At the heart of the ever growing complexity of what the idea of school means, it has become essential for us to embed authentic learning tasks into our classrooms. These real world models and simulations serve as anchors for our work, driving our instruction in intentional directions, and allowing for students and teachers to demonstrate, track, and reflect on their own learning. This work will and does function as the foundation for students to be lifelong learners and contributing members of our community in the 21st century.
Below you will find some examples of how we are building our “sandcastles” here at Hazen.
J-TermAt the end of May, our Middle Level will be engaging in a J-term. Modeled off of the work from Lyndon Institute and many other schools throughout Vermont, our teachers are working to create authentic, hands-on, applied learning seminars. Based off the interests, strengths, and passions of our students, seminars offered will be led by staff and community members to provide opportunities for meaningful learning experiences that are different from what already exists in our school’s curriculum offerings. Teachers will be assessing and providing feedback to students through Schoology, using learning scales tied to transferable skills, as students document their learning through their personalized learning plans.
Students will have the opportunity to dive deep into one of their three seminars, creating a presentation and/or project for our J-Term Learning Expo on June 14th (let us know if you are coming and RSVP here!).
SLIMS, Schoology, and Bears, Oh My!
April Showers Bring Authentic Learning Opportunities (and Flowers)
- Our revamped and redesigned Theater Class performed Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the unofficial opening of the new Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro. The cast and production team for this abbreviated version of the play was made up of students from Hazen Union High School who worked diligently with Hazen Union’s theater teachers and professional actors and directors from Northern Stage to bring this show to life. Collaboration between the Highland Center for the Arts and Hazen will continue, as we have partnered with the center for many more exciting projects. (Read more about the Highland Center for the Arts and the opening night here.)
- A group of middle and high school students attended the Youth Rally for the Planet in Montpelier on April 12th. The rally included a march, student speakers, music, and presentations from Vermont legislators. Check out this thank you video to Vermont Energy Education Program (who helped fund our bus!) and the organizers of the rally:
- As part of a personalized learning project, a group of middle level students travelled down to Hardwick Elementary School several times during March and April to help teach upcoming Hazenites about the environment, renewable energy, and ways to make a difference. Several times over the past few years TRY for the Environment, an extension of Vermont Energy Education Program, has visited Hazen with the aim of lowering our carbon footprint. The four eighth grade students developed their mentoring experience and made some great connections.