Over the last nine months, the focus for Hutterian students has been to use project-based instruction to improve literacy and implement rich, inquiry-based tasks in math.

Some students created story vines to help them retell the Laura Ingalls Wilder story, Little House in the Big Woods. Then, they shared their vines in small groups with the rest of the school.  The vines helped them recall the novel’s details and learn about the setting, character, and plot in a story.  The students enjoyed listening to the story, and the grade 5’s enjoyed telling it.

Students in another school were responsible for organizing a Mother’s Day lunch. They chose tasty recipes and learned how to increase the number of servings needed to feed their mothers and themselves. They created grocery lists and calculated the costs of their supplies while others designed fancy invitations, planned out the afternoon entertainment and decorated the venue!

Other students worked on writing How To speeches on topics ranging from making a birthday card, roasting a wiener, and building a shelter. Finally, they watched an informative (and hilarious!) YouTube video entitled ‘Exact Instructions Challenge – THIS is why my kids hate me’ by Josh Darnit. Through peer feedback, the students learned that instructions need to be very specific if other people are to be successful following them.

Another school worked on incorporating rich inquiry tasks into Guided Math Cycles. The inquiry tasks stemmed from the students themselves.  They gathered first-hand data by creating surveys for peers to complete as well as designing and building structures.

The High School “Country” project was an excellent example of integrating curriculums during ELA. Students were highly engaged in researching important information such as governments, landforms, and taxes.  Information was showcased and presented to an audience.

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