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Students worked very hard to complete their sustainability projects for our UH Showcase!

April 16, 2018

On Monday night, our students presented their sustainability projects to their peers for review in preparation for the showcase! Parents, community members, board members, and administrators plan on visiting the event to show support for the students! 

Making Hope Happen

February 07, 2018

Today in Professional Development: Inquiry learning as a motivator was introduced to our staff based on the Making Hope Happen by Shane Lopez. We are kicking off with a segment of the book describing a young man's interview with the CEO of Gallup. The teachers experienced how an vision of your future can motivate you throughout your life. 

Blending Trevor MacKenzie’s book, Dive into Inquiry, and Making Hope Happen by Shane Lopez, advisory lessons of Students Inquiry were presented for teachers to practice and use for 6 weeks next semester.

Allowing time for students to seek information from their own points of view, passions, and interest is at the heart of this long-term project. 


Once topics are discovered, staff will work to recruit guest speakers, resources, or community supports for the specifics of students’ goals.  Students may find out something is NOT their dream, but they have time to move forward with another idea.  Reflection pieces will be due each week in their journals. 

The only “deliverable” at the end of our gift of time will be the description of the goals, the passion driving the quest, and what was outcome of your use of time, in student’s choice of format and presentation.    

Our Motivation

February 28, 2018

Our students read Covey's 7 Habits for Teenagers.  All teachers use and model that vocabulary in our classrooms, and throughout the year it is used and reflected upon.  One of the first Habits is students explore and grab is "Begin with the end in mind."   Here are examples of results of this habit: 


         I want a good job. 

         I want to go to college. 

         I want to take care of my parents when they need me. 

All amazing goals and ideas; so valid in their futures.  Over many months, there is another side of this exercise: it removes them from actively seeking today what they want their lives to be like in the future.

“I don't need to think about that today - it's years away.” 


This group of students has so much to do, all the time, with the long list of time takers that we witness procrastination which leads to a pattern of panic and plagiarism.  Too may "Ps" but you get the pattern!  Motivation for classwork hits the floor, hey! There’s something new on snapchat!


So we are working on lifting student doldrums - get motivation to turn around.  Our whole school has weekly Advisory time; here is what we are rolling out in our 1/2 hour a week Advisory classes to get student Inquiry going, focusing on student choice as the motivator.  I refer to "7 Habits" through the lessons, but there are additional sources. 


We kicked off with a whole school meeting to watch the following:

Denzel Washington’s  commencement speech that is a “wake up” as well as motivator to dream, and dream big!

Kids filled out a personal small chart of where they were in terms of dreams for their future, and what they heard from the video.  The next week we played a game with imagination - something also not done with this age group.  (That would be a great study!  Seriously, when did imagination leave our children?  Too much TV as babysitter and now digital things in hands all day long to keep busy with games and other stuff?)   I'm working on imagination daily in my classes now wrapping it with, “This is where all the great ideas come from - someone dreaming of something new!"  


 I'm driving everything from Shane Lopez, Making Hope Happen, and the last part of this Ted Talk (the whole thing is good, but the last 6 minutes is for this specific set of Advisory Lessons) set: 


Yep, even a "Fed Ex" day...With every FedEx there is a delivery.  The next months will be discovery of what's in you, and there is a small Delivery every week. In early April, you get to present your goals/ideas/personal motivator for your future to the class.  


To start:  the "lessons" are Inquiry Learning style by students having time to search their personal passions, possible educational goals, career ideas - all to be either put aside as "I'm glad I checked it out and no thanks with that one," or "WOW - give me more!"  Teachers don't drive this, but the students do.  Half an hour every week to explore, let us know a speaker you would like to hear from – what’s in you!!


This is where the motivator step comes up next:  IF you have that idea/goal/dream - what can you do TODAY to get you closer to your DREAM?  Literally, write it on a fancy page that you see daily in your agenda and let it pull you. Create something to show the class - be creative! This will spring you into our testing season and final exams (we don't tell them that, but it is the timing factor.)


Thank you to Grand Canyon Inquiry for bringing  this to our campus!

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Canyon Inquiry Project


As educators we constantly strive to empower students. To push them to reach new heights. Through this sustainability project, we encourage students to explore their interests about a sustainability topic that blends content from AP Human Geography and Pre-AP Biology in an interdisciplinary fashion. 

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