Why PDS? A Lower School Parent Writes …

IMG_6936If you’re thinking about Loving Learning and what all that emerging, integrated and experiential curriculum looks like in the real classroom here’s what a  fifth grade parent shared on her Facebook page. It is reproduced here with her permission:

A glimpse into why we do everything we can (read spend all of our money and time) to send our son to a progressive school – He’s in the 4/5 class a combined 4th grade 5th grade program.

A few weeks ago in Science, having just completed a study of the human body which included making posters of their chosen system – his the Integumentary System (the skin) and then writing a story that included what he had learned about the system – he wrote a great story called ‘The Lice Problem” complete with shrinking kids who encountered tree like hair and pothole sized sweat glands – they moved on to a study of energy.

What is it, how does energy move, flow and conserve. A look at energy conservation, how does a house retain its heat. The end project was to build an energy efficient house – it started in Math as they used their work with fractions to convert FT to 1/4 scale and draw out the perimeter of their houses. To check their drawings, their homework assignment was to measure a room in their house and then convert it to 1/4 inch scale and calculate the total area. They were then asked to compare the area of their planned house with the area of the single room and asked the question ‘does your planned house make sense?’ Is it too small or too big, based on what you’ve learned by the size of your house.

The project goes on combining writing, math and science. They built their houses to scale, choose their own insulation after learning about the ways different things insulate and the final project is an experiment. They are placing a can of water inside the house and then placing the house in the walk-in freezer. The challenge to see if the water can maintain a 50 degree temperature. Caidin’s held at 41 degrees.

The project finishes with a ‘House Museum’ in which they will display their houses for a parent walk through; oh and they led the low school assembly and presented their project to all of the Lower School students. He has been so excited about this project, so engaged and has learned so much.

Creativity in learning, experiential learning, fun while learning, and learning! 

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