Our teachers have been doing some truly ground-breaking work. The level of innovation and passion in our school is palpable. We have classrooms participating in Genius Hour, coding, connecting with other schools, 3D printing, green-screen video production, flipped instruction, team teaching, augmented reality, and re-imagining learning spaces. I thought that I had grown accustomed to the general level of “awesomeness” in our school…but I’ll never forget what happened last week.
This past week Mrs. Kirchner’s 4th graders had the chance to take one of our “Mobile MakerSpace” carts for a test spin. The cart was loaded with Circuit-Scribe kits that enabled students to draw their own working circuits. As you can see from the short video clip below…student engagement was off the charts!
The most inspiring part of the lesson was the process that Mrs. Kirchner used to introduce the new technology to students. Students were assigned partners and given time to experiment, collaborate, and fail. That’s right…FAIL.
They talked about why their circuits were not working, compared notes, wrestled with frustration and tried again. It was beautiful. When the guided inquiry time was over every single group had successfully created their own working circuit from scratch. Students drew the conductive lines themselves and created unique battery configurations to power their projects.
I was fortunate to be a part of the experience and it was absolutely amazing. I’m talking jaw-dropping amazing. It’s one thing to be issued a science kit full of wires and directions. It’s another to see a group of kids wrestle with failure and overcome it using skills like collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.
I will never forget the power of failure in the learning process!
The following is a guest blog post from one of our very own Greenwood Grizzlies, Marit. I was recently visiting Marit’s classroom and observed some truly moving graduation speeches. While reading her words below might not be exactly the same as the heartfelt delivery she provided, it does offer a glimpse into the student learning experience at our school. Marit’s words also speak volumes about the impact of caring teachers, family, and friends.
Hi my name is Marit, and I got assigned to write an Elementary Graduation Speech that I presented to my class. My class wrote the speeches to reflect on our Elementary experiences, which I thought was very special since we are moving onto Middle School. My principal, Mr. Gustafson, listened to our speeches in front of our parents and really enjoyed them. He asked me if I’d share my speech on his blog. I hope you enjoy reading my Graduation Speech as well! Congrats to everyone graduating this spring around the world!
“Don’t be sad it’s over… Be happy it happened.”
This is one quote that really applies to leaving Greenwood or Elementary School in general! Greenwood has been a great school for me, but I’ve only been here for a few years. I really think it’s sad to leave Greenwood because it has been a blast being here. I am going to tell you all about my great years as an Elementary student. I can’t believe that I am already going to be a middle school student. Most people are nervous but I’m very excited.
Teachers are so important they shape my life by teaching me everything I know and making me a better person. If I didn’t have teachers I wouldn’t know anything near how much I know now.
Some teachers that really were an important part of my life are Mr.Vrudny and Miss Zeman. Mr.Vrudny has really influenced me. He was an awesome teacher but when he taught he always made it so fun! Mr.Vrudny was always so nice to the whole class I think he was such an amazing teacher! Miss.Zeman has helped me have a fun, amazing fifth grade experience. She is super funny and always makes me laugh! Miss Zeman always helped me learn if I didn’t understand she would help me so I understood! I will be very sad leaving Greenwood and all the great years I had.
Today I want to recognize so many people, but most importantly my family. My parents are always there for me and can help me with anything! My parents always have helped me whether its a fight, a hard subject, or basketball! I love my parents so much. Another person I would like to recognize is my nanny, Joelle. She always will be there for me and be one of my role models! I also want to thank all of my good friends for always having my back and being true and loyal friends. One friend that I really want to recognize is Sophie even though she doesn’t go to Greenwood she is still my best friend and I know that we have a strong friendship.
I could talk for hours about basketball but all I really need to say is basketball has shaped my life in many ways and taught me how to be a great team leader!
Elementary School was plain-out a great time in my life and I can’t wait for middle school. I feel prepared for middle school because I am becoming more independent and I am very excited to meet lots of new friends and be in a bigger school. I will miss Greenwood but I have had so many great memories here in Greenwood Elementary!