We challenge students with opportunities to use and expand their skills across disciplines in real situations—forging a deeper connection to academic information.
The following are a few examples from across the grades.
Each student studies the geography, structures, wildlife and unique beauty of their assigned National Park. They create an informative visitors' center experience including posters, a model of the park and a video of themselves as park ranger and tour guide.
Students proudly share their work with fellow students, parents and important guests—official Park Rangers from the National Park Service.
Early Literacy skills begin in Pre-Kindergarten with an in-depth study of the alphabet. Students learn to identify the shapes, write and make the sound(s) of each letter. As they master each letter, they add fun cut-paper illustrations of each letter to their alphabet journals and share words that begin with that letter.
A is for Alligator.
Students are learning about agriculture in the greenhouse. Seeds are planted and labeled and grouped according to optimal sprouting conditions of moisture and sunlight. Later in the season, they'll observe crop yields based on varying conditions. The majority of the food they grow will be donated to the kitchen at MyBrother's Table.
Many of my students intuitively understand the partial quotient method and love it.
Erica Osattin, Grade 4
Partial Quotients Method vs. Traditional Long Division
Mrs. Osattin’s fourth grade math students learn long division—twice! She teaches the traditional algorithm of Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Bring Down. Some of her students enjoy the precise organization of each step, yet for others, following a series of steps holds little meaning. Erica also teaches the Partial Quotients method of long division that focuses on multiplication (using math facts and multiples of 10) and repeated subtraction. Her students are free to practice both methods and pick the method they feel is most intuitive.
Tower's 7th and 8th grade Spanish students met with Barcelona teammates, who were recruited to play for FC Malaga City at age 16. Tower students used their skills in conversational Spanish to ask questions about their soccer careers and what it is like to live on the beautiful southern coast of Spain.
Eighth grade students study changing environmental conditions at Salem Harbor for seven weeks. They collect data using direct observation, and gather measurements such as force, velocity, and acceleration on Vernier scientific measurement tools. The project culminates with an evaluation of the data and a presentation of their findings. Students appreciate the opportunity to apply their math and science skills to observe natural phenomena.
Students measure change over time in the environment. Invariably, conversation leads to their own awareness of time, change and the need for continual adaptation.
Russ Wells, Science Teacher and co-lead on the Project
with Deacon Chapin, Math Teacher