Work produced by Discovery’s second graders was displayed at the Expeditionary Learning National Conference in Denver, Colorado, as an example of quality work done by primary students. Expeditionary Learning believes that meaningful high quality work give students a purpose to learning, clarify standards and reason to strive for excellence.
“Our first Expedition, Discovering Discovery, began when a parent visited our classroom and didn’t know how to find their way out of the school”, recalls Ms. Lindsey Dolgos, Discovery’s second grade teacher. “ We realized that as a brand new school, we didn’t have a map for visitors to use, so we began learning everything we could about maps and mapmaking. “
The students started by studying different kinds of maps to learn the functions and elements of maps. They worked with three-dimensional models to understand the representational function of maps, and from these, partners worked together to create two-dimensional maps of different spaces in the school.
Expert visits from an architect and a school designer helped the students learn the importance of drafts, revision, and using tools to create neat, polished maps, which were then put together to create this beautiful tool for the new school community.
After receiving the accolades in Denver, the project will be included in the Center For Student Work at Harvard University. The Center houses a collection of exemplary worked gathered and curated through collaboration between EL and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
“At Discovery, student work is centered around expeditions or in-depth themes”, states Joseph Saia, DCS’s director. “Expeditions are skills-rich projects which provide a benefit to the school community.”