Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

Featuring articles written by Crane Staffulty

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Choice Voice Image
Kristen Peralta

Choice at Crane School is seen at each grade level in varying forms and amounts. It could be Choice Time at the end of the day in kindergarten, Choice Boards in first grade for extra learning opportunities, Passion Projects in fourth grade, the seventh grade mentor project (QED), or an eighth grader’s public speaking topic. No matter what age, choice brings excitement. Choice is like the shiny, colorful bait that lures the fish and reels it in toward the ultimate goal - in this case, learning. When it comes to our Crane motto of rigor and joy, choice is the joy piece that makes deep, meaningful learning so much fun and memorable...

Choice at Crane School is seen at each grade level in varying forms and amounts. It could be Choice Time at the end of the day in kindergarten, Choice Boards in first grade for extra learning opportunities, Passion Projects in fourth grade, the seventh grade mentor project (QED), or an eighth grader’s public speaking topic. No matter what age, choice brings excitement. Choice is like the shiny, colorful bait that lures the fish and reels it in toward the ultimate goal - in this case, learning. When it comes to our Crane motto of rigor and joy, choice is the joy piece that makes deep, meaningful learning so much fun and memorable.

One can argue that choice becomes even more important as students get older. What middle school student doesn’t question authority and adults’ opinions from time to time? One way to work through this developmental stage is to give middle school students more choice.

What are 5 benefits of providing middle school students with more choice?

MOTIVATION: Students discover their interests and passion, which naturally leads to self-motivation.

AUTONOMY & RESPONSIBILITY: As the decision makers, middle school students take ownership of their learning and responsibility for their decisions.

EMPOWERMENT: Children gain a sense of pride in their abilities when they realize that they chose the topic, wrote the proposal, established the plan, revised the plan, reflected on the process, and presented the finished product.

SELF-DIFFERENTIATION: With time students learn to listen to their own needs and become aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Instead of choosing the same project or reading book as their peers, they make a decision based on what is right for them.

RICH, IN-DEPTH LEARNING: At all ages, those who are excited, motivated, and curious about a project are more likely to go the extra mile.

It is amazing what happens when we give students CHOICE and VOICE. The examples at Crane are endless. Click on the images below for a couple of examples in the Upper School.

Stand Up Project in seventh grade

    
i@pp Art Projects in eighth grade


    

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