Naomi Strada, (Condensed by Tom Scatchard)
At one time or another, most people have used a phone’s GPS system for directions. A specific destination is entered, the phone will offer some possible routes and the journey begins.
In a similar fashion, the Champlain Valley School District has established specific destinations for all middle school students. These destinations are referred to as learning targets. These learning targets have been created and vetted by teachers in order to provide some shared skills for all students.
Over the course of the year, teachers and students work together to try and reach these specific destinations through the use of the content of their class. For instance, a humanities class may focus on the evidence learning target (I can find credible evidence that supports my purpose) while studying the role of government in society. The learning target is the destination and then the study of government is the vehicle which would be used to practice this skill (finding evidence). In a science class the students might be working on the developing models learning target (I can develop a model to clearly show how all components work together to explain a phenomenon) while studying photosynthesis and respiration.
Once the destination has been set, the teacher acts like the GPS system. Teachers figure out where all students are starting from and then help guide each student to the destination (or even beyond). Drivers have all encountered GPS routes getting messy, getting lost, encountering traffic jams, or the car breaking down — this is where a teacher’s knowledge of students comes into play and where differentiation occurs. The teacher works to guide all students to these destinations — taking as many routes as necessary.
The more clearly the Champlain Valley School District can articulate these destinations for students, the better chance they have to reach them. The Champlain Valley School District learning targets can be viewed under the curriculum heading at cvsdvt.org.
Whole school morning meeting
Several years ago, Charlotte Central School moved away from celebrating Halloween during the school day to maintain a calm routine focused on learning and social activities that are accessible and inclusive for all students.
On Friday, Nov. 4, the third whole school morning meeting will be held. This will be hosted by the sixth grade and will feature an invitation from the Student Leadership Council to encourage all Charlotte Central School students to share their hopes for the coming year. The hope is to encourage student voices and create opportunities for student-led innovation.
Donating children’s books, stuffed animals
Sarah Stein, an eighth grader at Charlotte Central School was asked in wellness class to choose a project to help the community. She chose to collect books and stuffed animals. She will read to a children’s group in Hinesburg and will take donations of lightly used stuffed animals and children’s books for kids under 10. Anyone who would like to contribute to this effort can deliver items to the box in the front lobby of Charlotte Central School.