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10 ways to have a student-centered classroom

Posted by on 12:28 am in Uncategorized, YVCS Features | Comments Off on 10 ways to have a student-centered classroom

10 ways to have a student-centered classroom

From its inception, the Yadkin Valley Community School has been inspired by the Montessori curriculum and philosophy. That means that when you walk into our school, you will notice several ways that it is different than a traditional public school. Our school is committed to a student-centered experience. “Standards work hand in hand with student-directed learning,” says Elizabeth Stage, codirector for science for the New Standards Project. “A standard is concrete, but there are probably a million ways to meet that standard.”   Here are...

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How does the digestive system work?

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The students are studying the human body this year. Having just finished the respiratory system, they are now moving on to the digestive system. Recently they had a hands-on lesson about the steps that take place during digestion, and I don’t think they will soon forget it. First, the food is chewed. The cup represents the mouth. The kids used their fingers as the tongues. They found that it was hard for their cup/mouths to chew without teeth, but this was a good way to demonstrate how the food begins to be digested. The food is mixed...

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haunted school yard

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Student Portraits – Part 1

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We are starting what I hope will be an amazing and thoughtful art project. The students will work on this project throughout the year and hang their final pieces in the Spring. We will be doing portrait photography. For those of you who didn’t already know, my degree is in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design. So, photography, especially portrait photography, is very near and dear to my heart. Although it is not necessarily the most technically difficult, I personally believe it requires a more thoughtful approach than any...

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littleBits for the Classroom

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littleBits for the Classroom

Technology & Design class is a time for students to explore their creative sides while honing their engineering skills. It is our priority to prepare our kids for the rest of their education in high school and college as well as their future careers which will no doubt require them to be innovative, creative problem solvers. In the classroom, our kids will work with these littleBits STEAM sets to explore electric circuits through a series of guided and open inventions. These littleBits are electronic building blocks and the system is...

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Why teach kindness in school?

Posted by on 11:26 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why teach kindness in school?

Why should we teach kindness in school? Teachers have an awesome responsibility to mold the minds and hearts of our children. Cultivating kindness in the classroom improves school culture and supports learning, both academic and emotional. It is part of our mission at the Yadkin Valley Community School to teach the whole child. That means that each day we not only focus on academic lessons but also character-building lessons. Teaching kindness in the classroom results in: More positive attitudes towards others and themselves More positive...

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Escape Room For the Classroom

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Escape Room For the Classroom

Our classroom “Escape Room” began with a fake newspaper article. The article set the scene and led them to first clue. The clue was written backwards, and it was assumed that the kids would hold it up to a mirror. Instead, they flipped it over and held it up to the window to read it. They read, “If Kim is teaching, we are probably here. Use water to make the next clue appear.” This is the newspaper generator that was used to create the article.  This clue led them to the art area of the classroom, which is where Kim...

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Indoor Camping

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Last year, for our final field trip, we decided to go camping at New River State Park. Everyone enjoyed it so much that we adopted it as an annual tradition. As the date of this year’s camping trip neared, the kids grew more and more excited. They made plans for sleeping arrangements, a capture-the-flag rematch and prank wars between the girls and the boys. However, the weather just did not cooperate. Even though our annual spring camping trip did not go quite as planned, I think it was a big success! Due to cold temperatures and the threat...

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Collaborative Art

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Collaborative Art

I am a big fan of a collaborative art project. Before the doors of YVCS opened, we began working on a large canvas which read, “Together we can…” at the top. All the kids at school, as well as others in the community, had a chance to contribute their idea for the end of that sentence. Some painted words such as “dance”, “eat BBQ”, “make the world a better place” and “grow”. This piece of art has hung in our school for the past two years. It served as a reminder that, together we can make anything happen, including making this school a...

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Stone Soup

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I would consider our first attempt at making soup a success!   A couple of weeks ago, I read the book, Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth to the students. This is a Chinese folktale about three monks who teach a village a lesson about sharing and happiness. The monks trick the villagers into each contributing an ingredient to the “stone soup” they are making. In the end, the villagers come together to enjoy the soup that they all worked together to make. The soup was so tasty because they all contributed something and because they celebrated...

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