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Students Demonstrate Knowledge Through Project-Based Learning

During the past two weeks, Grades 1, 3 & 4 at Scheck Hillel Community School demonstrated project-based learning in extraordinary showcases. These interactive displays were the culmination of a learning process that began months ago and called upon our students’ abilities to develop long-term goals, learn from outside experts and older students, practice interviewing and listening skills, create narratives, and then present those narratives in novel ways. Read about three amazing showcases below.

Grade 1 Photo Album
Grade 3 Photo Album
Grade 4 Photo Album

Grade 1 Project-Based Learning Showcase: The Dream Playground
From blueprints to 3-D models, Grade 1 embarked on a playground design journey through project-based learning. As part of this approach, students learned from the architect who will be building our school’s new playground this summer. They worked in teams to brainstorm the ideal components of a playground, turned the ideas into color blueprints and then transformed their “flat” designs into 3-D models made from recycled materials. The result? The coolest playgrounds this side of Biscayne Boulevard! Zip lines, rock-climbing walls, monkey bars, slides, water features and treehouses, plus quiet areas for meditation and mindfulness, ball pits, and more. Our students thought of everything and everyone, showing empathy for the needs of children of various ages and the adults who look after them, they added age-appropriate rock-climbing and shaded areas to protect from the sun. A major milestone for these children was to work in teams on a long-term project and reflect on the experience.

Grade 3 Project-Based Learning Showcase: M’Dor L’Dor
For a third consecutive year, Grade 3 students embarked on a learning journey to trace their shorashim - roots - in the M’Dor L’Dor project. In the course of a semester, our students learned from beloved great-grandparents and grandparents, who told their stories in person and engaged in fascinating Q&A sessions with the children. Once students learned interviewing and active listening skills, they conducted interviews with family members and wrote biographies based on transcripts of their conversations. The final step in the process was to create a display honoring their loved one. The showcase celebrated these amazing ancestors and the bonds they share with subsequent generations. In addition to developing higher-order language and thinking skills, the social-emotional benefits of this journey could be felt on showcase day: the power of shorashim was so palpable! Kol HaKavod to the many who made this experience possible: Grade 3 faculty, Grade 11 students who mentored their younger peers, family members, and most importantly to the students who shall carry on Jewish values m’dor l’dor!

Grade 4 Project-Based Learning Showcase: Adventures in Florida History
Learning about Florida’s history was a thrilling adventure for all who entered Grade 4’s Amusement Park, the last stop in the students’ project-based learning experience. Visitors were greeted with passports outlining various attractions, and collected stickers after listening to entertaining and fact-filled oral presentations at each stop. Student teams explained a particular aspect of Florida’s history; the Spanish American Laser Kaboom, for example, taught about the role Florida and the US in this four-month conflict. Students not only conducted research, but also corresponded with “Grid Pals,” middle school students in California who provided feedback as presentations evolved. Other rides included an escape room about Jewish life in Florida; a slide leading to a courtroom to explore immigration to Florida, and a flume ride through the state’s landforms. Research, teamwork and communication skills were emphasized in classrooms and in I Lab, where social studies, technology and recyclables came together to produce amusement magic. Kol Hakavod, Grade 4!
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