1 WE ARE SOLUTION-ORIENTED
In response to our achievement data, we designed a plan that would teach children how to navigate the state assessments. We understood that our students knew the work but when faced with the language and nuances of the exams, they failed to demonstrate what they knew. In addition, we noticed they lacked the confidence to be successful. Therefore we created morning clinics led by various staff with small groups of children. In those sessions, students were taught various test taking strategies and techniques that could be applied to any assessment whether on an elementary or university level. These clinics have boosted confidence and positively impacted our state data.
We realized that our students did not see themselves attending a college or university. To combat this we started a school-wide initiative where once a month we designate a day as college and career day. Each school is named after a university which serves as the model for their year-long study. The study includes the history of the school, mascot, motto, logo, and the studies. This learning would lend itself to them learning about and choosing a specific private or public university that aligns with their interests. Upon graduation, they are gifted paraphernalia to remind them that it’s possible.
To incorporate STEM learning in a meaningful way, we partnered with PiTop, a company that simultaneously teaches children how to code and build a motherboard. Engaging in this learning implicitly teaches children to use their critical thinking and problem solving skills in a group environment. This approach provides children with immediate results for their efforts. Once captivated, they are then able to focus and persist for longer periods of time.
3 WE ARE CUTTING-EDGE
One of our goals is to have a ratio of one lap-top per child. Currently, that is a reality for our fifth graders. This will allow us to expand our online-blended learning. Utilizing a code provided by the teacher, students can access the teacher’s digital lesson plan and at their own discretion move forward or revisit material in a variety of ways. Whether that is an instructional video or literary text, students can engage in learning at their own pace and when ready take the assessment. This affords the teacher the opportunity to provide more targeted and one-on-one learning.
To develop our students into global citizens/thinkers, we infuse the United Nation’s 17 sustainable goals into our social studies curriculum. At the end of each unit, students are required to engage in a project that aligns with the sustainable goal that was studied.
Each child has at least one adult in the building whom they trust and rely on for emotional support. Creating this safe space allows children to learn how to vocalize their feelings versus expressing them in
We firmly believe in the quote “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (or girl)!” As a result we create structured opportunities that marry learning and fun as well as entertainment. We host school carnivals, sponsor trips out of the city to expose children to New York State’s rich offerings, and schedule activities that children may not be exposed to like, fishing and fencing.
ONE TO FOLLOW
As we expand our use of technology and global
education, our students will find and be the solutions to
some of the world’s most complex issues.