At each developmental level, children use academic and creative tools to investigate questions and ideas that captivate them. Check out the project-based learning happening in our classrooms as children work together to create, explore, and understand our world through oceans, Ancient Greece, Alcatraz, and more. Projects such as these might take anywhere from four to ten weeks to unfold. Each teacher tries to incorporate at least three large-scale projects each year.
We ask our young kindergarteners to be active participants in their learning from the beginning. Common phrases in the Kindergarten classroom are “Hmm, that’s an interesting question” and “How can we find out more about that?”
After a parent offered her time and expertise to set up a saltwater tank in the classroom, the first graders became very interested in ocean life. Guided by their teacher, they began to learn about currents, habitats, and the water cycle.
Perhaps spurred by recent popular children’s novels, second- and third-graders came to the classroom very interested in Greek mythology. During read-aloud, the teacher read a children’s version of Homer’s Odyssey. Immediately, the children were captivated. Some of the stories were familiar to the students, but others were new.
Sparked by a lunchtime discussion following one student’s family vacation to San Francisco, the Alcatraz Project became an all-encompassing learning adventure. After listening to their classmate talk about his tour of Alcatraz, students had many questions. Their teacher helped them look up information to satisfy their curiosity. She knew they were hooked on that first day, when they declined to go to Recess because they were too enthralled with finding out more about Alcatraz.
The fifth grade recently embarked on a study of cities and urban planning. The teacher began with a very open-ended activity posed to the fifth-graders: design and draw a map of your own. Very quickly questions of scale emerged as students grappled with how exactly one creates an accurate map.
Every 2-3 weeks teachers write home to parents about recent classroom activities and issues.
|1428 Wesley Avenue Berwyn, Illinois 60402 Phone : 708.484.8033 | Contact | Map
Copyright © 2011 The Children's School. All Rights Reserved.
Site by Silverwarre Photography by Puddle Jumpers