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BIA students will acquire content knowledge while they master the 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. This level of skill development coupled with content mastery to ensure that our students are prepared for both college and 21st century careers.
BIA utilizes a carefully crafted combination of research based instructional methods including Project Based Learning, Personalized, Blended Learning and computer coding. Our curriculum is aligned to Georgia Standards of Excellence and is focused on both mastery of content as well as skill development.
Personalized Learning at Brookhaven Innovation Academy:
Growing with BIA Through Continuous Improvement
Our efforts to continuously improve and grow BIA for our students always remains our foremost priority. Our goal is to prepare our students for success in a technology and information driven 21st Century Economy. To help clarify two core components of our charter, personalized learning and project based learning, we have outlined how they are both implemented at BIA.
What is personalized learning?
The term personalized learning refers to a diverse variety of educational programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic-support strategies that are intended to address the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds of individual students.
Adopted from: http://edglossary.org/personalized-learning/
How does BIA personalize learning?
BIA uses a number of developmentally appropriate strategies and tools to personalize the learning of instruction, which will vary across grade levels. Examples of various strategies and tools used across different grade levels may include, but are not limited to: small group instruction, allowing for student voice and choice, conferencing, flexible learning groups, graphic organizers, online learning platforms, jigsaws, blended learning, Socratic teaching, and literature circles.
How does BIA determine how to personalize learning for our students?
BIA uses a series of research based and teacher developed assessment tools to guide instructional practices throughout each school year. Assessments include: NWEA MAP, Georgia Milestones, Guided reading/Lexile information, and classroom formative/summative assessments.
What is project based learning?
Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. The project based learning framework allows students to acquire concept knowledge in all areas while they master the 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. PBL allows our students to better understand their place in our world, different perspectives, and how we as individuals connect to each other and our world. Through purposeful integration, students will be able to apply what they have learned to demonstrate a meaningful conceptual understanding and will be able to answer these two simple questions:
- Why am I learning this?
- What am I going to do with this learning?
INNOVATIVE CURRICULUM INCLUDES:
Project Based Learning supported by the Buck Institute for Education.
World language instruction in French, German, Mandarin, or Spanish for students in grades 2-8 delivered using Rosetta Stone.
Blended, personalized learning using Odysseyware for mathematics and English Language Arts
Computer programming for all students in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade.
Enrichment courses in music, visual arts, and physical education.
Specialized supports for students with disabilities and English language learners.
DESIGN PRINCIPLES OF OUR EDUCATIONAL MODEL:
- One to one technology platform with laptops in grades 2-7. Technology will enhance and support learning rather than replace high quality instruction from teachers.
- Project Based Learning that follows the Buck Institute Gold Standard including:
- Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.
- Challenging Problem or Question - The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
- Sustained Inquiry - Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
- Authenticity - The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
- Student Voice & Choice - Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
- Reflection - Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
- Critique & Revision - Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
- Public Product - Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.
- Clearly defined and monitored performance goals for each student, which are constantly adjusted based on individual progress.
- Real time access to projects, coursework, feedback and grades using Haiku Learning Management System.
- Standards based grade reporting system to provide accurate, meaningful, and timely feedback on clearly defined standards and authentic learning opportunities.
- Focus on emotional growth through an honor code, which is intended to set the parameters for healthy, safe and productive behaviors.
- Adaptable furniture and fixtures designed for multiple types of learning activities.
- Extended school year and day.
The BIA curriculum that is delivered through Project Based Learning and the Odysseyware program will exceed Georgia standards and will prepare students for success in state and college-admissions testing. The curriculum is personalized, meaning the content is customized to the interests and learning styles of the individual student and individualized so that each students start at the appropriate point in each subject area, and move at their own pace.
The Odysseyware curriculum is mapped to the NWEA MAP assessment, providing real-time data to identify areas where a student needs to improve and be supported. Three time each year the student takes a MAP assessment and using a unique “wizard”, the data is imported into the program management system, which makes the data actionable by translating it into differentiated learning paths based on each student’s current level.