Launching a new project cycle with inspiration from the last one
Organizing your realia — testimonials, storytelling and artifacts — from a round of projects can feel overwhelming. So much footage! So many interviews! So many ideas!
Resist the freakout: here’s a recipe for pulling your footage together to inspire a new cycle of learning with lessons from the previous rounds.
A Vermont tradition comes to the classroom
Town Meeting Day is a Vermont tradition: once a year, everyone in towns across the state pack into the town hall and talk face-to-face about the issues affecting their community.
But Warren Elementary School, in Warren VT, holds Town Meetings on a weekly basis, using the tradition to cultivate citizenship and community.
Applying NGSS to… chickens?
At the Dorset School, in Dorset VT, the 8th graders know that fresh, farm-raised eggs taste amazing. The problem: their cafeteria cannot afford local, free-range eggs. So they asked: “What would it take to raise chickens at the school?”
And they used a combination of design engineering, technology and community partners to find out.
Take student learning outside
Students at Green Mountain Union High School demonstrate learning in Science, Social Studies, Health, and Language Arts over the course of a semester. But for one group of students, there are no barriers between subjects, no bell schedule, and no borders on their classroom. Much of their learning happens out of doors, either in the 200 acres behind the school, on the Long Trail or in other outdoor locations.
Welcome to Wilderness Semester.
And what students can learn from the experience
A trio of Tuttle 6th graders led educators from around Vermont through activities in bias-awareness and social identity at the 2018 Middle Grades Conference.
And what they learned from those educators is every bit as powerful as what the educators learned from them.
The growing trend of increasing student voice and choice in schools is opening authentic opportunities for dialogues between students and adults. Students, when given the opportunity to present to educators and administrators, almost always deliver on a level far beyond what many think middle schoolers are capable of.
And that’s exactly what’s been happening at Colchester Middle School.
The power of the student consult
If you’re wondering what engages, excites and motivates students, the answer is easy: ask them.
Creating opportunities for students to give feedback on plans, projects, assessments and activities builds a collaborative learning community, and creates leadership and student voice opportunities.
Here’s how one school gave student consultants a shot.
Hope launches in the Northeast Kingdom
As part of participating in the UN’s Global Goals, students at Burke Town School, in West Burke VT, kicked off their service learning projects by inviting their community’s leaders to come to the school and ask for what they needed. What would make West Burke a better place to live? And how could these students help?
Introducing “Project Hope”.
Get organized, then get tech
Many of your current — or future — collaborators teach at other schools around the state or world. But when you’ve got a great idea for collaboration, don’t let distance stand in your way. Let’s look at this example from three Vermont schools on how to plan, manage and support one unit run across three different schools.
(Hint: tech helps. A lot.)