the phone rang. We had our first student! Continue reading
The winner of the 2016 Tony for Best Musical was “Hamilton,” an untraditional, hip-hop musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda about the life of Alexander Hamilton.
The popularity of this musical is impossible to deny – and the most amazing thing is that this hip-hop soundtrack to a founding father’s life has captivated teenagers in a way perhaps no other musical ever has before.
There is no denying this musical crosses age and cultural gaps and has brought a new love for musical theater that is refreshing and powerful. Many teachers are using this incredible soundtrack to start discussions about our history and to reinvent how students study such an important time period.
It is possible teachers of any content could use Hamilton’s addictive appeal to energize their classrooms, but I will share some ideas specifically for English and History teachers. Continue reading
This article was written and published by a Florida Virtual School student for the FLVS student newspaper, News in a Click.
Although FLVS students live all around the world, the majority of them live in the state of Florida.
Many people know that Florida, also known as the Sunshine State, is famous for its sunshine, beaches, and warm weather. However, the state has other interesting and a few crazy aspects that many of its natives may not even know about. Here are twenty crazy facts about Florida.
1. Florida is the flattest state in the U.S.
Some years ago, as a middle school teacher, I attended a national conference where I heard Jane Goodall speak chimpanzee. I returned to my classroom and enthusiastically shared this memorable experience with my students. They were fascinated that a woman could speak like a chimp, and I was able to model for my students the joys of being a life-long learner.
Effective teachers are learners. And one of the best ways for teachers to learn is through attending conferences focused on their content area.
A group of FLVS staff and teachers recently attended the National Council for History Education (NCHE) annual conference in St. Augustine, Florida. The NCHE conference included prominent keynote speakers, historical excursions, and sessions presented by history educators from around the country. Continue reading
In celebration of Black History Month, the FLVS History Club has compiled a gallery of student work on their website managed by the club president.
The History Club newsletter, “A Blast from the Past,” features student articles, essays, reports, videos, paintings, drawings, and artwork.
Along with monthly updates, the site also includes current news and a page featuring historic events from the current month. Continue reading
With Veteran’s Day around the corner, I’m ashamed to admit that my thoughts rarely venture far from my desk and home and towards the men and women who at this moment are fighting for our freedom. We have the privilege of living in this great nation and we often take this for granted. As I sit down to write my blog this month, I realized that as a teacher, I not only have the honor of living in our country, but I’m entrusted with passing on the history of our proud nation and preparing the next generation to prosper.
I strongly feel that education is the key to lasting freedom. It is the reason why Malala Yousafzai risked her life to advocate for the rights of education for women. It is even the reason why more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram. These acts demonstrate the true power that education holds.
So, this Veteran’s Day and next Memorial Day and all the days in between, take a few extra moments to honor our soldiers. Ensure that their service and sacrifice are not in vain. Uphold the importance of education in your family and community.
Post by Andrea Bracco, 8th Grade Language Arts Instructor