Academic Innovations

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Frequently Asked Questions




I teach English. Why should I get involved with career and life planning?
Presenting a career-planning theme in an English classroom—or any other academic classroom—adds instant relevancy, capturing the imaginations of even hard-to-motivate students. Students are engaged because the reading and writing assignments address their most important identity issues most. The Possibilities anthology includes many required pieces, but encourages students to view the literature from a new perspective.

What is Possibilities? How can it be incorporated into my Career Choices curriculum?
Possibilities is the language arts component in the Career Choices series, linking 50 selections of poetry, short stories and essays to specific lessons in the Career Choices text.

If you are not an English teacher or responsible for the academics of English, we suggest that you form a team teaching pair with an English teacher and teach the course together. An English teacher might consider team teaching this course with a home economics teacher, guidance counselor, career education instructor, or social studies teacher.

What students learn in the main text, Career Choices, will give their reading and writing assignments more depth and richness. Many of the literature pieces we ask young people to read include topics that require "experience with life" to be fully appreciated. The Career Choices process helps students better understand the challenges of their future as they gain valuable insight from the contributions of great authors. We call this our "Authors as Mentors" program.

Does this replace the current English curriculum?
It can. As instructors begin to use the curriculum, they quickly realize that outcomes required of students in English can be accomplished by using this thematic approach. For example, the traditional novels used as required reading in the 9th grade (The Diary of Anne Frank, Bless the Beasts and Children, Romeo and Juliet) can all be incorporated into the life lessons students are learning in Career Choices. See pages 99, 105, 199 of the Instructor's and Counselor's Guide for Career Choices.

Can Possibilities be taught as a stand-alone component?
Yes, some schools order just Possibilities, but to achieve the full impact of the curriculum, it should be taught in conjunction with Career Choices.

How can an English teacher and a home economics teacher, business teacher, or guidance counselor work together?
The Career Choices program is an ideal program for an English teacher and a home economics teacher, business teacher, or guidance counselor to team teach.

Try to identify an English, home economics, business teacher, or guidance counselor (at the 8th or 9th grade level) who is innovative, enthusiastic and likes to try new ideas. Get them a 60-day review set of the Career Choices books. Once they’ve looked at the materials and are interested, set up a consultation with our Technical Service Administrator, who can help you strategize your efforts.

We haven't received our books yet and I have to start teaching tomorrow. What can I do?
You can still get your course off to an enthusiastic start even without the books. Be sure to have your students fill out the Pre-Class Survey on the first day of class to gauge your students’ attitudes toward the class and to be able to show the changes in their attitudes over the course of the class. Also check out the Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans for a Successful Launch in the Resource Cupboard for 15 days’ worth of lessons that rely minimally on the textbooks.

Can this be used as a summer program?
You will experience the best results in dropout prevention and college readiness by completing the entire curriculum, in sequence, which is a challenge to accomplish in the summer. Various schools have adapted the curriculum to fit into a summer program, however, and experienced great success, as well.

How can I find the standards correlations?
You can find correlations to the Common Core Standards and various state-specific standards at http://www.academicinnovations.com/standards.html.

How can I find a workshop or training?
You can find out just about anything you would want to know about upcoming workshops at http://www.aiworkshops.com.
 
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