innovation

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


When Virtual Class Time is Innovative, Student Engagement Soars

This article was first published by eSchool News and features FLVS Flex Elementary, eSchool Media and Xirrus Innovate to Educate Community Award Winner. 

FLVS Flex Elementary InnovationInnovation doesn’t simply involve throwing technology into a classroom. It requires unconventional ideas, foresight, thoughtfulness, and dedication to student learning. And as the world becomes more connected, schools are making every attempt to help students develop the skills they’ll need to be a part of that interconnected world.

In the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), students are learning in unique ways while developing these much-needed skills through individualized and personalized learning methods, said Sarah Sprinkel, FLVS elementary principal.

FLVS is one of two Community Winners in the eSchool Media and Xirrus Innovate to Educate awards program, which recognizes the unique ways schools and districts are leveraging technology to improve student learning.

Continue reading on eSchoolNews →

 


Supporting Access to Online Education for All

Digital Learning DayToday is Digital Learning Day!

It’s a day when the whole nation celebrates all the wonderful benefits of online learning and digital literacy.

You know, everything from the cool and advanced technology of courses and anytime learning, to the digital literacy skills that online learning provides to strengthen a student’s learning experience.

This not only includes finding and learning from digital content, but also creating authentic digital content, and communicating or sharing it in multiple formats.

It also includes valuable soft-skills that today’s employers are asking for – like time management and being efficient in using online resources.

While we are thrilled to be celebrating today with other online learning providers, families, and students, we at FLVS have to admit that we celebrate this stuff everyday!

We can’t help it – our passion for online education comes from our awesome students and families who we serve. It doesn’t take long to see the difference we make in students’ lives, and get excited about what we can do next in order to keep our students thriving. Continue reading


Vote for FLVS Elementary!

elementary-studentThe first day I took my son to Kindergarten, there were some chairs stacked outside his classroom in the hallway and I actually thought about climbing up the chairs to “peek in” and see how he was doing.

I wanted to know what he looked like in class, how he did with the other kids, and how the teacher treated him.

At FLVS Elementary, our parents tell us they have learned so much about teaching by watching our first-rate teachers.

Our Elementary program is currently up for an Innovate to Educate award for our “Innovative Class Time for Virtual School Students” and you can help!

Vote for us to win every day on Facebook through October 31, 2016. Continue reading


Seven Survival Skills for Careers

Tony Wagner quoteIn his critically acclaimed book, “The Global Achievement Gap,” author Tony Wagner explores what he considers to be “Seven Survival Skills for Careers, College and Citizenship.”

After spending time with the most successful executives and professional people in the world, Wagner came to the conclusion that there is a gap between what our students need to be successful when they enter the real world and what we are teaching them in the classroom.

As a result, he created a list of essential 21st Century skills that all people need in order to be successful in college, in their career, and for their overall citizenship. Continue reading


Genius Brain vs. Normal Brain: Four Key Differences

Genius Brain

First published by Genius Awakening

Albert Einstein was a genius.

So were Leonardo DaVinci, Bobby Fischer, Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Madame Da Stael. That is inarguable. You can probably think of dozens more. Then consider the question: Why are these individuals considered geniuses? By what measure are we making this determination? Certainly each of these individuals has contributed something to our society, whether it’s artistically, scientifically, or culturally.

But what makes a genius? Are the brains of these individuals drastically different from non-geniuses, or “normal” people? Continue reading


Innovative Math Instruction

MJ Math blog
More than ever before, middle school math students are being asked to perform at a higher rate in class and on assessments.

Students are learning higher-level standards and being evaluated in new ways with computer-based testing and interactive tools.

New standards expect students to be able to: make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, reason abstractly and quantitatively, construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, model with mathematics, use appropriate tools strategically, look for and make use of structure, and look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. Continue reading


Teach Me With Minecraft: Contest Winners

minecraftThe votes are in!

We are so excited to announce the winners for our “Teach Me With Minecraft” competition. Our goal was to learn more about what can be taught from games like Minecraft and how we can use similar interactive elements in our FLVS courses.

We had hundreds of amazing submissions and have learned so much from your Minecraft builds!

Congratulations to all the winners, and to everyone who submitted a build…YOU ROCK!

Continue reading


Can a Caveman Teach Kids to be Healthier?

cave broCan a caveman teach kids better eating and exercise habits?

The team at Florida Virtual School is betting he can. They’ve defrosted Cave Bro as part of an entertaining new game concept designed to teach kids how to make better nutritional choices. Cave Bro has been frozen for more than 30,000 years, so needless to say he’s hungry and will eat anything. It’s up to players to decide what he eats, how much, and how often. Good choices win. Bad choices create one really cranky caveman.

The concept originated as part of the new Health and PE course development, but after working with Fablevision to develop a playable prototype and testing it with kids, the team quickly realized this amusing game could teach good nutrition and exercise habits in ways teachers and parents never could. Continue reading


Celebrate Digital Learning

digital learningI often take it for granted that we have arrived in the digital age. I think there may have been two years in the early 1990s when I didn’t have computers in my classroom for student use – and once we had computers, use them we did! And then this cool thing called the “Internet” came to our schools. Our capabilities to connect students to learning resources and the real world grew exponentially.

We are so fortunate in Florida to continue to have fabulous support for digital learning, from virtual schools to classroom support. Yet, there are still places in Florida, as well as the rest of the country, where going digital is a struggle for teachers and students.

FLVS is excited to join the nation in changing classrooms everywhere through digital learning by participating in the third annual Digital Learning Day. Continue reading