Page 9 - FIS World June 2021
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 meetings to determine how lessons could help further connect to the outdoors and what type of student- directed innovation would be appropriate.
As an example, as construction continued in February, Grade 4 students recognized their beloved planters needed a new location to make room for the installation of updated fire escapes. The process became a design project incorporating science, engineering, math and imagination. Under the supervision and coaching from faculty, these students researched what to plant, where to plant, what materials to use, and which ones would be most sustainable. As a class, they discussed how best to plant the seeds, (when to plant, how far apart, how deep in the ground), and worked through design concepts with drawings and blocks, before finally building the new planters and planting the seeds.
“We are giving students the skills and knowledge to be autonomous and accountable,” Mr. Hansen said. “The space on campus is large enough and flexible to build as the years go on. These Grade 4 students can come back next year in Grade 5 and then build upon what they started in the previous year. Teachers have the space for students to self pace. While some students are working on skill and content others could be finishing their evidence of
learning or refining their concepts, all supported by physical facilities and faculty.”
With the ACE Center now open, teachers are expanding on design projects like building planters. Mr. Hansen explains if a student decides to make a chess set with family and friends as the pieces, faculty members are ready to coach them at the appropriate level to help them achieve the goal.“We talk through how to make this happen, what tools are needed and then learn to use them. A student can take photos, load them into a software program, find the wood, build the pieces, etc.”
“Attheendoftheday,thisisnotanewwayof education,” Dr. Johnston affirmed. “It is continuing with the rock solid foundations of learning, such as literacy and numeracy. It’s important to still do those, but we are learning to integrate the latest and greatest, including technology, into our everyday curriculum. All of these new spaces and tools will help us achieve that even better.”
Linda Kerr FIS Parent
Stage lighting adds dramatic effect to the performance space in FISW’s ACE Center (opposite page); students take advantage of the Design Technology classrooms in the impressive new facility (above).
June 2021 FIS World 7

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