Quick View of Building Block Commons Elementary Program
Total Cost for Elementary School Year: $7,510 Elementary
15-18 Elementary Students
8am-2:30pm M,T, & Th,F
8am-12:30pm "Half Day Wednesday" (Extended day options available)
Total Cost for Kindergarten School Year: $4,200 Kindergarten
The school will carefully curate a cohort of 15-18 students who will be supported by 3 teachers throughout the school year as they use Project-Based Learning to explore the 6 Cs:
(As outlined in Becoming Brilliant by Kathy Hirsch-Pasek & Roberta Michnick Golinkoff)
Within each of these 6 competencies are clusters of standards that are determined by the staff for each emergent project. The standards may reflect Common Core State Standards, local NH school district standards, as well as standards developed within the classroom community.
These competencies are explored in three physical spaces within the school:
These competencies are explored in many spaces outside of school:
Field Trips with teachers & classmates
Field Trips with parents
Family time & daily life
Learning DOES NOT ONLY OCCUR AT SCHOOL
Progress along each competency is recorded in the student's personal learning journal within SeeSaw. The student, their parents and their teachers work on their digital literacy to upload:
- Pictures of work
- Files, videos, reflections
- Notes from staff and outside experts
The SeeSaw Portfolio is shared by parents, teachers and students throughout the school year.
Within each of the 6 sections, students will showcase self-reflections, peer-reviews, parent reviews, teacher reviews, as well as examples of their work that exemplifies their level of mastery. Students will present these portfolios during a round-table discussion with:
- An "outside expert" (aka: teacher from the public school system)
- A teacher from Building Block Commons
- A parent or valued adult from the BBC community
- A peer
This network of support will work together to locate the child's level of mastery in each of the 6 competencies and make a plan for future study. The inclusion of the public school system in the evaluations will support the ongoing relationship with the community.
What tools will be used to support the mastery of these competencies?
The staff's training on Project Based Learning (PBL) comes from the Buck Institute for Education (BIE), the "gold standard" in PBL. One great challenge to this kind of self-reflection work is that students don't often practice thinking critically about these competencies. Metacognition, or "thinking about thinking" needs to be taught and frequently practiced. We will help students practice these skills by doing structured protocols from Visible Thinking Routines in the classroom (Harvard Project Zero). The teachers will be trained to initiate these routines throughout the day in order to encourage higher-order thinking skills during real-life conversation among peers. Combining these protocols, conversations with students, teacher-created rubrics and real-time, authentic portfolios, a child's progress is able to be monitored and supported.