Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Creative Arts Charter School Visit - Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Creative Arts is a public Charter School in San Francisco.

Their fall exhibition of learning is this Thursday evening, so we witnessed a TON of creative preparation as we toured the school. It's called Makers and Thinkers Night.

Some projects we saw during our visit:
  • 3rd grade researched local San Francisco movers and shakers and did projects based on their work. They also raise money for the various causes espoused by those people.
  • 2nd grade had cyanotypes on display and were organizing portfolios of various connected projects done so far this year.  
  • Kindergarteners were sharing their cardboard playground and practicing the fine art of feedback. Most students were impressed with the moving parts on the swing, seesaw, zipline, and spinner.
  • 6th grade human body study students are making prosthetic limbs. The teacher is an amputee and actually tries them out.


  • 7th grade math/science researching trips and making brochures (art connection was impressive)
Some Important points:
  • Students voices are heard- classroom libraries are full of books requested by the learners. If a book isn't there, it's ordered. 
  • Discretionary funds are very important for keeping projects on a forward momentum. 
  • Autonomy with how to teach the standards. 
  • It's good to have a box, so you have something with which to think outside. 
  • Know what it is that makes your school community unique. Have a common language. 
  • Create a yearlong school-wide flow chart with each grade level's theme/goal/guidance system.

Other notes: The strong phonics base in lower elementary students has built the foundation for good readers as evidenced by the SBAC test scores. Bridges has recently been adopted to raise math scores. 
Lucy Calkins
Project Zero
Visible Thinking

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