This past spring, the FIP Your School Ohio team took a trip up to Northeast Ohio for a special visit to Nordonia High School. We first heard about what was happening at Nordonia in the fall at the Annual Statewide Education Conference, hosted by the Ohio Department of Education. Principal Casey Wright led a presentation on FIP and shared the story of three high school juniors that took their love of learning targets and extended it into a challenge for their entire district, both teachers and students. We shared the story here on the blog last fall, but wanted to see the impact of using formative instructional practices. We were able to meet and talk with Mrs. Czekaj, the teacher that the high school juniors had said they wanted more teachers to be like in their presentation. Her passion for learning was contagious, and we spent the afternoon learning more about how she was using clear learning targets in her classroom.
A few weeks prior to the shoot, we spoke with Carol Tonsing, the English Department Chairperson at NHS. She spoke strongly about formative instructional practices and had been integrating technology into her teaching with the use of Google Drive, Wikispaces, and other digital enhancements that allowed her to give timely feedback that she couldn’t otherwise give to her students. Since the shoot, Carol has also joined us as a contributing writer on the blog.
Given that this was our first high school FIP filming experience, I was excited to speak with the students, who were all seniors coming up on their last few weeks of school. There was a very strong sense of student ownership of learning in these individuals, who spoke clearly about what they were learning and the reasons behind every practice or lesson. In a time when many students seem to check-out and look out the window with summer on their mind, the seniors at Nordonia High School were clearly engaged. We stepped into Erin Miller’s Film Literature class to see how students used rubrics and evaluation sheets for self-reflection.
As you get back in the swing of things this fall, consider the many ways that you can use formative instructional practices to align to the many standards and expectations that you find yourself working with, from Ohio’s New Learning Standards to the Ohio Teachers Evaluation System. Below, Nordonia teachers and leadership share on how FIP has helped them align to change.
You can watch an overview of our time with Mrs. Tonsing and the students of Nordonia High School in the Storyline video. All of the videos from our visits to school districts around the state are available on the FIP Video Library.