Back to School Night!
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Early Childhood Education
I Focus on Project Based Learning: The 5Cs
What do Communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and community all have in common? These are the 5Cs that feature in the schools’ mission statement and they are at the heart of using project based learning as a key instructional strategy in our school. Communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and community, drive our engaging program in which students can be inquirers as they develop the essential skills to be responsible members in a local and global community. The 5Cs are the foundation blocks that support our project based learning and classes which in turn support the content and standard based learning at the school.
During this first month of school, students have been learning how they benefit from learning the skills relating to communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and establishing a positive community of learners. In addition to this, they have focused on how these 5Cs are part of the learning strategies in all subjects taught and enrich school climate and culture.
READ THE FULL CURRICULUM MATTERS MAGAZINE; Vol 1; Oct 2016
Vol 2, November, 2016
II Developing The 5Cs (Lost!)
Learning through situations and simulations is a great way to promote critcial thinking and creativity. During the past couple of weeks students in Grade 8 have been working with their teachers, Ms Lecroy and Mr Shepard on a simulation called Lost.
In this the students have formed teams to solve problems and design solutions to situations they would face in a survival situation. They worked on specific tasks including building a model of the land they had to survive on and then set up the recognizable features of a sustainable society.
Through the students ability to collaborate in their teams they had time they gained insights from valuable research in to aspects geography and through their need to communicate practiced essential skills from their English curriculum
In addition to focusing on Social Studies and English Language Arts skills the students' research and ideas took them in to the realms of science where they investigated the impact of seasons, concepts of sustenance farming and agriculture. This work also reinforce ideas the students explore in the PE classes related to healthy living and good nutrition. Finally, they also explored math concepts as they worked on finance and economy through developing money systems.
Joint cross curriculum projects such as these are great ways to develop and consolidate both curriculum content, essential PBL skills and the 5 Cs.
III Focusing On Community
Investigating what our 5Cs mean at AAC has led us to explore what it means to be part of a community. We have focused on this through joint projects, celebrations and classroom activities. We have reviewed what it means to be part of a community throughout the lessons in all our subject areas. This has been most evident in the following ways.
Developing a sense of community means that we have to look beyond the confines of our school community and address issues that affect us as a part of a global community. Five groups of High school students worked together to tackle the issues of global warming. They addressed the causes of global warming and developed solutions to counteract the effects. Without fail each groups acknowledged in their work that solving global warming takes the focused determination of a committed team or community.
Having a common goal and outcome is another positive way to help develop a sense of community. In this case, the poster competition engaged the students in Grade 6 and Grade 8 in a friendly competition and shared goal. Without doubt the students worked together as they used their creativity and critical thinking skills in finding different ways to express their understanding of the 5Cs. Within the next few days we will select the posters we consider that deserve a special mention and publishing on the website. These students will receive a small token of recognition for their efforts and success.
Community through the Daily 5
In our Elementary English Language Art classes, our “Daily 5” instructional strategy has proven to be a successful way to review Community. Each grade level as been working with text chosen to not only promote literacy skills but also by choosing the theme of community students have been engaged in discussing and thinking about how they are part of a community and what it means here at AAC. Each class worked on a project board to help show how their ideas were growing about community and then contributed towards the community display board. Next week we will be focusing on Collaboration.
Community through activities and celebrations
As they say, “People who play together, stay together”, and we’ve been exploring and enjoying the unity of celebrating the cultures in our community. We enjoyed the festivities of Ashura and now we are engaging in the thrill of Halloween. Students came to school dressed in a whole array of costumes. The preparation for our celebration engaged the students in working together to create door decorations. Each of the doors in Early Childhood through to Grade 5 show a different aspect of Halloween as well as highlight the 5Cs. The serious side of this playful competition is that students worked together to develop their ideas as a class community of learners within the school community. As you can see from the photos, it was a fantastic display of critical thinking, creativity and communication as well!