Beyond the Classroom Experiences
Middle Learning: Fridays Afar
Fridays Afar in planned for four to six times per year. For the planned Friday, faculty will coordinate their content areas within the context of the venues and experiences. One Friday, the 7th grade rotated through 4 lessons at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve.
One of the things that makes Friday Afar unique is that it is a collaboration of all the faculty and it includes almost all the desciplines. It is a great opportunity for faculty members to work together on a intercurricular experience.
After learning how to calculate the volume of rectangular prisms, the students teamed up with a partner and went to the grocery store. Their project was to measure the shelves, then choose a product within a $4 budget that they would then redesign. Teacher Candace Bell says, "This project is an exciting way for students to apply what we're learning in class." The hands-on nature of the assignment gives them a way to experience the usefulness of math beyond the classroom.
Day Trip: Math at Publix
Upper Learning: Cross-Levels
With UL students' help, fourth-graders recite Chaucer
Senior helps fourth-grader learn a line from The Canterbury Tales. The AP English Literature students visited the fourth-grade class this week to share a learning experience around Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. After hearing about the background of the work and its author from UL English teacher Louise Coffin, the fourth-graders worked together in small groups with UL students to learn how to pronounce a line from the prologue.
With the UL students' coaching, the fourth-graders recited their line in Middle English.
Upper Learning: Excursions
Each year the Upper Learning students participate in a one week program called Excursion. There are many options and groups to choose from. Some students observer criminal jury trials and meet with Federal Judges, while others find adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
4D Learning experiences can be many things. For this senior, she is fully engaged in reflection, and will likely never forget her 5 days and 4 nights in the wilderness, nor her years at Galloway.
The 4th graders take a scientific journey to the beach. The 5th graders take a historic adventure at Blue Star Camp. The 6th graders, spend 3 days at Camp Pinnacle in North Carolina. The 7th graders, return to Pinnacle and engage in a multi-day adventure race. In 8th grade, 3 nights and 4 days in the beautiful wilderness of Pisgah Forest.
4D teachers have passion and wrap themselves in the experience of the students; even if that means having more fun than they are.
The 7th grade theme was Food: Want and Need. After several experiences at urban farms, greenhouses, farmers market, urban markets, and more, the students had a cook-off.
Perhaps one of the most important skills to learn is how to cook.
Middle Learning Immersion
The 5th graders become architects and urban planners during their immersion week. Their theme, Walk a Mile in My Shoes, requires them to design and build a model of a school that can accomodate many physical and learning differences.
Why am I not surprised that they have adopted many of architects Fielding and Nair's design principles?
Sixth-graders had the chance to spend the entire day outside at Nancy Creek in Chastain Park on Wednesday. The grade rotated through four sections led by their teachers, each with a project relating to the creek and tying in to their current studies in each subject.
The language arts assignment was to write a story from the perspective of an inanimate object near the creek. For history, students designed civilizations, considering how geography relating to water affects development.
The science lesson looked at the health of the water based on the insect life living in it, and in math, students calculated the speed of water currents by racing rubber duckies in the creek. It was a day of (literally) immersive learning!
Beyond the Walls
The Galloway School and the High Museum has a special partnership of learning. The Galloway School convened 750 students and 200 adults at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta on Feb. 24, 2014, for the Southeast’s first day of “school without walls.” Galloway held a complete curriculum of classes for all 750 of its students, ages 3 to 18, with learning spread throughout the campus at the Woodruff Arts Center.
Galloway’s High Energy day took experiential learning to a whole new level, proving that learning happens everywhere, not just in the confines of the classroom. The teachers were given carte blanche to craft their lessons for the day, and they found incredibly creative ways to incorporate the museum’s spaces and artwork into their teaching.
Some highlights of the day included:
Students dropped toy parachutes from the second-floor balcony, measured the time they took to fall then plotted the times on a large chart, hoping for a normal (“bell”) curve result.
Three teachers, from Early Learning technology, Middle Learning science, and Middle Learning history, worked together to teach a course on the evolution of weaponry in the American West and its historic implications, which included shooting toy arrows at targets while riding on skateboards to experience the mastery required for accuracy.
The High’s Director, Michael Shapiro, shared with students about the bronze sculptures in the museum’s current Go West! Exhibition, specifically those made by early 20thcentury sculptor, Frederic Remington.
Choosing from Civil War photographs to make a storyboard, students created silent films in iMovie that told the history of the war.
First-graders searched for and counted different shapes in the artwork of the museum’s permanent collection and made t-shirts using different-shaped blocks as stamps.