We began with implementing the Genius Hour project that we learned about from A.J. Juliani. In 2015-16 we made this year long personal choice project optional in the APUSH classroom. Then this past year in 2016-17 we required all students to select an American problem that they would present using some form of technology in an 8 minute format during an evening we called APUSH Ted Talks! Parents, teachers and administrations provided an authentic audience for over 100 presentations delivered in 20 different classrooms.
At the Senior High the Advanced Historian model was piloted in the Advanced Placement U.S. History class. During the first quarter, two APUSH instructors identified 9 students who stood out academically in class and displayed independent learning qualities. Eight students agreed to partake in the pilot during the final three quarters of the course. These students were given the option of coming to class or working independently on the unit learning targets in the social studies resource center. Students were given a Moodle website from which to choose resources to meet the learning targets. These students also added their own favorite websites to the Moodle page. Students were given the same assessments as those in the regular class. These students moved through the curriculum and learning targets far faster than the students in regular class and scored much higher on the assessments. The students did attend class approximately 20% of the time, although some individuals never went to the regular class. Prior to the APUSH national exam the Advanced Historians led study sessions to prepare their peers for the exam.