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.