Call it project based-learning, 21st century skills, or progressive education – these Cold Spring School students’ reflections on their learning from the fort project illustrate what good teaching looks like. Watch three students share about their experiences and note that they highlight, in their own words, the process of collaborating with peers, problem-solving, learning how to be flexible within their team, acting as entrepreneurs, and using their imaginations – all critical skills in any of these pedagogical frameworks – as essential components of their learning:
We’ve all been there. You invite an outside expert into the classroom, eager for her to inspire your students and share her expertise, only to find that your students have suddenly forgotten all the expectations you have worked so hard to establish. Or they are more interested in the fluff stuck in the carpet than what this authority has to say. Or the expert misses the mark on the values you’ve cultivated in your group, perhaps suggesting that some things are only of interest to girls and others to boys. Maybe you wondered why you ever thought it was a good idea in the first place.
In this post, we will reflect on why it is indeed a worthwhile venture to invite local experts into your classroom, by examining the collaboration between Cold Spring School (CSS) and the Yale School of Architecture (YSoA).
A new exhibit is on view at the Hartford Science Center called “Engineering Earth for Building Tomorrow” that has endless natural connections to Seedlings. The exhibit examines how earth materials, including soil and grains, have been used for centuries to build structures, and their potential for use in sustainable construction of the future. Anyone who uses the soil kit in their classrooms, as well as those who participated in the “Changing Landscapes: Rocks, Minerals, and Soils” SEC focus group this past summer, may find meaningful ways for this exhibit to enrich the curriculum. To get a taste of what the exhibit is like, take a virtual field trip through the video below.
For any folks out there working with the soil kit, learning about rocks and minerals, or studying forces of nature, remember that this might of special interest to you and your students!
What’s happening at Standing Rock has so many connections with our Seedlings focus groups: Water Habitats, Our Changing Landscape, and Our Mechanical World. The ways in which different age groups would meaningfully connect with this event would of course vary greatly. Has anyone discussed Standing Rock with their students?