Last year, we shared this video with teachers and as a staff we began to encourage students to consider not only what they had accomplished and learned, but what would come next, and how they could improve on that work. This has become an important part of our pedagogy at DHS. Students are frequently asked to respond to their work by answering four questions:
- What are you learning?
- Why is it important to learn it?
- How do you know that you have learned it?
- What are your next steps?
Over the past few years our learning commons has undergone a radical transformation. After two years discussing and gathering input from students, parents and staff, we opened our new learning commons earlier this year. This vital new space has quickly become the hub of our school. Your children have probably told you about the space and the amazing things that happen there.
The learning commons model acknowledges that we don't yet know what the world will look like when our students are adults. While we can't predict the skills that will be required in that world, we do know that people will be required to collaborate, to create, to build, and to dream. These are skills that our students cannot learn by memorization ~ they require students to explore with their minds and hands, to fail, and try again. With each attempt (or iteration) problems are addressed and products improve. This process can happen within art, as is demonstrated in the video below, or as students tackle a larger challenge, like creating a device that can move on its' own.
Our learning commons was created to be a flexible learning space. The learning commons lightweight furniture can be redesigned to meet the current need, whether that is a circle of chairs for storytelling or conversations, a theatre to watch a video, or empty floorspace for a whole group activity. Students are excited about the learning commons and one of the most popular areas is the Makerspace. A makerspace isn't just a physical space; it's a philosophy.
Remember to check out our school website - http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b347