Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Check out Summit's Personalized Learning Plan

Summit’s Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) allows every Summit student to have a personalized learning experience, and connects our students' long-term college and career goals to their daily decisions and actions. The PLP also houses all of our student’s curriculum, and provides real-time access to a student's academic coursework, goals, and performance to students, teachers, and parents.

Get a glimpse into Summit's Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) at app.mysummitps.org. Take a look at the powerful tool enabling our students to learn at their own pace and apply their thinking skills to deeper learning projects that reflect real-world situations. You can also browse all of Summit’s curriculum from 6th to 12th grade and see all of our projects and content knowledge areas of focus. 

The PLP also highlights Summit’s Basecamp program, which is is a free program we offer that helps public schools across the nation bring personalized learning to more classrooms and students. Learn more about it here

How Does a Ferris Wheel Work?

What do Ferris Wheels, sound waves, hours of daylight, moon phases, and ocean tides all have in common? All of these natural phenomenon can be modeled with mathematics and represent natural periodic patterns. In 11th grade Pre-Calculus, some students are currently working on the Modeling Periodic Function project. They’re learning how to analyze patterns and phenomena in the real-world, starting with a Ferris Wheel.  As their final product, students will present a report or poster that shows the mathematical model of a phenomena of their choice. Next time they go to an amusement park and ride the Ferris Wheel, they’ll know the mathematical modeling to making it work!

In Mr. Lajoie’s (left side of left picture) class at Summit Shasta (Daly City), students are in the early stages of the Modeling Periodic Function project and learning about the angles, coordinates, and degrees in a unit circle (or the outline of a Ferris Wheel).

Students Self-Reporting Grades is Top Strategy for Improving Student Achievement

“Our job is to help kids exceed what they think they can do” John Hattie

John Hattie, who is a renowned researcher in education, synthesized thousands of research studies and ranked what has had the biggest impact on student achievement in his book, Visible Learning. Much of Summit’s student experience and academic model is based on this research.

The top strategy that his analysis points to is “Student Self-Report Grades” where students set goals for themselves and guess how well they are going to do on a project or test. With hundreds of other approaches ranked, nothing predicted how a student would do better than the student making that prediction himself. However, the act of just setting the goal isn’t really what made the difference. It was the teacher’s knowledge of those goals and the student’s abilities that allowed teachers to push students to achieve more that made the difference. If the student set lofty goals, the teacher could hold them accountable to their high expectations. If the student set “safe” goals," the teacher could push them to go beyond what they think they could do while giving them the confidence and skills to do so.

That’s why we continually stress goal-setting at Summit and mentors are constantly discussing both long-term and short-term goals with students. In the PLP, students are able to set college goals, year-long grade goals, and even goals for each cognitive skill measured in the projects they're working on. This critical information shapes the conversations between our students and mentors.

Summit Schools are Among Top Bay Area Public Schools for Underserved Students

Innovate Public Schools, a nonprofit organization focused on ensuring that all Bay Area students receive an excellent education, has named Summit Tahoma and Summit Prep among the top Bay Area public schools for underserved, low-income students in a recent reportWe are proud of our schools and students for the strong results they achieved on their CAASPP exam.