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NOV. 24, 2014

Rising Above the “Standard”

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Jen Hilterman, Math Teacher

There is nothing standardized about The Outdoor Academy.  As I sat down to look at the curriculum for my math classes this weekend, I realized I only have two more weeks of class with my students! Time has flown. Before I know it, they will be back in their desks at their sending schools re-integrating into their “normal” daily lives.

Although OA is the complete opposite of standardized, we still play a role in preparing students to take tests like the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. Our experiential approach to education means lots of hands-on learning experiences, real life application, and learning through inquiry and discussion. Often it is difficult to get at the meat of learning through these things and then have to translate this to the answer of a test question. Katie, our English teacher, sent me a link this week saying the SAT was being redesigned. After a further look, I saw that this means the test is more geared toward real life application and the questions are presented in a way that is familiar to how the students see the material in the classroom. Of course, I first looked into what this means for the math section.

“The level of focus in math is another significant advancement, allowing students to concentrate on fewer topics that are most essential for college and career success,” said David Coleman, president and CEO of The College Board, in a letter explaining the changes. This is just one of the many great improvements. To read more, visit .

I am delighted that The Outdoor Academy can continue to teach experientially, knowing the things the students learn here will serve them well as they go on to prepare for college applications!

Jen Hilterman, Math Teacher