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Alpha and Omega

posted Mar 20, 2011, 3:06 AM by Michael Reilly
We're wrapping up our first year of CDAT, as the students build their online portfolios.  Some are so insanely cool, I thought I was looking at a website they were getting ideas from!  The goal is to first build them in Google Sites, making this their "meta-site", and then we'll end the year of technology skills by converting it to something more portable, that they could burn to a CD or Flash drive for an employer or school interview.

At the same time, we just finished up recruiting for next year!  We saw about 60 students sign up for their 9th grade year in CDAT!  Double from the first year, that's a pretty good sign!  On top of that, we received permission from GCPS to include P.E. and Health as well, in the same 3-hour block!  That means CDAT students will receive credit for 4 classes in 3 hours, 7 total for their 9th grade year.

How can we fit this in?  Two ways really: efficiency and blending.  Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.  I'm a math guy, and would rather figure something out myself in 10 minutes with friends rather than sit for an hour lecture, and could use more of my "math time" on writing skills.  CDAT allows this type of efficiency, letting students shift their time to accomplish the standards on their necessary time.  We also blend the subjects, so we can have students doing something like running for time trials in P.E. or Health, then taking pulse rates and other bio-information to do data analysis, linear regression, etc., to reinforce math.  

And did I forget to mention:  on the last Language Arts midterm, our students performed at or above the school-wide average!  One particular statistic we are proud of:  our male students scored higher than the school average! That's big for us, as Male Reading scores nationally as compared to Females has become just as big a problem as Female Math scores were to Males.  Great stuff!

It's a very exciting time for us, to see a culmination of learning and to see the evolution as well.  We learned a lot during this first year, and continue to do so. On April 13, 2:30-4:30, we will have our own "CDAT Gallery" to share what our students have done, and all are welcome!  Can't wait for everyone to see!