Learning About the World by Setting Sail on a Virtual World Cruise:

On January 13, 2010, when the Seven Seas Voyager departed from San Diego for a 119-day cruise around the world, Natalie and I decided to set sail with the passengers and crew.  -Read more here-

The Applewood Quarterly

Early in the year, I made a bold decision: instead of tests or grades, the final outcome of all of our projects and assignments would be articles for Natalie’s quarterly newspaper, The Applewood Quarterly.  The Quarterly was one of the best discoveries we made and included articles on subjects being covered and the “goings on” at Applewood School.  Natalie threw herself into preparing her articles for publication, came up with a visual design, and figured out how to lay it out in the computer. As Natalie’s teacher, I was able to tune in to my student’s skills and interests and find not only an effective way to measure Natalie’s success, but an actual means to promote the achievement of success.  In the middle of preparing the first issue for mailing, she looked up at me and said with a radiant smile on her face, “This is so much fun!”

I have written about the importance of making learning relevant for both children and adults on this website, and in our forthcoming book.  Performance improves when people feel what they are doing/making/figuring out has meaning.

Here are two posts that illustrate this:

“What Kind of Work Makes People Happy”

“To Do Our Best, We Need to Feel Good”