Project-based learning (PBL) at SLCA is an instructional method, hands-on approach, to active learning. This method is centered around the investigation and resolution of real-world problems. The SLCA students gain knowledge and skills by receiving a driving question (or problem to be solved), using their ideas/brainstorm, remembering prior knowledge to guide them, inquiry and investigation, and student presentation and feedback. PBL allows the students to collaborate with each other in a virtual learning environment using various social media such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Google docs, slides and Jamboard to present their findings back to the class.
Some SLCA PBL projects have included writing letters to children in the hospital and to grandparents in order to build relationships and encourage others. Projects regarding homelessness, endangered sea animals, raising awareness and donating to children in foster care supports our goal to provide students with an opportunity to better understand the world around them and how they can make a difference. Another project was to design game boards for student interactive communication. These games provide ice breakers where students are encouraged to ask each other questions to get to know one another better. Additionally, students create slide show presentations for virtual field trips to the aquarium, different countries, continents and oceans, maps, self-introductory activities, and student birthday celebrations. The students have also generated videos of student performances and plays like the Christmas presentation, show and tell, and talent show.
The PBL projects provide opportunities for the students to develop socio emotional learning as they work together to create projects in a wide variety of virtual zoom environments. Also, students gain communication skills and build relationships with each other by reflecting on their PBL projects. Student assessment is usually in the form of student feedback, self-review, peer-review according to an age-appropriate rubric. This wonderful opportunity is not just available for full-day students, but also for half-day students who can join and successfully interact with the regular students on a day-to-day basis! Please join us!